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CURRENT Newsletter | 6 March 2014

Mar 6, 2014 by Lewis Wood

News For & About Virginia's Credit Union System

Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Governmental Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

News From Credit Unions

Chapter News

Financial Education News

News About The Competition

Headline News

Spring Compliance Conference, Marketing Workshop Registration Now Open

Our popular Spring Compliance Conference takes place April 30-May 2 in Richmond, and this year features a companion Marketing Workshop (May 1). Topics include marketing compliance, foreclosures, auto loan collections, e-signatures and documents, intellectual property and patent law, and much more.

Needless to say, a not-to-be-missed educational opportunity, priced right at $145 per day for days 1 and 2; $65 for day 3.

The Marketing and Business Development Council's Marketing By The Numbers Workshop features sessions on building better member relationships, cost-efficient branding and prototyping, and finding "member-friendly" fee income. Cost - $149.

[Spring Compliance Conference]
[Marketing By The Numbers]

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Packed Congressional Luncheon Caps off Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington

Ten members of Virginia's Congressional delegation addressed a room full of 140 credit union advocates at last Wednesday's Congressional Luncheon in Washington. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor praised credit unions and highlighted their perspective on issues ranging from housing finance reform to the federal budget process.

Representatives Rob Wittman (R-1); Scott Rigell (R-2); Bobby Scott (D-3); Robert Hurt (R-5); Bob Goodlattte (R-6); Frank Wolf (R-10) and Gerry Connolly (D-10) followed suit. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-9) met briefly with constituents after the luncheon. The banking aide for Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4) attended the luncheon. T

hey, too, followed suit in thanking credit unions for their service to members and communities, and affirming support for the credit union tax exemption, an exemption that is retained in the white paper released last week by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp.

[read more]

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What Are Your Concerns about Data Security?

Last Wednesday morning, League staffer Karin Sherbin met with a staff member of the House Judiciary Committee (chaired by Virginia's Rep. Bob Goodlatte) to give an overview of the credit union perspective of data security. The conversation will continue next month.

As you know, we are asking Congress to make retailers more responsible for data security on their end, and to make it clear that credit unions can identify the source of a data breach when informing their members of a card re-issuance required because of a breach.

Please contact Karin at ksherbin@vacul.org or 434.237.9626 and provide your perspective of credit union costs associated with data breaches and security, what your credit union does to protect data, plans for using chip and pin cards, why you don't identify the breach source, and any other comments you think our representatives need to hear.

Data security is an issue much talked-about for now, but if we don't pursue it the issue will drop off the radar in an election year. Plus there are several committees claiming jurisdiction, which will muddy the waters. It is important that we be proactive and keep the discussion alive with as much detail as possible.

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Annual Meeting 2014: 20 Education Sessions, Plus Networking Opportunities Galore

We're celebrating our 80th anniversary in grand style! Your League's 80th Annual Meeting is April 2-4, 2014, in Williamsburg. With 20-plus education sessions, keynotes from former CNBC economist Marci Rossell and Andy Janning, a former credit union exec-turned-professional speaker and motivator, plus a half-dozen networking opportunities, you can't afford to miss it! [register here]
[learn more]

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We Need Your Help: League Community Involvement Committee Seeks Financial Contributions for Annual Meeting Fundraiser

Please consider a financial contribution to aid us in purchasing items for our Charity Raffle (we're calling it the "Raffle-A-Rama") which will take place at this year's Annual Meeting (April 2-4 in Williamsburg). What we're asking...

  • Chapters: We're asking for a financial contribution of not less than $250.
  • Credit Unions ($100 million or more in assets): Please consider a financial contribution of at least $250.
  • Credit Unions (Less than $100 million in assets): Please consider a financial contribution of at least $50.

[read more]

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News About Credit Unions

Credit Unions Best Source of Free Checking: Bankrate.com

Consumers seeking truly free checking need to look to either credit unions or community banks, according to a leading personal finance website. Bankrate.com questioned banks and the top 50 credit unions in January 2014 about their checking offerings as part of its annual free checking survey. The online consumer site found that 72% of credit unions surveyed offered what the site called standalone free checking, while only 38% of banks did.

Bankrate defined standalone free checking as checking accounts that are not only free of fees, but also do not rely on the consumer taking other steps to keep the accounts free, such receiving their statements electronically, committing to direct deposit or keeping a certain minimum balance. The site also pointed out that an additional 24% of credit unions surveyed provided free checking for members who agreed to use e-statements and direct deposit, raising the total percentage of surveyed credit unions keeping their checking free to 96%.

The site did not reveal what percentage of banks offered free checking if a customer started using e-statements or direct deposit. Bankrate said the percentage of both credit unions and banks offering standalone free checking has fallen since 2010, with fewer credit unions (78% in 2010 to 72% in 2014) offering the no-charge accounts, and fewer banks doing so (65% in 2010 to 38% in 2014).

[read more]

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Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Home-Based CU Ban; No Thanks Say CUs

Credit unions are speaking out against a rule proposed by the NCUA that would force credit unions out of homes and into commercial offices. CU Times reviewed each comment letter posted as of Tuesday on the NCUA’s website. The $2 million Queen of Peace Arlington Federal Credit Union in Arlington, Va., was among those opposed to the measure.  “While the Queen of Peace Arlington FCU does not currently operate from a residential address, we do use a residential address as one short-term disaster recovery site,” said CEO Dan Morrisey.

“Such a residential site, for example, might be used for a short-term transition period until the regular office space became available or an alternate site could be arranged. The way I read the proposed rule, any such use of a residential address would be absolutely prohibited.” Morrisey said prohibiting the use of a residential address, even for a short period, would be costly for small credit unions.

“In fact, a number of years ago, during a several-month period, this credit union was based in our home because of an issue of our use of the sponsor’s location,” he wrote. “Once that issue was resolved, the credit union returned to the sponsor’s property. During that period, had this rule been in effect, I seriously doubt that we would have been able to continue the operation of the credit union.”

[read more]

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Governmental Affairs News

100% for VACUPAC

Call Federal Credit Union has 100% pin participation from Board, supervisory committee members, and senior management in the Virginia Credit Union Political Action Committee (VACUPAC). Your support of VACUPAC enables us to support political candidates and lawmakers who are willing to hear us out on our issues.

[learn more]

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Financial Services/Marketplace News

Mortgage Lending Declines Due to Harsh Winter

Consumers were less eager to seek new mortgage loans for home purchases in the first quarter, according to a Federal Reserve report released Wednesday. Demand for loans to buy homes declined in New York, Richmond, St. Louis and Kansas City with much of the blame pegged on the weather. Other parts of the country like Philadelphia and Dallas also saw a softening in lending in this market.

"Residential mortgage lending had nearly come to a halt in part because of this winter's extreme weather," the Richmond Fed reported in the central bank's quarterly economic survey known as the Beige Book, citing bankers in the district. But there were still signs of some hope in Richmond and elsewhere.

"A Virginia lender believed that the demand of new homes is there, but that people are 'just trying to survive the weather right now,'" according to the Fed's survey. (American Banker Online, March 5)

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Mortgage Loan Rates Slid Last Week, Mortgage Applications Rise

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning. It noted an increase of 9.4% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index, following a drop of 8.5% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates fell slightly on all types of loans.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 9% from the prior week’s report, but it is 19% lower year-over-year. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 11% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 12% for the week.

[read more]

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After Two Frigid Months for Auto Sales, Dealerships Are Desperate for Buyers

Week after week of cold and misery has kept car buyers away from auto dealerships in 2014. The weather should also be indirectly helping them get better prices on new-car purchases this spring. Understandably, the abnormally snowy, bitterly cold weather that’s descended on much of the country for the past two months has been bad for auto sales. Buyers, it seems, tend to wait until the weather is not miserable to visit dealerships, kick tires, and seal deals.

Thus far in 2014 it’s been easy for consumers to push off the chore of car-shopping because who wants to browse a dealership’s lot when its 5 below and there are 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground? Record-setting cold resulted in a 3% decline in sales in January compared to the same month in 2013.

Initial reports of strong sales tallies over Presidents Day weekend gave hope to the idea that automakers and car dealerships could bounce back with impressive sales for the whole month of February. With few exceptions, however, February followed in the footsteps of January as a bummer for those in the business of selling cars.

[read more]

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News From Credit Unions

Belvoir Federal Hosts 5th Annual Family Fun Day

On March 1, Belvoir Federal Credit Union hosted its 5th Annual Family Fun Day located at the South Post branch on Fort Belvoir, VA. The event welcomed hundreds of parents, students, and military members who enjoyed a cookout, entertainment from WMZQ 98.7, and games for children.

Belvoir Federal celebrated Family Fun Day with financial activities, such as the Money Machine which had real money for children to grab and keep as well as a coin counting games, allowing children to win prizes. There were also face painters and a coloring area.

[read more]

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Chartway Federal Credit Union Announces 25th Annual Directors’ Memorial Scholarship Program

Chartway Federal Credit Union and its divisions of HeritageWest and SouthWest Community, announced recently that it is now accepting applications for its 2014 Directors’ Memorial College Scholarship. This year, the credit union and its divisions will award eight student members with $2,000 scholarships, totaling $16,000 in academic aid.

[read more]

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1st Advantage FCU Grafton Branch Grand Opening

On Feb. 20, 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union celebrated the grand opening of its newest full service branch in the Yorktown Community of Grafton. The Grafton branch is located at 6035 George Washington Memorial Highway, Yorktown, Virginia.  This branch, along with another new branch on the Naval Weapons Station, is a result of the recent merger with the former NWS Federal Credit Union.

[read more]

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Dan Morrisey in Running for CU Magazine's Hero of the Year

Our own Dan Morrisey (Queen of Peace Arlington Federal Credit Union) is in the running for Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year! Congrats to Dan! You can cast your vote for Dan online at http://www.creditunionmagazine.com/

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Chapter News

NoVA Chapter Meets March 13

What does Obamacare mean for your credit union? That's the topic of Tina Tucker's program at the NoVA Chapter's March 13 meeting. Location: Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes (12777 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax 22033). Time: 5:30 p.m. start. Cost: $40. Please RSVP to Judy Pollard by March 11at pollardj@jfcu.org. [learn more]  

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Tidewater Chapter To Host March 15 Workshop

All credit unions are invited to attend the Tidewater Chapter's March 15 Workshop in Norfolk. On tap are education sessions covering subprime lending, the NCUA's IT exam basics, teaching personal finance to young people, an update on EMV and the evolving world of payments, board member duties, and much more.

Location: Old Dominion University campus.
Time: Registration begins at 2 p.m.; dinner and door prizes will wrap up about 7:30 p.m.

Educational Investment: $75 per person Until Feb. 28; $85 thereafter.

[Download the brochure here]
[Vendors: Be a Part of This Exciting Event! Learn more here

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Tidewater Chapter Meets April 10

Tracy Marks, of Lender Select Mortgage, will offer a program of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the current mortgage lending environment at the Tidewater Chapter's April 10 meeting. Location: Greenbrier Country Club (1301 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, 23320). Time: 6 p.m. start. Cost: $35, if registered by April 2; $40 thereafter. RSVP to Ginnie Riddle at vriddle@bayportcu.org or by phone at 757.873.4047. [learn more]

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Financial Education News

CUs Invited to Hold a Casual Day on April 2 to Raise Funds for Financial Ed Efforts

The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is inviting credit union organizations to hold a “Financial Fitness Day” fundraiser on April 2, 2014 to kick off National Financial Literacy Month. This initiative will raise funds for NCUF and state credit union foundations in support of their financial education initiatives. To participate, credit union organizations can hold one (or more) of the following fundraisers on April 2:

  • Jeans or Casual Day for staff
  • Bake Sale for staff and/or members
  • Deduct or Donate a Buck - Ask staff and/or members to consider a voluntary contribution of $1 or more either in cash as they complete their transaction and/or deducting from their checking or saving account as often as they choose.

[read more]

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News About The Competition

How Are Small Banks Faring Under Dodd-Frank

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently published the results of a study of the effects of Dodd-Frank on small banks, defined as banks with less than $10 billion in assets each. The anonymous, web-based survey relied on responses from about 200 banks and was conducted between July 2013 and September 2013.

The study sought to analyze the impact of increased regulations on different areas of a small bank’s operations, including products and services offered. More than 80% of respondents indicated that their compliance costs had increased by more than 5% since Dodd-Frank.  An overwhelming percentage of respondents (94.0%) responded that they would not be adding new products or services as a result. Respondents had already discontinued or were anticipating discontinuing residential mortgages, mortgage servicing, home equity lines of credit, overdraft protection, and credit cards. It is clear from the responses to the Mercatus Center’s survey that although they are statutorily exempt from CFPB supervision, small banks are feeling the squeeze of Dodd-Frank.

One commenter stated that, “any regulations applied to larger [financial institutions] always roll downhill, regardless of what congressional leaders say.” According to the study, small banks have responded to the increased regulatory burdens by shrinking the products and services they offer, particularly in the mortgage sphere. The Mercatus Center’s report concludes, “We expect that the small banks’ share of the residential mortgage business will shrink considerably.

Small banks also have begun to cut back on overdraft protection.” The respondents to the Mercatus Center’s survey skewed towards banks that serve rural and small metropolitan areas, highlighting the disproportionate effect Dodd-Frank may have on small banks serving small communities, small businesses, and borrowers with unique needs.

[read more]

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