ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/27/15)--As of late Friday afternoon, credit unions, state credit union leagues, CUNA and other stakeholders had sent 1,654 comment letters on the National Credit Union Administration revised risk-based capital proposal (RBC2). The comment period ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) today.
CUNA continues to believe the proposal is a solution in search of a problem, but should the NCUA proceed with the rule, CUNA believes a
number of changes
- Dropping the new proposed capital adequacy provisions, which are beyond net worth and risk-based capital ratio requirements;
- Reduction of a number of the risk weights;
- Identifying "complex" credit unions on more than asset size, and the definition should only apply to credit unions of at least $500 million in assets;
- Expansion of the conditions under which goodwill could be included in the risk-based capital ratio;
- Minimizing the burden of expanding the call report for purposes of RBC2; and
- Allowing credit unions to use supplemental capital in meeting risk-based capital requirements;
- Delaying implementation of RBC2 until 2021, to coincide with expected refunds from the Corporate Stabilization Fund.
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle took to the airwaves Friday to highlight the massive costs facing credit unions due to the increasing number of merchant data breaches. Nussle also explained the consumer benefits of regulatory relief measures for credit unions and how easing regulatory burden would help credit unions serve their members even better.
Nussle was interviewed by Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Advantage."
The CUNA leader explained to Quinn and her national audience that merchants are the weak link when it comes to data security.
He highlighted CUNA's efforts, both in Congress and in the courts, to push for stronger merchant standards that protect consumers as well as credit unions and other financial institutions.
"We're saying that somebody has got to put the merchants into a more responsible position, they should be responsible for the data if people are coming and using their credit cards, that needs to be protected," he said. "The same way every credit union and bank must protect the information of its customers, merchants need to do the same."
Nussle added that few breaches occur at credit unions and other financial institutions because of the standards laid out in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but merchants have no such standards.
"This is a situation where the bad guys are getting to the data through merchants, they're not getting into the data through credit unions and banks," he said. "The only way for us to protect it is to make sure merchants have the same standards we have."
Quinn asked about the general outlook for credit unions, and while Nussle said demand for loans is going up, easing of regulatory burdens is essential for credit unions to meet that demand.
"We'd obviously like to see a reduction in the regulatory burden that just adds costs and paperwork and sometimes doesn't allow us to make a student loan or do a mortgage because of the costs," Nussle said. "But we're working with other small financial institutions to work with Congress to try and lessen some of those regulatory issues so we can get more capital out into the marketplace to create jobs."
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--The first of several debt collection dialogues hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be held in Buffalo, N.Y., June 15.
The FTC will conduct the event in conjunction with the Office of the New York Attorney General, and a representative from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to participate as well.
According to the FTC, the event will feature a discussion of recent enforcement actions, consumer complaints about debt collection practices and compliance issues.
The FTC has said this will be the first in a series of dialogues, with events in Atlanta and Dallas to be announced in the coming weeks.
The event is free and open to the public, but
is recommended. It will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State.
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--As legislation regarding transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar is being considered in at least 35 states, CUNA is serving as a clearinghouse for expertise, guidance and information regarding TNCs.
CUNA and state leagues are working to ensure the bills contain requirements that drivers have comprehensive and collision insurance for TNC drivers.
Drivers who work for TNCs generally use personal vehicles to perform their duties, which can result in lapses in coverages that can leave drivers uninsured. In addition, the functions of the job can entail increased risky activities by drivers, including transporting strangers, making more stops and dealing with distractions that come with having additional people in a car.
Credit unions, as institutions that make car loans, can be vulnerable as lienholders on the vehicles.
There are three periods of exposure for TNC drivers: when the app is activated, but not matched to a passenger; when a match is made and the driver is en route to pick up the passenger; and when the passenger is being transported.
CUNA and state credit union leagues support legislatoin that would:
- Require drivers using personal vehicles with liens on them to provide proof to lienholders and TNCs of comprehensive and collision insurance that provides coverage during all phases;
- Have coverage of at least $50,000 per person for death/bodily injury, $100,000 per incident for death/bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage when the driver is logged into the TNC network and available, but not engaged in a prearranged ride;
- Have coverage of $1 million when the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride;
- Require a TNC's insurance to cover claims if a driver's insurance lapses and does not meet the required coverage; and
- Require TNCs to disclose to drivers that the driver's personal insurance policy may not provide coverage when the driver is logged into the TNC's network and available to receive requests, or is engaged in a prearranged ride.
Haley DaVee, vice president of governmental affairs at the Kansas Credit Union Association, told
that, from the perspective of the credit union industry and the financial services industry, it's very important to get states to pass legislatoin with the above provisions "to show that there is a need for it, to protect consumers who are driving vehicles that are not properly insured,"
Uber and the insurance industry collaborated on a model bill for states recently, but their model does not contain a requirement for comprehensive and collision insurance.
Recently a TNC bill was enacted in Utah with the assistance of the Utah Credit Union Association, which contains all the items CUNA and the leagues are searching for. In Kansas, the league says a satisfactory bill was vetoed by the governor.
States such as Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota and Virginia have recently enacted TNC legislation that does not require comprehensive and collision coverage.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is moving quickly to finalize proposed financial requirements for nonbank firms that service Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans
, according to an article in
(April 24). FHFA Deputy Director Sandra Thompson was quoted as saying the agency anticipates final guidance to be approved "in the next month or so." FHFA, Thompson noted, has seen that banks and credit unions are increasingly transferring their mortgage servicing to nonbank servicers. FHFA does not regulate servicers directly, but Thompson said it is clearly defined and communicate servicer eligibility requirements are essential. As proposed, the artifice noted, Fannie and Freddie servicers would have to meet minimum net worth, capital and liquidity requirements. Stronger standards, Thompson said, will help bolster the market outlook regarding the finances and skills of Fannie and Freddie servicers. Thompson was addressing a Women in Housing and Finance event here ...
Daily Financial Rates -- 2015-04-27
Monday, April 27, 2015
03:55 AM CDT
TREASURY YIELD CURVE
(based on the $1 million market)
Results of the April 20, 2015 auction of short-term U.S. government bills, sold at a discount from face value in units of $10,000 to $ 1 million
||Last changed December 16, 2008 |
|near closing bid||0.050||0.050||0.080||0.100||0.130|
FREDDIE MAC (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)
FANNIE MAE (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)
COMMERCIAL PAPER (Financial, 90 days)
: Data not available at time of page generation (shown at top of page)
Wall Street Journal
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
All rates are from the previous business day unless otherwise noted.
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--The ECRI Weekly Leading Index (WLI) rose 0.4 points to 133.2 for the week ending April 17, the seventh straight week of increases, according to the Economic Cycle Research Institute (
The index compiles a number of major U.S. economic indicators to reflect the relative state of the economy.
"The WLI increased again this week, and it seems safe to call the recent strong numbers an upward trend, especially as last week's drop was revised upward at no change," said Thomas McCartin, Moody's analyst (
The smoothed annualized growth rate for the index rose to -0.7%, and the 12-week average of the growth rate sits at -3.2%.
Over the past six months, the WLI has averaged 131.6, far below the 134.9 seen the prior six months. The index also fell 1% on an annual basis for the week.
"First quarter growth, to be reported in the advance GDP estimate (this) week, will likely be in the ballpark of a tepid 1.3%," McCartin said. "There are numerous headwinds that should prove temporary, such as delayed spending and construction during the harsh winter felt in much of the country, the strong U.S. dollar that has hurt the value of exports, and labor issues at West Coast ports."
NEW YORK (4/27/15)--
The bitcoin exchange itBit filed for a banking license in New York last week,
reported. If approved, it would make the exchange--a place where the cryptocurrency can be bought and sold--the first bitcoin company to be regulated as a financial institution in the United States.
said itBit decided to apply for the license because of its desire to expand its business in the financial services realm, while at the same time to present itself as more of a legitimate organization, especially after the collapse of the largest exchange, Mt. Gox, last year. "Some highly publicized failures and potentially illegal activity have focused attention on virtual currencies and have highlighted the need for a sound regulatory framework for virtual currencies," said Charles Cascarilla, itBit CEO, in a recent letter to the New York state banking regulator. Added David Berger, CEO of the Digital Currency Council: "Whether fairly or not, companies that work within the regulatory framework are more trusted by customers and partners" ...
BURLINGTON, Vt. (4/27/15)--
Vermont FCU was one of 92 Vermont employers recognized recently by Gov. Peter Shumlin for worksite wellness
. The Burlington, Vt.-based credit union received a Governor's Excellence in Worksite Wellness Award for traditional health care benefits and its nontraditional programs such as on-site chiropractic or massage services, partnerships with community supported agriculture farms, payroll deductions and discounts for gym memberships, first aid training and nutrition classes ...
WASHINGTON, Pa. (4/27/15)--Washington (Pa.) Community FCU announced its new name--one that puts a shine on its select employee group heritage.
In 1971, employees of Washington Steel Corp. founded the credit union, which will now be known as
. "We were also getting confused with the many other banks and credit unions in the area that have the word 'Washington' in their name," Amanda Lunger, vice president and chief brand officer, said in a release. "What we're doing is special and different, and we wanted our name to reflect that while paying homage to what got us here--which is steel." Chrome is rebuilding its flagship location to include a community room and small business incubator ...
WESTBROOK, Maine (4/27/15)--The Maine Credit Union League proposed an amendment to expedite foreclosures last week on a bill being considered by the state legislature's Judiciary Committee.
The league testified on seven of the eight bills heard during public hearings last week (
Ben Drummond, the league's legislative counsel, presented the amendment, LD 846 An Act to Refine and Streamline the Foreclosure Process. "There are a number of Mainers that do not contest the foreclosure of their property," Drummond said. "For these people, this amendment would result in a resolution more quickly that would benefit all parties involved.
"This amendment adopts all existing foreclosure law, including mediation and the redemption period, while speeding up the process in appropriate cases," he said. "When the foreclosure process is initiated, this amendment has safeguards in place that reasonably and responsibly ensure that the consumer's interests remain paramount and a top priority throughout the process."
League President John Murphy said the most common complaint the league hears from credit unions is about delays during the foreclosure process, even if homeowners don't contest the foreclosures.
"We have committed significant time and resources in drafting this amendment as a solution and to provide an option for consumers and lenders," Murphy said. "The reality is that for credit unions, foreclosure is the step of last resort; however, in the rare instances, when a foreclosure is initiated, it has been viewed as challenging to expedite the process even when the parties involved agree to that path. We offered this amendment to provide clarity and to streamline the process when that is the case."
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (4/27/15)--Marshall Boutwell, president/CEO of Peach State FCU, Lawrenceville, Ga., and his wife Lee recently made a $100,000 personal donation to Georgia Gwinnett College to establish an endowment scholarship fund (
Gwinnett Daily Post
The scholarship, to be called the Lee and Marshall Boutwell Veterans Scholarship Fund, will be granted to full-time students who are military veterans.
Boutwell, a veteran himself with honors such as the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross for service in Viet nam, jumped at the opportunity to support a program geared toward fellow military members.
"When I heard that Gwinnett's new college was being built by a leadership team coming from a background of military service, I knew it would be a success," Boutwell said in a press release. "I wanted to be a part of that."
Preference for the scholarship funds will be given to those military veterans who were wounded or became disabled during active military service, or veterans who served in a combat arms unit in any branch of the military. But the scholarship money is available to all veterans and their families, according to the
Gwinnett Daily Post
The Boutwells' donation also follows three individual scholarship gifts made by Peach State over the last five years. Two went to the School of Education and one went in honor of former president Dan Kaufman.
"Lee and Marshall have supported this college from day one: From understanding how our School of Education would impact one of Peach State Federal Credit Union's core constituencies--teachers--to supporting our efforts to become a top military-friendly campus and support our veterans," said Stas Preczewski, president of the college.
ALBANY, N.Y. (4/27/15)--New York credit unions provide a more consumer-friendly lending alternative to the practices of predatory lenders, a New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) representative said in testimony last week before a state Senate Banks Committee hearing on predatory lending practices within the sub-prime auto and title loan industry.
The hearing was to gather data from regulatory and administrative agencies as well as auto lenders and dealers on subprime auto lending to determine if legislation was needed to address some troubling trends that have been reported relating to subprime auto lending.
Speaking on behalf of the NYCUA was Mike Lanotte, senior vice president/general counsel.
Lanotte's testimony offered credit union lending practices as a model that exemplifies a balance between sound business practices and consumer protection. He encouraged the Senate to look to credit union practices when drafting any legislation.
Lanotte drew parallels between the lending practices from the mortgage crisis that led to the Great Recession and the recent trends in auto lending. "In 2008, the country entered its most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression," Lanotte said. "This downturn was the direct result of reckless underwriting standards and inadequate regulation of a segment of mortgage lenders. Credit unions can proudly state today that they did not contribute to this crisis."
The auto lending industry is experiencing many of the same negative trends that the housing industry experienced in the lead up to the financial crisis, Lanotte said. "Again, credit unions are not the cause of these trends but could be negatively impacted by any regulation designed to curb them," he said.
Lanotte expressed concerns with an "erosion of underwriting standards" at large banks and the rise in indirect lending, as well as the securitization of auto loans, which only the largest banks can profit from.
MADISON, Wis. (4/27/15)--CUNA Councils today launched its enhanced and upgraded
with more user-friendly features, streamlined content and a more accessible format.
"Our main focus was to seamlessly connect all six councils on one site while still maintaining their separate identities and objectives," said David Rohn, CUNA Councils vice president. "The new website was created with the membership user in mind, and we worked with member feedback to learn what was most important to them and how we could make the site more convenient and user-friendly."
The new website offers users an environment to interact with other council members and a streamlined method to find the resources they need to be successful in their credit union roles. To help users adjust to the site's new functionality, CUNA Councils will offer site tours to current members.
In addition to its updated design and integrated structure, the new website features:
- Upgraded navigation tools;
- Intuitive search function with filtering ability;
- Enhanced file library which allows for cross-council document sharing;
- Ability to search within all councils white papers; and
- Single sign-on with user's cuna.org login.
To access specific councils using the new site, CUNA Council members are required to login to their account. Their account will be the same as their cuna.org account.
Users who do not know their username and password, have questions or would like a tutorial of the site should contact
is available for online training sessions.
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can, at best, be an annoyance for a business or organization trying to run a website. At worst, they can expose weaknesses that cybercriminals can exploit.
DDoS attacks began as a method for cyber thugs to halt website activity or inflict damage by flinging heavy volumes of traffic at an organization's website, but a new report from VeriSign shows that these attacks are becoming even more difficult to handle, and subsequently more costly.
In the fourth quarter last year, the size of the attacks--measured by gigabits per second--rose by 14% on an annual basis.
Further, VeriSign found that the number of attacks jumped by 17%, with 15% of the attacks targeted at financial institutions.
"The increasing availability of DDoS-for-hire services--also known as 'booters'--presents a huge risk for security professionals, as they enable virtually anyone to hire skilled cybercriminals to launch a targeted DDoS attack for as little as $2 per hour," VeriSign said in the report.
Rik Turner, senior analyst at the research and consulting firm Ovum, told
recently that DDoS attacks also have become more sophisticated.
"We're seeing lots of small attacks with intervals that allow the attackers to determine how efficiently the victims' mitigation infrastructure is, and how quickly it is kicking in," Turner said.
These attacks also can cripple network availability and productivity, and cost organizations greatly in both online revenue and in reputation and customer trust, according to VeriSign's report.
Given what's at stake, VeriSign says that awareness of the capabilities of these criminals is one key to combating the DDoS threat.
WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--National Financial Literacy Month was in full swing at the nation's capital Friday, as the Capitol morphed into a giant classroom for Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill, organized by the Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement USA and the Council for Economic Education.
CUNA and National Credit Union Foundation representatives took part in the day's activities, which included a showcase of BizKid$ by the foundation, and presentations by CUNA's
on the work credit unions do in financial literacy.
Hover over each photo in the slideshow to read the associated captions.
LIVONIA, Mich. (4/27/15)--"We're all in this together" could have been the theme of last week's Michigan Credit Union League's Governmental Affairs Conference. Credit unions must engage both employees and members to share their advocacy message, panelists and speakers told attendees.
Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer, told Michigan Credit Union League Govermental Affairs Conference attendees that the key to credit union advocacy is involving members. (Michigan Credit Union League Photo)
Cheryl Sclater, business and community development officer for ELGA CU, Burton, Mich., said her credit union makes political activism part of its culture. Part of that is educating younger employees when they join the organization.
Steve Dedene, manager of compliance and regulatory affairs at Credit Union ONE, Ferndale, Mich., said he relies on a network of credit union employees to help combat the regulatory burden the industry faces by asking them to write comment letters on important regulatory proposals.
Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer, said grassroots activism is critical for the movement. He said that banks have been around in some form for about 4,000 years, but the idea of credit unions is at most 150 years old. "Wherever there's been a credit union system ... folks have had to fight for the right to maintain it," Donovan said.
He said it is the members who benefit the most from the credit union system. It's up to credit unions to educate their members and get them involved in the political process.
Also during the conference, State Rep. Anthony Forlini (R-Harrison Township), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, told attendees that updating the Michigan Credit Union Act would allow credit unions to better serve their members. Forlini said that while he believes some regulation is necessary, he is hoping to reduce the burden on credit unions.
Credit union representatives also had a chance to ask regulators questions in person about industry oversight. The Regulator Roundtable Session was headed by John Kolhoff, director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, and Jason Schultz, Naational Credit Union Administration (NCUA) consumer access analyst, and Larry Schoeberl, NCUA supervisory examiner.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (4/27/15)--Creating a "best" organization requires a culture of purpose with heart and soul, said Jackie Freiberg at the opening keynote address of the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference in Hollywood, Calif., last week.
|Author Jackie Freiberg defines "best" organizations at the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference in Hollywood, Calif., last week. (CUNA Photo)
Freiberg, co-author of "GUTS" and "Do Something Now," said, "Culture is a strategic force, a gift you give your people, so your credit union can rise from 'sameness' and become different," she said. "Best" cultures--ones where the best people do their best work for their credit unions and their members--have heart and soul.
Culture is the "will of the people and the will of your CEO," Freiberg said. Senior leadership has to be committed and involved in a credit union's culture--and credit union employees have to own it, every day.
She encouraged attendees to ask questions about mindlessly accepting the status quo and if that environment negatively affects the culture.
"Leadership is everyone's job," Freiberg added. "It's not a title, it isn't a position. It's a choice. We're all POIs--People Of Impact."
Credit Union Magazine
for more coverage of the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference.
McLEAN, Va. (4/21/15)--College students are gaining confidence in personal finance management but unfortunately also have become less competent. A survey conducted by High One and Everfi recently found that in 2014, college students were more likely to use more than one credit card than they did in 2012 (USA Today
Considering that nearly two-thirds of undergrads take out student loans, and college seniors are graduating with an average loan balance close to $24,000, if students aren't careful about spending, the first financial steps they take after college might send them in the wrong direction.
While college expenses may seem limitless, students can learn to manage them by avoiding these common money drains, according to CUNA's member education department:
Carrying a credit card balance. Many credit card companies lure borrowers with enticing offers, and then hit them with a hefty monthly interest charge on their accrued balance. According to Forbes, the average student graduates with $4,100 in credit card debt. Using a credit card is not a bad thing and actually can improve a credit score, but the key is to pay off the balance every month. If you don't already have one, consider getting a credit union credit card. Credit union cards typically carry lower interest rates and fees than credit cards from other financial institutions;
Going out to eat--a lot. Say you spend about $5 on a coffee and bagel for breakfast each morning and $8 on a sandwich or fast food for lunch and dinner. That means you're spending more than $100 for five days of food--and these examples are modest. While it may take a few extra minutes each day, buying $100 worth of groceries and cooking at home will stretch your dollar, and can be healthier too;
Buying new textbooks. According to the College Board, the average student at a four-year public college spends $1,200 on books and supplies annually. You can't eliminate the cost completely, but there are ways to trim your textbook budget. Consider purchasing used textbooks online. You also can resell your textbooks via sites like Amazon Marketplace or Half.com after classes end. Textbook rentals also have become popular. Some colleges offer free book rentals to their students. Anyone can rent though. Try sites such as Chegg, BookRenter, CampusBookRentals and CollegeBookRenter; and
Not using campus resources. Most colleges assess fees, which help provide a range of student services beyond those covered by tuition. Since you're already paying for these services, don't waste the money elsewhere. For example, use the campus gym instead of paying for an additional gym membership and use campus technology resources instead of paying an offsite repair shop.
For related information, read "Understanding College Financial Aid Awards" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center
SEATAC, Wash. (4/27/15)--The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) has partnered with Mirador Financial, a small business lending solution provider.
As part of the partnership with NWCUA, Mirador will appear on the league's betaSpace web page as an approved technology provider.
Mirador's solution allows lenders to examine data points when they evaluate small business loan applications. The technology uses machine learning to help determine the risk assessment and offer more information before an institution determines whether it will work with a loan applicant.
Last week, NWCUA launched a new website for its wholly owned subsidiary, Strategic Link. Strategic Link is the NWCUA's collaborative hub connecting credit unions with business solutions partners. Through Strategic Link, NWCUA members have access to more than 20 strategic partnerships that offer card services, consulting, human resources, insurance, lending, member services and mobile banking.
Central to the new site is a new feature called CU Matchup. Using CU Matchup, a member credit union answers a few short questions, and CU Matchup generates partner recommendations to fit the credit union's specific goals and needs.