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Home News Carrie's Diary Carries Diary | July 13, 2023: Mrs. Peacock in the Library with the ….

Carrie's Diary

JULY 13, 2023

Ellery is off to camp this weekend for two weeks. Good old sleep-away camp with no electronics. Oh, except instead of cabins, they sleep in air-conditioned dorms. But they do have to share a bathroom. (Gasp!) … The horror …

She needed a few books to take with her for quiet time, so we went to the library. It was the first time we had been since COVID. Certainly, she has been reading books all this time, but they have been online or purchased on Amazon. In our defense, the “popular” books tend to have long waitlists at the library.

So, we found her library card and off we went. Upon entering the library, it seemed the same and smelled the same, but when we went upstairs it had dramatically changed. There were almost no people in the stacks, but plenty were working from the library on their laptops and there were classes going on in rooms all around. Evolution. I looked around to see if a Starbucks had been installed in the corner. No such luck.

… Lead Pipe. While we are all familiar with the dangers of lead leaching into the water through old pipes, I was just reading yesterday that there is a lesser-known lead threat around - lead cables laid by telecom companies.

The WSJ article scared me to death and apparently, there is a mass shortage of the drug used to treat lead poisoning. How does this relate to credit unions?  It does not. 

But it made me think about what other dangers are lurking in the market today. The SEC just moved to stabilize money market funds (Read about that here - U.S. Takes Third Shot at Shoring Up Money-Market Funds - WSJ). On a positive note, inflation is finally showing some positive trends, also from WSJ.

Mr. Green in the Lounge with the Rope. There is only one rope manufacturer in Virginia -  Plymkraft in Newport News. This weird name is -- you guessed it -- the result of a merger. Two rope giants in Massachusetts and Illinois and one baby rope company serving the military combined to form a rope powerhouse. There are several credit union mergers ongoing in Virginia and some other potential management agreements/mergers with credit unions in other states.

Credit unions are thinking outside of the box to shore up their business plans and growth trajectories. Some are looking at changes to their charters or fields-of-membership that would open up new communities they could serve. Some are exploring acquiring banks as a possible growth strategy.

We heard about some of the legal and regulatory framework governing these transactions during the advocacy panel at IGNITE 2023 from Daniel Tucker, Assistant Deputy Commissioner with the Bureau of Financial Institutions. Since then, we’ve kept the conversation going with the BFI on this and other topics, and are gathering resources to help our credit unions in this endeavor.

If you want to hold a strategy session, reach out to your League – we can help facilitate, provide space and host you here at Credit Union House, and much more.

Miss Scarlett in the Conservatory with the Revolver. In the continuing fight to stop changes to credit card interchange, CUNA has come out with some materials and collateral to continue to push back against the harmful legislation, including a comprehensive study commissioned by CUNA and the Leagues.

The study looks at the impact that similar price controls and routing mandates had on the debit card ecosystem when Durbin 1.0 was passed and projects some of the impacts this legislation would have on communities.

At the League, we continue the marathon and are pushing and pulling levers where appropriate. We are doing another round of outreach to our delegation asking them to keep interchange legislation out of the NDAA and highlighting key points of the CUNA/AACUL research.

Speaking of the NDAA, the League-supported Credit Union Board Modernization Act (H.R. 582) is being considered as an amendment in the House version of the NDAA. This bill passed the House earlier this year via a unanimous voice vote, with Virginia's Morgan Griffith (R-9th) having signed on as a co-sponsor. Sen. Tim Kaine is a co-sponsorof S.610, the Senate version of the Credit Union Board Modernization Act.

As for interchange, we’ve communicated with every office of our Congressional delegation on this issue and launched a grassroots campaign.

Our CEO Summit this fall will feature Jim Nussle and we are going to have a discussion on whether we can be successful in putting this issue to bed or if we are just shooting blanks.

Professor Plum in the Kitchen with the Wrench. My son has his first paying job this summer -- teaching karate to kids at camp. He came home from his first day a bit discouraged. He said one kid took all of his attention. A non-native English speaker with attention issues. We talked about how he could tweak his technique to engage the kid. Things are improving. Your League has some great education events lined up! (See the list below or visit our calendar). I am especially excited about our upcoming Legislative Receptions and our GROWTH conference.

Col. Mustard in the Study with the Candlestick. You may have seen that the Federal Reserve has launched its real-time payments service, FedNow. To shed some light on this topic: this has been a long-time coming!

Going back to 2016-17 (the Dark Ages), I participated in a faster payments taskforce where this idea of the Fed fostering a real-time payments solution was worked on. It is nice to see those results seven years later.  Although there are several private-sector real-time payment options currently available, including the Real-Time Payments (RTP®) network and Zelle®FedNow is the first U.S. instant payment service backed by the federal government. 

Mrs. White in the Dining Room with the Knife. The CFPB has been very active in the past month. In June alone these were the following headlines and actions:

As you can see the agency is hitting on every angle under its broad authority.

The Leagues joined with CUNA and NAFCU to file an amicus “friend of the court” brief before the Supreme Court in the matter of whether the CFPB is constitutionally funded. We argue it is not, and we’re not the only ones. Fifteen other amicus briefs taking a similar position have been filed, including filings by current members of Congress, the Third Party Payment Processors Association, and, very interestingly, former CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. If the CFPB loses, we’ll then be faced with a tougher question: What is the remedy?

The CFPB wants the court to just take a scalpel and fix the funding issue. We argue it is more complex than that and want more change. This will not get decided for quite some time. Of note though, the CFPB is not going away.

Who am I always when I play Clue? Miss Scarlett, of course! I am a strong Clue player and developed a winning strategy in my youth. I had to be. My sister and next-door neighbor would gang up on me and conspire to beat me. I employed my strategy as an adult until my continued win streak caused family discord, accusations of cheating and then a flat-out refusal to play with me. (Sigh).

So, I revealed my tactics to the family so we all could be on the same page. I guess it was worth it.
Carrie R. Hunt signature


Carrie R. Hunt
League President/CEO

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