Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

Fryzel in The Hill: CUs challenge banks to do better job

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (7/3/14)--Outgoing National Credit Union Administration board member Michael Fryzel responded in The Hill Wednesday to recent banker criticisms of credit unions and a proposed credit union to serve professional athletes. In his commentary, Fryzel said the existence of credit unions alongside banks provide an environment rich with options for consumers of all income levels.

"[W]hen Congress authorized the establishment of credit unions in 1934 lawmakers must have determined banks were not providing financial services to all citizens," he said. "And now, 80 years later, this system remains in place and credit unions continue to provide valuable financial services to American families...I always believed credit unions challenged the banking industry to do a better job and that together they could provide our citizens with outstanding financial alternatives."

The proposed Players Choice FCU is the brainchild of Stacey Fielder August, former wife of baseball player Cecil Fielder and mother of current Texas Rangers player Prince Fielder. The NCUA gave preliminary approval for a field of membership for Players Choice FCU in May.

This led to accusations from American Bankers Association President/CEO Frank Keating that taxpayers would suddenly be on the hook for subsidizing financial services to professional athletes.

Credit Union National Association interim President/CEO Bill Hampel responded in a column in Tulsa World June 25, saying that not all professional athletes pull in millions of dollars each year--in fact, many in the major sports' minor leagues are low-income consumers.

August said her experiences watching her ex-husband lose most of his approximately $47 million in career earnings showed her that even eight-figure contracts aren't a guarantee of financial security without financial education, which the proposed credit union intends to make part of its mission.

"There is no denying that not only do people of modest means often like credit unions better, but those who have accumulated savings over the years often prefer them as well. Better service, better rates, lower fees, greater convenience," Fryzel said. "Who wouldn't want to use a financial institution like that regardless of what you earn and your financial status?"

Use the resource link below for the full commentary.

Canadian anti-spam law addresses commercial e-mails

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (7/3/14)--Canada's anti-spam law took effect Tuesday, and while the statute is a Canadian law, it affects any commercial electronic message (CEM) sent to Canadian recipients. A CEM can be defined as any electronic message sent with the purpose of encouraging participation in a commercial activity.
 
Valerie Moss, senior director of compliance analysis for regulatory affairs for the Credit Union National Association, writes on CUNA's CompBlog that a CEM can include e-mails, text messages and some social media messaging.
 
"We have been asked whether Canada's new anti-spam requirements will affect U.S. credit unions that send marketing messages to members who reside in Canada. The answer appears to be yes," she wrote. However, there is a grandfather clause for existing credit union members and a safe harbor for emails that comply with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act that should help limit compliance burdens on U.S. credit unions.
 
Moss lists three general requirements for sending a CEM to an electronic address (defined as an email account, a telephone account, an instant messaging account and any other similar account) in Canada: the recipient's consent to receive CEMs; the sender's identification and contact information; and an unsubscribe mechanism that can be "readily performed."
 
Consent to send CEMs is implied for a period of at least 36 months following the law's implementation where there has previously been an existing business relationship.

Significantly for credit unions, the "implied consent" period likely extends beyond 36 months in the case of a person who is a member of the credit union on July 1, 2014, until he or she leaves the credit union's membership, because the existing business relationship remains continuous so long as the member maintains his or her membership share.
 
The law also contains a safe harbor if the sender is located outside of Canada, the sender reasonably believed that the recipient would access the commercial electronic message outside of Canada in a jurisdiction on the ECPR List of Foreign States schedule, which includes the United States, and the CEM was in compliance with that jurisdiction's "substantially similar" anti-spam law,  that is, the CAN-SPAM Act in the case of a U.S. credit union.

The law and its implementing regulations generally prohibit:
  •     Sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient's consent;
  •     Alteration of transmission data in an electronic message resulting in the message being delivered to a different destination without consent;
  •     Installation of computer programs without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent;
  •     Use of false or misleading representations while promoting products or services;
  •     Collection of personal information through accessing a computer in violation of Canadian law; and
  •     Collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission.
Use the resource link below to access CUNA's CompBlog entry on the new law.

Also, the World Council of Credit Unions has produced an extenstive summary of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) for non-Canadian credit unions.  Use the resource link for access.

Valley Pride FCU meets LUA requirements

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/3/14)--The National Credit Union Administration has terminated its Letter of Understanding and Agreement (LUA) with Valley Pride FCU of Plains, Pa., with $7.1 million in assets. The LUA was dated June 11, 2013.
 
The NCUA's LUA defined "significant adverse conditions and unsafe and unsound practices" it identified as a result of a March 2013 examination.
 
Valley Pride agreed to take steps to correct those practices under terms of the letter. These steps involved engaging qualified individuals to reconcile accounts, perform an opinion audit and implement internal control procedures.
 
The credit union was also required to develop a matrix to monitor results from all audits, reviews and examinations, with the matrix containing all information pertaining to each finding, how it would be remedied, who would be responsible for corrective actions and any updates on progress toward completing the corrective action.
 
The LUA remained in effect until all conditions set by the NCUA were fulfilled. The credit union remained open while it took the corrective actions.