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Regulators look at what responsibilities social media use brings for FIs

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WASHINGTON (1/23/13)--The National Credit Union Administration and bank regulators have asked for comment as they prepare guidelines for social media use by financial institutions.

The regulators on Tuesday released proposed guidance addressing how consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies could be applied to the use of online social media platforms by credit unions, financial institutions and certain nonbank entities. Credit unions and other parties can now comment on the pending social media guidance.

The coming joint agency guidance "is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance, legal, reputation, and operational risks associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks," said the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

Poor due diligence, oversight, or control of social media platforms can create increased risks for financial institutions and their members or customers, the FFIEC noted.

The guidance will not create new obligations for financial institutions, the FFIEC said, but financial institutions will be expected to manage risk "as they would with any new process or product channel."

Credit unions and others may comment on any aspect of the guidance, but the FFIEC is specifically seeking information on:

  • Any types of social media use that should be added to the guidance;
  • Any other consumer protection laws, regulations, policies or concerns that may be implicated by financial institutions' use of social media that are not discussed in the proposed guidance but should be discussed; and
  • Any factors that may impede compliance with laws, regulations, and policies that address social media use.
Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. 

The FFIEC is comprised of the leaders of the NCUA, the Federal Reserve Board, the office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz has served as head of the FFIEC since 2011. Her two-year term is scheduled to end in March.

CFPB delays remittance rule Feb 7 effective date

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WASHINGTON (1/23/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday that it is delaying the effective date of its international remittance transfer rule that was set to go into effect Feb. 7.

A new effective date will be announced later this year, the bureau said in a blog post.

The Credit Union National Association has urged the CFPB, including in its comment letter filed Jan. 15, to postpone the effective date of the remittance rule and to give credit unions as much time as possible to comply.

The bureau is also accepting comments on a separate proposal that provide more flexibility to international remittance transfer providers regarding the disclosure of foreign taxes and fees imposed by the recipient's institution for receiving a remittance transfer. The proposal would also revise the error resolution provisions that apply when a remittance transfer is not properly delivered  because the sender provided incorrect information.

Under the final rule published last February, remittance transfer providers will be required to provide prepayment and receipt disclosures to the consumer sender that include the exchange rate,  certain fees and taxes  associated with a transfer, and the amount of money that will be received on the other end of the transfer. Remittance transfer providers will also be required to investigate disputes and correct errors.

The CFPB has provided a safe harbor exemption from the rule for remittance providers that transact 100 or fewer remittances per year.

After inauguration, House, Senate are back in session

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WASHINGTON (1/23/12)--With Monday's inauguration activities now in the rearview mirror, members of the U.S. Congress will return to work this week.

The Senate this week is considering rule changes for the 113th Congress. Filibuster reform will be on the agenda and a Superstorm Sandy relief measure could also be considered. Committee elections will be held before Senate committees can officially organize.

The House is scheduled to consider legislation that would extend the debt limit for three months, and will also consider bills under suspension of the rules. The House Financial Services Committee will also hold its organizational meeting on Wednesday.

While House members are set to return to their districts on Thursday and Friday and stay there next week, the Senate is scheduled to remain in session at that time.

Commodore Perry FCU gets 60-day extension for exam appeal

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/23/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has granted Commodore Perry FCU a 60-day extension of a supervisory exam appeal filed by the credit union.

The Port Clinton, Ohio, credit union, last year challenged an NCUA exam that resulted in the lowest CAMEL rating that the credit union has ever received.

Commodore Perry FCU President Thomas Renz, speaking to News Now, charged that the low CAMEL rating was retribution for his credit union's reporting of an NCUA examiner's "extremely unprofessional" conduct. The credit union had asked for a new examiner, but the examiner that was the subject of the credit union complaint was allowed to complete his examination. According to Renz, the final NCUA examination contained a number of factually incorrect findings.

NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles at first rebuffed Commodore Perry's attempt to appeal, but the agency has now granted more time for the appeal to be considered. The appeal process must now be completed by March 18.

Renz said he appreciates NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz's willingness to work to resolve differences, and Yolles's willingness to maintain an open line of communications with the credit union, and his earnest desire to see this process resolved amicably.

"It is our sincere hope that this issue be resolved and that part of that resolution includes an open dialogue about what we have learned from this process," Renz added.

Republican House Financial Services subcommittee assignments are set

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WASHINGTON (1/23/13)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on Tuesday announced Republican subcommittee assignments for his panel for the 113th U.S. Congress.

The Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, a key group for credit unions, will be chaired by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.). Jim Renacci (Ohio) will serve as vice chair.

The remaining members are:
  • Spencer Bachus (Ala.),
  • Gary Miller (Calif.),
  • Patrick McHenry (N.C.),
  • Kevin McCarthy (Calif.),
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.),
  • Stevan Pearce (N.M.),
  • Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.),
  • Sean Duffy (Wis.),
  • Michael Fitzpatrick (Penn.),
  • Tom Cotton (Ark.),
  • Robert Pittenger (N.C.),
  • Marlin Stutzman (Ind.),
  • Andy Barr (Ky.),
  • John Campbell (Calif.) and,
  • Bill Posey (Fla.).
Hensarling will serve as an ex officio member of all House Financial Services subcommittees but two; the subcommittees on financial institions, and on capital markets and government-sponsored enterprises for which he is a full member. Chairman Emeritus Spencer Bachus (Ala.) will serve as ex officio members of all subcommittees.

Republican members were also announced for the following House Financial Services subcommittees: Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, Insurance & Housing, Domestic and  International Monetary Policy, and Oversight & Investigations subcommittees were also announced.

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney has scheduled a series of meetings with many of the new financial services committee members this week.

For the full subcommittee lineups, use the resource link.

New senator, CFPB architect Warren joins GAC lineup

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WASHINGTON (1/23/13)--New senator, credit union member and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau architect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is the latest legislator to join a high-powered Credit Union National Association 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) lineup.

Warren, who has been selected to serve on the Senate Banking Committee, was endorsed during her 2012 Senate campaign by the Massachusetts Credit Union League. She thanked credit unions for their support in her post-election victory speech made last month. Warren also cited credit unions as an example of giving real value to consumers and to communities in a speech at CUNA's 2011 GAC.

She will speak during the morning general session on Feb. 27.

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), credit union champions Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) are also slated to speak at the 2013 GAC. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Financial Services Committee senior member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) are also on the GAC speaking scheduled.

More congressional and regulatory speakers will be added to the 2013 GAC lineup in coming weeks.

CUNA's 2013 GAC will take place Feb. 24-28 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This year's GAC theme, "Powerful Cause, Positive Effect," reflects the credit union commitment to the 95 million working Americans who rely on credit unions every day.

For more information, follow the @CUNAverse twitter hashtag #CUNAGAC. Use the resource link to register for the GAC.