Seizing a Window of Opportunity for MBL

Capitol domeCredit union advocates from across the country and here in Georgia have been urging Congress to enact MBL legislation, efforts that continue today. The jobs discussions that follow the September 8th unveiling of the Obama administration's jobs plan present a unique window of opportunity to lift the member business lending (MBL) cap on credit unions, as it would create an estimates 140,000 jobs within the first year after enactment. Timing is of the essence; the President has stated that Congress “should pass this jobs plan right away,” so the window for action is narrow.

Read more
 

Washington, D.C. News

Seizing a Window of Opportunity for MBL
Debt Super Committee on Fast Track
CFPB Nominee Vows to Use All Tools Available
Financial Institution Protections in Patent Law Passes Senate

Industry News

Cheney Among 'Top CEOs in 2011'

State News

DeKalb Shifting to Show Value of Foreclosure Registries

Public Influence News

Georgia CUs Ask Members: What's Your Top Financial Goal?
GCUA Hosts Media Relations Training
REAL Deal Reunion Brings Liaisons and Networking Councils Together
CUs in the News
Consider This
Paying Attention
Statewide News Coverage

News of Interest

Foreclosure Notices Drop
Survey: 74 Percent of Voters Say Businesses, Consumers Over-Regulated
Britain Banks Facing BIG Bill
Demographic with Highest Bankruptcies? Take an Educated Guess:

News of the Competition

U.S. Government Suing Big Banks over Mortgages
Bank Exec Found Guilty, Facing Up To 30 Years Behind Bars
BofA Cutbacks May Hit 40,000

September 16, 2011

 
Project ZIP Code
 
Contact Your Legislator
 
Maximize the Power of the Media
 
State Legislative Update
 
Legislative Grids
 

Georgia Credit Union Affiliates

AMERICA'S CREDT UNIONS

Extend the Reach of Creating Influence

Stay on top of what's happening with credit union advocacy by reading Creating Influence, the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates' advocacy e-newsletter! If you’d like to be added to the distribution list, email Advocacy@gcua.org or call an Advocacy Team member – Cindy Connelly, Mike Culbertson, Anita Paul or Brandee Bickle – at 800-768-4282.

 Washington, D.C. News
 

Seizing a Window of Opportunity for MBL

Credit union advocates from across the country and here in Georgia have been urging Congress to enact MBL legislation, efforts that continue today. The jobs discussions that follow the September 8th unveiling of the Obama administration's jobs plan present a unique window of opportunity to lift the member business lending (MBL) cap on credit unions, as it would create an estimates 140,000 jobs within the first year after enactment. Timing is of the essence; the President has stated that Congress “should pass this jobs plan right away,” so the window for action is narrow.

Click hereBut support is growing: In a significant action in support of credit union member business lending, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has publicly backed adding MBL cap lift language to a developing jobs bill. Schumer in a statement said that lifting the "job-killing" lending cap "would be a win" for small businesses. "In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that they have access to the credit they need to grow and create jobs," he added. So whether it is the addition of MBL legislation to an economic job stimulus package, or the passage of either the separate House (H.R. 1418) and Senate bills (S. 509) to increase the MBL limit to 27.5 percent of assets, credit unions continue to urge Congress to move MBL forward. To engage your credit union team in the action, please click here.

Back to top
 
 

Super CommitteeDebt Super Committee
on Fast Track

The United States Congress Joint Selection Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “Debt Super Committee” held its first hearing on September 13th, working on its designed goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, from either spending cuts or tax revenue (or a combination of both). The committee’s recommendations must be submitted in a bill by November 23rd of this year, which would be voted on by the full House and Senate. Monumental in size, and fast in timeframe, the committee has a tight schedule:

  • Oct. 14th: House and Senate committees must submit recommendations to the committee by this date.
  • Nov. 23rd: Deadline for the committee to vote on a plan with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.
  • Dec. 2nd: Deadline for the committee to submit report and legislative language to the president and Congress.
  • Dec. 23rd: Deadline for both houses to vote on the committee bill.

Everyone – from consumers to administration officials, lobbyists to legislators, and industries and economists – is watching to see what will be recommended, who may have influence, and what the outcome will be. The Washington Post has highlighted lobbyists’ connection to committee members, and more than 60 business leaders, economists and former officials have urged the committee to “Go Big” in its design and scope. Credit union activists remain vigilant in their monitoring for proposals, and CUNA continues to work with the members of the Committee to protect credit union interests.

Back to top
 
 

CFPB Nominee Vows to Use All Tools Available

Cordray
Richard Cordray testifies before the Senate Banking Committee (photo by Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times)

Richard Cordray, the nominee for the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testified Tuesday, September 6th before the Senate Banking Committee. The former Ohio attorney general laid out his philosophy of supervision and enforcement. Cordray vowed to ensure the CFPB meets its mandates by using a combination of supervision, litigation if necessary, and streamlined regulations if possible. Read his testimony here.

Cordray testified against the backdrop of over 40 senators who have said they will not vote to confirm any director until the structure of the bureau is changed. Those proposed changes include increasing the CFPB leadership from a single director to a five-member board, budget appropriation power granted to Congress, and adjusting to a simple majority the voting threshold needed for the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to set aside or stay a CFPB-issued rule. “No one person should have so much unfettered power over the American people. It blatantly violates the spirit of our democratic system of government,” panel ranking member Richard Shelby (R-AL) said during the confirmation hearing. Shelby added that he had no personal misgivings about Cordray, who heads the CFPB's enforcement division.

Back to top
 
 

Financial Institution Protections in Patent Law Passes Senate

On September 8th the Senate approved the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), which, among other things, would protect credit unions and other businesses from outside claims that some specific customer service, payment and marketing practices have already been claimed under existing business method patents. These types of patent challenges, which are often brought by non-practicing entities, can become expensive for credit unions and others if they are heard in court. Credit unions were a part of a coalition of several trade groups that backed the legislation, and sought Senate support earlier this week in a letter to Congress. The legislation now only needs President Barack Obama's signature to become law, which The Washington Post reports should be as early the end of this week.

Back to top
 
 
Industry News
 

Cheney Among 'Top CEOs in 2011'

CEO Update, a highly regarded Washington-based newsletter for association and nonprofit executives, published its “Top Association CEOs of 2011” issue, which includes CUNA CEO Bill Cheney. The list is culled from literally thousands of national associations that exist inside the Beltway. The newsletter cites  that in just his first year as CEO of CUNA, Cheney gets credit even from adversaries for nearly scoring a major upset in the debit-card swipe-fee battle. Credit union advocates will recall that retailers had gotten a limit to the fees included in the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, and that the Federal Reserve, interpreting the new law, initially proposed setting the limit at a fraction of the going rate.

Back to top
 
 
State News
 

Foreclosure noticeDeKalb Shifting to Show Value of Foreclosure Registries

Credit union advocates are well aware of the Uniform Property Standards Bill H.B. 110 that stalled in the Senate during the evening hours of the final day of the 2011 state session. One motivation for this bill is DeKalb County’s foreclosed property registry, which has been under fire in the press. The registry has brought in more than $557,000 in just 10 months, and almost half of this money could soon be spent solely on jobs for five individuals whose task is to maintain the list. DeKalb’s registry was highlighted in a September 6th Atlanta Journal-Constitution article as a tool for increasing revenue as opposed to the stated purpose of property upkeep, as no code enforcement actions have been taken against any property on their registry. The county plans to review a proposal to change the registry requirements to show when code enforcement work is needed, and inspect properties when an owner asks to be removed from the registry as they have stated that they want to defend their system to the state legislature when H.B. 110 comes up again next year. Stay tuned!

Back to top
 
 
Public Influence News
 
International Credit Union Day 2011Georgia CUs Ask Members: What's Your Top Financial Goal?

International Credit Union Day Contest Gets Underway in October! October 20th is International Credit Union Day, and Georgia credit unions are celebrating in a big way – by giving away cash to members. For several weeks, credit unions have been informed of plans for the ICU Day Financial Goals Contest, which will run October 5-19 here in Georgia. The contest will encourage credit unions to include an icon or link on their websites that members can click on to answer one important question: “What is your top financial goal for the next 12 months?” Members will choose from a list of answers provided, and then answer a few brief demographic questions before electronically submitting their response into the random drawing for a chance to win one $1,000 cash prize or one of two $500 cash prizes. Prior to submitting the entry, members will indicate that they are aware that they could be contacted by their credit union at a later date.

Every credit union in the state is invited to participate by including the contest icon or link on your website and your Facebook page. To receive the link, e-mail anitap@gcua.org. There is no cost for credit unions to participate in this contest. However, there are costs associated with execution of the contest, and any financial contributions are appreciated. Credit unions that are able to contribute financially will receive leads of all respondents who indicate they are a member of your credit union. The member responses will generate valuable leads for your credit union to follow up on. The leads will include the member’s name, top financial goal, e-mail address, age range and household income range.

The more credit unions that participate in the contest, the greater the opportunities for media exposure, both statewide and in your local area. With a large number of participating credit unions and members, there will be a greater pool of data and information to share with the media. To get your credit union involved in the contest, e-mail Anita at anitap@gcua.org no later than September 30th.

Back to top
 
 
Media Training 2011GCUA Hosts Media Relations Training

Credit union representatives gathered in Duluth, GA on September 15th to participate in the GCUA-hosted Media Relations Training. An annual event designed to educate credit union leadership and spokespersons about the changing landscape of media relations, the training was conducted by Weber Shandwick, the League’s public relations firm.

Attendees learned how to craft and deliver effective messages, how to write an effective press release, tips for preparing for an interview, insight into finding and localizing media-grabbing stories, and how to pitch stories to journalists. A panel of reporters from across the state shared insight into their workday, what resources they need, what makes a good story, and their pet peeves. Two pre-recorded mock media interviews were shared featuring Cassandra Brown of Credit Union of Atlanta and Andy Anderson of CDC FCU. Representatives of Weber Shandwick, along with event attendees, evaluated the mock interviews and discussed the effectiveness of the answers provided. Additionally, a live mock interview was conducted. Tiffany Greenway of Northwest Georgia Credit Union volunteered to be on the “hot seat” and was asked several questions before the group. All in good fun, the audience was able to discuss important interview techniques and strategies. This is the fourth year that GCUA has hosted Media Relations Training for credit unions.

Back to top
 
 
REAL Deal Reunion Brings Liaisons and Networking Councils Together

REAL Deal Reunion bannerIn its fourth year, the REAL Deal Reunion will be held Thursday, November 3rd at the Wyndham Peachtree City Conference Center for a dynamic professional development forum. This year’s Reunion will be unlike any other, as liaisons will walk away with enough information to create a loan program or transaction account when they return to their credit union … practical ideas that can grow members and income for the credit union. Liaisons will learn about successful programs implemented at credit unions right here in Georgia. Featured speakers include Marshall Boutwell of Gwinnett FCU, who will provide the nuts and bolts of operating a profitable Fresh Start Auto Loan program; Bobby Michael of CORE CU, who will describe his success at lending to C, D and E credit-score borrowers; and a representative from the National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions program, who will be Skyped in to share information about implementing a successful Second Chance Checking Account.

Liaisons will gather for lunch and be joined by members of the Georgia Credit Union Marketing Council (GCUMC), the Georgia Risk Management Council, and the Georgia Human Resources Council. Registration for the REAL Deal Reunion and for each of the Networking Council meetings is only $99 per person; click here for more details. Attendees may participate in the full day of events – Council attendees are welcome at the REAL Deal Reunion and REAL Deal Liaisons are able to attend their choice of Council meetings. For information or to register, contact Anita Paul at (770) 476-9625 or anitap@gcua.org.

Back to top
 
 

CUs in the News

Robins FCU Recognized by Raddon Financial Group Among Top 20 Credit Unions at Annual CEO Forum
MarketWatch.com

Get the latest in local CU coverage, click here.

Back to top
 
 

Consider This

View archives of this monthly e-news brief sent to journalists, click here.

Back to top
 
 

Paying Attention

View the current issue as well as archives of this quarterly report, click here.

Back to top
 
 

Statewide News Coverage

Get the latest in statewide news coverage, click here.

Back to top
 
 
News of Interest
 

ForeclosureForeclosure Notices Drop

Foreclosure notices for September dropped to their lowest point this year and to their lowest point for the 13-county metro Atlanta region in two years and nine months, according to Equity Depot. There were 7,324 notices filed, which is the third month this year that the yo-yoing number has been in the 7,000 range. High months have seen more than 10,000 notices, and last month there were 9,953. The figures puzzled Barry Bramlett, president of the Kennesaw-based numbers crunching firm."We’ve tracked them for 20 years and overnight changes aren’t normal," Bramlett said. "Increases or decreases usually track up or down over time. This happened nationally, not just in Georgia," he said. To read more, please click here.

Back to top
 
 

Survey: 74 Percent of Voters Say Businesses, Consumers Over-Regulated

Seventy-four percent of American voters believe that businesses and consumers are over-regulated and 67 percent believe regulations have increased over the past few years, according to a recent Tarrance Group survey conducted for Public Notice, an Arlington, Va., nonprofit organization. The survey also found that 66 percent of voters believe that regulations have created uncertainty for large and small businesses. Sixty-nine percent also say the agencies that enforce regulations fail to consider how their decisions lead to increased prices and job losses. Read more.

Back to top
 
 

Pound signBritain Banks Facing BIG Bill

The Wall Street Journal reported that on September 12th the U.K.'s major banks were hit with the prospect of an annual bill of up to £7 billion ($11.12 billion) to implement new reforms proposed by the government-appointed Independent Commission on Banking. The ICB as expected called for banks to segregate, or "ring-fence," their retail activities, and for retail institutions to hold at least 10 percent core equity against their assets, far more than required at global peers, but it left open the possibility of delaying the implementation period to as late as 2019.

Back to top
 
 

GraduateDemographic with Highest Bankruptcies? Take an Educated Guess:

The September 12th edition of The Washington Post reported that college graduates are the fastest-growing group of consumers who have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past five years, according to a new study by a financial nonprofit, which underscores the broad reach of the Great Recession. The survey by the Institute for Financial Literacy found that the percentage of debtors with a bachelor’s degree rose from 11.2 percent in 2006 to 13.6 percent in 2010. The group tracked similar but smaller increases in consumers with two-year associate and graduate degrees. Meanwhile, the percentage of debtors with a high school diploma or who did not finish college declined.

Back to top
 
 
News of the Competition
 

U.S. Government Suing Big Banks Over Mortgages

The Washington Post reported on September 1st that the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed suit against more than a dozen large banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgages they packaged and sold during the housing bubble. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost more than $30 billion after the housing bubble burst in 2008. To read more please click here.

Back to top
 
 

Prison barsBank Exec Found Guilty, Facing Up To 30 Years Behind Bars

A former Carroll County bank president pleaded guilty on September 6th to issuing loans for cash kickbacks and faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced later this year. S. Pope Cleghorn Jr., former president and chief executive officer of Hometown Bank of Villa Rica, also faces a fine of up to $1 million, federal prosecutors said. Cleghorn, 39, used customers’ deposits to make fraudulent loans to a borrower who paid Cleghorn cash kickbacks. To read more please click here.

Back to top
 
 

BofA Cutbacks May Hit 40,000

The September 9th edition of The Wall Street Journal reported that Bank of America Corp. officials have discussed eliminating roughly 40,000 positions during the first wave of a restructuring. The numbers aren't final and could change. The restructuring would reduce the bank's work force over a period of years.

Back to top