Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

NEW: NCUA confirms: No TCCUSF assessment in '14--and less likely after

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14, UPDATED: 2:55 P.M. ET)--There will be no Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) assessment charged in 2014, the National Credit Union Administration has confirmed. And, credit unions are much less likely to be charged another TCCUSF assessment going forward.

These are outcomes that the Credit Union National Association has been pushing with NCUA.
 
The agency said the positive TCCUSF news is the result of a $1.4 billion settlement with JP Morgan and the continued improvement in the performance of the legacy assets underlying the NCUA Guaranteed Notes program.
 
Credit unions have paid $4.8 billion in TCCUSF assessments since the fund was established. The projected net remaining assessments over the life of the TCCUSF, based on estimates from the second quarter of 2013, now range from -$0.2 billion to $1.6 billion.

CUNA announces star-studded media panel at the GAC

 Permanent link

WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--The Credit Union National Association has just announced a new feature for this year's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). The program will include a new media panel session featuring accomplished journalists who will discuss in-depth how credit unions can better communicate their message to the media.

The session is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 2:25 p.m. (ET).

The panel, to be moderated by former Washington, D.C. anchorman Paul Berry,  showcases Fox News' Tucker Carlson, the Washington Post's Ylan Mui, and Politico's Lauren French.

Carlson is currently the co-host of "FOX & Friends Weekend," as well as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller.
 
Mui is a Washington Post reporter and CNBC contributor covering the Federal Reserve and the economy. She has spent more than a decade at the Post and has written on topics ranging from subprime lending, consumer finance, to retail issues and education.
 
Lauren French is a tax reporter for POLITICO Pro and author of Morning Tax--a daily tip sheet focused on tax policy news on Capitol Hill, lobbying and the Internal Revenue Service.

The discussion will cover news of the day, the political climate, the role of the media, and how credit unions can improve interactions with news outlets to better convey the credit union difference. A question-and-answer period with the audience will follow the presentation.

The media panel adds to CUNA's power-backed list of distinguished speakers at the GAC, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The conference--credit unions' largest and most important of the year--is expected to draw more than 4,000 credit union supporters from across the country.  It will be held Feb. 23-27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center here.

User the resource link for more information on the stellar program.

Yellen previews bank risk-based capital rules in first Fed hearing

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--Substantial progress has been made in restoring the economy to health and in strengthening the financial system, but there is still more to do, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday.
 
"Too many Americans remain unemployed, inflation remains below our longer-run objective, and the work of making the financial system more robust has not yet been completed," she said in remarks delivered before the House Financial Services Committee. Yellen was delivering the Fed's semi-annual monetary policy report for the first time since becoming Fed chair earlier this month.
 
Yellen said the Fed will develop a risk-based capital surcharge proposal and a long-term debt requirement for U.S.-based, systemically important global banks. The Fed is also working to advance proposals on margins for noncleared derivatives, consistent with a new global framework, and are evaluating possible measures to address financial stability risks associated with short-term wholesale funding, she said.
 
The Fed board will continue to monitor for emerging risks, including watching carefully to see if the regulatory reforms work as intended, Yellen added.
 
She said the Fed's approach to monetary policy will not change in the near future.
 
For her full prepared remarks, use the resource link.

HMDA, FOIA are on CFPB consumer board meeting agenda

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rulemaking will be one of the topics covered when the consumer experience in the credit reporting market is discussed at a Feb. 27 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting in Washington.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 A.M. (ET) in the Constitution Center Auditorium.

Discussions on Freedom of Information Act training and ethics and general regulatory issues are also on the agenda.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray is scheduled to speak. The Consumer Advisory Board will also hear remarks from consumer groups, community and industry representatives, and members of the public, the CFPB added.

The CAB is comprised of 25 members with expertise in consumer protection, financial services, community development, fair lending, civil rights, and consumer financial products or services. Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprise Corp. and Hope Community CU, Jackson, Miss., is CAB vice president. Laura Castro de Cortes, vice president of alternative financial services for Centris FCU, Omaha, Neb., is also a CAB member.

Payment system changes must minimize costs, impact on CUs: CUNA to Fed

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--The Federal Reserve must minimize the costs and impact on credit unions, corporate credit unions, and other payment providers if earlier posting times for automated clearing house (ACH) debits and commercial checks are imposed, the Credit Union National Association said in a letter to the regulator.

CUNA on Tuesday released a pair of comment letters addressing the Fed's proposed changes to its Payment System Risk Policy (PSR), and related changes to Regulation J.

The proposed Fed PSR changes would move the posting of ACH debits, processed by the Fed banks' FedACH service overnight, up to 8:30 a.m. (ET) from 11 a.m. (ET) to align with the posting of ACH credits. The proposal would also move the posting time for receiving most commercial check credits for deposits and debits for presentments to 8:30 a.m. (ET) and establish two other posting times of 1 p.m. (ET) and 5:30 p.m. (ET), and make other related changes.

Providing additional information and resources, and granting credit unions and other payment providers adequate time to implement these proposed changes, are two ways the Fed could improve it proposal, CUNA Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Research Dennis Tsang wrote.

These earlier posting times could result in credit unions and others having lower Fed Bank account balances, and could force them to incur additional daylight overdrafts and increased fees.

"To minimize the impact of the proposed changes, financial institutions would have to pledge additional collateral (if eligible for intraday credit), arrange for earlier funding, or hold higher balances in their Fed Bank accounts," Tsang wrote.

The earlier posting times could also disproportionately impact smaller financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. Such institutions are generally net receivers for ACH debits as receiving depository financial institutions, and are likely to have lower account balances due to earlier postings for commercial checks, Tsang said.

CUNA also commented on related changes to Regulation J in a separate letter. The Reg J proposal would require institutions receiving Fed Bank checks to make the proceeds of settlement for those checks available as soon as one half-hour after receiving the checks and by as early as 8:30 a.m. (ET). Currently, these requirements are as soon as one hour after receiving the checks and by as early as 9:30 a.m. (ET), respectively.

CUNA is concerned that these changes will force credit unions and others to increase their account balances to settle presented checks, Tsang said.

For both CUNA comment letters, use the resource links.

CompBlog provides many CU tips on prepping data breach response

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--Is your credit union preparing for the increasing threat posed by data breaches? In the event of a breach, notifying members is always a good first step, the Credit Union National Association's CompBlog noted in the latest CompBlog Wrap-Up.

Part 748 of National Credit Union Administration regulations only require credit unions to notify regulators and affected members after a breach involving member information systems maintained by a credit union or its contracted service providers. So, a merchant breach would not trigger a Part 748 member notification, CUNA explained.

"Nevertheless, notifying affected members is still a good idea, both to protect the member and the credit union from fraudulent card usage," CUNA said.

Many credit unions have alerted their members through mail and e-mail following the Target data breach, posted information on their websites and educated members on the steps they can take to protect themselves. CUNA emphasized that these efforts are still ongoing.

There are 46 states that have their own data breach notification laws, and state leagues will have information on any specific actions that are required by state law, the blog post added. (For a state law list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, use the resource link.)

CUNA Mutual Group has also released a series of tips to help credit unions mitigate the risks posed by data breaches. Tips include:
  • Educating cardholders regarding phishing fraud (i.e., not responding to phone calls or e-mail/text messages requesting ac-count information), reporting fraudulent transactions to the credit union and placing fraud alerts on credit reports;
  • Reviewing the card associations alerts daily and taking action when necessary;
  • Evaluating compromised card numbers to determine if there will be increased fraud exposure;
  • Blocking and reissuing affected cards, or accelerating card expiration dates on active cards;
  • Making sure that all fraud associated with an event has been reported to the card associations and to the credit union's insurance company; and
  • Working with a fraud monitoring system vendor to create rules and strategies to help prevent future fraud on the com-promised card accounts.
For more compliance gems, use the resource link.

Patent reform priorities outlined by CUNA at Hill event

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--Patent reform is needed, and credit unions and others impacted by patent issues should continue to press the U.S. Congress for action, the Credit Union National Association's Robin Cook said at a Tuesday panel discussion on patent troll issues.

The event, which was hosted on Capitol Hill by the Main Street Patent Coalition, featured remarks from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), academics and representatives from the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries.

"We support legislation that will help curb unfair and deceptive patent demand letters and frivolous patent litigation," Cook, CUNA assistant general counsel for special projects, said.
CUNA Assistant General Counsel for Special Projects Robin Cook (second from left) outlined credit union patent reform priorities during Tuesday's panel discussion. (CUNA Photo)


So-called "patent trolls" are using low-quality patents in an effort to extract settlements from credit unions, and are an abuse of the patent system, Cook said. Cook provided examples of how patent trolls have targeted credit unions, including one troll that has filed cases related to ATM patents against credit unions that do not own or operate ATMs.

Most credit unions do not have an in-house lawyer, and finding competent counsel to combat these cases can be a challenge, Cook said. Many trolls are aware that the cost of hiring a patent attorney is a deterrent to credit unions and others, and price their proposed licenses in such a way that they are sure to be lower than the cost of counsel to evaluate the demand.

"People are scared to fight," and credit unions and others have settled out of court to avoid the cost of these suits, he noted.

Hatch spoke in support of a bill he introduced, the Patent Litigation Integrity Act of 2013 (S. 1612). That bill would enable fee shifting in unsuccessful patent infringement lawsuits, and would enable the court to require a bond to be posted by a patent plaintiff in advance to ensure there is money available to cover the legal fees that might be awarded at the end of the case. This, Hatch said, is a change that would help to discourage patent assertion entities from filing frivolous lawsuits.

CUNA supports a number of proposals currently being considered in the Senate, including the demand letter components of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720), offered by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), along with Hatch's bill and the Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 866), offered by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Credit union priorities for patent law reform include:
  • More transparency in demand letters;
  • Clarification of Federal Trade Commission enforcement authority over unfair and deceptive demand letters;
  • A demand letter registry; and
  • Stronger end user protections.

Youth, workplace fin. ed. get FLEC Feb. spotlight

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (2/12/14)--The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) is holding two financial literacy policy discussions this month: an open meeting today on coordinated efforts to boost youth financial literacy and a field hearing Feb. 25 on improving employee financial capability through workplace financial education.
 
Todays' public meeting in Washington, D.C., scheduled to start at 9 a.m. (ET), will focus on ways that the federal government can work with the private sector and state, local, and tribal governments to promote savings and build the financial capability of young Americans. Credit Union National Association Assistant General Counsel Luke Martone is attending.
 
The Feb. 25 field hearing, part of America Saves Week, will share the commission's work on financial education in the workplace--but also provide FLEC members with information on existing best practices, existing opportunities, challenges and barriers, and strategies for engaging employees around financial education in the workplace.
 
The dialogue, to be held at the Sam Nunn Federal Building in Atlanta, will provide the commission insights into the important work occurring both in the Atlanta region and across the country. It is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET).
 
The commission was established in 2003 under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and is chaired by the secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department and the vice chair is the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. FLEC is comprised of the heads of 20 additional federal agencies, including the National Credit Union Administration.
 
The NCUA has reminded credit unions that the annual America Saves Week and Military Saves Week, Feb. 24-March 1, provides a good opportunity to further their efforts to educate their members and members' families about the importance of saving.