COVID: CUs Respond in CA; Updates for NV

Coronavirus

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.

 

Click here to see a brief synopsis on what the Governor assured California’s leaders and residents during his press conference yesterday, as well as an update on our ongoing conversations with the Department of Business Oversight and the department’s specific requests of credit unions.

The Governor’s ongoing live-stream Facebook page briefings (scroll down to view) are keeping residents and the news media informed.

More CA Updates

The League continues to work with the Governor’s office and the DBO on how we will assist Californians during this crisis. We are advocating daily for all credit unions operating in the state to have a voice in the state’s ongoing economic response. Now that we know what the DBO expects of credit unions, we urge you to post clear instructions on the front page of your website detailing the best channels that members can use to contact you regarding your financial relief options — and the exact process for obtaining relief.

Governor Newsom has also released an updated list of essential services and critical infrastructure industries, as well as information about whether state public health orders override local orders.

Nevada Update

In response to the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is working with the attorney general to research which relief efforts the state can move forward on regarding mortgage and rent-related issues. See the "Financial Institutions Division" and "Mortgage Lending Division" areas of the Department of Business and Industry’s webpage here, which give credit unions guidance for working with local consumers.

The department is also routinely posting timely information and resources. Please see its recent guidance and announcements on COVID-19.

The Governor announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force, which is aimed at mobilizing the private sector to assist in ongoing efforts undertaken by state agencies and the Nevada Health Response Center.

Additionally, he issued an executive order to force closure of non-essential businesses across the state. His previous directive to close non-essential businesses did not include an official order. You can read his official remarks.

U.S. Senate Passes Stimulus Bill

Click here and scroll down to see the latest on the national stimulus bill just passed by the U.S. Senate and how it will impact credit unions and their members if it becomes law. It is scheduled to pass the House on Friday.

Telling Our Story Through the Media

League President and CEO Diana Dykstra highlighted the credit union difference in response to the crisis in articles published by the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press — syndicated in local news outlets across the state and nation. We plan to use any published stories in our ongoing conversations with the governor’s office, as well as state legislators and regulators. The League has kicked off a multi-week effort in California to promote individual credit union stories to local and national news media about how our industry is responding through COVID-19 financial relief efforts to members. We are working to coordinate local CEO interviews with a variety of online, print, radio and TV news outlets as the opportunity arises. See Wednesday’s news release here, and Monday’s here.

Regulatory Updates

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.

The National Credit Union Administration announced that COVID-19 Urgent Needs Grants are available to help impacted low-income designated credit unions. The agency’s Urgent Needs Grant Guideline is available here.

The NCUA also announced that low-income credit unions that want to become certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can apply to use NCUA’S streamlined CDFI application process beginning March 29 through May 31.

The NCUA issued Letter to FCUs 20-FCU-02, providing federal credit unions additional flexibility for annual meetings, including an emergency exception to the in-person quorum requirement.

The U.S. Department of Labor has made the model notices required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) available online.

Accommodating CU Members

As restrictions on movement continue to grow, credit unions are utilizing different ways to accommodate their members. Click here for examples on branch/lobby and facilities access specific to California.

Updates to League COVID-19 Resources

The latest additions and updates to the League Coronavirus/COVID-19 resource webpage include:

Resources area: CA.gov’s “Stay Home Except for Essential Needs”; League PolicyWorks resources: COVID-19 Compliance Newsletter; NCUA Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting; and federal legislation information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) area: Assistance to members, issues, and topics; information for board of directors/supervisory committees; information on branch closures/modifications; crisis communications; and information on loans

Today and Our Future

Credit unions — and the nation — will come out of this crisis, and what we do now will help determine our future. Please take a look at a thoughtful leadership piece in Credit Union Business News that offers a valuable perspective on choosing survival or growth during times of disruption. The author, a former credit union CEO, was also interviewed on CU Broadcast.

Questions?

Email our response team at COVID19@ccul.org.

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