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CURRENT Newsletter | 7 November 2013

Nov 7, 2013 by Lewis Wood

News and Information For and About Virginia's Credit Unions

Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Governmental Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

Education & Networking Opportunities

News From Credit Unions

Chapter News

Headline News

Senate May Be Poised To Release Tax Reform Drafts

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who heads the Senate Finance Committee and is a key figure in the country's current tax policy debates, said he is planning to release the first in a series of tax reform discussion drafts very soon, Politico recently reported.

"Tax policy writers on Capitol Hill have made it clear since the summer that they intend to be ready to tackle a tax reform vote early this fall," Ryan Donovan said about the news. "This is the start on the Senate side."

Two Baucus aides told the publication that the first discussion draft could address reform of the international tax system. Baucus, along with the U.S. House's key tax policy figure, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), have taken a "blank slate" approach to reform legislation.

That approach removes all tax expenditures from the code and would add back in those that make the grade. In the midst of this tax reform effort, credit unions and their members are using Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues' resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!" Credit union and member tax advocacy efforts have remained strong. Almost 1.2 million separate congressional contacts have been made since mid-May to support credit unions in the tax talks.

[read more]
> We urge you to keep up the good work and continue to enlist the aid of members, staff and volunteer officials in fighting to preserve our tax exemption. Remember, CUNA has a host of resources available on its website to aid you! On CUNA's homepage, choose "Grassroots & Political Action" on the main navigation menu, then choose "Tax Status Toolkit."

To date, we've generated 18,636 Don't Tax My CU messages to our Congressional delegation.
[related: Warner, Kaine to Help Draft Plan for Taxes, Spending]

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League Sees Mostly Wins from Election Day

All but one of the candidates endorsed by the League won their races on Tuesday. The two state-wide candidates endorsed by the League -- Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam -- successfully beat back their opponents for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. League President Rick Pillow sent congratulatory messages to McAuliffe and Northam, reminding them of credit unions' support. Northam texted back: "Thank you so much credit unions. Looking forward to working with you.”

The League had endorsed 11 incumbent candidates for the House of Delegates. All but one won; another race may be headed to a recount. Republican Mike Watson from Hampton Roads fell to challenger Monty Mason, a Democrat who chairs his local Economic Development Authority. Another League-endorsed candidate -- Republican Tom Rust of Herndon -- appears to have squeaked by in his increasingly Democratic district, but that contest may go to a recount.

Below is a list of the House candidates endorsed by the League.

  • Del. Richard L. "Rich" Anderson (R-51st), Woodbridge;
  • Del. Kathy Byron (R-22nd), Lynchburg;
  • Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th), McLean;
  • Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-40th), Centreville;
  • Del. Danny Marshall (R-14th), Danville;
  • Del. Jackson Miller (R-50th), Manassas;
  • Del. Thomas D. Rust (R-86th), Herndon;
  • Del. Ron Villanueva (R-21st), Virginia Beach;
  • Del. Michael Watson (R-93rd), Williamsburg;
  • Del. David E. Yancey (R-94th), Newport News; and
  • Del. Joseph Yost (R-12th), Blacksburg.

"Each of these lawmakers has been a friend to member-owned credit unions, including some who have introduced or co-sponsored legislation on our behalf," said Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League. “These lawmakers understand how their actions on legislation affect the ability of Virginia’s credit unions to continue to provide affordable financial services to working families across the Commonwealth.”

While Democrats did well on the statewide races, the winning candidates did not bring long coat-tails with them. If current results hold, the Democrats will have a net pick-up of  just one seat, which would leave Republicans with a veto-proof majority of 67 members in the House of Delegates. Besides Del. Watson, one other freshman delegate was defeated. Republican Mark Dudenhefer of Prince William and Stafford counties was bested by Democrat Michael Futrell.

> Expect Recount in AG Race

Unofficial results Wednesday afternoon put Republican Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg up by 1,157 votes over Democrat Mark Herring of Loudoun out of 2.2 million votes cast, according to the State Board of Elections. The vote total does not include provisional ballots cast in Tuesday's election. Those are votes cast by people who went to the wrong precinct or did not have the required ID. Absentee ballots have been counted. Local election officials have until Nov. 12 to finish certifying their counts. Then the state has until Nov. 25. Neither candidate has claimed victory or conceded. [read more]

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Learn How the Credit Union Member Discount from GM Can Help Your CU

Join the Virginia Credit Union League and Curt Belaney, National Business Consultant with CU Solutions Group/Invest in America for a FREE informational Webinar on Invest in America’s valuable Credit Union Member Discount from GM. Webinar Date/Time: Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m. To register please email a request to Dorshey Coleman (dcoleman@vacul.org) and login instructions will be sent to you.

This webinar will benefit CEOs, managers, marketing staff, lending staff and any other credit union staff who are interested in hearing about this valuable Auto Discount Program. Please contact your League's Dorshey Coleman, Director of Education & Event Management, at 434-237-9618 or dcoleman@vacul.org with any questions.

[read more]
[related: In Auto Lending, Get In Front Of Members Early And Often]

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News About Credit Unions

Small FIs Press Lawmakers to Preserve Their Access to Housing Finance

The Senate Banking Committee dug into the details Tuesday of how a reformed housing finance system can ensure access to community financial institutions, as agreement over a broad approach is beginning to emerge.

Industry representatives largely praised a proposal by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and set up a new secondary market that would also provide for the participation of smaller institutions through an expanded Federal Home Loan Bank system and other means. Several bankers hailed their bill's call for a mutual securitization cooperative, though questions remain about how it should be built and operated.

[read more]

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House GOP Seeks Delay of QM Implementation

More than a quarter of House lawmakers are asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to delay implementation of its "qualified mortgage" rule, arguing that many smaller institutions are not going to be ready on time. In a letter signed by 118 House Republicans, many of which are members of the House Financial Services Committee, the lawmakers noted that the regulation and its amendments total more than 4,000 pages and go into effect in January.

Small banks and credit unions have been fiercely pushing back against the CFPB's timeline for its new mortgage rules, which require institutions to ensure borrowers have the ability to repay a mortgage. As part of the new regulations, the CFPB created an ultra-safe class of loans known as qualified mortgages which must meet certain underwriting criteria, including debt-to-income requirements.

[read more]
[related: Tight credit squeezing first-time homebuyers out of market]
[related: Home Foreclosures, Mortgage Loan Delinquencies at Multiyear Lows in Q3]

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Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

NCUA Consulting Program – Nov. 30 Application Deadline

The NCUA Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives is accepting online applications for free consulting services to be used in the first half of 2014. Credit unions enrolled into the Consulting Program receive Economic Development Specialist assistance during a six-month period. 

Assistance is offered in the areas of budgeting, marketing, policy development, strategic planning, and operational and regulatory areas. The program is available for credit unions with assets under $50 million, a new charter (fewer than 10 years), or a low-income designation. Credit unions can see how the application process and program works here.

[related: Application for Consulting Services]

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CFPB Continues Crackdown on Auto Lending Industry

Several auto lenders under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for potential fair lending violations are being referred to the Department of Justice, according to sources familiar with the matter. At least three lenders have recently been given notices by the CFPB about the referral, sources said.

Although the firms have not been publicly identified, the agency has been probing large banks for more than a year, while it has asked several big non-banks to begin submitting data to the CFPB. Agency officials have argued that financial institutions are responsible for mark-ups made by dealers, including whether they disproportionately raise interest rates on minority and other protected consumers. But financial institutions, backed by some lawmakers, have insisted they should not be on the hook for actions taken by a dealer without their knowledge. (American Banker Online, Nov. 5)

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Governmental Affairs News

100% for VACUPAC

Lots of good news to report as we have several credit unions and chapters to thank for their efforts in support of the Virginia Credit Union Political Action Committee (VACUPAC).

  • Fort Lee Federal Credit Union has 100% participation in VACUPAC at the pin level (at least $25) from Board and management.
  • Virginia Educators Credit Union has 100% pin participation from its Board members.
  • Peoples Advantage FCU has 100% pin participation from all volunteer officials and staff.
  • Resources Federal Credit Union has 100% participation from its Board members.
  • The Southside Chapter has reached its VACUPAC goal!
  • The Richmond Chapter's "Casual for a Cause" campaign to raise funds for VACUPAC was a huge success, raising $2,125 in just one day! Eight credit unions participated in the ICU Day initiative and two credit unions -- Entrust Financial Credit Union and Richmond Fire Credit Union -- reached 100% participation among staff members.

We appreciate your continuing commitment to the credit union movement by supporting VACUPAC. Keep up the good work!

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Madeleine Albright to Keynote at 2014 CUNA GAC

Start making your plans for the 2014 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. CUNA has announced that former Secretary of State, political leader, and strategist Madeleine Albright will keynote at the event. Additional details are now available at gac.cuna.org, including a panel of distinguished political journalists from Washington’s premiere news outlets and the Capitol Steps at "Late Night at the GAC."

CUNA will be making additional major keynote speaker and program announcements soon. The 2014 GAC will take place Feb. 23-27 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. For more information and to register, visit http://gac.cuna.org.   

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Financial Services/Marketplace News

Mortgage Slump's Full Toll on Small Banks Revealed — But Fixes Remain Elusive

Bankers have been warning for several months about a significant slowdown in mortgage revenue -- now we know the severity of the decline. Mortgage banking income at banks with less than $20 billion of assets fell, on average, 21% from the second quarter and 27% from a year earlier, according Keefe, Bruyette & Woods data. The firm looked at income tied to originations, net servicing and gains from the sale of mortgages.

Figuring out what to do next is the murkier part for bankers. Activity is expected to slow even more in coming quarters as a spike in long-term interest rates continues to hamper refinance activity, and as more banks grapple with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified-mortgage rule.

"A lot of the refi activity has been wrung out," says Jim Adkins, a founder and managing member of Artisan Advisors, a community bank consulting firm. "It's not as active of a market, and I don't see that changing."

The slowdown in mortgage revenue was a punch in the gut for financial institutions that are trying to boost fee income. It was a big reason that noninterest income in the third quarter fell 9% from the second quarter and 11% from a year earlier, according to American Banker research of 350 banks' results.

[read more]

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Education & Networking Opportunities

Reaching Gen Y With the 'Credit Union Difference'

Credit unions offer an inherent benefit based on member ownership and cooperative values, but few institutions understand how to communicate the Credit Union Difference in a meaningful and effective way to Gen Y consumers. Based on a top-rated session attended by over 400 credit union executives during the 2013 World Credit Union Conference in Ottawa, this webinar is part of the Build the Brand Program funded by Vancity Credit Union in Canada.

On Dec. 5, 2013, from 3 to 4 p.m., you will learn from three social media experts about:

  • The Gen Y profile and how credit union values match those of this important market segment
  • Social media strategies to effectively reach Gen Y
  • Real-life success stories from the United States and Australia

[Register Now]

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Learn How Strong Internal Controls Can Reduce Instances of Employee Fraud

The National Credit Union Administration will host a free webinar, “Deterring Employee Fraud,” on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. Staff from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, along with Joni Lovingood, a senior consultant with CUNA Mutual Group, and Scott Butterfield of Your Credit Union Partner will answer questions like:

  • What are the effects of employee dishonesty? 
  • Why does employee fraud occur?
  • What are the warning signs of fraud?

Using real-world case studies, Lovingood and Butterfield will also explain how a well-trained, active supervisory committee and strong internal controls are effective means of deterring employee fraud. Registration for this free webinar is now open. Click here to register.

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News From Credit Unions

1st Advantage Donates $10,000 to Operation Homefront of The Virginias

On Nov. 4, 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union presented a check for $10,000 to Operation Homefront of the Virginias. This donation will allow Operation Homefront to purchase 500 turkeys for the Holiday Meals for the Military Program as well as premium toys for military children of junior enlisted service members.

[read more]

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'Rolling Thunder' for Habitat for Humanity; Member One FCU Raises $3,000

Member One Federal Credit Union raised over $3,000 for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley through its Rolling Thunder raffle. The Rolling Thunder raffle included a drawing to win Carl and Roy’s Rolling Thunder scooter and an iPad mini during the months of April through October. Individuals who purchased raffle tickets were automatically entered into the drawing and the ticket proceeds went directly to Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.

[read more]

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Belvoir Federal Credit Union Sponsors the Army 10 Miler Race

Belvoir Federal Credit Union supported the 2013 Army 10 Miler Race by sponsoring an employee to run on behalf of the Fisher House. Belvoir Federal’s Installation Liaison and Membership Development Officer, Sharon Leake, also took an active role in supporting marathon runners.

[read more]

Belvoir Federal Credit Union Introduces Belvoir Digital Wallet

Belvoir Federal Credit Union launched ‘Belvoir Digital Wallet’ by MasterCard® with MasterPass, which offers online consumers the ability to have a safe, convenient, and easier way to checkout from the over 20,000 online merchants where MasterPass is accepted.

[read more]

Belvoir Federal Launches a Virtual StrongBox for Members

Belvoir Federal Credit Union has launched “My Virtual StrongBox”TM powered by DigitalMailer to provide members the ability to store electronic copies of their most important documents online through Belvoir Federal’s Online Banking platform. The digital safe deposit box securely stores documents, has certified data centers to protect vital information, and encrypts data which is continually backed up.

[read more]

Mid-Atlantic Corporate Expands Commitment to Children’s Miracle Network, Encourages Donations Through the Push of a Button

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® (CMNH) is a favorite charity of credit unions and, like others in the movement, Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union staff has participated in a variety of activities to raise funds for the organization. Now, the Corporate is expanding its commitment with the addition of a “Donate Now” button to their website making it easy to contribute money directly to CMNH. [read more]

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Beans, Jeans, Tutus and Tiaras: Mid-Atlantic Corporate Gets Creative – and Collects 5,000-plus Pounds of Food – During Hunger Action Month

Throughout September, Mid-Atlantic Corporate’s staff geared up to feed those in need as part of Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s “Food Drive Challenge” in recognition of Hunger Action Month. A total of 5,101 pounds of food and water – enough to provide 4,250 meals to individuals across central Pennsylvania – were donated.

[read more]

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Langley Federal Credit Union Announces Assistant Vice President of Facilities

Langley Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the addition of Rick Shook as Assistant Vice President of Facilities. Shook will oversee company vehicles; facility maintenance, renovation and construction for LFCU. [read more]

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Chapter News

NoVA Chapter Meets Nov. 14

Digital Mailer's Jimmy Marks will present "What's So Funny? Humor in Business" as the keynote at the NoVA Chapter's Nov. 14 meeting. [learn more]

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Tidewater Chapter Schedules Nov. 14 Meeting

Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union's Diana Counts will present a program on Bank On Virginia at the Tidewater Chapter's Nov. 14 meeting. Bank On Virginia is a program committed to economic empowerment. It offers participants low-cost financial accounts, workshops on personal finance topics and personalized coaching on family budgeting. [learn more]

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Richmond Chapter Hosting Nov. 19 Workshop

Geezeo Interactive's Jim Craig will present "Keeping Cross-Selling Effective in a Solution-Focused World" at the Richmond Chapter's Nov. 19 workshop. Note: This is a breakfast meeting, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. [learn more]

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Piedmont Chapter Sets Nov. 21 Meeting

CEOs from area credit unions will participate in a roundtable discussion of credit union issues at the Piedmont Chapter's Nov. 21 meeting. [learn more]

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