JANUARY 10, 2014
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Target Breach - Credit Union Input Needed (1 of 6)
Legislators as well as CUNA are asking Congress to investigate the recent data breach at Target, and credit unions are being asked to complete a short survey to assess the cost and impact of the breach.

Senators Push for Consumer Data Security Hearing (2 of 6)
Two members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee wrote to the panel's chairman and its ranking member to seek a hearing on consumer date security early in the 2014 legislative schedule.

Congress Resumes; House Financial Services Committee Back to Work (3 of 6)
With Congress back at work, the House Financial Services Committee took up an agenda that includes consideration of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, the Dodd-Frank Act's Qualified Mortgage rule and the Volcker Rule.

Senate Confirms Yellen as Next Leader of Federal Reserve (4 of 6)
The U.S. Senate, by a vote of 56-26, confirmed Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve, making her the first woman to hold that post in the history of the central bank.

State Legislative Session Begins January 13th (5 of 6)
The Georgia Legislature will begin the second half of its two-year cycle on Monday, January 13. The session, expected to be fast-paced, will address several issues, many of which may be of interest to the credit union industry.

Year In Review: Georgia Credit Union Advocacy (6 of 6)
Advocacy on behalf of Georgia credit unions in 2013 included thousands of "Don't Tax My CU" messages to legislators, tracking of scores of pieces of legislation, meetings with legislators in Georgia and in Washington, D.C., and much more.

TargetTarget Breach - Credit Union Input Needed (1 of 6)

Congress is being asked by member legislators (see related article below) and CUNA to examine the Target card breach, which compromised as many as 70 million debit and credit cards. In addition, credit unions are asked to respond to a short survey to determine the cost and impact of the Target breach. The data collected in this 14-item survey will be extremely valuable as this issue is discussed with legislators, regulators, the media and potentially the courts. This effort is necessary to minimize potential costs of the Target data breach, and to protect credit unions from harm from future data breaches.

When hearings take place, the information gathered from the survey will be important in demonstrating the impact of the Target event on credit unions and members. All affected credit unions are strongly encouraged to respond; to take the survey please click here. Credit unions may complete the survey anonymously, but are asked to include the charter number so information from 5300 Call Reports can be incorporated.

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U.S. CapitolSenators Push for Consumer Data Security Hearing (2 of 6)

Senate Banking Committee members Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) are looking to hold a hearing on consumer data security in the early-2014 committee schedule. The senators wrote to Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and ranking member Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) requesting an examination of "whether market participants are taking all appropriate actions to safeguard consumer data and protect against fraud, identity theft, and other harmful consequences, and whether we need stronger industry-wide cyber security standards."

The legislators noted the recent Target data breach compromised as many as 70 million debit and credit cards and included stolen encrypted PIN data. The impacts of this breach are still reverberating; credit unions and other financial institutions have had to reissue millions of debit and credit cards to consumers. In addition, security and payments industry experts are debating the implications of the breach on payment systems, discussing whether debit cards will suffer from a drop in consumer confidence, and whether having the EuroPay MasterCard Visa (EMV) chip-standard technology in place would have helped protect consumer data.

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U.S. CapitolCongress Resumes; House Financial Services Committee Back to Work (3 of 6)

Congress resumed on January 6th, and the House Financial Services Committee wasted no time getting back to work. The Federal Reserve's current quantitative easing program, the Dodd-Frank Act's Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule and the Volcker Rule are all among the items on the early-year House Financial Services Committee agenda. Quantitative easing's impact on international finance was discussed on January 9th at the monetary policy and trade subcommittee hearing, and other hearings include:

  • On January 14th the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing on how new QM rules could impact homebuyers;
  • On January 15th the full Financial Services Committee hearing on the unintended consequences and impact of the Volcker Rule; and
  • On January 28th the Financial Services Committee update from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.
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YellenSenate Confirms Yellen as Next Leader of Federal Reserve (4 of 6)

The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen on Monday, January 6th as the next leader of the Federal Reserve, placing her in charge of ensuring the nation’s economy makes a full recovery. Her nomination easily passed the chamber by a vote of 56-26 on its first day back in session after winter recess, making Yellen the first female chair of the Federal Reserve in the central bank's history.

Eleven Republicans, including Georgia’s Sen. Saxby Chambliss, joined Democrats present in voting to confirm Yellen, who will face more scrutiny than perhaps any central bank leader in history when she formally takes the reins this month from the retiring Ben Bernanke. Yellen will be in control of an institution that has just begun unwinding years’ worth of unprecedented stimulus into the economy, while seeing its regulatory workload explode under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

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Georgia Capitol interiorState Legislative Session Begins January 13th (5 of 6)

On Monday, January 13th the state legislative session resumes for the second half of a two-year cycle, and is predicted to be one of the fastest of recent history. The pace of this session will create an environment where existing relationships with legislators will be all-important, as legislative issues will be addressed quickly (and likely behind closed doors outside of the normal committee process). This is where all the grassroots activity by credit union leaders in building legislative relationships pays off and protects the industry (see related article below for the 2013 activity).

What are some of the bill attempts anticipated? While there will be multiple issues in the 2014 session of credit union interest, the following are anticipated:

  • foreclosure process change attempts,
  • attempts to supersede the lien priority status of financial institutions,
  • tax reform measures,
  • bills on payment cards and/or interchange,
  • overdraft fees,
  • deficiency judgments and more.

To read more on the legislative issues of interest to credit unions and the members they serve, please click here for the pre-session kickoff of Legislative Update. You can follow the activity at the state Capitol on Twitter, and access the bills monitored on behalf of credit unions here.

Want an even closer perspective on the state Legislature? Join your colleagues at the Grassroots Academy on Tuesday, January 28th. Click here for registration information and details.

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2013 Year in ReviewYear In Review: Georgia Credit Union Advocacy (6 of 6)

Georgia credit unions leaders create legislative and regulatory influence to promote and protect the industry through engaging in advocacy. In 2013, opportunities to connect credit union advocates with advocacy efforts were significant:

  • More than 98,000 Don't Tax My CU messages were sent to Congress from 85 Georgia credit unions and support organizations, with Georgia consistently ranking as one of the top leagues in the country for generating response.
  • During the 2013 state legislative session, GCUA reviewed the text of 2,743 bills and resolutions filed, actively tracking more than 110 pieces of legislation to protect credit unions as the bills traveled through the legislative process.
  • More than 300 individuals from 36 credit unions participated in local in-district Hike at Home meetings, building relationships with 18 state and federal legislators and addressing legislative issues.
  • More than 120 advocates from 29 credit unions traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby legislators on issues of industry importance.
  • More than 350 credit union executives, board members and staff received advocacy training from GCUA at various venues throughout the year.
  • A special thank you to Augusta Chapter, Chattahoochee Valley Chapter, Coastal Empire Chapter, Middle Georgia Chapter, Mountain Empire Chapter, Southeast Georgia Chapter, and the Georgia Credit Union Executives Association for having credit union advocacy as a meeting topic during 2013.
  • A record $237,368 was raised for the PACs from 93 credit unions and support organizations, with 57 credit unions reaching their fair share goal!
  • 26 comment letters were filed on behalf of Georgia credit unions to federal regulatory agencies out of more than 50 proposals issued for comment.
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