Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New NCUA Rules Worth $8 Million to Credit Unions

What is the reduced compliance burden, as a result of Thursday’s new NCUA rules, worth to credit unions? .....New NCUA Rules Worth $8 Million to Credit Unions:

Will Bernanke Keep His Promise?

If the Federal Reserve holds to its promise, financial institutions might not see interest rates increase until 2014. But that projection is based largely on expectations that the economy will need several more years to recover from the effects of the last recession. It's possible significant economic change could push the Federal Reserve to reconsider its hold on interest rate increases.
These six signs could indicate an earlier-than-expected increase in interest rates....[Read Article]

Potential Changes to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Written by Steve Van Beek NAFCU
On the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I thought it was fitting to discuss some movement on Capitol Hill regarding proposed extensions to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
As reported in the NAFCU Today, the House passed an Amendment offered by Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (which also passed the House in recent weeks).  The Amendment would provide additional protections to servicemembers.  The additional protections include:
  • Extending post-service mortgage protection from nine months to 12 months;
  • Extending certain SCRA protections to surviving spouses;
  • Extending SCRA protections to all totally disabled veterans leaving the military;
  • Requiring each financial institution - including credit unions - to designate a SCRA compliance officer; and
  • Requiring institutions over $10 billion in assets to maintain a toll-free number for SCRA issues.
A similar bill was introduced in the Senate.  It is expected that the Senate will take up its own 2013 National Defense Authorization Act - which it will need to pass and then the House and Senate bills will be reconciled in conference committee.
For the SCRA issues, keep an eye out as these changes come from Congress directly rather than the regulators.  If these bills pass (in one form or another), we'll be sure to provide additional information.   ....... Potential Changes to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

'What's a realistic retirement age?'

What's a realistic retirement age? How much longer will most of us have to work?" -- Charles Maimone, Wilmington, N.C......'What's a realistic retirement age?': "

Friday, May 25, 2012

Common Compliance Violations: Account Opening Disclosures for Open-End Credit

Written by Steve Van Beek NAFCU
We've discussed the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Consumer Compliance Outlook a few times - including the following common compliance violations:
Today, I wanted to highlight a common Reg Z violation (according to Federal Reserve examiners) which stems from the multitude of changes in Regulation Z over the past 3-4 years. And, unfortunately, we ain't seen nothing yet!.......

Hurricanes | Ready.gov

It's that time of year again!  Now is the time to break out your Hurricane Plan and dust it off.
Hurricane Season begins June 1, 2012, FEMA is providing additional tools for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officials to alert and warn the public about severe weather. Using the Commercial Mobile Alert System, or CMAS, which is a part of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, this structure will be used to deliver Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to wireless carriers for distribution to the public.......Great information about planning can be found at......Hurricanes | Ready.gov  NCOFCU members can find an employee Hurricane Plan in the Members Only Policies and Procedures.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Did Somebody Say 'High-Yield Checking'?

At least 37 banks and credit unions are offering checking accounts yielding 2% or more a year, according to a new Bankrate.com study. That's in stark contrast to the 0.06% yield on an average checking account, and even higher than average rates on ...Did Somebody Say 'High-Yield Checking'?:

No Extension of Corporate Share Guarantee Into 2013: NCUA

Credit unions holding out hope the NCUA will extend the corporate share guarantee beyond Dec. 31 should start making other plans.....No Extension of Corporate Share Guarantee Into 2013: NCUA:

Best 1Q Ever For Loan Originations

Credit unions originated their highest loan volume for first quarters, helping members take advantage of historically low interest rates....[Read Article]

Get Your Tellers In The Game

Front-line staff should be supported with advanced sales tools and service information....Tellers have more personal contact with members than any other job function and many credit unions believe in harnessing that face-time as part of an integrated sales and service strategy. [Read Article]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Consumers Jilting Branches for Online Banking: Study


Half in survey say they would do all banking online if they could.....Consumers Jilting Branches for Online Banking: Study:

Ongoing Operations and CheckAlt Partner to Offer Credit Unions Secure, Cloud ...

CheckAlt a NCOFCU Sponsor has partnered with OnGoing Operations.
OGO's cloud platform is uniquely positioned to connect credit unions with key vendors and help solve multiple regulatory challenges including security and disaster recovery. "Anytime we can help a credit union vendor provide services more efficiently, ...Ongoing Operations and CheckAlt Partner to Offer <b>Credit Unions</b> Secure, Cloud <b>...</b>:
See all stories on this topic »

What Credit Unions Should REALLY Be Worried About | Snarketing ...

As I read through my daily Blogs I came across this very interesting survey.
Snarketing 2.0 is a blog about marketing and financial services, written by Aite Group senior analyst Ron Shevlin.

Both banks and credit unions should take note of these data points as I believe they're cause for concern on the part of both types of financial institutions. We asked consumers to assume that they were in the market for a new financial ...What <b>Credit Unions</b> Should REALLY Be Worried About | Snarketing <b>...</b>

Monday, May 21, 2012

FinCen BSA E-Filing System Dead Line


May 7, 2012

REMINDER – In a notice dated February 24, 20121 , the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced, that in an effort to improve efficiency; reduce government and industry costs; and enhance the ability of investigators, analysts, and examiners to gain better and more timely access to information; that it is adopting a requirement that all financial institutions subject to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting use electronic filing (E-Filing) for certain FinCEN reports beginning no later than July 1, 2012.

BSA E-Filing ( BSA E-Filing System )
BSA E-Filing, which is provided free of charge, offers streamlined BSA information submission; faster routing of information to law enforcement; greater data security and privacy compared with paper forms; long-term cost savings to institutions, individuals, and the government; and ensures compatibility with future versions of FinCEN reports. Effective July 1, 2012, institutions must submit most FinCEN reports electronically unless they are granted a temporary exemption.

For more information about the benefits of using BSA E-Filing, please review the E-Filing Section on FinCEN's Web site. FinCEN is committed to working with financial institutions to increase their understanding of the value of E-Filing and has issued a brochure that highlights its benefits. For other technology-related questions specific to E-Filing, please call the BSA E-Filing Help desk at 1-866-346-9478.

NCUA Interest Rate Risk Letter Includes New Examiner Questionnaire, FAQs

New rules take effect Sept. 30, cover 45% of nation's credit unions with 96% of assets.
NCUA examiners will begin using a new questionnaire, among other changes, when the agency’s updated rules on interest rate risk management takes effect Sept. 30, the agency said in a letter this week.....NCUA Interest Rate Risk Letter Includes New Examiner Questionnaire, FAQs: .

BofA Offers Up to $30K to Owners for Short Sales

In an effort to curb foreclosures, Bank of America is offering some of its defaulting home owners relocation assistance of anywhere from $2,500 to as much as $30,000 if they agree to complete a short sale.
Bank of America and other banks increasingly are becoming more willing to complete short sales than in the past, seeing it as a much less expensive alternative than if a home owner falls into foreclosure. With a short sale, banks are able to get ownership of the property more quickly, which tends to allow banks to keep the homes in better condition for resale and avoid costly other fees. Also, studies have shown that short sale properties tend to sell for more than properties in foreclosure.
As such, more banks have tried out special offers to struggling home owners to get them to pursue a short sale over foreclosure. Bank of America first began piloting its short sale relocation program in Florida last year, offering up to $20,000 to home owners who agreed to complete a short sale. JPMorgan Chase piloted a program that offered some home owners up to $35,000 to complete a short sale.
Bank of America has now rolled out the program nationally. To participate, home owners must get preapproval on the sales price of the home. The sale also must close by Sept. 26, 2013.
“This program can help customers make a planned transition from ownership when home retention options have been exhausted or they have made a decision not to keep the home,” says Bob Hora, a Bank of America executive.
For more on this story click here. REALTORMag: BofA Offers Up to $30K to Owners for Short Sales:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Some SAR Regulatory Updates From NAFCU

Some SAR regulatory updates from NAFCU
Written by Bernadette Clair, Regulatory Compliance Counsel NAFCU
FinCEN recently announced the release of its 21st issue of the SAR Activity Review – Trends, Tips, & Issues. Most of the issue focuses on Money Services Businesses (MSBs) – and is a good read if your credit union provides services to MSBs.
However, I’d like to draw your attention to guidance FinCEN provides in this issue related to the time frame for filing SARs on continuing suspicious activity. The guidance is designed to address uncertainty over whether ongoing activity SARs should be filed every 90 days, or after 90 days of review....

Waterbury Firefighters Credit Union builds a new branch

Michael Kinne, president and CEO, of the Waterbury Firefighters Credit Union on Watertown Avenue in Waterbury Friday. Waterbury Firefighters Credit Union, the oldest financial institution headquartered in Waterbury, has purchased a new 2,500-square-foot building at 281 Meriden Road. The Firefighters Credit Union is the oldest active financial institution that still has its headquarters in the Waterbury. It was established in 1934, ......City <b>credit union</b> builds a new branch:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Establish Relationships


The ability to build and leverage a network of relationships is the best predictor of leadership success, according to a recent article in Fast Company. Relationship building is one of those skills that isn’t taught in schools or part of training people receive when they become managers.
Many of you were tapped for leadership positions because of your strong individual skills and knowledge. Making the transition from individual contributor to group leader begins with helping others achieve their goals. There needs to be a shift in thinking. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Tip 1: Clarity.
People want to follow leaders who have a clear sense of where they’re going, a concern for others and a focus on results. Take time to define where you’re taking your team and communicate it clearly. Don’t assume everyone knows what is happening. Builds trust into your relationships.

Tip 2: Give.
Build relationships by giving as much as you can with no immediate expectation of return. Sometimes you’ll get a return immediately, sometimes down the line. You’re in the process of establishing relationships – it’s not instant.

Tip 3: Wide reach.
Build relationships with people from all aspects of your business. Relationship building is not just for peers and upper management – it’s also with subordinates. Don’t limit your effectiveness in the organization – you’re only as good as the people you’re leading.

Tip 4: Politics.
Some people think that building relationships at work is all about office politics. Going it alone will only get you so far. You might miss out on projects that need collaboration. Getting along with others is as key to your success as the unique skills and abilities you have.

Tip 5: Results.
Remember that relationships at work are about achieving your organization’s objectives through working together. If a relationship starts to focus mainly on emotional support, both parties may forget that work is about getting something accomplished.

Tip 6: Homies.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of developing relationships with those that are most like us, it’s who we feel comfortable with. The best leaders are those who develop relationships with people who are not like them. These could be people in different departments, have different skills sets or belong to different peer groups. You’re also more likely to learn something new from those that are least like you.

Tip 7: Lunch.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “I’m too busy” mantra. Take the time to get to know people over a meal. It’s a way to deepen the relationship and find out more about your co-workers, superiors and subordinates. Perhaps you’ll need to schedule it in to ensure you do it – once a week, once every two weeks, whatever works for you. Make sure it’s not one more thing that you’ve been meaning to do.

What relationship building techniques have worked for you? Have you had any that have backfired? Any tips on what to watch out for? Leave your comments below.

Monday, May 14, 2012


To All Directors and Chief Executive Officers
Beginning on September 30, 2012, certain federally insured credit unions ... This rule affects only 45% of credit unions, yet covers 96% of credit union assets.

Some Good News about Deferred Compensation | NAFCU Services Blog

Credit unions and their board members should consider this information and the potential outcome of the IRS’ final issuance as they consider adopting a 457(b) deferred compensation plan. Recently, the IRS issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that includes a new facts-and-circumstances test for determining if an entity is a “governmental entity” or an “instrumentality of a governmental entity.” The conclusion, as applied to an example credit union........ Some Good News about Deferred Compensation | NAFCU Services Blog

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Auto Lease Volume Picks Up

!Auto Leasing!
Option's popularity could impact credit union auto loan originations.
According to Equifax and Moody’s Analytics’ CreditForecast.com, total auto lease balances increased 9%in March over activity in March 2011.
That percentage was more than twice the growth rate of auto loan balances, which grew 4.2% during the same period, the data showed.....Auto Lease Volume Picks Up:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Overdraft Programs Under Attack; Recap of Reg Burden Hearing

Overdraft Programs Under Attack; Recap of Reg Burden Hearing:
Written by Steve Van Beek NAFCU
As if the CFPB's Inquiry into Overdrafts wasn't enough, there are continued pushes by both consumer groups and lawmakers to drastically change overdraft protection programs.  Oh, and the New York Times stepped in as well to write an op-ed.
Congress.  This seems like the Credit CARD Act all over again.  Remember how the Federal Reserve was working on amending and changing the credit card disclosures and rules but Congress forced the Credit CARD Act through anyway?  You know, the Credit CARD Act that is still being clarified, tweaked and amended because it was so poorly written.   
Well, even as the CFPB conducts its "inquiry" into Overdraft Protection (comment period extended to June 29th) - Congress is at it again.
Overdraft Protection Act.  Representative Carolyn Maloney (and 46 co-sponsors) announced she would introduce legislation that would:
  • Extend the opt-in requirement to paper checks, ACHs and recurring debit transactions;
  • Define overdraft fees as finance charges for Truth in Lending Act disclosures (Ed: Huh??);
  • Prohibit the ordering of transactions to maximize overdrafts;
  • Require that fees be "reasonable and proportional" to the amount of the overdraft;
  • Cap the number of fees at one per month and six per year;
  • Add new disclosures prior to opt-in and whenever an overdraft fee is charged; and
  • Require the CFPB to study overdraft fees on prepaid debit cards.
I guess when they say they want to "Stop Overdraft Protection" they are serious.  This bill (we haven't seen the full text yet) would pretty much do just that.  I can't imagine too many institutions continuing to provide this service if a bill along these lines would actually pass.
But, I wonder if Congress is worried that if they prohibited overdraft protection it would force consumers to actually keep track of their spending and take some responsibility.  Now, that would be draconian.
Consumer Groups.  If you haven't seen the recent Pew Study on Overdrafts, it is worth a read.  Also be sure to pass around your credit union.  This is what is being handed out to the CFPB and Congress in pushes to change the current overdraft rules.
***Overdraft Programs Under Attack; Recap of Reg Burden Hearing

    CFPB Considering New Mortgage Originator Rules

    Get familiar with this name, you are going to hear it a lot this year!!
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has outlined rules under consideration that would change the way institutions charge mortgage points and fees......CFPB Considering New Mortgage Originator Rules:

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Templeton: Reg burden big before Dodd-Frank, now also unpredictable | NAFCU

    May 10, 2012 – NAFCU witness Ed Templeton told lawmakers Wednesday that a particularly difficult challenge for credit unions in dealing with rising compliance costs is the inability to plan for the next spate of rules to come under the Dodd-Frank Act.

    “Many [Dodd-Frank Act] rules haven’t been written yet,” .......Templeton: Reg burden big before Dodd-Frank, now also unpredictable | NAFCU

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    NCUA Interest Rate Risk Letter Includes New Examiner Questionnaire, FAQs

    New rules take effect Sept. 30, cover 45% of nation's credit unions with 96% of assets. NCUA examiners will begin using a new questionnaire, among other changes, when the agency’s updated rules on interest rate risk management takes effect Sept. 30, the agency said in a letter this week......NCUA Interest Rate Risk Letter Includes New Examiner Questionnaire, FAQs:

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Many Competing Paths on the Road to a Phone Wallet

    As merchants upgrade payment terminals, technology companies are maneuvering to become the standard in paying with taps and swipes.
    Merchants are facing heavy pressure to upgrade their payment terminals to accept smart cards. Over the last several months, Visa, Discover and MasterCard have said that merchants that cannot accept these cards will be liable for any losses owing to fraud.
    “Everybody is going to be upgrading,” said Jennifer Miles, an executive vice president at VeriFone, which provides payment terminals to most merchants in the United States.
    While updating the terminals for smart cards, VeriFone also plans to upgrade for smartphone wallets, providing the capability for near-field communication, the technology used by the Google and Isis wallets, the two biggest smartphone wallet projects......Many Competing Paths on the Road to a Phone Wallet:        

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Firefighters Credit Union Conference

    Calling All Firefighters
    NCOFCU is looking for firefighters who are serving as volunteers at their credit unions. Hundreds of firefighters attend our annual conference to network and collaborate about their credit unions. Top 10 Reasons To Attend  Register now at:  http://firefightercuconf.com/

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    7 Takeaways from the NACHA PAYMENTS Conference

    NACHA’s PAYMENTS 2012 conference at the Baltimore Convention Center included sessions on emerging and well-established trends and practices across the spectrum of electronic payments. Credit Union Times’ Robert McGarvey was there covering it and here is a quick look at some of what the experts shared with attendees during the April 29-May 2 conference. Here are seven quick looks at takeaway topics covered at the NACHA PAYMENTS 2012 conference April 29-May 2 in Baltimore.....7 Takeaways from the NACHA PAYMENTS Conference:

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    How To Employ Gen Y

    As a new generation enters the workforce, credit unions may have to adjust their workplace culture toward a more engaging environment....[Read Article]