Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Washington Archive

Washington

Madeleine Albright Is First Guest Booked For 2014 GAC

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/4/13)--The first speaker booked for the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference will be one of the highest profile speakers ever hosted by the event: Madeleine Albright, one of the highest ranking women in U.S. government history, will present the keynote address at this year's GAC.

"Albright has made countless contributions to the nation's international presence as Secretary of State and in her other roles. Her remarkable story and experience will make an impact on the GAC stage," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said. "It's a tremendous honor to welcome Dr. Albright to this year's GAC speaker lineup," he added.

Albright currently chairs Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management LLC. She is a professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Her storied career includes:
  • Serving as U.S. Secretary of State and as a cabinet member under President Bill Clinton;
  • Serving as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations;
  • Receiving the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama; and
  • Authoring five New York Times best-sellers, including her most recent book, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance andWar, 1937-1948.
The 2014 GAC, set for Feb. 23 through 27 in Washington, D.C., is the credit union movement's premiere political event. The GAC gathers more than 4,000 credit union decision-makers in the nation's capital to hear from influential leaders and guide the credit union movement in building and maintaining America's trust.

This year, the GAC will embrace the shared strategic vision of credit unions nationwide, Unite for Good, and bring the credit union message directly to the legislators and policymakers on Capitol Hill.

To register for the 2014 GAC, use the resource link.

Senate Banking Chair: Yellen Fed Nomination Will Move Quickly

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/4/13)--Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) last week pledged to move Janet Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve Board quickly through his committee.

Committee members met with Yellen last week, and Johnson said his conversation with her "reaffirmed that President Obama has picked an outstanding nominee to serve as the next Federal Reserve Chairman.

"I commend her for her dedication to bringing down unemployment and putting Americans back to work," Johnson added, saying he is excited to cast his confirmation vote.

A Senate Banking Committee hearing on Yellen's nomination could reportedly be held on Nov. 14. (News Now, Oct. 29.)

Tax, Housing Updates Featured In This Week's Cheney Report

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/4/13)--Congressional efforts at tax reform and housing finance reform continue to gain steam. In this week's edition of The Cheney Report, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney updates credit unions on what they can expect and what CUNA is doing to address these issues.

On the tax front, Senate and House leaders have indicated that tax reform discussion drafts could be released soon. In the Senate's case, Cheney noted some drafts could be out as soon as this week. "These are further signs that Congress is shifting its gaze to tax reform as an integral part of tackling federal financial issues. Remember: We must continue telling Congress 'Don't Tax My Credit Union,'" Cheney wrote.

Credit union voices will also be heard this week when CUNA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bill Hampel discusses housing finance reform before the Senate Banking Committee. "The focus of the hearing--"Essentials of a Functioning Housing Finance System for Community Based Lenders"--is squarely on lenders such as credit unions," Cheney emphasized.

This week's Cheney Report also highlighted what credit unions are doing in their own community to Unite for Good and demonstrate the credit union difference. Cook Area CU, Cook, Minn., was visited recently by Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. Rothman during his visit commended the credit union's successful student financial education programs, saying, "Credit unions have an opportunity to be leaders and help communities grow jobs."

CUNA is collecting these stories to showcase how credit unions are joining forces to Unite for Good, and similar stories will be featured each week in The Cheney Report. Cheney encouraged credit unions to visit UniteforGood.org and share how they are helping reach CUNA's shared, strategic vision in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner.

This week's Cheney Report also includes:
  • The results of CUNA's mobile payments survey;
  • Details on National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz's appearance on CUNA's "Inside Exchange" video interview series; and
  • News on CUNA's recent regulatory burden and mortgage advocacy efforts.
Use the resource link to read the latest in The Cheney Report.

OIG Recommends NCUA Strengthen Insurance Fund Loss Documentation

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/4/13)--The National Credit Union Administration could strengthen its documenting of National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) estimated losses for specific credit union failures, according to a new report from the NCUA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

OIG initiated the review to determine the agency's methodology for identifying and tracking credit union failures and losses to the NCUSIF. OIG analyzed losses and failures at the time of occurrence, at year-end, and for the period ending July 31, 2012. The scope of the review covered all failures occurring during calendar year 2011 and from Jan. 1  through July 31, 2012.  

According to the report, the NCUA's offices of Examination and Insurance, Chief Financial Officer and Asset Management and Assistance Center each documented different estimated NCUSIF loss amounts throughout the year. OIG, however, determined these differences are mostly attributable to timing differences and new information that is continually received, which causes the estimated NCUSIF loss amounts to frequently change.

OIG also found that various NCUA offices do not always document NCUSIF loss activity in a timely manner. Regional and central offices document losses into independent, nonintegrated systems. Ultimately, the various offices ensure that the estimated NCUSIF loss amounts agree at year-end for financial statement reporting, OIG said.

The OIG made several suggestions, including strengthening the NCUA's ability to capture basic credit union failure data. This should help eliminate discrepancies between NCUA's regional and central offices, OIG said.

Three specific recommendation made by the report are:
  • Revise internal procedures;
  • Conduct a feasibility study; and
  • Develop an agency-wide definition for credit union failure.
"Although the report does not contain any egregious problems in NCUA's accounting and reporting for failures, we urge the agency to adopt the measures outlined in the report," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said. "We do remain concerned whenever the agency uses different standards and definitions for any process or requirement," she added.

For the full NCUA OIG report, use the resource link.

Mayfair FCU Placed Under NCUA Conservatorship

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/4/13)--Mayfair FCU, Philadelphia, Pa., was placed under National Credit Union Administration conservatorship on Friday.

The agency will work to resolve safety and soundness issues at the 1,527 member, $14.3 million asset credit union during the conservatorship. Normal member services at the main office at 2844 St. Vincent St. in Philadelphia will continue uninterrupted, but the credit union's branch at 2645 Orthodox St. in Bridesberg, Pa., will be closed, the NCUA said.

Chartered in 1936, Mayfair FCU serves a low-income community in Philadelphia. It is the fourth federally insured credit union placed into conservatorship this year.

For the full NCUA release, use the resource link.

NCUA Names Radway As Metsger Senior Policy Advisor

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/4/13)--Michael Radway will serve as senior policy advisor to National Credit Union Administration board member Richard Metsger, starting in January.

"Michael comes to us with an impressive legislative and policy background, and a deep knowledge of the credit union model," Metsger said. "His commitment to public service includes work in finance, affordable housing, community development and education. He has the kind of broad experience in policy development, legislation, strategic planning and outreach that makes him an excellent fit for the role of Senior Policy Advisor. I am looking forward to working with him, and I am sure that NCUA will benefit from his energy and judgment."

Radway, who holds a political science degree from Yale University and has been a member of a credit union since college, currently serves as senior director, government relations, for early education and after-school education provider Knowledge Universe.

The incoming NCUA staff member has served as professional staff for the House Financial Services Committee and played a key role in the passage of the Credit Union Membership Access Act in 1998, the NCUA said. He has also served as:
  • Chairman and public interest director for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle;
  • Chairman of the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks; and
  • President of the Early Care and Education Consortium, a national alliance of early education providers.
Credit Union National Association Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said Radway has an outstanding background, and noted that CUNA staff worked well with him during his time on the financial services committee. "We look forward to catching up and discussing credit union issues and concerns with him," she added.

Treasury, IRS To Allow $500 FSA Plan Carryovers

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/2/13)--Health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) plan participants will soon be able to carry over up to $500 of their unused health FSA balances from year to year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service said this week.

The decision follows comments from individuals, employers and others who requested that the use-or-lose rule for health FSAs be modified, the Treasury said in a release. Currently, FSA plan holders are forced to forfeit any unused funds at the end of the year. Some employers Treasury permit grace periods of up to two-and-a-half months.

In requesting the policy change, commenters noted it can be difficult to predict future medical spending needs. They also said the change would make FSA plans more accessible for employees of all income levels.

"Across the administration, we are always looking for ways to provide added flexibility and common-sense solutions to how people pay for their healthcare," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said.

The new carryover conditions could be made available to employees as soon as this year. However, employers will need to decide whether they want to offer a grace period or a carryover to their employees. They will not be permitted to do both.

For more, use the resource link.