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Caltech Employees FCU and Kings FCU Join the League

The California Credit Union League would like to extend a warm welcome to Caltech Employees FCU and Kings FCU — both of which recently rejoined the League as members!

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Accepting Nominations for NV Credit Union League Board

Nominations are now being accepted for candidates for the Nevada Credit Union League Board of Directors. There are two director positions available for election with a new term expiration of 2023.

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This Week’s Recap: NCUA’s FOM, CFPB, PPP, and More

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the American Bankers Association’s petition to review the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision on the National Credit Union Administration’s field-of-membership rules. This ends nearly four years of uncertainty and helps the NCUA foster greater financial inclusion for all Americans.

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Congress: Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief and Reg Flexibility  

Congress has adapted to the "new normal." While members of Congress are physically out of Washington, D.C., they are working to advance policy.

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CUs Updated on Important CA and NV State Highlights

This week, the California Assembly announced it is postponing its return from summer recess after several legislators and staffers tested positive for the Coronavirus. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon informed members they would not be coming back to the capitol in Sacramento on July 13 as originally planned. There is no scheduled return date yet.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB Issues Final Rule on Payday Loans

On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule concerning payday loans in order to maintain consumer access to credit and competition in the marketplace. The final rule rescinds the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 rule after re-evaluating the legal and evidentiary bases for these provisions and finding them to be insufficient. The final rule does not rescind or alter the payments provisions of the 2017 rule.

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NCUA

NCUA’s Next Steps After Court Denies ABA’s FOM Petition

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the American Bankers Association’s petition to review the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision on the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) field-of-membership rules. This ends nearly four years of uncertainty and helps the NCUA foster greater financial inclusion for all Americans.

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Congressional Update: Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief

Congress has adapted to the new normal. While members of Congress are physically out of Washington, D.C., they are working to advance policy.

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CA Legislature Delays As League Engages in New Legislation

On Monday, July 6, the California Assembly announced it was postponing its return from summer recess after several legislators and staffers tested positive for the Coronavirus. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon informed members they would not be coming back to the capitol in Sacramento on July 13 as originally planned. There is no scheduled return date yet.

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An Opportune Time for CUs to Protect and Defend Members

As the country continues its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a war being waged against consumers by criminals who are finding insidious and ingenious ways to wreak havoc.

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Complimentary Webinar: What Branches Will Look Like After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we do business. Member behavior is shifting and there is a heightened sense of urgency for credit unions to quickly adapt to the current environment and prepare for what is to come in the future.
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Online Event: Empowering Strategies for Moving Forward

There is still space to join FIS for The Path Forward, a virtual fintech forum on thriving amidst uncertainty and realizing opportunities in our current financial climate. This interactive, information-rich event takes place on Thursday, July 30. Registration is complimentary.

EMBRACING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Hear Keynote speaker Peter Sheahan discuss growing your bank or credit union in uncertain times, turning challenge into opportunity, and turning change into competitive advantage.
  • Fireside Chat with Peter Sheahan and FIS' Brian O'Neill – moderated by Mike Robbins.
  • Meet with FIS experts in an interactive virtual Exhibit Hall.
 
Click here to register. 
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Advisory on COVID-19 Imposter Scams and Money Mule Schemes

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory today to alert financial institutions to potential indicators of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two forms of consumer fraud observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory contains descriptions of these scams and schemes, financial red flag indicators for both, and information on reporting suspicious activity.

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Consumer Compliance Outlook Latest Issue is Now Available

The Federal Reserve’s (FRB) latest issue of Consumer Compliance Outlook is now available. This issue, which focuses solely on COVID-19 topics, contains the following articles and features:

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FinCen Guidance: Due Diligence Requirements under BSA for Hemp-Related Business Customers

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a guidance to address questions related to Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) regulatory requirements for hemp-related business customers. 

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Eltropy Wins Top Honors From the Nation’s Top Industry Association

Eltropy, a messaging-based platform that enables credit unions to communicate with members via text, has been named the industry-leading text messaging solution by CUNA Strategic Services (CSS). Additionally, Eltropy’s service-oriented approach to its credit union customers during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven especially valuable to the industry.

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How CUs Can Use a Credit Program to Help Members Navigate Uncertain Times

When unexpected events happen, people need to be creative and flexible, but they also need a secure place to stand. In many ways, credit unions are that place for their members. Credit unions regularly connect with members, helping them find solutions to financial needs as they work to achieve life goals. When uncertain times bring financial challenges for members, credit unions are well-positioned to help make a credit card program an effective part of the solution for moving forward.

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NCUA Meeting Recap: MDI, NGN, and RFI on Exam Tech

During this week’s National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board meeting, Chairman Rodney Hood said onsite exams will not resume on July 6, as previously announced, due to current COVID-19 activity. 

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Foundation’s Grant Cycle Focused on Financial Health, Well-Being

The National Credit Union Foundation launched its 2020 Grant Cycle, with two opportunities credit unions can apply for. The deadline for credit unions to submit applications is July 15  

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Dykstra and Several CU System Leaders on COVID-19 Task Force

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced the formation of the Credit Union System COVID-19 Restart and Recovery Task Force, with California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra included as one of several task force members.

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Latest CA and NV Reg Issues in Focus as CUs Serve Members

This week, the commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) issued proposed amendments that seek to modernize credit union regulations to reflect changes to related state and federal laws; streamline the application process for out-of-state credit unions that apply to operate in California; and to allow credit unions a greater choice of permissible investments.

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Premier America SVP of Member Experience Marci Francisco

Lessons in Leadership: Q&A with Premier America CU's Marci Francisco

Editor's Note: Marci Francisco is the senior vice president of member experience at Premier America CU, a position she has held since April 2019. Here, she answers Callahan’s leadership questions about her credit union’s response to the coronavirus pandemic for CreditUnions.com. 

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Money Mules Moving Illicit Proceeds from COVID-19-Related Crimes

With millions of dollars stolen from consumers in the first half of 2020 through COVID-19-related fraud scams, criminals are exploiting money mules to launder the illicit proceeds. Learn more about sophisticated mule schemes during the pandemic, and why a consolidated fraud and AML platform is essential to fight back.

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CUNA Mutual Group Discovery Conference Registration Open

Registration is now open for CUNA Mutual Group's Discovery Conference 2020!

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Context for CUs as Supreme Court Rules on 'DACA' Case

As the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a 5-to-4 decision that President Donald Trump had illegally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, some credit unions may be looking for insight.

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CUs Defeat AB 2501, Amplifying Movement’s Voice in Sacramento

California credit unions have defeated Assembly Bill 2501! The bill will not be advancing to the state senate. It was not brought up for reconsideration on the California Assembly floor Thursday morning, meaning it will fail to meet the house-of-origin deadline.

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The Latest Updates on NCUA, PPP, SBA, FHFA, and CFPB

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board will meet on June 25 at 7 a.m. (Pacific). Its agenda includes: 1) Board Briefing, Minority Depository Institution Annual Report; 2) Board Briefing, NCUA Guaranteed Notes Oversight Program; 3) Request for Information, Strategies for Future Examination and Supervision Utilizing Digital Technology; 4) Final Rule, Technical Amendments to NCUA’s Rules; and 5) Proposed Rule, Part 702, Risk-Based Net Worth.

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CU Awareness Initiative to Launch Statewide in California

The credit union movement’s Open Your Eyes Awareness Initiative (OYE) launched statewide in California on July 1!

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Greater Nevada Credit Union
Joe and Keli Najera, owners of local food truck Kenji’s, were among those honored by Greater Nevada CU’s A Greater Good campaign. Here they are being interviewed by Greater Nevada CU Community Outreach Supervisor Michelle Hale.

Greater Nevada CU’s “A Greater Good” Project Showcases Community Heroes

For the past few weeks, Greater Nevada CU has shone the spotlight on those making a difference in the community via its “A Greater Good” project.

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Do We Need COVID-19 Releases for Our Next Event?

As state and local health authorities start relaxing restrictions on group gatherings that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, credit unions and CUSOs will likely want to start sponsoring events, conferences and meetings for their members and clients.  Of course, top on the sponsor’s list will be taking steps to accommodate social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting surfaces, providing notices and reminders throughout the activity consistent with government protocols and overall ensuring compliance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local orders, guidelines and protocols in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the activity.  Along with these best (or required) practices, the common question being asked by sponsors of events, conferences, meetings and the like is whether participants should be required to sign a release of any claims (i.e., not sue) the sponsor if the participant contracts COVID-19 at the event.  

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Using Data to Build Deeper Consumer Relationships

In this digital age, and especially in the past couple of months, you may have asked yourself how you can build deep relationships with your account holders if they never come into a branch. Did relationships die out to be replaced with faceless data?  

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PolicyWorks Webinars: Quarterly Town Hall; Business Continuity Plans

PolicyWorks, the Leagues’ compliance service provider and an exclusive benefit of your Leagues membership, is hosting two upcoming webinars:

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League Urges Final Push on AB 2501; Vote Scheduled Monday

A vote on Assembly Bill 2501 has been postponed until this coming Monday in the California State Assembly. This gives the bill’s author and proponents the entire weekend to persuade assemblymembers who are on the fence about the bill.

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Forbearance Guidance, FOM Update, PCA Reg Relief, and More

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors have issued joint guidance to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with CARES Act provisions granting a right to forbearance to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Unclaimed Report and Remittance Due Date Extended

The California State Controller's Unclaimed Property Division has published its Spring 2020 "Newsletter for Holders". Credit unions should take note of this article extending the final Remit Report and remittance due date from June 15, 2020 to Aug. 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Meeting Members Where They Are

As I sit on my porch enjoying some sunshine this afternoon, I would normally say “what a wonderful day, and all is well in the world.” But when I face the reality of the impacts of COVID-19, myself in isolation, it does not feel like a wonderful day. I worry about my aging parents; I wonder about my grandparents and the risks they face just going to the grocery store; and I think about the uncertainty I am living with every day.

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CUs and Employees Urged to Join ‘NO on AB 2501’ Campaign

Assembly Bill 2501 in the California State Assembly remains a threat to the credit union movement — and the California Credit Union League needs your immediate help to defeat it. The bill requires credit unions to offer inflexible lengthy forbearances on mortgages up to Jan. 1, 2022 and lengthy forbearances on auto loans. It would significantly draw down levels of capital, preventing credit unions from serving their communities and potentially causing layoffs or even mergers.

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Important Updates: CCPA, NCUA, Fannie-Freddie, Fed and CFPB

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted final proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The regulations will provide guidance to businesses on how to comply with the CCPA and will enable consumers to exercise new rights over their personal information.

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InfoSight New Topic: Back to Work Best Practices

While many states are beginning to relax some of the “stay at home” orders and credit unions are thinking about how to safely get their teams back into the office and protect their members, InfoSight, the League’s online compliance resource, has a new topic under the COVID-19 – Coronavirus channel called Back to Work Best Practices.  Helpful resources include:

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NCUA to Host BSA Webinar June 17

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is hosting a “The Bank Secrecy Act: Review and Reminders” webinar on June 17.

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Boosting Acquisition and Retention with Digital Onboarding

As people’s lives are turning upside down and many are staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kasasa's B2C marketing experts found that internet searches for online account opening have increased in the last week alone.

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CU Structure Diagram, PPP Update, Reopening Guidelines and More

The California Credit Union League has created a two-page diagram — "Credit Unions: Structure, Capital, Liquidity, and Economic Effects" — to help educate California assemblymembers and senators whenever the opportunity arises during this difficult period as credit unions continue serving their members.

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InfoSight NEW TOPIC: Remote Work;Telecommuting

new InfoSight topicRemote Work - Telecommuting, has been added to the Employment Channel. As more credit unions continue to operate and consider a future for remote staff and telecommuting, InfoSight has combined its resources on the topic for easier access. In addition, a Remote Worker Risk Assessment was also created and has been added as an additional resource on that topic. 

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Job Market Exposes Toughest Part of Members’ Recovery: Realignment

“Some job skills in demand last week could be out of style next week,” said John Hawkins as he reflected on how the Coronavirus pandemic is shaking up local labor markets. “Different states will have different dynamics, and there will be a lot of variations due to different industries.”

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Patelco CU Vice President of Consumer And Commercial Loans Mike Poirier

Patelco CU: Helping Small Businesses Tap Into PPP Funds

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt of an article that appeared originally on CreditUnions.com and features a roundup on the successes and challenges credit unions around the country faced trying to ensure business members could tap into Paycheck Protection Program funds. Below is Patelco CU's story: 

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How to Keep Members Going with Prepaid Cards

If you’re not already offering a prepaid product, now would be a good time to start. With the game-changer of COVID-19, cashless payment methods are becoming increasingly important as people have been staying home and buying food and other items online.

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NCUA Actions, President’s Order, FHFA, FinCEN, and HMDA

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board has issued one proposed rule and one interim final rule (IFR).

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AB 2501, CA Consumer Law, PPP, and Congressional Update

As the California Credit Union League remains committed to defeating Assembly Bill 2501 and protecting credit unions at all cost, the League worked to get the bill added to the Cal Chambers’ infamous Job Killer list. The annual list includes the worst of the worst when it comes to bills that will harm employers, and bills that are deemed a “job killer” have traditionally faced a steep uphill battle.

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PremierOne CU
PremierOne CU staff kept safe while serving members during COVID-19 crisis.

PremierOne CU Provides Member, Community Support Amid COVID-19 Crisis

When the Coronavirus outbreak occurred, PremierOne CU responded swiftly by focusing efforts on supporting the community the San Jose-based credit union serves.

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Interagency Lending Principles for Offering Responsible Small-Dollar Loans

The federal financial institution regulatory agencies issued principles for offering small-dollar loans in a responsible manner to meet financial institutions customers’ short-term credit needs.

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Is This Subpoena Valid?

Parties to litigation have a right to engage in “pretrial discovery” to obtain documents and testimony that might be relevant to their claims and defenses. Relevant discovery often includes the assets of one of the parties. 

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financialcrimesenforcementnetwork

Advisory on Medical Scams Related to COVID-19 and Companion Notice Filing Instructions

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to alert financial institutions to rising medical scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory contains red flags, descriptions of COVID-19 related medical scams, and information on reporting suspicious activity. This is the first of several advisories FinCEN intends to issue concerning financial crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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California DBO Proposal, Nevada Guidance, and More

The California Credit Union League has shared its concerns in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office regarding the proposal within his January budget to restructure the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) into what many in financial services have described as “California’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (a miniature state version of the CFPB).

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Financial Crime Management for CUs Webinar

Strengthen your compliance programs and fight financial crime with Verafin.

Verafin’s Financial Crime Management platform leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence, in highly-targeted detection scenarios that are enriched with open-source and third-party data and provide cross-institutional analysis and collaboration through the power of the Verafin Cloud. The result? Higher-quality alerts, expedited investigations, and richer, more detailed reporting.

Join the Financial Crime Management for Credit Unions webinar on May 21 for an overview of Verafin’s Financial Crime Management solutions and learn why nearly 1200 credit unions have chosen Verafin. 

  • End-to-end High-Risk Customer Management and CDD/EDD including an Account Opening Questionnaire; high-risk customer segmentation; automated risk-review workflows; and stratified, configurable risk-agents for high-risk customers.
  • Targeted AML scenarios including structuring, international activity, terrorist financing, human trafficking and funnel accounts.
  • Targeted Fraud scenarios including first-party deposit fraud, deposit fraud scams, online account takeover, wire and ACH fraud, debit card fraud, loan fraud, and elder financial abuse.
  • Risk-rated alerts enriched with core data, third-party, open-source and cloud data, as well as visual storytelling to provide you with more information at your fingertips, and help you expedite investigations and strengthen reporting.
  • Cross-institutional detection and information sharing that facilitates collaborative investigations between 314(b)-registered credit unions.
  • Complete BSA/AML Compliance and Management with process automation including regulatory reporting for SARs and CTRs, OFAC/Watch List scanning, Case Management, Enterprise Reporting, etc.

 

Click here to register. 

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Important Agency Updates, News, Resources, and Tools

A virtual roundtable discussion entitled “Update From Prudential Regulators” was held on May 13 and is now archived for viewing. Panelists included Rodney Hood, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and regulatory officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Reserve.

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Santa Cruz Community CU
Santa Cruz Community CU staff

Santa Cruz Community CU Helps Small Businesses Get Through COVID-19 Crisis

When the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) launched, Santa Cruz Community CU—already an SBA lender for some time—immediately set to work.

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Don’t Pause DEI

Credit unions are more vital now than ever before. They are on the front lines, serving as a sheltering tree and a safe haven for the financial health and well-being of their members and their communities.

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CFPB Issues Amendments to the Remittance Transfer Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a final rule amending the Remittance Transfer Rule. In light of the expiration of a statutory exception in July 2020, the amendments allow banks and credit unions to provide estimates of certain fees and the exchange rates related to remittance transfers if they meet certain conditions. The final rule also increases the threshold that determines whether an entity is subject to the Remittance Transfer Rule. The final rule is available here.

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The Leagues are advocating for credit unions around the clock with members of Congress, such as Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), and many others during the current COVID-19 crisis.
The Leagues are advocating for credit unions around the clock with members of Congress, such as Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), and many others during the current COVID-19 crisis.

State and Federal Update: TDR, Workers’ Comp, and Garnishments

The California Credit Union League sent a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters this past week outlining the League’s priorities for the next Coronavirus relief package. The House is assembling its package even though it is technically out of session.

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Bureau Issues PPP FAQs; FHFA Extends Processing Flexibility

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued clarifying FAQs (frequently asked questions) to support small businesses that have applied for a loan from their financial institution under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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CFPB: Clarifications to Support Small Businesses Applying for PPP Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued clarifying FAQs to support small businesses who have applied for a loan from their financial institution under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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In response to the CARES Act, GCL has increased staffing and launched technological enhancements to simplify and streamline the PPP application process. The company has also expanded its relationships with third-party partners to ensure PPP loans are funded in a timely manner. GCL has been working to help all applicants regardless of whether the company has an existing relationship with those businesses.
Greater Nevada CU CEO Wally Murray

PPP Success Story: Greater Nevada CU Processes $566.4 Million in Loans

From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, it was clear to Greater Nevada CU and its wholly owned subsidiary, Greater Commercial Lending (GLC),  that small businesses in Nevada and across the nation would need assistance to help them navigate through the tough financial circumstance brought about by the pandemic and economic fallout.

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Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-CA
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-CA

Congresswoman Petitions for FCU Access of Payroll Tax Credit

At the request of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) — a leading member of the House Ways and Means Committee (the tax committee) — joined with Rep. Ron Estes of Kansas to send a letter to Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin petitioning for a change in guidance to allow federal credit unions access to the payroll tax credit within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

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Regulatory books

Update: NCUA, Senate Banking Comm., CFPB, FHFA, and Treasury

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has submitted a request letter to the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. The letter outlines the agency’s actions to aid credit unions to date, as well as activity it deems necessary in legislative actions.

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Requesting CA Guidance: Garnishment, Liens, and Right of Setoff

To help credit unions avoid major operational and compliance challenges, the California Credit Union League has requested that the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) bring recognition of an important CARES Act stimulus issue to the attention of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office — namely member garnishment, liens, and right of setoff.

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CFPB: Mortgage Loan Transfer Process To Prevent Consumer Harm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlined practices to provide mortgage servicers clarity, facilitate compliance, and prevent harm to consumers during the transfer of residential mortgages.

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CU RateReset Offers 50% Off Subscription Fees During COVID-19

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is encouraging financial institutions to offer loan modifications to help mitigate financial burdens on their members and communities.

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KASASA: No Licensing Fees Until 2021 for League Members

Having a great website and online account opening is critical in a time when members can’t get access to branches. Kasasa offers custom and turn-key solutions for online and in-branch digital account opening, as well as responsive-website design that adheres to the best regulatory and security practices. Credit unions that purchase Kasasa’s website solution (First Branch) and/or its On-Line Account Opening solution (INMO+) between now and June 1, 2020 will pay no monthly licensing on those products until 2021.

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PPP Lenders: Be Ready to Apply Monday; Funds Will Go Fast

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications will be accepted at 7:30 a.m. (Pacific) this Monday, according to a statement by Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza.

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Credit Union Advocacy in Action During Pandemic Crisis

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on April 23 that exempts garnishment for any individuals receiving federal, state or local government financial assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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From States to Congress: Looking Out for CUs and Members

The California Credit Union League — along with the California Community Bankers Network — has sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting that he delay the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) until Jan. 2, 2021.

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Latest PolicyWorks Newsletter Now Available

The latest PolicyWorks newsletter is now available! The newsletter details several recent NCUA final rules, as well as other important articles regarding recent changes to California laws. Please check your email, or click here to access the newsletter using your email address and your California or Nevada Credit Union League members-only password.

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TurboTax Extends Discounts Through Oct. 15, 2020

On March 20, 2020, the IRS officially extended the federal income tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Since members are unable to meet face-to-face with a tax specialist, they will likely need an option to complete and file their tax return remotely, which they can do with TurboTax. In addition, TurboTax discounts are available through Oct. 15, which is especially helpful to members who may need extensions.

To get started or to learn more, contact Leagues Vice President of Credit Union Solutions and Membership Tonja Wheatley at 909-212-6023 or tonjaw@ccul.org.

 

Free Text Messaging Service for CUs from Eltropy

In light of the current crisis, Eltropy is offering free text messaging for 90 days to the first 25 credit unions. Setup, implementation, and platform fees will be temporarily waived so that credit unions can use the platform to reach out to employees and members.

To get started or to learn more, contact Leagues Vice President of Credit Union Solutions and Membership Tonja Wheatley at 909-212-6023 or tonjaw@ccul.org.

Travis CU
Travis CU CEO Barry Nelson held Zoom meetings to let organizations, such as• United Service Organizations (USO) Northern California-Travis AFB, know they were selected as recipients of a donation from the credit union.

Travis CU Donates $1 Million in Support of Community Partners Amid COVID-19

Travis Credit Union has launched and implemented its $1 million philanthropic initiative, which was disbursed to local organizations working to provide COVID-19 related relief to non-profits primarily focused on services in the areas of education, youth/family, food banks and small business support. The nearly 100 non-profits in the counties of Solano, Napa, Contra Costa, Merced, and Yolo were notified via personal phone calls, including several from Barry Nelson, president and CEO of Travis CU.
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FFIEC Announces Federal Disclosure Computational Tools

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced the availability of FFIEC Federal Disclosure Computational Tools, including the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Computational Tool and the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Computational Tool. The tools will assist financial institutions in their efforts to comply with the consumer protection laws and regulations, including verification of compliance with the Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) limits under the Military Lending Act.

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Bite of Reality

RMJ Foundation Unveils Bite of Reality Remote

The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation has launched Bite of Reality Remote to provide youth financial education at a time when schools and communities are practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CUs Step Up for Members as Communities Respond to Pandemic

UPDATE: So far more than 350,000 credit union members have been helped, over 330,000 loan extensions made, and $31.4 million provided in emergency loans, according to weekly survey data collected by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

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State Update: Committees Make CU Request; CCPA Enforcement

The California Credit Union League received a letter from four committee chairs in the California State Assembly and Senate requesting that credit unions refrain from using members’ federal stimulus funds to offset delinquent loan payments or other past-due fees — and to make reasonable efforts to make those funds available to members as soon as possible.

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COVID Operations: NCUA, California DBO, and Nevada FID

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board held its third open meeting of 2020 on April 16, using a live audio webcast and approved three items:

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CFPB Issues 2020 HMDA Final Rule

The Consumer Financial Proection Bureau (Bureau) issued a final rule amending Regulation C to adjust the thresholds for closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit.

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CU Economist on Unemployment, Liquidity, Members, and the Fed

As the COVID-19 pandemic throws off the trajectory of loans, deposits and other best-laid plans, the post-crisis economic conversation for credit unions begins right now according to Sonoma State University Economist and Redwood CU Board Member Robert Eyler.

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Need COVID-19 Emergency Supplies?

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, some credit unions may be struggling to find supplies, including face masks and hand sanitizers that are necessary to keep employees and members safe. Here is a quick list of suggested online suppliers. Inventories and delivery times may fluctuate rapidly, and credit unions are encouraged to regularly monitor their own stock.

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Regulators Release Updates to BSA/AML Examination Manual

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released several updates to the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) examination manual. The manual is used to evaluate compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements.

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Can Litigation Result from COVID-19 Deferred Mortgage Payments?

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, credit unions and other financial institutions are offering mortgage payment relief through modifications or skip a pay programs.  Generally, two or three monthly payments are being deferred to the end of the deferral period, or are being moved to the end of the loan either as a balloon payment or by extending the maturity date by adding the two or three payments to the end of the loan.  The number of applications for mortgage relief has required an all hands-on deck effort to timely respond to and assist members facing financial stress due to loss of income. 

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How CUs Can Stay Ahead With Contactless Payment During COVID-19

Contactless payment use is on the rise. According to Allied Market Research, the mobile payment market size is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 34% between 2017 and 2023. Current concerns about the COVID-19 virus being shared through cash have many businesses and media outlets urging consumers to increase their use of contactless payment methods. Credit unions should be prepared with a good understanding of these newer forms of payment options so they can stay ahead of the curve.

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Autoland Keeps Auto Lending Pipelines Open

As Californian’s shelter-in-place across the state, auto sales have taken a significant toll due to COVID-19. About 40% of dealers have closed sales departments leaving consumers with less options on trying to replace a vehicle that may have been totaled or no longer running.  Dealers who have remained open have had to pivot on their strategies to find new ways to accommodate consumers with maintaining social distancing and remote deliveries.

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Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Around the Clock Crisis: CUs and Leagues Work Together

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are surveying credit unions and gathering information on which ones are — or are not — planning on offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration due to the COVID-19 crisis. Credit unions’ response will help guide the Leagues’ advocacy efforts and messaging with Congress.

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Business person's hand and keyboard

Update: Stimulus Checks, SBA Loans, and CU Concerns

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are continuing discussions with credit unions, legislators, and regulators as concerns mount regarding the ability of all financial institutions to safely and efficiently process stimulus checks that are scheduled to be mailed out soon. 

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DBO website

DBO Code Clarification; Remote Notary; NCUA Meeting and Letters

The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) now has a list on its website of credit unions offering financial relief. And in Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive which expands upon and clarifies previous directives for non-essential business closures and mandated social distancing. 

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SBA

SBA Update and NCUA Letters

Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted a conference call regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, providing valuable information and updates. Here are key takeaways:

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Leagues Members Get Free Access to ViClarity BCP Self-Assessment Pandemic Execution

PolicyWorks is offering all California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues members complimentary access to the ViClarity business continuity planning (BCP) Self-Assessment Pandemic Execution Tool until Sept. 1, 2020.

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U.S. Treasury Department

COVID Update: Stimulus Checks, SBA Info, Other News

California and Nevada residents will receive a portion of the estimated 70 million paper stimulus checks scheduled for mailing from the Treasury Department to individuals starting in early May, after direct-deposit stimulus monies are disbursed in April. Please be prepared: your credit union’s branches or ATMs could experience unusually high activity in members physically depositing or cashing these checks.

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Small business owners working

SBA Loan Info, State and Fed Updates, More Resources

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have posted sample content for credit unions to use in efficiently communicating the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to members who inquire. Credit unions should use it as they see fit.

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FinCEN Provides Additional Information in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a notice which updates FinCEN’s March 16, 2020 COVID-19 Notice, provides additional information to assist financial institutions in complying with their Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and announces a direct contact mechanism for urgent COVID-19-related issues.  FinCEN recognizes financial institutions face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, FinCEN is committed to promoting the success of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including the need to facilitate expeditious disbursal of CARES Act funds.  Accordingly, FinCEN will issue further information, as appropriate, as the CARES Act is implemented and questions arise.  

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Financial Relief Template for Your Website

The Leagues continue to work with local and state leaders to ensure your members have easy access to information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and their financial well-being.

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Q&As Regarding 2020 RMD Waiver

CUNA’s April 1, 2020 compliance blog provides the Q&As below from Dennis Zuehlke, ERISA compliance manager with Ascensus, to get expert information on IRAs and the 2020 required minimum distributions (RMD) waiver.

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NCUA Mandates Strict Offsite Examination Policy

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) mandated a strict offsite policy for all employees and contracted support staff as of March 16, 2020. All NCUA examinations will take place offsite through May 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice. The agency will reevaluate this approach through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and will notify credit unions of any changes.

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Grants, Loans Available to Low-Income CUs for COVID-19 Response

Federally insured, low-income-designated credit unions can request grants and loans from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to assist members, businesses, and communities experiencing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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treasury department

SBA Guidance: Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration have just released their guidance for issuing loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as part of the CARES Act (the stimulus bill signed into law on Friday, March 27).

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Three Ways to Stay Connected and Support One Another During Uncertainty

In just days, our world has dramatically changed; and our day-to-day realities have been flipped on their head. As we’ve watched this global pandemic play out, I’m amazed by how quickly people have responded and jumped into action.

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Economic Stimulus Should Stimulate These CU Thoughts

A $2 trillion stimulus measure, approved by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, aims to relieve the severe economic agony brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus will sweep broadly across the U.S. economy, reaching nearly every segment, but how it will affect credit unions may vary widely – based on their differing memberships. 

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Boosting Acquisition and Retention with Digital Onboarding During COVID-19

As people’s lives are turning upside down and many are staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic Kasasa's B2C marketing experts found that internet searches for online account opening have increased in the last week alone.  

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom

COVID-19: Credit Unions, Congress, and States Take Action

President Donald Trump has signed into law H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) — legislation that provides economic stimulus to the nation to address to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

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Lawmakers Communicating with Residents: Virtual Town Halls

(This story was updated April 16): Some congressional and state legislators are holding virtual town-hall events this afternoon, evening, and in the coming days to discuss relief and resource efforts in response to the Coronavirus pandemic disrupting local economies and communities across the state.

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Regulators to Review Congressional Relief Legislation

The federal regulatory agencies’ joint interagency statement issued on March 22 encourages financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and provides information regarding loan modifications, including when such modifications would not result in accounting for troubled debt restructuring designation.

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CFPB Provides Flexibility During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is postponing some data collections from industry, including credit unions, on Bureau-related rules to allow companies to focus on responding to consumers/members’ needs.

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Coronavirus

COVID: CUs Respond in CA; Updates for NV

California Governor Gavin Newsom officially announced that more than 200 state-chartered credit unions and banks have committed to providing financial relief to the state’s consumers amid the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to the response of so many credit unions, our movement was framed in a positive light by Governor Newsom as he made several references to what credit unions do.

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FAQ/Families First Coronavirus Response Act Posters Available

The Department of Labor (DOL) has created the model posters required by the Families First Coronavirus Responses Act (FFCRA). The posters can be accessed here.

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CA Governor Gavin Newsom Thanks CUs During Relief Announcement

California Governor Gavin Newsom officially announced that more than 200 state-chartered credit unions and banks have committed to providing financial relief to the state’s consumers amid the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. For those able to respond to our requests, THANK YOU for your input! Our work together is making a huge impact.

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Stop the Spread of Germs: How to Properly Clean Your ATMs

Cleanliness is next to godliness, so they say. Well maybe not, but cleanliness will at least protect yourself and others from spreading and catching harmful diseases. During this current time of growing concern over the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), proper cleanliness and disinfecting surfaces that can play host to COVID-19 germs has become even more important to potentially help stop the spread of these germs from person to person.

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COVID-19 Scams and ID Fraud

We are facing an unprecedented time in our lives with the coronavirus upon us and people taking every imaginable precaution to “be safe” and survive the aftermath.  Having three sisters who are nurses and who love to give advice, the basic practices of good hygiene are essential and the best way to avoid this virus.  That is as far as this article will go on any medical aspects of this issue.

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Credit Unions in California Offering Assistance to Those Impacted by Economic Fallout from Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a sweeping and sudden economic crisis for millions of Californians—now being asked to stay safe at home—who are seeing their work hours reduced or jobs and businesses lost. During this unprecedented crisis, the 294 credit unions in the state—with total assets of nearly $210 billion and serving 14 million residents—are taking extraordinary steps to support their members and communities.

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Protecting Your Members During Crisis: Best Practices for Online Shopping

During these unprecedented times, LCS brings to you an information piece that could help your credit union and members. With brick-and-mortar stores closing over COVID-19, online shopping is becoming more important. Below is article on best practices credit union members can follow to keep their information safe while shopping online.

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Congressional dome building in Washington, D.C.

Leagues Urge Legislators on Behalf of CUs and Members

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are monitoring the current Coronavirus pandemic around the clock as many questions are still unanswered.

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Regulatory Requests Made to CFPB, FRB, and FASB

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has made three urgent requests for immediate relief on behalf of credit unions regarding sensitive regulatory items in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic:

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COVID 19 Resource Page

Latest Updates to The Leagues’ COVID-19 Resources Page

The Leagues’ COVID-19 Resource Page is continually being updated with information, resources, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on credit unions’ response to the current pandemic.

Among the items you may find: ‘Safe and Sound’ Reassurance for Members

You may feel the need to reassure your members that their deposit accounts are safe, sound, and accessible during a time like this. If so, please feel free to use the following in your communications and outreach:

Although the COVID-19 emergency is unprecedented in our lifetime, credit unions remain committed to serving their members.

Credit unions remain open for business, guiding our members through these unsettling times. We will be taking steps to ensure the health and well-being of both our members and our team members, but these precautions will not impact your ability to access your money or perform banking activities.

Credit unions have always stepped up during times of hardship. From natural disasters, to recessions, to government shutdowns, credit unions have worked tirelessly to guide their members through the financial challenges that inevitably followed.

If you have questions, please contact *CEO NAME AND EMAIL GOES HERE.*

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this crisis.

Other Resources:

Other pieces information on the COVID-19 Resource Webpage include: Nevada Health Response COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Initiative; CUNA News Podcast: “The Economic Impact of COVID-19”; Sample pandemic plan (under Sample Emergency Preparedness Plan Content section); and under the FAQs section: Crisis communications; video chat resources; and the Member Activation Program (MAP) member communication letter templates.

If you still have any questions not answered in the Leagues' Resource page, email those questions to COVID19@ccul.org

Upcoming March 30th webinar presenter Dr. Robert Eyler, economist at Sonoma State University, board member for Redwood CU, and president of Economic Forensics & Analytics.
Upcoming March 30th webinar presenter Dr. Robert Eyler, economist at Sonoma State University, board member for Redwood CU, and president of Economic Forensics & Analytics.

Webinar: What to Expect for Economy, CUs, and Members

The webinar “Coronavirus, Economy, Rates, Financial Markets: Where Are We Headed?” will be released on Monday, March 30 at 10 a.m. (Pacific), where some big economic and credit union industry “unknowns” for 2020 will be discussed by Dr. Robert Eyler.

You can REGISTER HERE for this unique and timely presentation! Topics will cover:

By summer and autumn of 2020, how will credit unions, members, and employees be affected? What does the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic mean for household debt, mortgages, and your members? What about your credit union’s balance sheet and performance metrics? Consumers are watching their personal financial situation, jobs, and the chatter happening in the news and on Wall Street 24-7.

Has the economy already fallen into a recession — or do we really know? What are baseline expectations for Coronavirus, economic growth versus slowdown, possible recession, and interest rates? How will the Coronavirus pandemic impact local communities? Short-term and long-term interest rate volatility and financial markets are key right now, as well as “how” the Federal Reserve’s anticipates its future decision-making. What can history tell us about where we are headed?

How will supply, logistics, the labor market, and different industries/businesses be affected? Your community will be impacted, but how? Members and employees will be affected in different ways depending on their situation.

How does this all play into the upcoming November elections? The political season is here and moving full steam ahead. How might the Coronavirus pandemic play into the “political economy” and possibilities for economic fiscal policy in Washington, D.C. before then?

We invite you to look past the 24/7 news cycle and join us for an informative update! This webinar is FREE for Power Learner Passport (PLP) subscribers; and $195 for non-PLP members of the League; and $341 for non-League members.

Who Should Attend?
Credit union professionals who should attend include:

  • CEOs, CFOs, and COOs
  • Board members
  • SVPs and/or VPs of finance, operations, lending, and strategic planning

The Webinar Presenter
Eyler is an economist at Sonoma State University, board member for Redwood CU, and president of Economic Forensics & Analytics. He’s also been keynote speaker of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” Conference.

He is director of the university’s Center for Regional Economic Analysis and has authored books and academic articles concerning monetary economics and policies, macroeconomic policies, banking topics, derivative markets, international finance, and the economics of the wine industry. Additionally, he is an expert witness in interstate trade litigation and forensic economics. He served as CEO of the Marin Economic Forum from 2009 – 2015.

Inclusiv

Inclusiv Advocates for CDFI CUs During Pandemic Crisis

Inclusiv is requesting $1 billion in supplementary funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) as part of the emergency spending legislation currently under consideration. It’s also working with the CDFI Coalition and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to advocate for additional funds to be included in the stimulus bill for CDFI credit unions.

In addition, the organization is doing a comprehensive assessment of how emergency stimulus funds can best be utilized to stabilize CDFI credit unions and the communities they serve. From its initial outreach, it sees the needs falling into the following categories: immediate stabilization of CDFIs to remain operational and meeting basic needs of their members during this period; flexibility to borrowers during this period while maintaining safety and soundness of your institutions; and developing innovative responses to community needs, including prioritizing wage workers, small businesses and downsized service sector employees.

So, Inclusiv is also reaching out to CDFI credit unions asking it to share the emerging needs of their members via a survey

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Your CU Store Continues to Serve CU’s Regulatory Forms Needs

While safety and health continue to be our focus for both our employees and the credit union community, Your CU Store continues to be available to provide your credit union’s regulatory forms. Government authorities are recommending social distancing and limiting visits to public spaces, and many consumer-facing businesses are working to expand their online presence in order to continue meeting needs. While credit unions work diligently to serve their members during these challenging times, Your CU Store is working to ensure you don’t have added concerns about maintaining updated disclosures and compliance reviews.  

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Leagues' Latest Coronavirus Pandemic Efforts and Resources

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are monitoring the current pandemic around the clock as many questions are still unanswered. Since rumors are spreading daily on social media and elsewhere about local consumers’ fearful reactions, the Leagues are asking credit union leaders and employees to not overreact to “news” that has not been fully confirmed or is not true.

We are working to keep you updated so you can manage your credit union and communicate with your members:

Latest CUNA/League Advocacy Efforts
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) sent two letters to Congress after consulting with credit unions, state leagues, and advocacy professionals across the nation. These letters reflect your concerns, some of which are being addressed as we speak. Additional concerns not listed are also being discussed, such as long-term capital needs:

  • Letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.
  • Letter to Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown.

The Leagues have also requested a temporary forbearance from enforcement under the California Consumer Privacy Act in a letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

On the state front, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order that enhances state and local government’s ability to respond to the pandemic. Additionally, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has waived the work search requirement and wait period for unemployment insurance benefits.

On the regulatory front, please see three urgent requests made by CUNA for immediate relief on behalf of credit unions regarding sensitive regulatory items in light of the current pandemic:

Update on Fiscal Stimulus to Households
The Leagues have confirmed that both the Treasury Department and Bureau of Fiscal Service oppose paper checks being distributed to consumers under the fiscal stimulus plan being considered by Congress and the president. Some credit unions were concerned they would not have enough cash on hand to meet a surge in members immediately cashing-out these checks. The Leagues will continue to monitor this situation as the conversation turns to electronic distribution.

Important League Webinars on COVID-19
Credit unions should have appropriate staff attend the “COVID-19 Update: Guidance on Common Questions” webinar on March 24, hosted by the Leagues’ compliance services provider PolicyWorks. It will cover COVID-19 guidance that PolicyWorks is offering, including the latest credit union regulatory updates.

Also stay tuned for additional COVID-19 credit union response webinars here.

Updates to League COVID-19 Resources
Today’s additions and updates to the League Coronavirus/COVID-19 resource webpage include:

  • Resources areaNevada Health Response COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Initiative; and CUNA News Podcast: “The Economic Impact of COVID-19."
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) area: Member communications; video chat resources; and Member Activation Program (MAP) member communication letter templates.
  • Sample Emergency Preparedness Plan Content area: Sample pandemic plan.

Questions? Email our response team at COVID19@ccul.org. We are here for you as you continue serving your members during these trying times.

Nevada

Nevada Governor Waives Work Search Requirement, Wait Period for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

On Wednesday, March 18, Governor Steve Sisolak instructed the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), Employment Security Division to waive the work search requirement and the seven-day wait period for approved unemployment insurance benefits.

Specifically, Gov. Sisolak waived the following

Unemployment Insurance Work Search Requirement: Suitable work is not currently available for unemployment insurance claimants, so the work search requirement is to be suspended.

Unemployment Insurance Seven-Day Wait Period: The seven-day wait period between applying for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits is waived. This ensures that thousands of Nevadans will receive their benefits as quickly as possible. 

“Both of these instructions are practical, common-sense measures to help Nevadans obtain unemployment insurance benefits, while helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Sisolak. “My administration will continue to work with our federal delegation to identify additional steps that can be taken to ease the economic pain of families across our state.”

Both instructions are effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.

Nevadans seeking unemployment insurance benefits are highly encouraged to file online.

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Member Access to Branch Services via Video During COVID-19 Restrictions

CUNA Strategic Services’ alliance provider, POPi/o, is ready to help address this challenge.  For a limited time, POPi/o is offering a limited number of FREE video seat licenses per credit union to provide web-based video collaboration for your members to contact the credit union. 

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NACHA Issues Reminder on ACH Responsibilities Amidst Coronavirus

In light of the potential impact of coronavirus, National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) reminds financial institutions of the importance of reviewing their business continuity plans to ensure that they are prepared to maintain automated clearing house (ACH) payment processing capabilities in the event of possible disruptions. In addition to their own business continuity plans, financial institutions should understand the expectations of their regulators and ACH Operators with regard to ACH processing in potential scenarios of workforce disruption.

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FinCEN Urges Communication of Concerns Related to Crisis

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released a notice encouraging financial institutions to communicate coronavirus-related (COVID-19) concerns and to stay alert to related illicit activity, similar to fraudulent transactions that occur in the wake of natural disasters. FinCEN is monitoring public reports and BSA reports of suspect behavior connected to COVID-19, and has noted some emerging trends:

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Washington, D.C.

COVID-19 Update: Synopsis of Coronavirus Relief Bill, H.R. 6201

Congress has sent H.R. 6201 to the president’s desk, with all signals indicating he will sign it into law. This legislation impacts paid leave, family medical leave, unemployment insurance, and provides tax credits for those directly impacted by the Coronavirus.

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Managing Balance Sheets Through Uncertain Times

The bad news seems to keep getting worse.

The coronavirus has continued its ominous march across the planet. Pandemic contingency plans have been activated, while schools have been closed. The cancellation of numerous sporting and social events have caused sadness and store shelves are bare. And the word “historic” keeps showing up alongside news about the economy – as in, “historic stock market declines” and “historic lows for the 10-year Treasury.”

Credit unions, like everyone and everything else, are being impacted as economic activity declines. For credit unions, loan losses are likely to materialize and income is likely to shrink.

But in troubled times, credit unions can shine.

After all, it was during the Great Depression that the nascent credit union movement really took hold. Unlike banks, credit unions earned support by operating under the “people-helping-people” banner.

Now, as the country moves from the known, to the unknown, credit union members will be among those impacted by uncertainty. Our members may become sick and unable to work.  The current war in the oil sector may trigger layoffs. As the travel industry grinds to a halt, the men and women who typically propel it, may soon be without paychecks. Not to mention, the countless men and women that ensure every sporting event occurs.

Credit unions can do more than deploy extra hand sanitizerAssuming they can find it.

Credit unions can align toward member needs by promoting skip-a-payment loan programs. Instead of watching loans default, proactively work with hard-hit members to pass on a payment or two, and add those payments onto the end of the loan terms. This helps both members as well as credit unions. Members find compassion as well as a kind, helping hand, while credit unions benefit from building member loyalty and working to ensure loan performance.

From a balance sheet strategy standpoint, in times of uncertainty, building liquidity is typically prudent.  However, with the recent Fed move dropping the overnight rate down to zero, we need to look at liquidity in terms of more than just cash balances. We should also look to securities that are deemed highly-liquid. The importance of these securities is that they are relatively short in maturity term, and markets are deep with significant volume, meaning credit unions can get in and out of the securities with minimal price impact, if needed. Also, during critical times such as these, the rate of return is generally superior to cash balances. If cash is king in times of uncertainty, then high quality liquid securities are queen.

In the loan portfolio, members will likely take advantage of the drop in interest rates to refinance their mortgages. They are going to do it with or without you. This means a reasonable strategy may be to get ahead of the trend and proactively help members refinance. This strategy enables you to keep loans on your balance sheet and earn some fee income during the process. The alternative? Watching the loans go somewhere else.

In summary, be proactive in identifying loans that could potentially go bad and develop solutions to help members and your balance sheet. Build liquidity, but not necessarily cash balances (high quality liquid assets and a robust contingency liquidity position to limit cash holdings) and be prepared for a refinancing wave. If you are not prepared for the demand, someone else will be.

This is our world today: challenging, bottom-line shifting balance sheet strategies and a compelling call to serve our members.

Article by Mark DeBree, Managing Principal at Catalyst Corporate FCU.

 

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Important Issues for Employers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

News related to the COVID-19 pandemic (also known as the coronavirus) is rapidly evolving and new guidance and restrictions for both consumers and businesses are being announced almost daily.  As employers, credit unions need to be focused on the safety and well-being of its employees, as well as continuing services to its members, while fulfilling their purposes as financial institutions and complying with applicable laws and regulations.  This is a heavy burden to bear amid this time of anxious uncertainty, so this article is intended to address some of the issues that credit unions are facing as employers. This information is current as of the date of publication, but credit unions are encouraged to regularly check the resources listed at the bottom of the article for updates.

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CFPB Responds to HMDA FAQ

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a response to the following frequently asked Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) question: If a natural person applicant submits a mail, internet, or telephone application under Regulation C but does not provide race, ethnicity, or sex information, what should the financial institution report regarding whether this information was collected on the basis of visual observation or surname?  Read this and other FAQs and answers here

GRR

CA GRR, League Seminars Cancelled Due to Concerns Over Coronavirus Pandemic

Growing concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has prompted the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues to cancel the Sacramento Lobby-Day commonly known as the Government Relations Rally (GRR), originally slated for April 13 and 14. This decision also impacts all League in-person meetings and seminars scheduled for the next 45 days.

In addition to Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency, his office on the morning of March 12 announced a statewide mandate to avoid gatherings of 250 or more individuals. The legislature has not announced a formal closure to the public; however, many offices have expressed a preference for conference calls, emails, or other non-in person means for advocating policy discussions with constituents.

To promote the Leagues' legislative agenda, it may be coordinating district or conference call meetings with key legislators on a case-by-case basis. When the outbreak subsides, the Leagues will reassess efforts in keeping with the conditions at that time.

"Please rest assured that during this time, the Leagues are in full operation and in daily conversations with our elected and appointed officials to represent your interests," said Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra.

Refunds of registration fees will be issued to all registrants of canceled events.

"As your trade association, we believe it is our responsibility to protect the well-being of our member credit unions, their families, and their communities by limiting exposure to the growing coronavirus epidemic," Dykstra said. "Additionally, we are assessing all future League events and will continue to make informed and vigilant decisions based on government guidelines, the latest science-based information, and local protocols for meetings and gatherings."

Click here for helpful information from the Leagues and other system partners, as well as information on how credit unions are dealing with this epidemic. 

If you have any questions, please contact League Senior Vice President Larry Palochik at larryp@ccul.org or Diana Dykstra at dianad@ccul.org.

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AdvantEdge Analytics Launches Enhanced Platform; GNCU Is Flagship Client

CUNA Mutual Group’s analytics firm AdvantEdge Analytics launched its Version 2.0 (V2.0) enhanced cloud-native analytics platform, enabling several new analytics solutions for the credit union marketplace.

New features and solutions added to V2.0 include:

  • AEA Portal: A single, secure entry point to the expanding ecosystem of analytics solutions provides credit unions a seamless experience and easy access to the AdvantEdge Analytics platform.
  • Financial Performance Management: Available to credit unions exclusively through the AdvantEdge Analytics platform, the Financial Performance Management solution was built by a fintech in the CMFG Ventures portfolio. The solution helps credit union executives make dynamic, data-driven decisions based on daily financial and performance metrics.
  • Predictive Analytics: A library of commercialized predictive models helps credit unions solve business problems and proactively leverage opportunities to deepen member relationships.
  • Data Warehouse as a Service: Built on Microsoft’s cloud-native architecture, a central repository collects, organizes and translates a credit union’s data at scale.
  • Client Success: An expert team of analytics performance engineers and engagement strategists gives credit unions the support they need to execute their analytics strategies.

The $1.1 billion Greater Nevada CU has agreed to become the flagship client for the enhanced cloud-native analytics platform.

“Everything we do is centered on helping more people live greater,” said Wally Murray, President and CEO of Greater Nevada CU, which today serves more than 73,000 members. “To do that, we must be able to consume and contextualize data that helps us understand our members’ behaviors and anticipate their future needs. That’s why we are extremely excited about partnering with AdvantEdge Analytics. Not only will access to the ecosystem of analytics tools help us make better decisions faster, it will also put us at the forefront of the industry’s emerging analytics capabilities.”

According to AdvantEdge Analytics Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer Shazia Manus, the firm’s distinction is its credit union persona-driven business value and strategy-first approach to analytics.

“We’ve been intentional about building our solutions for credit unions, specifically,” Manus said. “Leaders across the movement, like those in many legacy industries, have struggled to realize value from analytics investments, and it’s our intention to change that. Through an incremental, ‘land-and-expand’ approach, the AdvantEdge Analytics Consulting Services team helps credit unions achieve a clear blueprint with quick wins that drive prioritization, roadmap and budget towards consumption of analytics tools and momentum. Couple that guidance with a cloud-native ecosystem of analytics solutions, and credit unions are able to configure their own set of analytics tools for exactly where they are in their data maturity.”

It’s a distinction that resonates with GNCU’s Murray.

“Success with analytics is unquestionably about far more than finding a vendor with a suitable tool,” he said. “It’s about partnering with experts who will invest the time and energy to assist with organizational transformation to incorporate analytics into the culture. As we applied those requirements in exploring options in the market, it became clear AdvantEdge Analytics was the greater choice for us.”

To learn more, visit advantedgeanalytics.com/platform-solutions.

The Leagues would like to thank our 2020 CULAC Sweepstakes donors!
The Leagues would like to thank our 2020 CULAC Sweepstakes donors!

Leagues' PAC Dominates at GAC

Each year at the Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.,  all 50 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) league partners compete to raise money during the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) Sweepstakes. This is the biggest fundraising push of the year and is designed to jumpstart federal PAC growth for the year.

View the 2020 CULAC Sweepstakes Donors list here

This year, California and Nevada attained a whole new level by raising $49,515, thereby increasing our fundraising amount from the sweepstakes by 12 percent over 2019. The combined total of all 50 states raising money to CULAC was $300,000, a new record. California and Nevada were responsible for 16 percent of this grand total!

Congratulations to California for winning the sweepstakes for the second year in a row. Nevada also climbed the chart to the 25th spot, beating states like Missouri and New York! California and Nevada members were also successful in winning sweepstakes prizes. Congratulations to Eric Bruen, CEO of Desert Valley CU; Wade Painter, CEO of San Mateo CU; Joe Schroeder, CEO of Ventura County CU; and Wally Murray, CEO of Greater Nevada CU.

Another award for our delegation was given to our California PAC Chairman Dave Gunderson, CEO of CU of Southern California. Dave is the California Trustee of CULAC and received the “CULAC Trustee Award.” This award was presented to the state with the highest amount raised into CULAC for 2019.

Thank you to all credit union leaders who donated and credit unions that participate in payroll deduction programs. It is because of your commitment and sacrifice that we were able to receive so many honors this year.

And our fundraising didn’t stop with the sweepstakes. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' PAC hosted three fundraisers for members of congress at GAC. The PAC and Redwood CU co-hosted a breakfast with Congressman Mike Thompson (CD-05), and we also hosted a breakfast for Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02). Lastly, the PAC arranged “Drinks with Pete” for a fun and relaxed evening happy hour with Congressman Pete Aguilar (CD-31). We raised a total of $$40,850 in direct candidate giving from these three events. Contributions ranged from $2,500 to $50 (volunteer price) donations. This is a testament to the fact that all donations matter, big or small. It is crucial that we continue to help get credit union-friendly candidates elected to office. Thank you to everyone who helped make these events successful.

The PAC will now focus on helping credit union-friendly candidates in the 2020 elections this fall. The PAC also has an exciting event coming up in April. We are hosting a fundraiser for California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the Leagues’ Sacramento advocacy office on the opening day of the California Government Relations Rally (GRR). This is a very important event and is nearly sold out! We are also excited about continuing to grow our payroll deduction programs by increasing employee participation levels at credit unions that have set up payroll deduction plans, as well as onboarding new credit unions into the payroll deduction effort.

If you have questions about how to start a payroll plan at your credit union, or any other questions about PAC, please don't hesitate to contact Heather deNecochea, political advocacy manager for the Leagues: heatherd@ccul.org.

Thank You to Our 2020 CULAC Sweepstakes Donors
We'd like to thank the following credit union leaders:

  • Diana Dykstra
  • Brett Martinez
  • Teresa Freeborn
  • Nader Moghaddam
  • Gordon Howe
  • Robert Arnould
  • Roger Ballard
  • John Cassidy
  • Thomas Lent
  • Jeffrey Napper
  • Rodolfo Pereira
  • James Sessa
  • Frank Wasson
  • Joseph Whitaker
  • Gregory Mitchell
  • Dave Roughton
  • Jennifer Jordan
  • Barry Nelson
  • Joseph Schroeder
  • Tom Graves
  • Carrie Birkhofer
  • Eric Bruen
  • William Cheney
  • Richard Coggin
  • Paul Cook
  • Elizabeth Dooley
  • Katherine Duvall
  • David Kantar
  • Geri LaChance
  • Traci Olszowy
  • Charles Papenfus
  • Lisa Pesta
  • Wallace Murray
  • Alex Casillas
  • Patricia Neighbors
  • Heri Garcia
  • Heather DeNecochea
  • Nancy Arnold
  • Lester Brown
  • Rebecca Collier
  • Ray Crouse
  • Eric Day
  • Jeremy Empol
  • Carol Galizia
  • Dave Gunderson
  • Christine Haley
  • Lynn Hartline
  • Wade Painter
  • Lawrence Palochik
  • Gary Perez
  • Lori Reeves
  • Harold Roundtree
  • Keith Sultemeier
  • Anna Tellez
  • Edward Turk
  • Linda White
  • Matt Kershaw
  • Scott Arkills
  • Jennifer Denoo
  • Jennifer Binkley
  • Marcia Girardi
  • Ernesto Norona
  • Byron Smith
  • Warren Alderson
  • John Didion
  • Susan Makris
  • Flora Nafei
  • Lecia Roundtree
  • Sue Longson
  • Damian Alarcon
  • Marquis Boochee
  • Christopher Burns
  • William Cunningham
  • Linda Emmons
  • Marvel Ford
  • Matthew Herrick
  • Carina Hollis
  • Daren Linhares
  • Bhavnesh Makin
  • Michael Martignago
  • Donna McNeely
  • Jill Meznarich
  • Patricia Moreno
  • Jane Permaul
  • Linda Rossi
  • Emily Udell
  • Robert Wilson
  • Raymond Wilson
  • Mary Beth Clift
  • Steele Hendrix
  • Richard Aochi
  • Deborah Aspling
  • Fabiana Burkett
  • Laura Campbell
  • Kristen Cohen
  • William Cole
  • Marc Ecker
  • Gina Friedrich
  • Kathern Gaskins
  • Jeffery Gaut
  • Paul Geery
  • Robert Geraci
  • Jay Hanses
  • Carmelita Keller
  • Sara Klein
  • Diana Kot
  • Kristena Lozano
  • Yvonne Marsh
  • Jose Luis Pacheco
  • Virginia Panossian
  • Astrid Rives
  • Harold Scoggins
  • Garick Zillgitt
  • Jon Wahrenbrock
  • Rick Schmidt
  • Doug Spring
  • Charles Bruen
  • Malachy Coghlan
  • Don Gensler
  • Michelle Hunter
  • Rebecca Marchant
  • Lisa Wittke Schaffner
  • Jason Mertz-Prickett
  • Sherri Searl
  • Jim Weidner
  • James Bolin

030920cusolutions.png

CUNA Strategic Services: Eltropy the ‘Best Text Messaging Solution’ for CUs

Eltropy, a messaging-based platform that enables credit unions to communicate with members via text, has been selected as the newest CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) alliance provider. This collaboration will empower credit union teams to leverage text messaging in a secure and TCPA-compliant way to boost member engagement and enhance the member experience.  

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Legislation and bills on a desk

CA and NV’s Role in New Federal Charter Bills

It has been two weeks since the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Part of the reason for the conference’s early-in-the-year date was to bring the credit union agenda to Congress. However, the truth is, Congress is hardly cyclical, which is why introducing legislation is part of the process, not necessarily an event.

To that, California and Nevada continue to be the breeding ground for credit union allies, supporters and the very few champions that the movement has in Congress. With elected officials, it’s not always the 80 percent you disagree about; it’s the 20 percent you do — and making that 20 percent count.

To that, credit unions have entered into a new phase with their legislative agenda, utilizing the industry’s congressional delegations to their maximum. Here are just a few items that have spun from the CUNA-League system. As a reminder, the legislative agenda is assembled by both the CUNA Advocacy Committee and its policy subcommittees, as well as the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Committees, which provide direction and policy approvals for all positions that the Leagues’ advocacy team communicates to elected officials.

This week, Sen.s Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Expanding Access to Lending Options Act, which raises the maturity limit on non-primary residence mortgage lending for federal credit unions. This modernization bill is long overdue, as most state charters do not have a maturity limit on these types of loans. Both senators hold seats on the Senate Banking Committee, which allows for good conversations as the committee begins to examine areas of policy updates.

A special recognition by the Leagues goes out to all Nevada credit unions, both state and federally chartered, as they have helped guide Cortez Masto’s team in understanding the need for this update.

Last week, on the House side, Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine, CA) and Mark Amodei (R-Reno, NV) joined forces to introduce H.R. 5981, the Credit Union Board Modernization Act. It’s another simple, yet equally important, parity bill that allows federally chartered credit unions flexibility in planning their board meetings. The legislation moves the monthly meeting requirement to a quarterly, and at least two meetings in a year must be in the same quarter for a total of six.

CUNA and the Leagues greatly appreciate the bipartisan effort between representatives Porter and Amodei, as Porter is on the House Financial Services Committee and Amodei is on the House Appropriations Committee — specifically the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

Mr. Amodei is no stranger to credit unions. In 2017, he led the successful effort to ensure that National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) operating funds, as well at the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), were kept separate from the general treasury of the U.S. government. He is, in all sense of the word, a champion for credit unions.

Both bills now need grassroots support to build and gain momentum in this session of Congress.

New cars on dealership lot

CUs See Slight Uptick after Retrenching in Auto Loans

Total U.S. lender auto loan-and-lease balances (combined) have continued to hover in record territory over the past 12 months and hit $1.23 trillion in fourth-quarter 2019.

Delinquency trends remained stable, and banks and finance companies increased their market share over credit unions and other lenders. Credit unions were retrenching for most of 2019, but a portion of that slowdown was offset by an uptick in the industry in the fourth quarter.

That’s according to Experian’s fourth-quarter 2019 "State of the Automotive Finance Market" report. You can also click here to view the entire webinar presentation hosted by Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions for Experian.

The quarterly report gives credit unions insight into the latest year-over-year trends (fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter 2019) in auto lending, borrower credit, market share and other analysis. It compares credit unions to banks, captive financing, finance companies, and buy-here-pay-here lenders.

Just a few of the year-over-year highlights include the following:

  • U.S. credit unions' outstanding combined auto loan balances remained the second largest ($346 billion) of all four sub-categories in auto finance. Banks were No. 1 ($368 billion); auto-dealer captive finance was No. 3 ($262 billion); and finance companies were No. 4 ($201 billion).
  • 30-day delinquency rates for auto loans and leases decreased for most U.S. lenders, with credit unions having the smallest rate at 1.28 percent (banks were 1.94 percent, auto-dealer captive financiers were 2.26 percent, and finance companies were 4.25 percent). Delinquency rates either decreased or remained the same for all lenders except finance companies.
  • Credit unions' market share of total U.S. auto financing dropped from 21.3 to 19.9 percent, while auto-dealer captive financiers' share fell from 30.6 to 29.8 percent and buy-here-pay-here entities' share dropped from 6.1 to 5.7 percent. The top financier category that actually grew was banks (from 30.7 to 32.7 percent) and finance companies were second (11.2 to 11.9 percent).
  • Outstanding used auto loan financing balances to U.S. "prime" credit consumers (for all lenders combined) surpassed 50 percent for the first time since fourth quarter of 2009. This is "super prime" and "prime" combined, while the other 50 percent was made up of non-prime, sub-prime, and deeep sub-prime.
  • Much more…

Hand holding map of California

Latest Forecasts: North Bay, Greater LA-OC, and Central Valley

Separated by hundreds of miles, the North Bay, greater Los Angeles-Orange County, and Central Valley regions are noticeably different from each other.

Yet they are very similar in one respect: Local business leaders are preparing for a recession even as local and regional indicators show the broader economy just might keep growing well into 2021 and 2022. Fundamentals remain strong, but the Coronavirus pandemic is throwing a curveball into 2020 planning and strategy for many localities.

That’s according to the most recent forecast presented and published by leading economists, experts and leaders in each region, including individuals from Sonoma State University, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., Chamber Business Alliance of North Orange County, Beacon Economics, and Craig School of Business at Fresno State University (Cal State Fresno).

The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately:

Click here to view the latest North Bay Region economic forecast.

Click here to view the latest Los Angeles-Orange County economic forecast.

Click here to view the latest Central Valley economic forecast.

Business professional handshake

CA and NV Lenders: Growth Leading into Uncertainty

Financial institutions of all types in California, Nevada and other western states were mostly experiencing an increase in lending leading into late February. However, the Coronavirus pandemic spreading across the United States was starting to economically impact some industries, including travel, tourism, and manufacturing.

That’s according to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest Beige Book report, an anecdotal summary of local current economic conditions published every two months.

“Lending activity grew further. Reports noted stronger demand for new mortgages, refinancing credit, and auto loans,” states page L-2 of the report, the second of two pages that focuses on lenders and businesses within the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s district. “Lending to the commercial sector also increased relative to the previous reporting period, especially for industrial real estate.”

However, agricultural lending weakened in the Pacific Northwest. Overall, “capital levels and asset quality remained high. Tighter competition for loans narrowed net interest margins and profitability. Credit

availability was generally stable, and underwriting standards tightened somewhat. An investment financier in California reported stable private equity conditions.”

The district's synopsis also includes anecdotal details regarding employment, wages, prices, retail trade and services, manufacturing, agriculture, resource-related industries, real estate, and construction.

The Beige Book report is a Federal Reserve System publication about current economic conditions across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. It characterizes regional economic conditions and prospects based on a variety of mostly qualitative information, gathered directly from district sources. The qualitative nature of the Beige Book creates an opportunity to characterize dynamics and identify emerging trends in the economy that may not be readily apparent in available economic data.

Because this information is collected from a wide range of business and community contacts through a variety of formal and informal methods, the Beige Book can complement other forms of regional information gathering.

Finger on a planning chalkboard

NCUA Spotlights Pandemic Preparedness Guidance for CUs

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has updated its guidance identifying actions that financial institutions should take to minimize the potential adverse effects of a pandemic.

"Pandemic preparedness is an important part of a financial institution’s business continuity planning," states a news release just issued by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). "The guidance provides the council’s prudent expectations that regulated institutions should periodically review related risk management plans, including continuity plans, to ensure their ability to continue to deliver their products and services in a wide range of scenarios and with minimal disruption."

Sound planning, in advance of imminent risk to particular institutions, helps minimize disruptions to services to consumers, businesses, and communities when such contingencies occur.

The NCUA's direct contact on this issue is Ben Hardaway (703-518-6333).

Click here to view NCUA's news release.

Map of Las Vegas Nevada

Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time Record Low

Nevada’s unemployment rate — the percentage of unemployed adults who are part of the state’s labor force (those willing and able to work) — recently hit a new all-time record low, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s (DETR) "January 2020 Nevada Labor Market Overview" report.

The report, published by the department’s Research and Analysis Bureau, was released this past week. It shows that employment in Nevada is up 3,900 jobs over the month but up 22,800 over the year, a growth rate of 1.6 percent. The state’s unemployment rate is 3.6 percent this month, down 0.1 percentage point from December and down half a percentage point when compared to last January.

“As Nevada continues to grow, we must look to the future and continue working to provide every jobseeker in Nevada with access to high-quality jobs in this economy,” stated Governor Steve Sisolak in a news release.

January’s 3.6 unemployment rate is the lowest rate dating back to 1976 and is down over 10 percent from its all-time high. For the first time since July 2007, there is no longer a gap between Nevada’s unemployment rate and the nation’s rate. With a historically low unemployment rate and unemployment insurance claims also at historic lows, the tight job market is likely making it challenging for businesses to find workers.

“Competition for this diminishing pool of unemployed job seekers should continue to support rising wages and expanding job opportunities for anyone looking to enter the job market or pursue a better career, particularly younger jobseekers, jobseekers with a disability, and jobseekers in poverty — groups still unemployed at a much higher rate than the state as a whole,” said David Schmidt, chief economist for DETR.

Additional January report highlights include:

  • Total employment rose by 1.6 percent over the year, growing at the low end of the range seen over the last year (1.5 – 3.4 percent), and is the fourth month of job growth in the 1.5 – 1.7 percent range.
  • Construction added the most jobs out of all sectors, for the 12-month period ending in January 2020, increasing by an average of 6,700 jobs over the same time in the year prior.
  • As of December 2019, 327,500 jobs have been added since the bottom-out in September 2010.
  • This month’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate on record in state history, down over 10 percent from it’s all time high of 13.7 percent.
  • DETR’s report also notes that Nevada’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims are down 2,521 claims over the month and 863 claims over the year. The 12-month average level of initial claims continues to trend below 10,000, only the third time since March 1999.

All world continents on a map

Leagues Monitor Coronavirus Issue, Offering Resources for CUs

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are continuing to monitor the situation regarding novel Coronavirus and the respiratory disease COVID-19, including potential community impacts and business disruption on the entire industry, individual credit unions in California and Nevada, credit union employees, and League operations.

League staff is collaborating with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and those from other state credit union associations as more information is made available.

For the time being, the Leagues recommend credit unions review their Business Continuity Plans for maintaining operations in the event of a situation that would require limited or widespread closures of their physical facilities. Additional resources from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and League InfoSight include:

Additional Resources
Credit unions should also take note of the following:

  • Credit unions should monitor or remain in contact with local government health agencies for direction regarding business impact and potential closures should the virus spread to your community.
  • The Leagues will share a special preparedness update for financial institutions when it is completed by the Financial Sector Coronavirus Working Group. CUNA has been engaged with this working group, which also includes staff from the NCUA, U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve Board, Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a handful of other financial service organizations.
  • Stay tuned for information regarding eTrain’s updated “Business Continuity Planning and Preparedness” webinar that will include information on pandemic preparedness.
  • The Leagues are also ready to take any necessary steps to ensure business continuity of League operations, should prudent community safety plans limit group interactions. The Leagues are fortunate that the Ontario and Sacramento teams are prepared to work fully remote if needed.

infosight logo

InfoSight Updated with Business Continuity Planning

As we are all aware the news is filled with COVID-19 coronavirus. To help as credit unions review their pandemic and business continuity policies, the Leagues’ compliance resource InfoSight has updated the Security Information Channel with a new section that has been added under Business Continuity Planning: Pandemic Preparedness.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis talks on stage with First Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Amondo Redmond about being the official brand ambassador for the credit union.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis talks on stage with First Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Amondo Redmond about being the official brand ambassador for the credit union.

First Entertainment CU and L.A. Lakers Announce Sponsorship

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team announced today a multi-season sponsorship agreement with First Entertainment Credit Union that will make them the team’s Official Credit Union.

As the Lakers’ Official Credit Union, First Entertainment will have the opportunity to make fans of the team aware of the financial tools, resources and services FECU makes available to its customers. The sponsorship includes extensive in-arena branding and promotions during Lakers home games and at Lakers-related events at L.A. Live, unique activations and fan moments in and around STAPLES Center during Lakers’ games and out-of-home advertising throughout the L.A. community, among other opportunities during the season and post-season.

“We’re very happy to announce First Entertainment as the Official Credit Union of the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Lakers President of Business Operations Tim Harris. “First Entertainment has been a pillar in the Los Angeles financial community for over 50 years and we look forward to working with them to increase awareness on the importance of financial responsibility and the support they bring for aspiring entrepreneurs and entertainers across Los Angeles.”

In addition to becoming the team’s Official Credit Union, First Entertainment is also launching an individual partnership with Lakers forward Anthony Davis.  As part of this partnership, First Entertainment and Anthony Davis collaborated on a newly released content video titled, “All Dreams Apply Here.” In the video, Anthony acknowledges Los Angeles as the city of dreams where every day different aspiring talent from all walks of life arrive to pursue their dreams and be competitive among the elite. Anthony’s own story and love for Los Angeles is no different. He and First Entertainment will commit themselves to help the financial literacy of the Los Angeles Community.

The video can be viewed on the First Entertainment YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8NrI0ZcfDY)

“Coming to L.A. as both a basketball professional and entrepreneur has been a dream come true and something for which I feel incredibly fortunate,” said seven-time NBA All-Star Davis. “We have big championship aspirations this year as Lakers, and that is very much mirrored in my own off-court goals as an individual. Teaming with First Entertainment is a major step in that part of my dream. I look forward to having them as a strong ally and specialist when it comes to financial backing for everything that I do in the future.”

“We take pride in having a rich legacy among our passionate and creative membership, the entertainment industry at large, and the City of Los Angeles,” said First Entertainment CU Chief Marketing Officer Amondo Redmond. “It is our strong relationships that define who we are as a long-time staple in L.A.’s financial sector. Having the Lakers and Anthony Davis on board with us starting this season is a big part of the new direction we want to take in 2020 and beyond. This is not just about brand awareness; it is about helping build Anthony’s relationship with this extraordinary city, redefining what First Entertainment brings as an ally to the entertainment capital of the world, and expanding our brand’s own story within the L.A. lifestyle, sports and entertainment space.”

First Entertainment specializes in empowering members to tell their stories by allowing them the financial freedom and reassurance to pursue their creative and entrepreneurial ambitions. The Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis partnerships are the first of their kind in First Entertainment’s 50-plus-year history, and part of a larger, new brand vision to become the premier financial ally for the Los Angeles community and entertainment creators across any genre. With currently over 85,000 members, First Entertainment will work with both partners to help grow their brand’s impact and message of financial literacy as they support the region across all 11 locations in Los Angeles Country and nearly 5,000 co-op credit unions nationwide.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

Nevada Senator Introduces CU Charter Bill

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), along with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), introduced a new bill, S.3389, to increase the maturity cap on non-mortgage loans for federally chartered credit unions.

This legislation will help modernize the federal credit union charter and bring it into parity with many of the states.

The bill differs from its counterpart in the House of Representatives by increasing the maturity limit for non-owner occupied residential loans to 30 years, while increasing all other loans from 15 to 20 years.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have been working with the senators on language that can appease both sides politically, and achieve the goal of modernizing the charter. Most state charters have already adopted something similar in nature.

The bill now needs to build momentum to gain viability in a very difficult environment to legislate. CUNA and the Leagues have placed charter enhancements at the top of their legislative agendas for the foreseeable future.

"A big shout-out goes to the Nevada credit unions that provided an incredible amount of data and perspectives in this process," said Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the Leagues. "This bill and many others were introduced as a part of the CUNA-Leagues Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) last week."

Data falling from the sky

League Submits Comment Letter: Modified Proposed CCPA Regs

On Feb. 25, the California Credit Union League submitted a comment letter on the modified proposed regulations concerning the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released proposed regulations governing compliance with the CCPA on Oct. 11, 2019. Then on Feb. 7, and again on Feb. 10, Becerra issued modified regulations in response to comments received on the proposed rules and/or to clarify and conform the proposed regulations to existing law.

The League supports some of the modifications but still has significant concerns on several issues, including:

  • Clarity needed regarding “doing business in California.”
  • Clarity needed regarding the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and California Financial Information Privacy Act (CFIPA) exemption.
  • Model notices are needed.
  • Clarity and consistent language are needed regarding “financial incentives” throughout the regulation.

The League included numerous other observations and recommendations in its comment letter on the modified proposed regulations. To read the full comment letter, click here.

When Can CUs Expect Final Rules?
The rulemaking process is long and complicated. However, the regulations appear to be on track for a July 1, 2020 effective date.

The second notice and comment period for the proposed and modified regulations ended Feb. 25, 2020. If there are any further substantive changes made based on those comments, then an additional notice and comment period will be required.

Once the notice and comment periods are completed, the California Attorney General’s Office will submit the rule to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The OAL then has 30 working days to review the rulemaking to ensure it has met the administrative procedure requirements. If so, then the OAL will file the rule with the California Secretary of State. Government Code 11343.4 provides that if the rule is filed between March 1 and May 31, the effective date will be July 1; if filed between June 1 and Aug. 31, the effective date will be Oct. 1.

However, the final regulation's effective date does not change the statute’s enforcement date. It means the attorney general can begin enforcing the law, regardless of final regulations being in place, beginning on July 1, 2020.

Jason Stidham Bay FCU
Communications and Development Manager Jason Stidham (fifth from left) and the rest of the Bay FCU delegation with Rep. Jimmy Panetta at the Capitol.

Crashers Share Their Experiences as First-Time Attendees at GAC

Three credit union professionals from California and Nevada had the opportunity to be among the Crashers at this year’s Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. And all three—Bay FCU Communications and Development Manager Jason Stidham, Great Basin FCU Employee Development Coordinator Alexandra Christopher, and USC CU Executive Assistant Miranda Pierfax—came away with lasting memories, friendships, and a more passionate viewpoint of the credit union movement.  

Crash the GAC is sponsored by The Cooperative Trust in alliance with CUNA and gives credit union professionals under the age of 35 the chance to attend the event as well as meet with credit union executives and thought leaders from across the country. As Crashers, Stidham, Christopher, and Pierfax were invited to attend general and breakout sessions; visit the Exhibit Hall; attend social events; build relationships with other credit union young professionals; connect with more than 5,000 GAC attendees; attend mentor sessions with industry thought leaders; and participate in Hike the Hill visits.

 
Great Basin FCU Employee Development Coordinator Alexandra Christopher on the first day of GAC.
 

 

The trip included a special welcome from CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle (along with his annual selfie with the Crashers) and an inspiring speech from National Credit Union Foundation President and CEO Gigi Hyland.

“I honestly didn’t quite know what to expect before I got there, but from the very beginning, I had a feeling that we were in for something special,” Stidham said. “From being able to meet with our local lawmakers on Capitol Hill and advocate for the credit union movement, getting to know my fellow Crashers and truly becoming a family after a week together, listening to incredible speakers, and getting inspired more than I can imagine, this week has been a dream come true.”

 
USC CU Executive Assistant Miranda Pierfax visiting with Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan.
 

 

He added that Filene and the Cooperative Trust did an amazing job putting this program together, and that CUNA, the National Credit Union Foundation, and others have truly embraced the Crasher program.

 
Stidham and Christopher join other Crashers with National Credit Union Foundation’s Gigi Hyland at the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards dinner.
 

 

Christopher didn’t think she would be selected and while happy to be chosen, there were nerves before the trip.

“Once there, we were greeted with other passionate young professionals all feeling the same trepidation with this being their first crash and fears of being under prepared,” she said. “It was amazing how quickly 60 strangers were able to form bonds and network to be resources to one another and even the strong friendships that were created all by the end of the week.”

She added the first day, the group worked on finding out their why, and then learned how to ignite their own fires and to prevent burnout to better serve their members and community more efficiently on the second day.

“Each day brought a new speaker; a new session; a new source of inspiration,” Christopher said.

 
Christopher at the first credit union desk in the U.S. that hadn’t been used for more than 150 years. America’s Credit Union Museum brought it to GAC and encouraged attendees to post photos of themselves sitting at it.
 

 

Among the many takeaways she got from this experience, the most memorable to her were: “Have momentum, use it.”; “Find your tribe, amplify them.”; “Don’t sweat the Naysayers and Provide opportunities to others.”; “Strong questions get strong answers.”; “You don’t have to be the smartest person or the most educated person as long as you are the hardest working person.”; and “Sometimes broken things are the best building supplies.”

Pierfax also said she had the opportunity to build relationships with other young credit union professionals and learned much.

One of Pierfax’s favorite part of the trip was learning more about CUNA’s vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry. “I’m glad credit unions are recognizing this and educating their staff on how important it is,” she said.“I got to meet with a few Congressmen from my state, talk to credit union enthusiasts from all over the country, and build relationships I hope will last a lifetime,” she said. “I truly got to see the passion others have not only for the credit union industry, but for their members as well. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this trip. I was hoping it wasn’t ‘information dumping’ or learning about things that were not of interest to me. It didn’t feel like that at all. I’ve gained so much knowledge, I can’t wait to share it with my organization. Even my fellow Crashers taught me some things that I will be bringing up to our C-level.”

Stidham said his credit union, Bay FCU, does a great job of promoting the philosophy of “People Helping People,” but “being around 5,000 other passionate people who share the same passion, it’s incredibly powerful.”

 
Pierfax with fellow Crashers.
 

 

All three recommend the Crash the GAC program for any young credit union professional.

“I would recommend being a Crasher at GAC to anyone who wants to learn more about credit unions,” Pierfax said. “It’s not just about advocacy. You really get to learn the whole world of credit unions and meet such wonderful people to share the experience with.”

“This experience is vital to our credit union young professionals because it shows them that other passionate peers are out there even if they aren’t located within your own credit union walls,” Christopher said. “You can bring back and use your passion to inspire and ignite others within your credit union and community to better serve your members and to spread the credit union mission. It was an experience that empowered you as an individual, allowed you to look within and discover areas of growth that you have already achieved and areas you wanted to nurture more. It gave you a network of peers that are an instant resource, so you always have a support team. It was an invaluable experience and opportunity to advocate to our government officials about the importance of credit unions. I am encouraging my coworkers to apply for future crashers.”

RMJ Foundation toolkit

RMJ Foundation Unveils “All-In” Bite of Reality Toolkit, New App Tests

The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation—the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada—wants credit unions to be “all-in” when it comes to the Bite of Reality program.

That’s why it recently unveiled a special toolkit to show credit unions how they can impact thousands of students—all in one day. The “All-In” Bite of Reality Toolkit came about, in part, due to Redwood CU’s Day of Impact, which saw the credit union use the Columbus Day holiday in 2019 to send all of its 700 employees to hold Bite of Reality events at 15 schools and reach some 3,000 high schoolers.

The RMJ Foundation's goal is for every high school student to have financial education to help prepare them for life after graduation. Its Bite of Reality program, now entering its ninth year, aims to teach young people the basics of finance by having them take a “real world” test drive complete with a job, money, and the freedom to make their own financial decisions. The participants must visit various stations to "purchase" items such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, and daycare. Those staffing the "credit union" station provide much-needed assistance when they overspend.

The toolkit provides tips, checklists, communication items, and sample materials so that credit unions can pick an in-service day where school is in session, such as Columbus Day, and have their staff participate in conducting multiple Bite of Reality events on the same day, at the same time.

An “All-In” event doesn’t have to be done by one single credit union; it can be done by multiple credit unions or even chapters, according to RMJ Foundation Executive Director Tena Lozano. It also can be defined differently depending on the credit union. For a small credit union, it might mean having all its employees hold an event at just one school, for example.

“I envision this as a growing effort,” Lozano said. “I see a handful of credit unions doing it in the first year. In five years, I would love to have 50 credit unions doing an 'All-In' Bite of Reality program on the same day, reaching 50,000 students.”

In addition to the toolkit, RMJ has added two new features to its Bite of Reality2 App—a pre-test and post-test. Before a Bite of Reality event, participants are asked five questions: “I would go to a credit union for financial help”; “I create and follow a monthly budget”; “When I want to buy something, I set a savings goal and save up for it first”; “I know how to track my money with a checkbook register/online banking system”; and “If I use a credit card, I should pay it back” (multiple choice question).

After the event, they’re asked the same questions—with a slight twist, such as “I will create and follow a monthly budget” and “I will track my money with a checkbook register/online banking system”.

The tests will measure participants’ changes in knowledge, attitude, and intention about finances as a result of participating in a Bite of Reality event.

“We’ll be able to have data that will show the value of reality fairs rather than just the number of participants,” said Lozano, who added RMJ received funding from the National Credit Union Foundation to support the effort to gather this type of data nationwide.

In 2019, Bite of Reality reached 29,398 students throughout California and Nevada via 250 events held by 64 credit unions. This year, 5,500 student have been reached so far in 45 events. In April—which also is Financial Literacy/Youth Financial Literacy Month—there are already 15 events scheduled. Credit unions that just began or will begin offering this program to its communities for the first time in 2020 include Lassen FCU, Self Help FCU, Sesloc FCU, and Southland CU.

For more information on the RMJ Foundation and Bite of Reality program—or if your credit union would like to hold a special event during Financial Literacy Month, please contact the RMJ Foundation at info@rmjfoundation.org.

Click here to access the "All-In" Toolkit.

SCE FCU
SCE Credit Union team members put together personal care packages for young adults in the Olive Crest Operation Independence/Los Angeles program. Nearly 200 team members from the Irwindale, CA-based credit union helped the non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse.

SCE FCU Spends Holiday Giving Back

On Feb. 17 when many others were enjoying a three-day weekend, courtesy of the Presidents’ Day holiday, SCE FCU used its day off to give back to the community and took part in a real-life simulation to help their team understand what it might be like to live on the brink of poverty.

Nearly 200 team members from the credit union helped Olive Crest, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse, by putting together 200 packages of personal care items (such as toothbrushes and shampoo). They also presented a donation of $5,000 to the organization. With the help of this donation, 30 young adults who enter the program will have the basics they need in their new home, such as towels, sheets, clothing, dishes, and more, so they can start their new adult life on the right foot.

“We chose to partner with Olive Crest and its Operation Independence/Los Angeles program because we felt it aligned well with SCE FCU’s goal of supporting financial independence for those in need in our community,” said SCE FCU President and CEO Dan Rader. Unfortunately, once children in the foster system turn 18, they are left on their own. Without programs like these, at-risk youth struggle with high rates of unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, and incarceration. The Operation Independence program provides resources for young adults to avoid these issues.”

 
SCE Credit Union team members participate in Life Simulation, an interactive program that simulated the day-to-day choices a typical low-income family must make while trying to survive and provide for their families. During the three-hour experience, participants assume the roles of families who may be unemployed, homeless, or senior citizens (living on disability, raising grandchildren, and struggling to make ends meet).
 

 

That same day, SCE FCU team members participated in Life Simulation, an interactive program that simulated the day-to-day choices a typical low-income family must make while trying to survive and provide for their families. During the three-hour experience, participants assume the roles of families who may be unemployed, homeless, or senior citizens (living on disability, raising grandchildren, and struggling to make ends meet).

The Life Simulation is a kit SCE FCU purchased from the National Credit Union Foundation. It is designed to help credit union employees, volunteers, and leadership “walk in another’s shoes” to learn about the needs of immigrants and other low wage working families. As a Community Development Financial Institution and Low-Income Designation credit union, SCE FCU is focused on providing fairly priced financial services to help individuals and families, including those in low-income communities to achieve financial stability.

The credit union first held the simulation for the entire management team in December. At the Feb. 17 event, the management team played the roles of the simulated “community resources”, such as the financial institution, full- and part-time employers, utility company, payday lender, pawn shop, social services, homeless shelter, and others.

“At the end of the exercise, participants are more aware of the daily realities and hardships that many American families face,” Rader said. “We knew the Life Simulation activity would help our team members gain a different perspective on the low-income families we have committed to serve.”

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Consumer Lending Dynamics Change as Rates, Economy Fluctuate

Annualized loan growth has been slowing for all types of lenders in the U.S. financial services marketplace — credit unions, banks, fintechs and others — and will probably continue in 2020 according to a recent forecast by TransUnion.

That was the sentiment expressed during the company’s recent “Q4 2019 Financial Services Industry Insights Report” and forecast webinar, followed up by a question-and-answer session (click here for presentation slides). This late-February credit overview of U.S. consumers was hosted by Chris Huszar, senior manager of financial services research and consulting.

“We have projections, but there’s always a level of uncertainty,” Huszar said. “In addition, we have an election cycle coming up. We’re in a very long economic expansion cycle. We’ve seen slowing economic growth a little, but not from the consumer side. Recession may or may not be the case going forward, but ultimately there has been no self-fulfilling prophecy so far when it comes to those forecasting a recession.”

Huszar noted the recent concerns within the financial markets regarding volatility and a possible economic recession, but he said U.S. consumers are mostly being propelled by positive economic conditions.

“This continues to be an ongoing theme as hourly wages continue creeping up,” Huszar said. “There are pretty good expectations for modest economic growth for several months to come as interest rate cuts in 2019 helped consumer debt continue to grow.”

The following are highlights:

  • Mortgages continue to be a bright spot for lenders as long-term interest rates remain historically low and have recently continued to drop even lower and defy some experts’ projections.
  • Auto lending’s noticeable recent slowdown has moderated for the time being. A small uptick was noticed, but it remains to be seen whether this can be sustained or has plateaued.
  • Home-equity lending (HELOCs and second mortgages) continues, but at much slower growth rates than 12 – 15 years ago. This category has never truly “recovered” from the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 (but unsecured personal loans could be soaking up new borrower demand in this area instead).
  • Unsecured personal loans remain a huge hot spot for lending activity as competition has heated up over several years now. It is finally showing some signs of slowing, but overall growth still remains solid — especially among a growing number of low-risk borrowers with high credit scores and high annual household income.
  • Traditional credit cards versus private-label retail credit cards are exhibiting unique up-and-down characteristics due to lender competition, as well as a long-term reshaping of the retail store environment from physical locations to e-commerce.

Click here to view all slides in the presentation on first mortgages, unsecured personal loans, auto loans, traditional credit cards, private-label credit cards, and home-equity lending (HELOCs and second mortgages) for credit unions, banks, fintechs and other lenders — including annual growth trends, credit cohorts, demographics, delinquencies, and more.

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Tax Season Is In Full Swing!

The Love My Credit Union Rewards TurboTax program is a great way to offer your members discounts on tax services from America's #1 do-it-yourself tax service, and there are great opportunities for your credit union to:

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CA Housing Trends: Affordability, Sales, Prices, and More

So far, California home sales activity in early 2020 is on par with maintaining last year’s momentum according to the latest report issued by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) in late February.

A current snapshot of sales, price, and local affordability trends can help credit unions plan for 2020 when it comes to the mortgage market, interest rates, and members’ plans — both existing homeowners and new buyers:

You can view CAR’s localized/regional "January Home Sales and Price Report" here, as well as the association’s local "4th Quarter Housing Affordability" here.

  • Existing single-family home sales totaled 395,550 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate — down 0.7 percent from December, but up 10.3 percent from January 2019.
  • January’s statewide median home price was $575,160 — down 6.5 percent from December, but up 7.1 percent from January 2019.
  • The statewide Unsold Inventory Index was 3.4 months in January — up from 2.5 months in December, but down from 4.6 months in January 2019.
  • At the regional level, non-seasonally adjusted sales rose from last year in all major regions, except the Bay Area. Sales in Southern California increased the most at 15.7 percent, followed by the Central Coast (10.8 percent) and Central Valley (9.5 percent). The San Francisco Bay Area was the only region that experienced a sales dip on an annual basis with the declines occurring primarily in the higher-cost areas of the region. Thirty-three of the 51 counties tracked by CAR experienced year-over-year sales growth with San Benito gaining the most from last year at 166.7 percent.
  • At the regional level from a price perspective, median prices in all regions increased in January from a year ago, with Central Coast increasing the most at 11.1 percent, followed by Central Valley (8.2 percent), Southern California (7.8 percent), and the Bay Area (2.0 percent).
  • Thirty-nine of the 51 counties tracked by CAR report a year-over-year gain in price in January, with Siskiyou gaining the most at 68.9 percent from last year. Of the 12 counties that experienced a price drop from last January, Mariposa had the biggest decline of 15.9 percent, while prices in the remaining counties all declined less than 9.0 percent.
  • The available supply of homes for sale in the state inched up slightly after reaching an 80-month record low in December but continued to drop on a year-over-year basis for the seventh consecutive month. Housing inventory continued to fall by double digits, with active listings declining 26.9 percent in January after a 25.9 percent dip in December. The January drop was the largest since April 2013.
  • The sizable drop in active listings, together with the surge in sales, resulted in a decline in Unsold Inventory Index (UII) to 3.4 months from 4.6 months a year ago. On a month-to-month basis, supply climbed 1.6 percent from the prior month but was lower than the average December-to-January increase of 2.8 percent based on data going back to 2008.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home fell from a year ago, declining from 38 days in January 2019 to 31 days in January 2020.
  • CAR’s statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio* was 98.4 percent in January 2020, up from 97.3 in January 2019.
  • The statewide average price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $275 in January 2020 and $263 in January 2019.
  • The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.62 percent in January, down from 4.46 percent in January 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.33 percent, compared to 3.91 percent in January 2019.

Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) with credit union leaders from Orange County.
Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) with credit union leaders from Orange County.

CUs Meet with Members of Congress on Key Issues

More than 300 California and Nevada credit union executives and advocates met with their members of Congress to advance the credit union agenda this past week during the 2020 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. — hosted annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

During Wednesday’s “Hike the Hill,” Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced H.R. 5981, the Credit Union Board Modernization Act. Additionally, Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tim Scott (R-SC) are about to introduce legislation increasing the maturity limit for federal credit unions on non-mortgage lending.

Another bill, authored by Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), was introduced regarding member expulsions.

Charter Bill Details
Porter announced the introduction of the Credit Union Board Modernization Act in her address to all GAC attendees during one of the morning’s general sessions. She noted how she has been working with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and CUNA on legislation to update the federal charter to give greater flexibility over board meetings.

This bill reduces the monthly board meeting requirement to six times per annum and mandates that at least one of those six meetings occur each quarter. Many state-chartered credit unions already have this authority, making this another parity bill to enhance the federal charter. California state-chartered credit unions are required to meet “on a regular basis, not less than quarterly, as reasonably determined by the board” (Financial Code 14453), while Nevada state-chartered credit unions are required to meet “as often as necessary to accomplish their duties, but not less than once a month” (NRS 672.360).

Porter is a former bankruptcy and law school professor. She is also a junior member of the House Financial Services Committee. Her expertise in corporate governance — especially in the financial services sector — makes her the ideal legislator to carry this bill.

Amodei has championed several credit union initiatives, including ensuring the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) remain independent of the U.S. Treasury Department.

The bill now joins a few other charter bills pending in Congress.

Strong CA and NV Turnout
This year, California and Nevada credit union leaders had a packed schedule meeting with regulators and their entire congressional delegations. The weeklong conference gathers credit union leaders from across the nation to advocate for credit unions.

The first day started with the Leagues’ legislative, regulatory and political briefing. With 300 California and Nevada credit union leaders in attendance, they assembled to bring a message to Congress and regulators about relief from regulatory burdens, the need to update the federal charter, the need to protect the movement’s tax status, and the need for a national security standard.

The Leagues would like to thank members from both states for making the trip to the nation’s capitol and advocating on behalf of the credit union movement. “We will now focus on follow-up with members of Congress back in our states,” said Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the Leagues.

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Mark McWatters addresses California and Nevada credit union leaders.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Mark McWatters addresses California and Nevada credit union leaders.

Regulators Engage with CA and NV Credit Union Leaders

Credit union leaders from California and Nevada met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member J. Mark McWatters and representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during this past week’s 2020 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. — hosted annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Both meetings provided opportunities for great dialog between the regulators and member-credit union leaders of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

McWatters discussed several issues, including the proposed subordinated debt rule for RBC purposes; implementation of CECL (current expected credit loss) and a proposal coming soon to allow credit unions to phase in the day-one adverse effects; and NCUA authority to review third-party vendors.

Panelists from the CFPB also fielded questions from the audience. Topics included the proposed rule to increase the remittance transfers threshold, as well as urging the bureau to eliminate the 30-minute wait period; seeking changes to the qualified mortgage (QM) definition; and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting. Credit union leaders can expect proposed rules on QM and on HMDA this spring.

“We want to thank everyone who participated in these important conversations,” said Sharon Turley, vice president of regulatory advocacy for the Leagues.

In her remarks at the GAC’s general session, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger said the bureau is working diligently to issue, no later than this May, a proposed rule to amend the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) rule by moving away from the 43 percent debt-to-income (DTI) ratio requirement. Instead, the bureau would propose an alternative, such as a pricing threshold.

The Leagues have long advocated for a change in the DTI ratio and appreciate the bureau’s intention to amend the rule.

Kraninger also indicated the bureau plans to finalize proposed changes to the remittances rule in May. As proposed, the amendments would allow the use of estimates in some circumstances and adjust the safe-harbor threshold from 100 to 500 or fewer transfers in the current and prior calendar years.

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CFPB Releases TRID FAQs on Lender Credits

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has posted Frequently Asked Questions related to the TRID Rule and lender credits. Click here to access the FAQs. 

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NCUA Hosts Financial Inclusion Webinar

Credit unions can get valuable insights into serving low-income and underserved communities during the “Financial Inclusion: Pathways to Serving the Underserved" webinar on March 11. The webinar is hosted by the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion.

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Teresa Freeborn
Xceed Financial CU CEO Teresa Freeborn was one of this year's Herb Wegner Memorial Award Outstanding Individual Achievement Award recipients.

Freeborn Honored at 2020 Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner

Xceed Financial CU CEO Teresa Freeborn was among those honored by the National Credit Union Foundation at its 2020 Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner.

With this year’s theme of “Rooted in Purpose”, the evening’s awardees—Freeborn, Andigo CU Board Director and Alloya Corporate FCU Director Emeritus John Fiore, and Local Government FCU CEO Maurice R. Smith—served as a reminder of the true purpose of credit unions. All three received Outstanding Individual Achievement Awards at the dinner held Feb. 24 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

 “Purpose: It’s a noun— ‘the reason for which something is done’. It’s also a verb—‘to have as one’s intention or objective’,” Foundation Executive Director Gigi Hyland said in her opening remarks. “Purpose is a differentiator for us as a movement. You can feel it here tonight, in this room, the energy and excitement that radiates from you all as we gather to celebrate individuals who have lived and breathed the true purpose of credit unions. It all starts and ends with people.”

Freeborn recognized for her spirit of “innovative, creative and risk-taking” leadership. She was honored for commitment to collaboration, cultivation of the next generation of leaders, and her dedication to drive consumer awareness about the credit union difference.

Freeborn said she has been blessed over the course of her four decades in the credit union movement to have experienced many highlights. “But receiving this Herb Wegner Memorial Award has to count as the brightest,” she added. “I am truly humbled to be in the company of such an impressive roster of credit union leaders. I am also grateful to so many mentors, colleagues, friends and family members who have supported, encouraged and inspired me over the years – this award is as much a credit to them and their contributions as it is to me.”

This year’s event shattered all previous attendance records with more than 1,000 attendees. The Wegner Dinner is not only an awards gala, but the primary fundraising event for the Foundation. Through a text-to-give initiative during the awards dinner, more than $15,000 was raised to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions.

You can view each of the awardee honoree videos here. These individuals join 69 past Wegner Awardees since the tradition began in 1989 in honor of the Credit Union National Association’s late Managing Director, Herb Wegner, to carry on his legacy of innovation, social responsibility and risk-taking leadership.

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March 2020’s Local Economic Forecasts Across CA and NV

As March of 2020 begins, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” initiative would like to inform credit union leaders of local monthly economic forecasts and events in their region so they can attend.

Six regional economic forecast conferences are taking place across California and/or Nevada in March.

Click at the end of each description below for registration and more information:

  • March 2: Southern Nevada — “Economic Impact of Coronavirus” hosted by The Economic Club of Las Vegas; click here.
  • March 11: California — “March 2020 Economic Outlook” hosted by the UCLA Anderson Forecast; click here.
  • March 12: Bay Area — “2020 San Francisco Economic Outlook” hosted by the UCLA Anderson Forecast and UC Hastings;  click here.
  • March 13: California — “2020 SIEPR Economic Summit, Conference and Dinner” hosted by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; click here.
  • March 18: Inland Empire — “2020 Real Estate Market Forecast” hosted by Coldwell Banker Town and Country and Claremont McKenna College; click here.
  • March 26: Inland Empire — “2020 State of the Region: How Long Will the 20s' Roar?” hosted by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and Claremont McKenna College; click here.

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Data Privacy and Credit Unions: What to Expect in 2020

In a changing digital world, many consumers continually weigh convenience and customized experiences with the privacy of their personal information. Consumers become accustomed to perks like scanning their loyalty card for an extra five dollars off, seeing an ad or coupon that fits their needs, enjoying faster searching, or matching a weather report with their exact location. Simultaneously, they demand increased protection of their personal information and transparency over how the information is used.

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Grow Revenue and Portfolios with Accelerated Growth Programs

As a credit union service organization, LSC works daily to help solve problems so credit unions can thrive and compete. Fulfilling member needs by adding or developing programs and services that meet their goals is vital for success. Credit card programs are a particularly valuable part of that offering.

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Woman with Open Your Eyes campaign branding

Big 4Q Impact Experienced in CA’s ‘Open Your Eyes’ Campaign

The credit union movement’s “Open Your Eyes” Awareness Initiative took a deep dive into its digital advertising performance among California consumers for the fourth quarter of 2019 during a recent conference call on Feb. 21.

The campaign — which directs consumers to YourMoneyFurther.com — is spearheaded by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) with assistance from the California Credit Union League and a steering committee of local credit union senior marketing executives across the state.

In the Los Angeles/Orange County region of California from October to December 2019, the following data was captured on social media sites Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. “Unsettled Beginners” refers to 25 – 34-year-old consumers, and “Future Thinkers” denotes the 35 – 54-year-old age group.

  • A combined total of 5.6 million individuals’ “eyes were opened.” This total number included more than 31.8 million consumer/viewer advertising impressions (views); nearly 13.1 million video completions; and almost 130,000 clicks. The VFR (view-through rate) for Facebook and Instagram was 82 percent versus 67 percent for YouTube.
  • The fully-completed rate for videos on Facebook and Instagram of 82 percent (both full-length and six-second videos) beat the campaign’s national average so far. The CTR (click-through rate) came in just below the national average at 0.25 percent. However, both metrics have far exceeded the campaign’s benchmarks.
  • The fully-completed rate for videos on YouTube of 67 percent (both full-length and six-second videos) improved as a result of more segmented and creative testing between advertising groups. There was an emphasis placed on comparing videos against other videos of similar length (as well as campaign frequency to combat potential “ad fatigue”). The CTR (click-through rate) stayed relatively consistent at 0.24 percent, with efforts to keep “ad fatigue” low and testing of new headlines and calls-to-action.
  • The 15-second video advertisement “Working Hard Office” stood out as a top performer. Also, “Chelsea” delivered the highest CTR (click-through rate) for Unsettled Beginners (no advertisements ran for Future Thinkers). Top performers by view rates were “Faces Better Rate,” “Trapped Mouse” and “Think Your Money.”
  • Overall, California has had the largest budget placement in videos than all other states. This has equated to the largest social-media advertising impressions and “view” totals compared to all other states. Across all types of advertisements (social media non-videos versus videos), the average VFR (view-through rate) was 67 percent; and the average CTR (click-through rate) was 0.34 percent.
  • Paid media traffic in California has garnered the following consumer advertising numbers: 85,900 web “sessions” (extended website visits to YourMoneyFurther.com); 2.07 pageviews per session; an average of 33 seconds per session; a 93.7 new-visitor rate; and a 7.6 percent bounce rate (only 7.6 percent of visitors scrolled around the web page without truly viewing or immediately did not stick to the web page). Top-landing pages for paid media consumer/visitors in chronological order were: “For People With Plans,” “Get Better Rates,” “You Can Join,” “Online and One the Go,” and “Friendly Service.”
  • The awareness campaign is focused on getting consumers’ attention immediately. It’s important to grab someone’s attention right away since they are much more likely to visit the campaign’s website the first time he or she sees an advertisement versus the second or third time.

Breaking Down Barriers and Perceptions
The highly targeted campaign is looking to bring unaided, top-of-mind awareness. Its goal is to positively engage consumers within specific age ranges when they are active in social media on the internet.

Recent research shows that in California, only 16 percent of consumers who are looking for a checking account would naturally consider a credit union in their set of options. For a loan, it’s nearly just as low — 17 percent.

“If we can get these numbers up to 20, 25 or 30 percent over time, then the money that an individual credit union spends on its marketing efforts is going to hit a much broader audience, and deposit and loan accounts will rise,” said Larry Palochik, senior vice president of member solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “That’s what this campaign is all about — breaking down the perceived barriers that consumers have and showing them that they can choose a credit union.”

He added that while the campaign does not track membership-conversion growth rates on an aggregate basis, the California League’s steering committee will continue encouraging individual credit unions that are involved in the initiative to track those metrics. They will also urge other credit unions to get involved.

In California, 42 credit unions have already contributed nearly $2.9 million for the first year of the campaign (2019); and 40 credit unions are on board with $2.7 million for 2020 so far. All funds are strategically allocated into digital advertising channels within these contributors’ local footprint. (Nationally, more than 750 credit unions and industry affiliates/organizations had pledged nearly $46.5 million for 2019.)

Resources for CU Marketers
The more credit unions start using the awareness campaign’s co-branded marketing/advertising creative pieces, the easier it will be for consumers to recognize the trusted, unified “Open Your Eyes” trademark. Visit CUNA’s Contributor HQ for all materials.

Credit union marketers can also get involved by becoming part of the Your Money Further (YM-F) group on Facebook, or the @moneyfurther community on Twitter. 

Learn More About ‘Open Your Eyes’
You can visit CUNA’s Awareness Initiative webpage to learn about the research behind the campaign, track national results, and read contributor testimonials. 2020 will be a pivotal year in the industry’s efforts to raise the awareness of more local California consumers about how credit unions are different.

So far, credit unions in 21 states are participating in the campaign, with the goal of reducing the perception that consumers cannot join, putting credit unions at the forefront of their consideration, and creating opportunities to grow membership.

Ten more states are approaching campaign-launch “readiness” phase sometime in the first half of 2020. The goal is to have credit unions and local campaigns in 35 states engaged and launched by year-end 2020.

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DBO Reviews CA's CFPB Language with State Chartered CUs

Last week, state-chartered credit unions across California joined a call with the state's Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to discuss Gov. Gavin Newsom's trailer bill language that would change the department to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

DBO leadership gave a brief overview of the governor’s vision for the department, some history on why it was being formed, and then walked attendees through portions of the language.

The DBO's staff made it abundantly clear from the beginning of the call that they felt there would be little to no changes for credit unions, including no increased fees on current licensees.

After the walk-through, questions were asked of the department. During this portion of the call, the department said its Office of Credit Unions would not be impacted, and that it was not the intent of the trailer bill to include oversight or enforcement for federally chartered credit unions or CUSOs.

Both of these announcements were great news for credit unions in California. The California Credit Union League will be working closely with DBO and the governor’s office to ensure that the language matches their intent.

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NCUA's Sale of Taxi Medallion Loans; other Board Meeting Discussions

On Feb. 19, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced the sale of the majority of its taxi-medallion loan portfolio. The NCUA stated the sale was the most appropriate action to meet its statutory obligation under the Federal Credit Union Act to achieve the least long-term cost to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

The agency also asserts that they took all appropriate steps during the sales process to make sure multiple bidders were involved to ensure a competitive price and maximize any potential recoveries to the Share Insurance Fund.

At last week’s NCUA Board meeting, Board Member Mark McWatters stated that the agency was adamant that the winning bidder be someone who will “act in good faith and fairness, and with the utmost respect and compliance with consumer protection laws, and with respect to the taxi medallion borrowers and medallion owners.” The board said the agency will monitor consumer complaints to ensure those affected are treated fairly.

Click here for more information regarding the NCUA’ response to the collapse of the New York City taxi medallion market.

NCUA Board Meeting
At the NCUA Board meeting on Feb. 20, the board issued a proposed rule regarding corporate credit unions, approved an Interagency Policy Statement on measuring credit losses under the current expected credit loss (CECL) methodology and on changes in accounting standards, and received a briefing on credit union mortgage interest rates.

Proposed Rule: Corporate Credit Unions
The board issued a proposed rule to update, clarify, and simplify provisions of the corporate credit union regulation. The changes the proposed rule would make include:

  • Permitting a corporate credit union to make a minimal investment in a credit union service organization without that organization being classified as a corporate CUSO and subject to heightened NCUA oversight.
  • Expanding the categories of senior staff positions at member credit unions who would be eligible to serve on the corporate credit union’s board.
  • Amending the prescriptive experience and independence requirements for a corporate credit union’s enterprise risk management expert.
  • Clarifying the treatment of an investment in a subordinated debt instrument of a natural-person credit union.

Board Chairman Rodney Hood called the proposal evolutionary and responsible, stating it will allow more flexibility and reduce unnecessary burdens without removing the guard rails made to the corporate system in response to the most recent financial crisis.

McWatters referenced the constraints placed on corporate credit unions in 2008 and 2009, calling them appropriate at the time. Now, in 2020, he said, “the corporate credit union system is in good shape.”

Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses (ACLs)
The NCUA joined the other federal financial institution regulators in issuing a final Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses (ACLs). The statement provides guidance on complying with the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) current expected credit losses (CECL) Accounting Standards Update.

The Policy Statement describes the measurement of expected credit losses under the CECL methodology and the accounting for impairment on available-for-sale (AFS) debt securities; supervisory expectations for designing, documenting, and validating expected credit loss estimation processes, including the internal controls over these processes; maintaining appropriate ACLs; the responsibilities of boards of directors and management; and examiner reviews of ACLs.

In supporting the Policy Statement, Hood also recognized that additional work is needed to do to educate credit unions on CECL implementation and compliance. To that end, the NCUA expects to launch a CECL webpage with additional resources before the end of the first quarter 2020. In addition, the agency noted the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently issued an audit practice aid for CECL. Hood also reiterated the agency’s plans to finalize a rule in 2020 that will allow credit unions to phase in over a three-year period the day-one adverse effects of CECL.

Board Briefing: Credit Union Mortgage Rates
The board received a staff briefing on credit union mortgage rates. According to a study conducted by the NCUA, mortgage loans originated by credit unions generally carried lower interest rates than mortgage loans originated by other lenders. This results in credit union members saving thousands of dollars on their mortgages when compared to borrowers at other financial institutions.

The study showed that credit unions hold more than 4 percent of outstanding mortgage debt in the United States; originate more than $190 million in real estate loans each year, and more than $125 million of that is fixed-rate mortgages.

McWatters noted that credit unions generally pay higher secondary market pricing, since it is based both on volume pricing and risk-based pricing. However, the paper that credit unions sell to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is lower risk, higher quality paper. He recommended the NCUA have discussions with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and bring this to their attention.

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Issuance of Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations-Related FAQs

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published two new Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations (RPPR)-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The FAQs provide updated instructions and incorporate new requirements for parties filing reports on blocked property, unblocked property, or rejected transactions​ with OFAC. These FAQs are related to the 06/21/2019 Amendment to the RPPR​.

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The Looming Generation Crisis

There is a crisis looming in the form of an evaporating funding pool. Deposits might not be a strategic goal today, but increased competition and changing preferences of future generations could mean that by the time you need them, it's too late. Look at the age distribution of accounts and a picture becomes obvious: the time to address the issue is today.

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Why There’s No Such Thing as a “Harmless” Data Breach

Over the past year, we have seen a continued incline in data breach events. A few years ago, it was not uncommon for a data breach to make news headlines once every month or two. In 2019, that began to change. The public announcement of a new data breach has become a weekly occurrence. That's because there was a 17 percent increase in data breach events in 2019 over 2018. 

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Candidate Slate

The 2020 Candidate Slate is Now Live

The 2020 Candidate Slate is now live—just in time for the Feb. 22 Nevada Democratic Caucus and the March 3 California Primaries.

This interactive credit union voter guide is designed to help you make decisions on which candidates to support. All you have to do is simply type in your home or credit union address and it will display your state districts up for election. Feel free to share this information with your staff. For the growth of our industry, we want to ensure the election of legislators who are supportive of credit union issues.

To access the Slate, you may either go to the League App or click here (and use your League login information).

We know that this election year is especially tumultuous, but please remember—your vote counts, especially for the down-ticket races. No matter your political leaning, we hope everyone makes it out to the polls.

For more information on the 2020 Candidate Slate or the upcoming elections, please contact League Manager of Political Advocacy Heather deNecochea at (916) 325-1364.

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OC Chapter’s Interest Rate-Econ Event for C-Level Execs and Others

Local C-level executives, operations directors, asset-liability managers, risk officers and others from credit unions are invited to join the Orange County Chapter of the California Credit Union League for its “Economic Impact and Networking Mixer” on March 4.

A spirited discussion will take place regarding the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate policy and how it will impact the economy in 2020. To register, click here!

“Our focus was to create a discussion topic that many C-suite and other executives are dealing with on a daily basis,” said Joe Cohen, vendor liaison and governor on the chapter board of governors (and business development manager for Apollo Insurance Services Inc). “We’re looking forward to a good conversation on interest rates. We welcome attendees to challenge the status-quo thinking that’s out there on the Fed’s monetary policies, such as predictions versus data and history.”

Details on the “Economic Impact and Networking Mixer” are as follows:

  • Wednesday, March 4.
  • 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Mesa Verde Country Club (3000 Clubhouse Rd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626).
  • Executive briefing on interest rates and the Economy, including speaker/presenter Timothy Miller (from Black Rock Investments). Mill has a degree in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Dayton and is a market leader within the wealth advisor industry, covering independent advisors in Southern California.
  • 30-minute presentation with a question-and-answer session at the end.
  • $35 per person (appetizers and refreshments served).
  • To register, click here.

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Inland Empire Leverages Housing and Jobs in Late-Cycle Economy

Even as the broader economy moderates in 2020, the Inland Empire’s expansion is still on track to relatively outpace several other regions in the state as job creation and housing affordability remain important, unique local drivers of business and consumer activity.

That’s according to the most recent forecasts presented and published by Economics and Politics Inc., Chapman University, and Yardi Matrix. The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately.

The Inland Empire’s economic growth will continue moderating in 2020 due to a lack of workers in certain hard-to-fill jobs and impacts from U.S. foreign trade policies with China. Although still a hotspot compared to the Southern California region surrounding it, the Inland Empire is feeling the late-cycle economic effects that the state and nation are going through. The region’s bright spot is still relatively cheaper land for construction builders, lower housing/mortgage and rent costs for households, and robust payroll job growth by local employers in nearly all occupational categories.

The Inland Empire — while slowing down — is still at the forefront of economic growth and job creation compared to all other counties/areas in Southern California. A total of 36,000 jobs could be added to the Inland Empire’s employment base in 2020, continuing a “winning” streak of stellar, robust performance compared to other geographies in California. As housing costs plateau in many areas across California’s coasts and high-priced neighborhoods, annual home-price appreciation in the Inland Empire is slowing down (but still growing). The region still remains a magnet for growth in business activity, job creation, worker absorption, and household formation due to its relatively lower cost of living.

The Inland Empire suffers from same labor market issues as the state and nation, but in its own unique way due to the region’s industry base and worker demographic. It is difficult to find labor “at the right price, with the right skills, in the right city,” the forecast presentation states. In the United States, currently there is less than one unemployed person for every one job opening (representing a very tight labor market) — and the Inland Empire’s job market is a good local example of this trend. What doesn’t help is total housing production, which is “unlikely to catch up" to household formation anytime soon (since new jobs and a tight labor market feeds into continuing new household formation).

Click here to view the entire Inland Empire forecast report on the “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” web page!

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Leagues and PolicyWorks Acquire New GRC Software Platform

Over several years, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have recognized the growing complexity and challenges credit unions face in the compliance and risk arena. The Leagues have also witnessed the expansion of compliance departments to include responsibilities not only in compliance but in the areas of governance and risk.

To help with those challenges, in 2015 the Leagues became a minority owner in PolicyWorks LLC, a nationally known credit union compliance provider. Since then, PolicyWorks has been the Leagues’ compliance services provider, equipping member credit unions with compliance support and solutions, including the compliance hotline, customized compliance consulting, and audit and review services.

As the Leagues continue to look for ways to expand compliance solutions for our member credit unions, it was announced that the Leagues and PolicyWorks LLC have acquired ViClarity, a technology solutions company, to help credit unions manage these compliance challenges, and bring an innovative governance, risk and compliance (GRC) management platform to our member credit unions.

ViClarity
ViClarity’s technology provides an innovative and customizable platform, tailored to meet each credit union’s needs. The platform supports a full suite of solutions needed to manage all areas of a credit union’s GRC program (governance, risk, compliance).

The goal of the platform is to replace a credit union’s traditional spreadsheets or other manual processes with an automated tool that can help to quickly identify, monitor, score and report on risk and compliance topics. Together, PolicyWorks and ViClarity will make GRC management easier by offering the consulting services PolicyWorks is known for, paired with the automation ViClarity can provide.

Soon, credit unions will have several opportunities to view demo webinars of this new innovative platform. Credit unions can also read more about PolicyWorks and ViClarity by clicking here and by referring to these FAQs (frequently asked questions).

The Leagues look forward to continuing to build off a great suite of compliance tools, with a robust technology platform. Credit unions can stay tuned for more ViClarity details coming in the near future.

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AB 51 Preliminary Injunction Update

On Jan. 31, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (the “Court”) issued a preliminary injunction preventing the State of California from enforcing California Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”) as it relates to arbitration agreements subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).[1]

At its core, AB 51 enacts new Labor Code §432.6. Among its provisions, subsection (a) prohibits a person from requiring an applicant or employee, as a condition of employment, continued employment or the receipt of any employment-related benefit, to waive any right, forum or procedure for a violation of any provision of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”)[2] or the Labor Code. This includes the right to notify, file and/or pursue a civil action or a complaint with, any state agency, public prosecutor, law enforcement agency, court or government entity. Subsection (b) prohibits an employer from threatening, retaliating or discriminating against, or terminating any applicant or employee for refusing to consent to such a waiver. Subsection (c) clarifies that an agreement that requires an employee to opt out of a waiver or take any affirmative action to preserve their rights is deemed “a condition of employment.” AB 51 also enacts new Govt. Code §12953, which declares it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to violate Labor Code §432.6. By imposing both civil and criminal[3] penalties for violations, AB 51 had the consequence of significantly restricting the potential for workplace arbitration by effectively criminalizing it.

On December 30, 2019, the District Court initially granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the legislation from taking effect based on plaintiffs’ claim that it is preempted by federal law. On January 31, 2020, the Court issued a preliminary injunction extending the ban. Specifically, the order enjoined California from: (i) enforcing Labor Code §§432.6(a), (b), and (c), where the alleged “waiver of any right, forum, or procedure” is the entry into an arbitration agreement covered by theFAA; and (ii) enforcing Govt. Code §12953, where the alleged violation of Labor Code§432.6 is entering into an arbitration agreement covered by the FAA. This effectively enjoins the State from enforcing all key provisions of AB 51 as it relates to arbitration agreements governed by the FAA.Despite not expressly prohibiting arbitration agreements in employment, AB 51’s legislative intent was clear as to its desired impact, particularly to the Court.

On Feb. 7, 2020, the Court issued its written order detailing its reasoning for granting the January 31 preliminary injunction. In determining whether to issue a preliminary injunction, one of the factors the court must consider is whether the moving party is likely to succeed on the merits. The plaintiffs contend that their preemption claim is likely to succeed on the merits because: (1) AB 51 violates the FAA because it treats arbitration agreements differently from other contracts; and (2) AB 51 conflicts with the purposes and objectives of the FAA.

The Court noted that federal law states that courts must place arbitration agreements on equal footing with other types of contracts, and cannot subject arbitration agreements to disparate treatment. The court found that AB 51 puts arbitration agreements on an unequal footing with other contracts, violating the FAA by targeting arbitration agreements and imposing a higher consent requirement on them.  Defendants argued that AB 51 only prohibited a certain action by a person or employer. While technically true, the Court pointed out that the prohibited action is primarily that of requiring an arbitration clause as a condition of employment, stating, “In its expressed purpose, and its operation, AB 51 singles out the requirement of entering into arbitration agreements and thus subjects these kind of agreements to unequal treatment.”

Similarly, AB 51 interferes with the FAA’s goal of promoting arbitration by threatening civil and criminal penalties against employers who seek to use arbitration agreements. With this in mind, if an employer complies with AB 51, it is deprived of its federal rights to enter arbitration agreements under the FAA. However, if an employer does not comply with AB 51, it may be subject to civil and criminal penalties, leaving the employer in a lose-lose position. While AB 51 (Labor Code §432.6(f)) states that, “[n]othing in this section is intended to invalidate a written arbitration agreement that is otherwise enforceable under the [FAA],” it does not exonerate employers who require the agreement in the first place. Thus it interferes with the FAA and is preempted.

Ultimately, the Court looked to the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government the power to preempt state regulation of certain areas: the balance of the equities and the public interest favored a preliminary injunction because ensuring the supremacy of federal laws is of “paramount” importance.

While the State remains unable to enforce AB 51, the litigation will proceed in the District Court and it is likely that the State will file an appeal directly with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As things stand now, the preliminary injunction means that employers may continue to require arbitration agreements as a condition of employment without being subjected to criminal prosecution under AB 51, provided that the arbitration agreement is clearly governed by the FAA.

Article by Tom Wolfe, Managing Partner of Moore Brewer Wolfe Jones Tyler & North.

 

 

[1] See Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Becerra, et al., No. 2:19-cv-02456-KJM-DB (U.S. Dist. Court, Eastern District).

[2] California Fair Employment and Housing Act (”FEHA”), Govt. Code §12900, et seq.

[3] Labor Code §433 states,“Any person violating this article is guilty of a misdemeanor,” and would be subject to up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine up to $1,000.

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NCUA Agenda: SIF, Corporates, Credit Losses, and Mortgage Rates

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board will meet next week on Feb. 20 at 7 a.m. (Pacific).

The NCUA Board’s agenda includes:

1) Board Briefing, Share Insurance Fund Quarterly Report.

2) Proposed Rule, Part 704, Corporate Credit Unions.

3) Final Interagency Policy Statement, Allowances for Credit Losses.

4) Board Briefing, Credit Union Mortgage Rates.

The NCUA — in conjunction with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) — are expected to issue a final Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses (ACLs). The Interagency Policy Statement is in response to changes to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) current expected credit losses (CECL) Accounting Standards Update.

The Interagency Policy Statement is expected to describe the measurement of expected credit losses under the CECL methodology and the accounting for impairment on available-for-sale (AFS) debt securities; supervisory expectations for designing, documenting, and validating expected credit loss estimation processes, including the internal controls over these processes; maintaining appropriate ACLs; the responsibilities of boards of directors and management; and examiner reviews of ACLs.

The NCUA’s chief economist will also provide a briefing on credit union mortgage rates.

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will monitor the board meeting and provide an update soon after. NCUA Board meetings are broadcast via livestream video and can be accessed from NCUA’s homepage at www.ncua.gov. Open board meetings are also tweeted live; follow @TheNCUA on Twitter.

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4Q CU Trends Released: the ‘Why’ Behind the Numbers

Recently, the U.S. credit union industry’s refinance-mortgages have been driving overall lending, and certificates-of-deposits (CDs) are boosting total deposit growth.

As credit union leaders take pulse of the economy’s changes, they experienced these year-over-year trends and many others during fourth quarter of 2019. The following is a synopsis of Callahan & Associates’ latest “Trendwatch” webinar hosted this past week. It was presented by Chief Collaboration Officer Jay Johnson and CEO Jon Jeffreys.

By fourth-quarter 2019, the U.S. credit union industry saw the following year-over-year trends:

CU HIGHLIGHT TRENDS

  • While membership (122 million) and assets ($1.6 trillion) reached new highs — and loan originations set new records — year-over-year loan growth continued to decelerate (outstanding amount at $1.12 trillion). Meanwhile, certificate-of-deposit (CD) growth drove total deposit balances ($1.34 trillion) to a new record. Investments were at $390 billion and bottom-line capital (net worth/retained earnings) at $188 billion.
  • As annual membership growth also slows down, credit unions are still attracting deposits at a healthy clip. More than 4 million consumers and businesses joined a credit union in 2019. However, the membership-growth slowdown is mostly being driven by a downshift in indirect lending (namely indirect auto loans).
  • Credit unions topped 300,000 full-time employees (FTE calculation) by late 2019 for the first time ever (up from 246,000 in 2014) — a record. Taken as a combined “company,” the U.S. credit union industry would be the 12th largest employer in the nation.
  • Loan growth remains solid even as it slows down. The years of 10 percent year-over-year lending acceleration (2014 – 2017) are no more, as 2019 experienced 6 percent growth.
  • Certificates-of-deposit (CDs) make up nearly half of all combined annualized deposit growth categories altogether. The industry’s total deposit balance has reached all-time highs ($1.34 trillion versus $963 billion in 2014).

CU LOAN TRENDS

  • Loan originations rose 9 percent, reaching yet another all-time high. The lower interest rate environment helped drive a surge in refinance mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages, which helped drive lending growth in the latter half of 2019. In general, the entire U.S. mortgage industry experienced the largest quarterly spike in refinance mortgages since 2013 — which may signal even more acceleration in the first-half of 2020 and be a continued driver of lending growth.
  • Credit unions originated a record amount of loans to members ($558 billion versus $354 billion in 2014). The industry ended last year with three consecutive quarters of absolute all-time new highs in quarterly loan originations. Mortgages mostly helped drive this trend (first mortgage originations made up 32 percent of total loan volume in 2019).
  • As auto sales and auto loan growth is down year-over-year, credit unions are trying to fill the gap with credit card lending and personal loans.
  • The following are lending category growth rates in 2019 versus 2018, respectively: first mortgages — 9.5 versus 9.2 percent; other real estate — 3.6 versus 7 percent; new autos — 0.1 versus 11.7 percent; used autos — 4.2 versus 9.1 percent; credit cards — 6.7 versus 7.5 percent; and total loans — 6 versus 9 percent. (The first mortgage category was the only area accelerating compared to the year-ago period)
  • The indirect-loan category ($230 billion) posted its slowest annual growth since 2012 (2.7 percent versus a range of 14 – 22 percent from 2012 – 2018 depending on the year). This was mostly due to lower indirect auto lending originations.
  • Total loan delinquency remains sable and mostly unchanged since year-end 2018. The following loan categories had delinquencies of: 0.71 percent (total loans); 0.55 percent (first mortgages); 0.65 percent (autos); 0.55 percent (other real estate); 0.66 percent (indirect loans); 1.4 percent (credit cards); and business/commercial loans (0.54 percent).

CU DEPOSIT TRENDS

  • Certificates-of-deposit (CDs) drove total deposit growth, with annual total deposit growth outpacing loan growth for the first full calendar year since 2012. “Core deposits” (checking, savings, and money market accounts) have been the foundation of the credit union deposit portfolio — a good sign. Core deposits continue making up 72 percent of total deposits.
  • Credit unions had some real concerns regarding funding liquidity levels at the beginning of 2019, but by the end of the year they did “very well” on driving deposit growth higher. Deposit balances grew at the fastest rate since 2009. CDs comprised 49 percent of total deposit growth.
  • The following are deposit category growth rates in 2019 versus 2018: CDs — 20.5 versus 12.3 percent; IRA/Keogh — negative 0.2 versus 5 percent; money market — 5 versus 0.9 percent; checking — 9.3 versus 5.2 percent; savings — 3.8 versus 5.3 percent; and total deposits — 8.2 versus 5.2 percent.
  • The loan-to-share ratio (at 84 percent) decreased between third and fourth-quarter 2019 for the first time since 2015 due to the confluence of a slowdown in lending growth combined with better-than-expected deposit growth. The last high was nearly 86 percent in late 2018.

CU MEMBERSHIP TRENDS

  • Member product usage is trending higher as checking-account penetration reached an all-time high (59 percent). In fact, the average member relationship continued to grow, reaching $19,473 (loans and deposits combined — $8,613 and $10,860 respectively).
  • Notably, credit unions have attracted new members and deepened existing relationships over the past five years, especially when it comes to credit cards, mortgages, checking accounts and auto loans. Even as year-over-year membership rates are slowing, higher product penetration rates for existing members continues rising (more members are transferring “their business” to their credit unions).
  • Members opened 3.8 million more checking accounts in 2019 than in 2018. Total accounts are now 71.6 million (a 59 percent record-high penetration rate) compared to 54.2 million (or 54 percent penetration) in 2014.
  • In 2019, about 1 million new checking accounts were opened each quarter.

CU ASSETS, CAPITAL, OTHER TRENDS

  • While revenue increased 11 percent and the industry’s total net-worth ratio reached 11.4 percent; the net interest margin (NII) expansion recently being experienced is now slowing down.
  • Interest income from loans expanded the fastest of all income streams ($62 billion in 2019 versus $37 billion in 2014) — compared to fee income ($9.2 billion in 2019 versus $7.3 billion in 2014) and other operating income ($11.5 billion in 2019 versus $7.2 billion in 2014). Basically, over the past five years interest income from loans has become a huge player in total revenue compared to much slower/diminishing growth from fee income and other operating income.
  • However, the “cost of funds” (deposit expense) grew faster than loan yields in 2019 (due to a competitive deposit marketplace for liquidity).
  • Net interest margin (NII) fell below the operating expense ratio (“op ex”) in the fourth quarter after matching it in the third quarter (op-ex being 3.21 percent and NII being 3.17 percent in fourth-quarter 2019). These were, respectively, 3.11 percent and 2.84 percent (a much wider margin of 27 basis points) in 2014.
  • Return on assets (ROA) ticked up in 2019 to hit 0.93 percent by end of fourth quarter (after dipping to 0.75 percent in 2015).
  • The industrywide net worth ratio was 11.4 percent, up 8 basis points year-over-year (and up from 11 percent in 2014). The industry has nearly $181 billion in bottom-line capital, up from $125 billion in 2014. (The total loan loss allowance has risen from $7 billion in 2014 to $9.7 billion in 2019)
  • Both banks and credit unions consolidated their footprint over the past decade, but there are now more credit unions than banks in 2019 compared to 2009. In 2009, 8,012 banks were operating versus 7,710 credit unions. But as of 2019, there were 5,256 banks operating versus 5,396 credit unions. Essentially, bank consolidation has occurred much more quickly over the past 10 years.
  • Credit union loan originations in 2019 were more than double the volume recorded in 2009 ($558 billion versus $272 billion) — a 105 percent increase. Credit unions are lending $1.5 billion every day of the year to their members.
  • The industry’s total loan balance has almost doubled since 2009, from $581 billion to $1.12 trillion today. Also, credit unions added almost $573 billion in deposit balances over the past 10 years (with the number of checking accounts rising from 43 million in 2009 to nearly 72 million in 2019 — a 68 percent increase).
  • Member usage of certain lending products has gone from 17 percent in 2009 to 21 percent in 2019 (auto loans) and 14 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2019 (credit cards).

WHAT WILL THE 2020s BRING?
As competition intensifies and interest rates remain low, credit unions need to have clarity around their purpose and tell their communities “why” they are different, the webinar presenters said.

Financial stress remains high for many consumers. However, credit unions can be leaders in supporting members’ financial wellbeing. Listening and responding to member needs continues to be the key to success.

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FFIEC Issues 2020 Edition of the Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!

The 2020 edition of the “Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” is now available.

The 2020 edition, developed by member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), reflects updates to incorporate content from the HMDA Rule issued by the Bureau in October 2019.  The appendices provide additional implementation materials you may find useful

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CUs Can Do More to Prevent Email Fraud

In late January and early February, U.S. credit unions became the target of a massive malware-laced phishing campaign, aimed specifically at the contacts credit unions have named as Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officials overseeing money laundering information under the direction of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The act requires all U.S. financial institutions to designate at least two BSA contacts, who are responsible for flagging and reporting suspicious transactions that may be associated with money laundering, explains the Krebs on Security blog. U.S. credit unions are required to register those BSA officers with the National Credit Union Administration.

At the end of January, BSA officers at many U.S. credit unions began receiving phishing emails designed to look like they were sent by BSA officers at other credit unions, Krebs on Security further reports.

“The missives addressed each contact by name, claimed that a suspicious transfer from one of the recipient credit union’s customers was put on hold for suspected money laundering, and encouraged recipients to open an attached PDF to review the suspect transaction. The PDF itself comes back clean via a scan at Virustotal.com, but the body of the PDF includes a link to a malicious site,” Krebs on Security’s post states.

The campaign eventually made its way to BSA contacts at other financial institutions, not just credit unions.

At the time, the NCUA conducted a review of its security logs and alerts but did not find any indication that information was compromised. The association asked all credit unions to be wary of any suspicious emails and referred anyone interested in learning more to its Cybersecurity Resources webpage.

Who’s at Risk for Email Fraud?

Proofpoint surveyed more than 2,250 IT decision-makers in eight countries in January 2018 (see “Understanding Email Fraud: A Global Survey of IT Leaders in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, France, and Germany.”) It found that email fraud “is pervasive, disruptive, and in many cases, catching businesses unprepared.” Only 40 percent of respondents said they had “full visibility into email fraud threats in their environment, and even fewer have controls in place to stop them.”

More than half (55 percent) of respondents said their finance team is most at risk for email fraud, the report goes on to state. It’s no surprise, then, that financial institutions themselves are under such relentless attack.

CDW’s Cybersecurity Insight Report, published in 2018, found that when compared to malware, viruses, data tampering and unauthorized access to financial data, fraud was considered a lesser threat, “often ignored — even though it has become the top cause of security breaches.”

The report outlines how focusing on people better helps organizations mitigate such risks.

“We believe that making security awareness personal helps instill good practices,” writes Mike Pflieger, vice president of enterprise information management and CISO for CDW. “Organizations can’t expect each employee to read and understand a comprehensive security policy. They can, however, extract those parts which are important and apply to them. Through targeted communication, training and handbooks, we can educate employees on their specific role-based responsibilities when it comes to protecting data.”

Proofpoint’s survey also found that more than half of respondents (57 percent) offer an end-user awareness program on phishing, and 32 percent planned to deploy one. Among industries, 66 percent of finance and professional services companies train employees on how to spot phishing emails.

4 Steps Credit Unions Can Take to Fight Email Fraud

That’s a good start. What else can credit unions do to better protect their data and networks? This recent EquITy blog post highlights advice from Karen Scarfone, principal consultant for Scarfone Cybersecurity:

  • Protect vulnerable sessions. When email client software establishes a session with a server, it’s often not protected. Credit unions and other businesses have a couple of options here: Transport Layer Security (formerly known as Secure Sockets Layer) protects all sessions using email protocols, including IMAP, POP and SMTP. Second, a web-based email service instead of locally installed email client software ensures TLS will protect the web traffic. Both options also require strong passwords and multifactor authentication.
  • Check out modern anti-malware. New solutions incorporate artificial intelligence and other tools that can detect and protect against as-yet-unknown malware and help users stay a step ahead.
  • Monitor the health of all email client devices. Automated health checks will flag problematic accounts and identify emerging security problems, such as end-user systems that use weak security settings or lack OS and email client software patches.
  • Incorporate data loss prevention tools. “Cyberthieves commonly use email as a preferred mechanism for exfiltration—the unauthorized transfer of sensitive information outside the business or organization,” Scarfone writes. “Malicious insiders often use their email accounts to forward sensitive data files to other email addresses, and attackers use compromised accounts similarly. Data loss prevention technologies can detect and stop these threats.”

“Whenever possible, DLP tools should be used to monitor email servers and any client devices with access to sensitive data that might be an enticing target,” she continues.

Common DLP tools include Symantec’s Data Loss Prevention Network Monitor and Network Prevent for Email and IBM InfoSphere, among others.

Article by TraceSecurity.

SOURCE: https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/03/credit-unions-can-do-more-prevent-email-fraud

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CFPB Conducting Surveys to Assess TRID Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently conducting an assessment of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Rule.

As part of its assessment, the CFPB has issued industry surveys for loan originators, loan officers, and closing companies.

Survey participation is voluntary. However, the surveys will assist the CFPB in understanding the effects of the rule, and the responses from community-based lenders will provide the CFPB with a better picture of how those entities were affected by the TRID Rule.

For the purpose of this survey:

  • A mortgage loan origination institution is any institution, including credit unions, that originates loans directly to consumers.
  • A mortgage loan officer is the natural person employed by a creditor or mortgage broker who interacts most frequently with the consumer and who has an NMLSR ID.

The deadline to submit a survey response is March 6, 2020.

Click here for more information on the TRID Assessment Industry Surveys.

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New Administrative Currency Transaction Report Ruling

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an administrative ruling regarding the Currency Transaction Report (CTR, FinCEN Form 112).  The ruling was issued to clarify the requirements of financial institutions when reporting transactions involving sole proprietorships and legal entities operating under a “doing business as” (DBA) name.  It is intended to enhance regulatory efficiency, and provide complete and accurate CTR data to law enforcement.  This ruling replaces and rescinds two previous rulings:  FIN-2006-R003 and FIN-2008-R001.  The rescinded rulings were based on the now obsolete FinCEN Form 104.

Click here for FIN-2020-R001.

Northern Nevada highway with cars

Workforce and Residential Issues in Northern NV Spotlight

While Northern Nevada’s economic growth streak begins to slow down, workforce and cost-of-living issues are in the spotlight. However, the region is still a hotbed of business activity, job creation, and population growth due to the environment local leaders have created and look to continue fostering in 2020.

That’s according to the most recent forecast hosted by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN). The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately.

As Northern Nevada’s economic growth is expected to continue in 2020 and possibly well into 2021, some of the region's business leaders’ fears include an upcoming economic recession.

But what they really should be worried about is “complacency,” the forecast presenter said. As Northern Nevada (especially the Reno-Sparks region) has exploded in population, innovative businesses, and new consumers, it would be easy for leaders to sit back and rest on their laurels. 

Nonetheless, even in all its economic glory, Northern Nevada is continually impacted by job-wage growth that can’t keep up with other expenses for workers.

Click here to view the entire Northern Nevada Economic Forecast report on the "Your Economy - Your Credit Union" webpage!

California state capitol building

Important Issues in Focus as CA Government Relations Rally Approaches

The 2020 California Government Relations Rally (GRR) from April 13 – 14 is the most important state legislative event for credit unions in California! Register today to join your peers in Sacramento and make your voice heard.

Registered attendees will receive background material with information about “lobby day” topics. This year attendees will be lobbying on important issues, including California Credit Union League-sponsored legislation.

The League and its member credit unions have been successful in past years during GRR to pass important pieces of legislation, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) exemption to the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), Prized Linked Saving Accounts, consumer protections in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, and unclaimed property reform.

Use the League App
Attendees and all League members are encouraged to download the League App: click here for iOS (Apple), or click here for Android (Google Play).

The League App contains everything credit unions may need related to advocacy throughout the year and for GRR, including current issues, talking points, Project Zip Code numbers, and the schedule of GRR legislative visits. The GRR section of the League App will be updated Friday, April 6, with meeting times. Meetings are currently being scheduled and are subject to change.

GRR Schedule of Events
Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel on 1230 J. Street (13th and J Street) in Sacramento, CA 95814.

THURSDAY, APRIL 13

  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Gov. Gavin Newsom Fundraiser
    Location: League office
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m.: CEO Roundtable (separate registration required)
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. First-Time Attendees Capitol Walking Tour
  • 3:15 – 5 p.m.: Advocacy Programming
    DBO update/Meet & Greet with Commissioner Alvarez
    Political update from Sacramento Consultants
  • 5 – 7 p.m.: Attendees Reception at Cafeteria 15th & L

FRIDAY, APRIL 14

  • 8:45 – 10 a.m.: Breakfast and Lobby Day Briefing
  • 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Visits at the California State Legislature

(Please note: the Credit Union SacTown Run is also being held in Sacramento, CA on Sunday, April 5)

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Is Your CU’s 2020 Compliance Calendar in Order?

With the month of January already behind us, now is the time to get your credit union’s disclosure, policy and compliance reviews and orders in with Your CU Store for 2020.

Your CU Store can help you create, update and maintain compliance on a number of credit union disclosures and agreements. We can assist you with:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act disclosures, including online, mobile banking and remote deposit capture agreements
  • Privacy notices
  • Credit card agreements
  • Truth in Savings Act disclosures and account agreements, and 
  • Many more

We can also provide you with attorney reviewed, compliant, and ready-for-use off-the-shelf forms, such as:

  • Designation of Beneficiary
  • Membership Application and Agreements
  • Account Agreements
  • Stop Payment Orders
  • Special Powers of Attorney
  • Loan Extension Agreements, and
  • Many more

Most forms and disclosures are available in print and electronic format (subject to an annual licensing agreement). With a simple online ordering process, Your CU Store team will work with you to make sure your credit union forms and disclosures are just the way you need them.  Backed by the law firm of Moore, Brewer, Wolfe, Jones, Tyler and North, we’ll make sure everything is compliant with the latest rules and regulations so your credit union team will have less to worry about.  

Let Your CU Store cover the compliance for your credit union forms and disclosures. We’ve got your back! Visit www.yourcustore.com or email mn@moorebrewer.com today!

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CU Awareness Campaign in California Reaches New Heights

Targeted consumer-messaging impressions from credit unions’ “Open Your Eyes” Awareness Initiative in California continued growing as of Dec. 31, 2019, according to the latest data compiled by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

The campaign — which directs consumers to YourMoneyFurther.com — is spearheaded by CUNA with assistance from the California Credit Union League and a steering committee of local credit union senior marketing executives across the state.

In California as of Dec. 31, 2019 (newer data will be released in late February):

  • More than 145,000 consumer/viewer web “sessions” (extended website visits) were recorded from Oct. 17 – Dec. 31, 2019 — as well as 306,000 individual pageviews.
  • The top 20 city/metropolitan areas in consecutive order (out of 489 individual city geographies targeted) with respect to those web “sessions” were: Los Angeles; Irvine; San Diego; Ontario; Riverside; Santa Ana; San Bernardino; Long Beach; Anaheim; Rancho Cucamonga; Hemet; Oxnard; San Francisco; Fontana; Moreno Valley; Compton; San Leandro; Garden Grove; Perris; and Emeryville.
  • Of those web “sessions”, about 2.1 pages were seen per session, with an average time of 31 seconds on each page.
  • Nearly 32 million advertising “impressions” have been recorded, as well as nearly 13.2 million completed video views. Additionally, 1.7 million “eyes were opened” on social media and 5.5 million “eyes were opened” on YouTube videos.

Learn More About ‘Open Your Eyes’
As credit unions in California and those in several other states involved in the campaign look to 2020, this regional test phase continues informing the campaign regarding its next steps within the coming months. The goal is to raise consumers’ consideration of credit unions.

You can visit CUNA’s Awareness Initiative webpage to learn about the research behind the campaign, track early results, and read contributor testimonials. 2020 will be a pivotal year in the industry’s efforts to raise the awareness of more local California consumers about how credit unions are different.

Once again, the League would like to thank all contributor credit unions for their support as the industry looks forward to opening consumers’ eyes across California in the coming months.

Patelco CU senior management and employees with regional officials and legislators at the credit union’s ribbon-cutting celebration for its new headquarters in Dublin, CA — where 400 members, volunteers, local dignitaries, business and nonprofit leaders, and others attended.
Patelco CU senior management and employees with regional officials and legislators at the credit union’s ribbon-cutting celebration for its new headquarters in Dublin, CA — where 400 members, volunteers, local dignitaries, business and nonprofit leaders, and others attended.

Patelco’s Grand Opening HQ Celebration Hosts Local Officials and Members

Last week, Patelco CU hosted a grand opening party for 400 members and other guests at its new headquarters location in Dublin, CA. Local and regional dignitaries gathered with the community to enjoy food, beverages, live music, prizes and a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring remarks from Dublin Mayor David Haubert and Patelco CEO Erin Mendez.

“It is because of our members that Patelco is here to serve and build financial health and well-being for today and tomorrow’s generations,” Mendez said. “Our members have made this new facility possible, and I am forever grateful for their faith in us to help them achieve their respective financial goals.”

In addition to Mayor Haubert, Patelco hosted Dublin councilmembers Jean Josey and Shawn Kumagai,, along with City Manager Linda Smith, Assistant City Manager Colleen Tribby and other important staff. The event was also co-hosted by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, including President and CEO Inge Houston and staff. Rahul Maharaj from Rep. Eric Swalwell’s office (D-CA) also attended, along with multiple representatives from local nonprofit and credit union partners.

From the state level, representatives from California Sen. Steve Glazer and California Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan also attended, as well as California Credit Union League Political Advocacy Manager Heather deNecochea and Advocacy Specialist Emily Udell. As part of the ceremony, Mendez was presented with certificates of recognition from both the California State Senate and the California State Assembly for the positive impact Patelco has made within the community.

The new headquarters accommodates Patelco’s growing workforce, which moved in December after an extensive remodel following Patelco’s purchase of the building in 2017.

The remodel included adding private offices for members to meet with Patelco financial health counselors, along with classroom space for Patelco to provide financial classes and seminars to further its mission of improving the financial health and wellbeing of its members throughout northern California.

In total, the new headquarters provides:

  • Environmentally conscious and open workspace concept.
  • Sit/stand workstations for all team members.
  • Designated quiet areas and rooms to use when team members need to have a confidential conversation, take a conference call, or need some time to focus on work.
  • Neighborhood hubs that are near each department — each equipped with centralized garbage and recycling bins, multiple focus and huddle rooms, and collaboration/ideation spaces.
  • Conference rooms equipped with teleconference equipment and digital display to promote connectivity and reduce paper waste.
  • WayFinder touch screen to help team members find departments, rooms and amenities (with digital signs outside each conference room that display the schedule).
  • Hotel workstations that are available for visiting team members.
  • “Home base kitchen” on each floor with ample seating offer refrigerators, filtered water dispensers, microwaves and toasters, coffee/tea/hot water dispenser machines (along with coffee, tea and accompaniment) and television.
  • Multipurpose rooms that accommodate up to 300 people, and conference rooms that can accommodate 6 - 20 people (all equipped to be used for project team and departments meetings, digital display, connectivity along with conference call technology).
  • A mother’s room for nursing mothers.
  • Courtyard that is equipped with Bocce Ball court and barbecue, suitable for group or individual use.
  • Amenities such as a full-size gym, lunchtime yoga, treadmill desks, massage chairs and bike desks.





























Tri County Chapter
Attendees of the Tri County Chapter "Paint Your Future Bright" event show off their masterpieces.

Tri-County Chapter Paints the Future Bright

For its first event of 2020, the Tri-County Chapter had just one goal for attendees: “paint your future bright”.

To do that, the 50-plus attendees (representing credit unions in the Chapter) convened Jan. 28 at Memo’s Canvas in Montclair. They were given a canvas, a pallet of paints, brushes, and an apron. With the help of an instructor—who provided step-by-step verbal instructions—the artists painted their vision of a sunset through a cave opening. Breaks allowed for time to mingle and enjoy refreshments.

 
Tri-County Chapter Board members (L-R): Crystal Solomon (CO-OP Financial Services), Terrence Davis (SchoolsFirst FCU), Tina Covington (Altura CU), Linda Emmons (Wescom CU), Carlo Galioto (Wescom CU), Michelle Gardner (Altura CU), Evelyn Davis (Wescom CU), and Tracy Arroyo (Inland Valley FCU).
 

 

In the end, the finished product from participants were wonderful and unique. Prizes, though, were given to the top three paintings as designated by the instructor: First place—Daniel Herrera of Alta Vista CU; Carmen Herrera of SchoolsFirst FCU, and Brenda Guerra of Wescom CU.

 
Daniel Herrera of Alta Vista CU received a first-place award from the instructor at Memo's Canvas for his artwork.
 

 

“We wanted to kick off the new year with a fun but meaningful event,” said Carlo Galioto, chairman of the Tri-County Chapter and branch manager with Wescom CU.

 
Inland Valley FCU Operations Manager Kathy Ramirez and CEO Charles Papenfus work on their art pieces.
 

 

“The Tri-County Chapter’s 2020 focus is to create events that bring value to the credit unions and vendors in our community and to help paint their future bright.” 

Check out the League’s Chapter website page as well as the League app for other upcoming events by all the League’s chapters.

Image of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Pre-Briefing Webinar: Prepare for Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)

The upcoming Legislative and Regulatory Pre-Briefing Webinar on Feb. 13 will help prepare you to advocate for your credit union when you attend the 2020 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. later this month!

You will be joined by California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Jeremy Empol, Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy Sharon Turley, and Manager of Political Advocacy Heather deNecochea as they review talking points and messaging strategies for meetings with regulators and legislators during GAC, as well the Leagues’ events for the week.

Held on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. (Pacific), this Legislative and Regulatory Pre-Briefing Webinar is free to all Power Learner Passport subscribers.

You’ll receive important background information well in advance of your trip to our nation’s capital. But meanwhile, this upcoming webinar will help you visualize “how” we will accomplish our goals in the halls of Congress as we advocate on the following credit union issues:

  • Credit unions in the community and tax status.
  • Modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act and regulations.
  • Data security and privacy security.

Please note: This event is not in lieu of any of the scheduled events that attendees have received from the Leagues' advocacy staff.

This year, the Credit Union National Association’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference is held from Feb. 23 – 27. We look forward to having you on the Feb. 13 webinar!

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HMDA 2019 Data Submissions and Requirements for 2020

Submission of 2019 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data

Credit unions located in metropolitan areas that engage in certain types and volume of residential mortgage lending, and that had assets exceeding $46 million as of Dec. 31, 2018, must file a report this year on mortgage loan applications received during 2019. The filing is required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act HMDA, as implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) Regulation C.

To determine if your credit union must submit HMDA data for calendar year 2019 activity, please review the 2019 HMDA Institutional Coverage Chart.

HMDA Data Collection Requirements for Calendar Year 2020

If your credit union makes residential mortgage loans and meets all four criteria outlined below, you must comply with Regulation C and are required to collect HMDA data associated with mortgage loan applications processed during 2020, if:

1. Your credit union’s total assets as of Dec. 31, 2019, exceeded $47 million;
2. Your credit union had a home or branch office in a Metropolitan Statistical Area on Dec. 31, 2019;
3. Your credit union originated at least one home purchase loan (other than temporary financing such as a construction loan) or refinanced a home purchase loan, secured by a first lien on a one-to-four-unit dwelling during 2019; and
4. Your credit union originated at least 25 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years (2018 and 2019) or 500 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years (2018 and 2019).

Click here tor review the update.

Sunset in Southern California suburban neighborhood

Slower L.A. County Growth Over Next 2 Years as Risks Abound

Los Angeles County’s economy will grow slower in 2020 and 2021 compared to the past couple of years. But going forward, there are even more downside “slowdown” risks depending on the geography/industry in the county, as well as impacts from national/global geo-political factors.

That’s according to the most recent forecast presented and published by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at Cal Lutheran University. The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately.

Presented and published on Jan. 16 by the Los Angeles Business Journal and Bank of Hope Chief Analytic Officer Young Cho, entitled “2020 Economic Forecast and Trends: Survived 2019 — Thrive in 2020?”:

Los Angeles County’s economic growth will continue slowing down in 2020, although no recession is in sight. Employers are expected to add jobs to total employment (both payroll companies and independent consultant/freelancers), although at a slower pace as the record-long U.S. economic expansion gets even longer. The negative impact to exports and imports (foreign trade with China) is being felt throughout California, especially within the warehousing/logistics and distribution sector (movement of goods) and other sectors (manufacturing and agriculture). “While the risk of imminent recession has diminished considerably since a phase-one deal between the United States and China was reached, we are maintaining a cautious view as the calendar flips to 2020,” states Cho in the forecast report.

For all of Los Angeles County’s optimism going into 2020 — and the nation for that matter — this year still remains “cloudy” due to certain risks. Foreign trade with China remains a large concern. “Although the narratives surrounding trade policies have improved considerably as 2019 ended, whether the economy could thrive in 2020 remains cloudy,” Cho stated in the report. “People are still living in fear of the president’s tweets because the economic climate could change drastically at Trump’s fingertips. As illustrated by the U.S. Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, it seems the only certainty is uncertainty as the index rose by an average of 17 percent in 2019, compared with 2018. The sharp rise augurs a murky economic outlook and generates concerns that not only fed into policymaker’s perceptions regarding their policies, but also influenced businesses and consumers’ daily economic activities.”

The San Fernando Valley economy is forecasted to grow 3.4 percent in 2020 and 3.3 percent in 2021 (aka “local GDP”). While this represents an undeniable slowdown for the local economy, this is still a bullish forecast relative to any comparable geography for that future period. “The risks to the current forecast are likely to the downside on net, but they are not simply one-sided,” states the forecast report. “The single biggest downside risk to the forecast is the trade war and the impacts on business investment and hiring decisions. We are skeptical that any agreement reached with China will be an improvement over the situation that existed prior to the current trade battle. The question is not whether the trade war will impact the economy of the San Fernando Valley; the question is ‘by how much.’ The impacts will be muted relative to other regions of the United States, but we could be wrong.”

The structure and evolution of Glendale and Burbank’s economy are similar, yet different, to that of the San Fernando Valley — so much so that Burbank’s economic growth will dip lower than the other two regions in 2020 before coming back in 2021. Glendale’s economic growth tracks the San Fernando Valley’s growth rates closely. However, Burbank’s economy is much more volatile than Glendale’s economy, or for that matter most other regional economies in the United States. Burbank is home to a number of large project-driven enterprises including Warner Brothers Studios, Walt Disney Studios, The Burbank Studios, Nickelodeon Animation, the Cartoon Network, and the list goes on. “This (type of business activity and resulting employment) result in an extremely volatile local (Burbank) economy,” the forecast report states. “The economic forecast for Burbank implies a slowdown in 2020 (not a recession), and then a pickup in 2021.”

Click here to see the entire forecast on the "Your Economy - Your Credit Union" webpage!

Panelists engage each other in discussion during the "Technology and Consumer Thinking: Credit Unions in an Age of Insecurity" event.
Panelists engage each other in discussion during the "Technology and Consumer Thinking: Credit Unions in an Age of Insecurity" event.

Consumers, Data and Money: CUs Gain Insight at Filene Event

Nearly 100 leaders from across the credit union system in California and the nation attended a special event hosted by Filene Research Institute’s Center for Emerging Technology in Irvine, CA from Jan. 28 – 29, entitled "Technology and Consumer Thinking: Credit Unions in an Age of Insecurity.”

The event focused on how data and money are intersecting through new financial technologies, and how this impacts the decision-making of credit union members. Insights were gained from leading experts who work outside of the credit union industry as well.

The second day put the first day’s learning into action by having attendees work with keynote experts in facilitated sessions. Participants put the ideas they learned into action plans that can be taken back to their credit unions and organizations.

Host speakers included Bill Mauer, filene fellow of emerging technology, professor at UC Irvine, and director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion; and Hope Schau, filene fellow of consumer decision-making and professor of marketing at University of Arizona.

Keynote speakers included Mehrsa Baradaran, professor of law at UC Irvine; Noelle Stout, faculty at Apple University; Naomi Sugie, professor of criminology, law and society at UC Irvine; and Tony Hernandez, president and CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council.

The following slide presentations by speakers give a glimpse into what credit union leaders learned at the event:

Discussions, presentations and panels focused on: “Looking More Closely at the Present to Understand the Future;” “The Insecurity Paradox: How Technology Mitigates and Magnifies Insecurity;” “Technology and Veteran Insecurity: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly;” “The Color of Money;” “Automating Foreclosure: A Cautionary Tale;” and “The Lessons of Fintech Apps.”

Others touched on: “Finding Work With a Criminal Record: Precarious Employment in an Age of Incarceration;” “Approaching Insecurity by Cultivating Member Touchpoints;” “So You Designed an AI Credit Scoring Tool — What Happens Next?”; “Key Credit Union Implications;” and “The Future of Research for Credit Unions.”

Filene Research Institute’s Center for Emerging Technology at UC Irvine looks far into the future to connect credit unions with the most impactful technology and drive forward-thinking business decisions. The Centers of Excellence form the pillars of Filene's research agenda, which seeks to advance consumer financial wellness by transforming cooperative finance and moving credit unions forward.

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Amplify Your CU's Voice on the Latest Regulatory Issues

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues want to make it easy for you to comment on proposed rules and requests for information.

Check out the following issues that you can take action on through PowerComment:

NCUA: Combination Transactions with Non-Credit Unions
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board proposes to adopt new regulations (new Subpart D of Part 708a) to clarify and make transparent the procedures and requirements currently in place related to combination transactions. Combination transactions include those where a federally insured credit union (FICU) proposes to assume liabilities from a non-credit union, including a bank. They also include a FICU’s merger or consolidation with a non-credit union entity.  

Further, the proposed rule clarifies the scope of Part 741.8 of the NCUA’s regulations, which currently requires the NCUA to grant approval before a FICU may purchase loans or assume an assignment of deposits, shares, or liabilities from any institution that is not insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). 

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

FHFA: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the Enterprises) as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks, is requesting information on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs.

PACE programs are energy retrofitting programs financed through special state legislation enabling a ‘‘super-priority lien’’ over existing and subsequent first mortgages. This super-priority lien status and the resulting safety and soundness concerns is prompting the FHFA to seek input on potential changes to its policies for its regulated entities.

Due to the continued threat associated with super-priority PACE liens, this RFI requests comments regarding potential actions the FHFA may take regarding PACE liens, such as:

  • Decreasing loan-to-value ratios for all new loan purchases in states or in communities where PACE loans are available.
  • Directing the Enterprises to increase their Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) or require other credit enhancements for mortgage loans or refinancings in communities with available PACE financing.
  • Establishing safety and soundness standards for the FHLBs to accept as eligible advance collateral mortgage loans in communities where PACE loans are available.
  • Requiring servicers of mortgage loans for the Enterprises to provide an annual or more frequent notice to existing borrowers in PACE-eligible communities informing them that, under the terms of their mortgage, PACE liens are not permitted.

Comments are due March 16, 2020.

Log in to PowerComment today and let your voice be heard!

PowerComment provides vital and easily digestible information to keep you informed on proposed rules, allows online discussions to increase your understanding, and allows you to write and easily submit your personalized comment letter to regulators. With nearly 1,000 users across the country, representing more than 620 unique credit unions, PowerComment gives credit unions a voice in the regulatory process.

Logo images for AACUC and Humanidei

AACUC and Humanidei Partner to Add Diversity to CU Leadership

The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) and Humanidei have announced a strategic partnership designed to increase the diversity of credit union leadership across the system.

Humanidei, a human capital strategies firm, has set an ambitious goal to help credit unions reach 30 x 30: 30 percent of key leadership positions in the credit union movement held by women and people of color by the year 2030. AACUC is building toward this goal as it continues to expand the interest — and increase the number — of minorities in the credit union movement; develop and mentor volunteers and professionals; and encourage African-American college students to pursue employment within the credit union movement.

According to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), approximately 95 percent of all credit union CEO positions are held by white professionals, and fewer than 15 percent of credit unions with assets over $1 billion are managed by women. Other sources indicate that 10 percent or fewer of all credit union board chair positions are held by people of color.

Humanidei believes that it is critical to bring more minority candidates into consideration for leadership positions. The industry is striving to benefit from the value added through diversity in leadership — leadership that is more representative of the population the industry serves.

The partnership between the organizations will offer individuals increased access and referrals to key job openings, consulting services to prepare for candidacy, and education to expand leadership potential. Organizations will have access to expanded talent pools, succession planning services, and human capital planning that will tap into external and internal talent.

“Clients who work with Humanidei choose us because they are interested in tapping into a diverse and rich pool of talent for succession planning, internal development, and organizational growth,” said Jill Nowacki, president and CEO of Humanidei. “Our partnership with AACUC will help further connect us to top talent in the credit union space that will boost our clients’ performance and the strength of our industry.”

Through the partnership, both individual and organizational members of AACUC will have discounted access to Humanidei’s services, including candidate coaching, succession planning, executive searches, and human capital planning. AACUC will also provide referrals for Humanidei’s executive recruiting service, helping build more richly talented and diversified candidate pools.

“I am thrilled to offer this value-added service to our membership and excited about what this can lead to for the credit union movement,” said Renee Sattiewhite, president and CEO of AACUC. “Our organization is growing with many strong, qualified leaders. This partnership is a great example of a credit union partner organization ‘stepping up.’ Humandei will offer tools to help credit union professionals continue building their careers, as well as assisting credit unions in gaining access to more of the best talent available.”

Visit the AACUC and Humandei websites for more information.

African-American Credit Union Coalition
The African-American Credit Union Coalition was created in 1999 to increase the strength of the global credit union community. Its mission is to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development. www.aacuc.org 

Humanidei
Humandei was founded in July 2019 to help credit unions win the war for talent by creating more inclusive cultures where all humans can bring their best selves to work. Humanidei’s executive search division, O’Rourke & Associates, has been the gold standard for executive recruiting in the credit union space for over 35 years. www.humanidei.com 

California Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Bieber (third from right), with Sacramento-area credit union leaders during a meet-and-greet hosted at SAFE CU.
California Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Bieber (third from right), with Sacramento-area credit union leaders during a meet-and-greet hosted at SAFE CU.

CA Sen. Brian Dahle Meets Sacramento-Area CU Leaders

On Tuesday morning, California Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) joined local Sacramento area credit unions for a meet-and-greet at SAFE CU’s headquarters in Folsom, CA.

Dahle was first elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, and just last year he was elected to the Senate, winning the special election Senate District 1.

Notably, Dahle sits on the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and has been a strong ally of credit unions.

As a farmer and small business owner himself, Dahle understands the credit union model and appreciates the great service and employment opportunities credit unions provide their members and communities.

The productive discussion between Dahle and local credit union leaders weighed in on California’s regulatory environment, political climate, and issues such as privacy and data security.

The California Credit Union League would like to thank SAFE CU, Golden 1 CU, First US Community CU, Sacramento CU, Heritage Community CU, SchoolsFirst FCU and Schools Financial, a division of SchoolsFirst FCU, for their participation in Tuesday’s meeting!

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CFPB Introduces New Category of Compliance Guide

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) issued a policy statement to announce a new category of CFPB guidance, known as ''Compliance Aids''. 

The CFPB has always provided guidance to industry and other stakeholders via a variety of means.  For example, CFPB compliance resources includes small entity compliance guides, instructional guides for disclosure forms, executive summaries, summaries of regulation changes, factsheets, flow charts, compliance checklists, frequently asked questions, and summary tables.

The CFPB is now introducing a new category of materials similar to previous compliance resources but to be designated as ''Compliance Aids.''  Note that Compliance Aids are not rules or official interpretations and are therefore not binding, and regulated entities are only required to comply with the underlying rules and statutes.  Instead, the Compliance Aids "present the requirements of existing rules and statutes in a manner that is useful for compliance professionals, other industry stakeholders, and the public" and may include "practical suggestions for how entities might choose to go about complying with those rules and statutes. "

In the scenario where applicable rules and statutes allow multiple methods of compliance, an entity can make a business decision regarding which method to use, even if that method is not specifically addressed in a Compliance Aid, and still be considered in compliance.  

To summarize, the Compliance Aids are designed to "accurately summarize and illustrate the underlying rules and statutes."  The CFPB stated that "when exercising its enforcement and supervisory discretion [it] does not intend to sanction, or ask a court to sanction, entities that reasonably rely on Compliance Aids."

This policy statement, which becomes applicable on Feb. 1, 2020, can be found here.

Source: CUNA’s Compliance Blog. Jan. 28, 2020 

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February 2020’s Local Economic Forecasts Across CA and NV

As February of 2020 begins, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” initiative would like to inform credit union leaders of local monthly economic forecasts and events in their region so they can attend.

Anywhere from 6 – 7 regional economic forecast conferences are taking place across California and Nevada in February (final number to be determined). Click at the end of each description below for registration and more information:

  • Feb. 5: San Diego County — "36th Annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable" hosted by the University of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., and the San Diego Workforce Partnership; click here.

  • Feb. 13: Southern Nevada — “The State of Economic Development” hosted by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance; click here.

  • Feb. 13: Northern Orange County — “North Orange County Economic Forecast 2020” hosted by the Chamber Business Alliance, the chambers of commerce for North Orange County, Brea, Yorba Linda, and Corona (and Beacon Economics/PacWest Association of Realtors); click here.

  • Feb. 19: Los Angeles County — “2020 Economic Forecast” hosted by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.; click here.

  • Feb. 20: North Bay — “27th Annual Economic Outlook and Housing Summit” hosted by Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics and the North Bay Business Journal; click here.

  • Feb. 20: Central Valley — “2020 Central California Business Review” hosted by Fresno State University’s School of Business; click here.

  • Possibly sometime in February (TBD): Bay Area — “2020 Annual Economic Forecast Conference” hosted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute; click here.

Construction hammer

N. California and Sacramento-Area Forecasts Reveal Local Issues

The local economies of far Northern California and the Greater Sacramento Region should continue growing in 2020 and possibly well into 2021 as both areas show potential for continued, steady expansion in employment and business activity.

However, unique issues impacting those regions include a lack of workers and “skills gap” that many local employers continue citing, a slowdown in business and consumer lending, continued recovery from wildfires of the past few years, and a tight housing market.

That’s according to the most recent forecasts published by local academia and other experts during conferences held throughout January. The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately:

Northern California
The following is a synopsis (click here for the entire forecast report):

  • Northern California employers and jobs have not fled the broader region en masse since the destructive wildfires ravaged certain communities over the past few years.
  • Local Northern California workforce development and business leaders remain on the alert regarding a recession in the future.
  • Recent homebuilding in Northern California, even at a small pace, has been a major indicator of community resilience and recovery post-wildfires.

Greater Sacramento Region
The following is a synopsis (click here for the entire forecast report):

  • The Greater Sacramento region’s economy is expected to remain “healthy” in 2020.
  • The Greater Sacramento region’s consumer sentiment is at its highest level since the inception of the SBR/SAFE Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Survey.
  • Sacramento County’s Small Business Administration (SBA) lending activity in 2019 was good, but loan approvals fell below the two-year moving average (primarily due to a slowdown in certain areas of Sacramento County).
  • The Greater Sacramento region’s real estate market is signaling different dynamics depending on the sector.
  • Greater Sacramento-area credit unions and banks had a “great year” in 2019 from an income perspective, but 2020 looks to be much more challenging with slowing loan growth and buoyant funding costs.
  • The Greater Sacramento regional workforce skills gap is at its widest margin since 2017, with voluntary employee turnover expected to increase even more.

cus4kids logo

CUs Use CDAs to Boost “Cause Marketing” Partnership with CU4Kids

“Cause marketing” combines fundraising, employee participation, and publicity to create a charitable program that’s meaningful and sustainable. This strategy benefits the giver and the receiver of charitable donations. A perfect example is the partnership between credit unions, CUNA Mutual Group, and the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals.

The credit union industry has long been involved in fundraising for CMN Hospitals, with events such as the Cherry Blossom Run, Credit Union Miracle Day, etc. The industry formalized and branded this commitment by creating Credit Unions for Kids (CU4Kids).

CU4Kids offers credit unions fundraising guidance and turnkey campaigns for donations from employees and/or the community. Employees enthusiastically volunteer to staff CU4Kids fundraising events.

CUNA Mutual Group—in addition to its corporate and employee donations to CU4Kids—has been introducing credit unions to a relatively new funding mechanism, the “charitable donation account” (CDA).

The NCUA allows certain investments within a CDA that have the potential to earn higher returns, with additional risks, than certificates of deposit and other typical credit union investments. CUNA Mutual Group helps credit unions analyze the different risks these investments present, and closely track the CDA’s performance.

CUNA Mutual Group has seen many credit unions use CDAs to help boost their donations to CU4Kids:

  • In 2018 alone, credit unions that have CUNA Mutual Group CDAs contributed more than $350,000 to CU4Kids.1
  • More than half of the credit unions with CDA accounts through CUNA Mutual Group made contributions to CU4Kids in 2018.1

It bodes well for CU4Kids and other credit union causes that CDAs are growing quickly. According to NCUA Call Report data, taking into account additional account deposits as well as market returns, CDA balances increased 128% from the end of 2016 through 2018.2

5 Basic Cause Marketing Strategies

Your charitable donations can work much harder for your credit union if you follow some basic cause marketing strategies:

  • Believe wholeheartedly in the cause
    Connect with a cause that your board, management, and employees can all get behind. Give everyone a reason to be enthusiastic about participating in fundraising and volunteering.
  • Align with a non-profit that supports your mission
    Know your community’s greatest social concerns and build partnerships, perhaps even branch by branch (as long as the overall campaign is coordinated centrally).
  • Forge a formal partnership, including marketing
    Make your cause marketing a formal partnership—as with CU4Kids—and work together with the non-profit on specific goals. Share one another’s marketing platforms to increase awareness of what you’re doing together. Focus on social media to tap into those who are active in the cause you’ve chosen, and prompt other organizations to add their weight and credibility to your cause marketing efforts.
  • Do more than donate money
    Differentiate your credit union from other donors by engaging your staff in volunteer activities. This shows that your interest in the charity is sincere. It also leverages your best asset—your employees—as goodwill ambassadors.
  • Show a clear impact
    Document and communicate the results of your fundraising and volunteering. This can be the cornerstone of your cause marketing efforts—nothing speaks more eloquently or persuasively than positive results.

Article by Danielle Scodellaro, executive benefits consultant for CUNA Mutual Group. 

 

  1. CUNA Mutual Group statistics, 2018
  2. National Credit Union Association Call Report statistics, 2016 – 2018
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CFPB Publishes Updated HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published an updated version of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)  Small Entity Compliance Guide (Guide). 

Changes to the Guide include updates to incorporate content from the HMDA Final Rule issued in October 2019.  Click here to access the guide. 

People commuting to work

Robust CA and NV Labor Markets Continue Moderating

California and Nevada’s respective employment markets continued growing in December and adding to an ongoing year-over-year surplus for each state’s economies, although the pace is still gradually moderating each month.

The year-over-year figures released every month by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Nevada Employment Training and Rehabilitation Department (DETR) offer a local glimpse for credit union leaders as the national economy continues slowing down.

California’s December Employment Numbers
California’s unemployment rate (view the latest report) remained at a record low of 3.9 percent in December as employers added 12,600 non-farm monthly payroll jobs.

December job gains contributed to an employment expansion that’s now 118-months long in the state, surpassing the expansion of the 1960s for the longest on record.

Additional California highlights from December 2019 include:

  • The state has gained more than 3.42 million jobs since February 2010, accounting for more than 15 percent of the nation’s job gains during that time.
  • The latest monthly (December) job gains were especially driven by the sectors of professional/business services (with a significant number in scientific research/development and advertising/related services), as well as educational/health services.
  • Nonfarm jobs in 11 major industries totaled more than 17.6 million across the state in December.
  • Year-over-year total nonfarm jobs increased by 310,300 jobs (a 1.8 percent increase) from December 2018 to December 2019 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 1.4 percent.

Professional & Business Services (6,500) posted the biggest jobs gain, fueled mostly by scientific research and development and advertising and related services. Educational & Health Services (5,200) also did well with job gains in dental offices and in-home supportive services leading the way.

Nevada’s December Employment Numbers
Employment in Nevada (view the latest report) is down 3,500 over the month (and increased 27,400 over the year).

Nevada’s unemployment rate has matched its all-time low — “lower than it has been in the last 20 years,” stated a news release by DETR. “This month’s numbers reinforce Nevada’s nine full years of unbroken year-over-year job growth.”

Additional Nevada highlights from December 2019 include:

  • The December unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent (down 0.2 percent from November) and is down 0.6 percent compared to December of 2018.
  • Total state employment rose 1.9 percent over the past year, experiencing the low-end of the growth range seen during that year (which was 1.9 – 4.1 percent).
  • The professional/business services sector added the most jobs of all sectors over the past 12 months.
  • As of December 2019, more than 327,000 jobs have been added since bottoming-out in September 2010.
  • This month’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate ties the lowest rate on record in state history set in in February 1999.
  • Unemployment insurance claims totaled just below 10,000 in December, up 1,529 claims compared to November (and up 58 over the past year). This means the ongoing 12-month average level of initial claims remains below 10,000 — only the second time since March 1999.

ATM Physical Attacks on the Rise

Advisory Warning

FTSI has been alerted of a recent series of attacks that have occurred with freestanding drive-up ATM units. These attacks involve using brute force by a truck to open the ATM safe door. The attacks that have been reported are a modification to the pull-out attacks, which targets freestanding, drive-up units and uses a hook and chain attached to both the truck and ATM unit to force open the safe door. These new attacks are completed in less than 5 minutes and have resulted in average of $120K in customer loses, including damage to the ATM and surrounding area. 

Read more
The latest National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board meeting.
The latest National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board meeting.

Proposed Rules Issued: Subordinated Debt; CU-Bank Purchases

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board unanimously approved a proposed rule to permit low-income designated credit unions (LICUs), Complex Credit Unions (>$500 million in assets), and New Credit Unions (<10 years in operation and $10 million or less in assets) to issue Subordinated Debt for purposes of Regulatory Capital treatment. The proposed rule would create a new subpart in the NCUA’s final risk-based capital (RBC) rule that would address the requirements for and Regulatory Capital treatment of Subordinated Debt.

All secondary capital issued after the effective date of a final rule would be subject to the requirements for subordinated debt. In addition, the proposed rule does not impact a LICU’s ability to include such instruments in its net worth.

Two of the objectives of the proposed rule are to provide responsible regulatory relief by authorizing New and Complex Credit Unions to issue Subordinated Debt and to make other improvements and provide additional flexibility for LICUs use of Secondary Capital. According to the NCUA, there are 281 complex credit unions and 4 new credit unions that are non-LICUs and thus could benefit from the propose rule. The NCUA noted the following components of the proposed rule:

Regulatory Relief or New Authority
Six areas:

  • 1) Expands eligibility to issue Subordinated Debt to include Non-LICU Complex CUs, CUs that anticipate being a LICU or Complex in 24 months, and Non-LICU NEW CUs. (702.403).
  • 2) Expands eligible investors for Subordinated Debt from Institutional investors to Accredited Investors (702.406).
  • 3) Adds flexibility for multiple issuances without reapplying (702.408).
  • 4) Adds flexibility on repayment amount (702.411).
  • 5) Adds flexibility to retain Subordinated Debt through a merger or dissolution (702.412).
  • 6) Provides new Safe Harbors for repudiation, interest payments (702.410 and 702.413).

Retained, Clarifications and Cohering Changes
Five areas:

  • 1) Borrowed Funds rule revised to permit borrowing from “any source” to align with the FCU Act (701.38).
  • 2) Preapproval Requirements including the Initial Application and Prepayment have been expanded for clarification (702.408 and 702.411).
  • 3) Regulatory Capital Treatment (702.407).
  • 4) Payout Priorities in involuntary liquidation (709.5).
  • 5) Applicability to Federally Insured State Chartered CUs (741.226 and 741.227).

Proposed New Requirements
Six areas:

  • 1) Defined maximum maturity of 20 years (current minimum maturity of 5 years is retained) (702.404).
  • 2) Subordinated Debt Note requirements are largely retained with additions for restrictions, covenants, default and minimum denomination of $100,000. (702.404).
  • 3) Prohibition on being an issuer and investor, unless the credit union meets certain conditions related to mergers (702.403).
  • 4) Expanded requirements for Disclosures and new requirements for Offering Documents (702.405, 702.406 and 702.408).
  • 5) New rules and limits for making loans to other credit unions including investing into Subordinated Debt (701.25 and 741.227).
  • 6) Prohibition of Interest Payments on “Undercapitalized” credit unions to mandatory (702.109 and 702.410).

In addition to the new and clarified authorities, the NCUA notes that the complexity of the Securities Law component will require NCUA to augment and support legal staff. They propose to hire two senior staff with Securities Law experience and to augment legal staff with outside counsel at an estimated cost of $1 million a year. The proposed rule will expand authority to approximately 285 credit unions and NCUA estimates the volume of new applications to be between 20 and 40 applications per year, with a shift from only LICUs to complex credit unions.

Comments on the proposal will be due 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. A 120-day comment period is meant to provide all stakeholders the opportunity to fully consider the complexity of the subordinated debt proposal and its related issues. A summary of the proposed rule will be available soon in PowerComment. The NCUA has also published the Board’s briefing presentation, which includes a section-by-section outline of the proposal.

Credit Union Combination Transactions Proposed Rule
The Board unanimously approved a proposed rule to add new Subpart D to Part 708a to clarify and make transparent the procedures and requirements currently in place related to “combination transactions,” that is: (a) transactions where a FICU proposes to assume liabilities from an institution other than a credit union, and (b) a FICU’s merger or consolidation with an entity other than a credit union. The proposed rule also adds cross-references to Part 741.8, to clarify its scope and applicability to the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities by FICUs.

The proposed rule provides more information about what the NCUA needs in order to approve or disapprove these transactions; lists the circumstances under which the deposits qualify for share insurance, and explains the process for making the customers of the other financial institution members of the FCU.

Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. A summary of the proposed rule will be available soon in PowerComment.

Federal Credit Union Loan Interest Rate Ceiling
The Board also addressed the interest rate ceiling for FCU loans. Under the FCU Act, the interest rate may not exceed 15 percent except that the Board may establish, after consultation with Congress, Treasury, and other federal financial agencies, a temporary interest rate ceiling greater than 15 percent for periods up to 18 months. The Board extended the temporary 18 percent interest rate ceiling for FCUs through Sept. 19, 2021.

The interest rate ceiling has been set at a fixed 18 percent since 1987. The Board did not consider alternative possible methods for setting the temporary interest rate ceiling, such as a variable or floating rate, at this meeting. However, Chairman Hood acknowledged this topic has been delayed behind other Board priorities but is still on the NCUA’s rulemaking agenda.

2020 Annual Performance Plan
The Board unanimously approved the 2020 Annual Performance Plan. The plan sets out performance indicators and associated targets in support of the goals outlined in the agency’s Strategic Plan and is intended to draw a clear line from the agency’s mission to the strategic goals, strategic objectives, performance goals, and performance indicators and targets. The plan also describes the means, strategies and specific actions the agency has resourced and intends to undertake to achieve each strategic objective.

Image of Congress building in Washington, D.C.

Prepare Before Attending the 2020 Governmental Affairs Conference

The Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) — held annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) at the Washington, D.C. — brings together thousands of credit union advocates to educate members of Congress and regulators on important credit union issues, offering a powerful week for advocates who attend.

Click here to register! The GAC will be held at the Washington Convention Center from Feb. 23 - 27.

Legislative topics include: educating Congress on credit unions in the community (tax and community reinvestment); privacy and data security legislation; modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act; and Bank Secrecy Act updates.

Regulatory topics include: minimizing regulatory burden; National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) exams; Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) rule; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Payday Lending Rule; and the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule.

How to Prepare
While League staff is preparing the full agenda for attendees, there is information you can prepare ahead of time. With the very polarized dialogue coming out of Washington these days, credit unions can have an impact in their long-term agenda.

Below are some useful items participants can bring. The Leagues’ Advocacy Team will be sending a more detailed email to registered attendees late next week.

  • Credit unions looking to bring leave behind information for members of Congress and staff should prepare their “one-pager” that includes basic information such as: size, assets, field of membership, basics of the membership, lending statistics that show the types of products and whom they are lending to, as well as performance versus delinquency rates, list of financial literacy programs (such as EverFi), community-based programs, sponsorships, and local community-based grants. All the "people helping people" programs that are unique to each credit union are important to talk about. Please also include contact information and the credit union's logo and brand.

  • Additionally, any information about lending in underserved communities — particularly where banks have left the market (or are generally absent), without mentioning banks — specifically is important. Statistics and figures you have on services to minority communities, including any item of diversity, equity and inclusion both in the credit union’s management and member services, is positive to include. CUNA and the Leagues will provide higher-level information about the financial benefits credit unions provide to the community; however, any data you have about your credit union’s specific programs and returns to membership are welcome. No program is too small or large.

  • The meetings will also spend time on modernizing the federal charter. This should not preclude state-chartered credit unions from the conversation, as the Leagues’ goal is to provide the optimal charter of choice (federal today, state tomorrow and vice versa). If your credit union is federally chartered, understanding the limitations on of the 15-year maturity cap for non-mortgage lending will be helpful, especially if there is demand from your membership for these services. Likewise, state-chartered credit unions can bring performance data on their portfolios and performance in this space.

  • Information on the confusion of the compliance factors of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and any difficulties therein can contribute to our narrative. Knowing the number of out-of-state versus in-state members your credit union serves will be helpful, especially as our narrative points directly toward the need for one strong, uniform national data security law.

More Information
Contact Leagues Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Jeremy Empol at jeremye@ccul.org for more information.

For additional information from CUNA on the GAC, click here.

Reserve Your Room
To make a reservation under the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ room block, contact Carmelita Keller at carmelitak@ccul.org or 909-212-6027.

Redwood CU staff
Redwood CU began 70 years ago and now employs 700 people across eight counties.

Redwood CU Celebrates 70 Years of Service

On Jan. 19, 1950, Sonoma County Employees CU was born—thanks to the work of seven county employees who wanted to provide an affordable means to make bridge loans to fellow employees between paychecks. It operated from the Sonoma County Auditor’s Office in Court House Square in Santa Rosa.

Today, that credit union—which in 1982 merged with Santa Rosa Public Employees Credit Union and was renamed as Redwood CU—is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It has grown to offer full service personal and business banking, as well as financial services beyond banking such as financial planning, insurance, and even an auto sales center. In addition, it provides a multitude of financial education programs for both youth and adults in the communities it serves. And, when tragic and devastating fires have hit the region, it has demonstrated the “People Helping People” philosophy and aided those affected.

Throughout its 70-year history, Redwood CU has experienced several milestones. In 1997, it expanded its field of membership to serve anyone living or working in the five North Bay counties of Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa. In 2000, the credit union not only celebrated its 50th anniversary, but also received approval to serve residents and businesses in the three additional counties of San Francisco, Solano, and Contra Costa. In 2004, it reached $1 billion in assets.

 
Redwood CU's first branch on Administration Drive opened in 1967.
 

By 2001, membership had reached 100,000. It would hit the 185,000 membership mark by 2010—when Redwood CU celebrated its 60th anniversary.  Just 10 years later, the 200,000th member joined and a year after that (2012), Redwood reached $2 billion in assets.

The credit union now has 19 locations throughout the North Bay and San Francisco, is the 43rd largest credit union in the U.S., and the 8th largest in California. It has been named one of the top five healthiest credit unions in the nation for six consecutive years by Glatt Consulting, an independent firm that measures credit union health against 17 metrics of strength and growth.

 
A billboard near the credit union commemorates its 70th anniversary.
 

“Though we’ve grown and added many services and locations over the past 70 years, helping people has always been at the heart of what we do,” said Brett Martinez, RCU President & CEO. “We’re thankful for our 353,000 members, and through their loyalty and participation—as well as the dedication of our 700 employees—we have a solid foundation to continue providing affordable financial services and support to our communities for many more decades to come.”

When wildfires hit the area in 2017, Redwood CU’s Community Fund created the North Bay Fire Relief Fund—in partnership with Sen. Mike McGuire and The Press Democrat. The Fund collected and distributed more than $32 million to support immediate needs of fire survivors. Redwood paid all the administrative costs so that 100 percent of donations could go to those in need. CEO Brett Martinez received the Anchor Award in 2018 from the National Credit Union Foundation for his exemplary leadership during the 2017 wildfires relief efforts.

When power outages as well as the Kincade Fire hit in October 2019, Redwood once again jumped in to help. Among other things, it opened its main offices as an evacuation shelter for employees, their families and pets, by providing them with showers, toiletries, sleeping bags, pillows, sleeping mats, and meals (prepared by the CEO and executive team). The credit union maintained services at all ATMs and all branches except two (which were in mandatory evacuation zones). It provided financial assistance programs to support members impacted by the fire and evacuations. And it provided support to the community, including providing a free barbeque for local fire and police departments and volunteering at the local assistance center.

The credit union is celebrating its anniversary by providing fun commemorate cookies in the branches. It also put up a billboard and is running social media posts with fun facts about Redwood CU as well as holding a contest, giving $70 away to seven people.

For more on Redwood CU’s history, watch this video.

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Compliance Resources for 2019/2020 CA State and Federal Laws

Below are links to three great compliance resources to help ensure your credit union stays in compliance with CA and federal 2019 and 2020 laws, rules, and regulations.

These and many other compliance resources at Your Fingertips - powered by your membership with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues!

  • PolicyWorks – answers to your compliance questions are just a phone call away. Call 844-731-6072 or email CANV@PolicyWorksLLC.com
  • InfoSight – easy-to-read compliance summaries, along with detailed analysis, checklists, FAQs and calendars for both state and federal laws and regulations.

7 Things CUs Must Include in Their Brand Marketing Strategy

“Brand” is not easy to define, but the best ones evoke feelings of confidence and trust. Your brand is bigger than your product, logo, website or corporate name. For credit unions, the people who drive brand identity converged on San Diego for the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) Conference every year. MAC undoubtedly sheds a bright light on best practices in Marketing. But the best brands are built and sustained by the values that employees share throughout an enterprise. Let’s break it down with a list of elements that credit unions should include in their brand marketing.

Read more