JUNE 27, 2014
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Early Voting Opens Next Week –
CUs Can Shape the Elections (Issue 1 of 5)

With a low turnout expected for the July 22 runoff elections, credit union people have a chance to make a real impact by turning out to support CU-friendly candidates in several races.

 
     
  CU Campaign Efforts for Barr (Issue 2 of 5)
Two credit unions that have locations in the 11th Congressional District hosted candidate Bob Barr, who proved himself a friend of credit unions in his previous stint in Congress.

 
  Discussing Concerns on RBC with NCUA (Issue 3 of 5)
National Credit Union Administration Board Chair Debbie Matz met with officers of the Credit Union National Administration to hear their concerns about NCUA's proposal for risk-based capital.

 
  Senate Approves McWatters for NCUA Board (Issue 4 of 5)
The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of J. Mark McWatters to the NCUA Board, to succeed outgoing board member Michael Fryzel. McWatters, nominated by President Barack Obama, will serve a term ending in August 2019.

 
  ChexSystems Use Under Scrutiny (Issue 5 of 5)
The Washington Post reported that Capital One Financial will stop using ChexSystems to weed out potential customers with a history of overdrafts, a practice that is under investigation by New York's attorney general.

 
 
 
Early votingEarly Voting Opens Next Week – CUs Can Shape the Elections (Issue 1 of 5)

Early voting for the July 22nd primary runoff election opens on Monday, June 30th. Turnout for this election is anticipated to be low, and there are several races where credit union supporters are battling to advance:

Federal Races

  • Jack Kingston – U.S. Senate
  • Buddy Carter - 1st Congressional District
  • Mike Collins - 10th Congressional District
  • Bob Barr - 11th Congressional District

State Races

  • P.K. Martin - State Senate 9th District (Lawrenceville)
  • Jack Murphy - State Senate 27th District (Cumming)

In two of the above races, candidates Barr and Murphy have no general competition, so the winners in those races will win those seats. For more information on all of the above candidates please click here, where there are links for materials to share with your staff and membership on why these races would be ones to support. And for a quick “runoff rundown” on why these candidates are credit union supporters, please click here.

In addition to the above, there are several other races across the state to be decided in this runoff. Credit unions can make the difference; with so few people likely to vote, one vote will likely count as 10! To learn more, or to just purely encourage your members to vote, go to ElectionWatch 2014, the GOTV website for credit union members.

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BarrCU Campaign Efforts for Barr (Issue 2 of 5)

On Tuesday, June 24th credit unions with locations in the 11th Congressional District hosted Bob Barr, a candidate for that open Congressional seat battling to advance in the July 22nd runoff. In Barr’s previous history as a U.S. Representative in the late 1990s, he was a strong credit union supporter backing pro-credit union bills and introducing legislation to help relieve regulatory burden. If he is able to return to Congress, credit unions will have another strong supporter in the ranks!

These credit union tours are valuable as the runoff election will come down to who can get the most supporters out to vote - something that credit unions can assist (see above article) and make a difference with this as well as other races. Special thanks to the following credit unions for opening their doors to this credit union supporter: Georgia’s Own CU (Marietta location) and LGE Community CU (Marietta location).


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ChangeDiscussing Concerns on RBC with NCUA (Issue 3 of 5)

NCUA Chair Debbie Matz met with CUNA officers to discuss the agency's Risk-Based Capital proposal, with separate CUNA meetings held with NCUA board member Rick Metsger and his senior policy advisor Mike Radway, as well as with NCUA Director of Examination and Insurance Larry Fazio. CUNA already has met with NCUA General Counsel Mike McKenna and continues to outline concerns with others at the agency. These meetings are to seek significant changes and provide recommendations to achieve a better outcome for credit unions. Changes sought on behalf of credit unions are to:

  • Lower the RBC component for well-capitalized credit unions so it is no higher than the RBC component for adequately capitalized CUs;
  • Allow the 1 percent NCUSIF deposit to be included in the calculation of RBC;
  • Eliminate the provision that would authorize NCUA to impose additional minimum capital beyond what the rule requires;
  • Revise the risk-weightings, particularly in the areas of member business loans, mortgages, mortgage servicing and CUSO investments;
  • Provide a more complete definition of "complex" credit unions so fewer credit unions will be covered by the rule; and
  • Provide ample time for credit unions to comply with a final RBC rule.
The need to improve the examination process so legitimate and material issues can be spotted sooner in troubled credit unions, while well-managed credit unions are not subjected to unwarranted examiner intrusion, was also discussed. In addition, the importance of addressing interest rate risk as a supervisory or regulatory issue and separate from the RBC proposal was reviewed. Depending on the scope and nature of the changes the agency makes in the RBC proposal, CUNA also stated that having an additional opportunity to comment on a new proposal could be useful to credit unions and the NCUA alike.
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McWattersSenate Approves McWatters
for NCUA Board (Issue 4 of 5)

The U.S. Senate on June 19th confirmed J. Mark McWatters to the NCUA board, where he will join NCUA Chair Debbie Matz and board member Rick Metsger. McWatters, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in December, will serve a term that ends in August 2019. Previously, McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Congressional Oversight Panel, and prior to that he practiced for more than 25 years as a domestic and cross-border tax, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney.

McWatters will replace Michael Fryzel, though likely not immediately. Fryzel began his term in July 2008. Although Fryzel's term expired Aug. 2 of last year, the Republican on the board agreed to remain in service until his successor was confirmed. Members of the NCUA are appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. No more than two board members can be from the same political party, and each member serves a staggered six-year term.

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Not approvedChexSystems Use Under Scrutiny (Issue 5 of 5)

The June 16th edition of The Washington Post reported that Capital One Financial will no longer use ChexSystems to weed out potential customers with a history of overdrawing their accounts, an industry-wide practice that has pushed thousands of people out of the banking system. The article highlights “before opening a checking or savings account, banks and credit unions screen would-be clients through databases such as ChexSystems that document bounced checks, unsatisfied balances, repeated overdrafts.” But the balance is between separating the fraudsters and those who have had trouble – a topic that has become an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman into the use of consumer databases by the nation’s biggest banks.

Capital One was one of six banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America to receive requests for information from his office last summer, according to people familiar with the inquiries who were not authorized to speak publicly. Why does this matter to credit unions? The actions of the large banks and the subsequent pendulum swings of media and regulator focus have a direct impact on all financial institutions, including credit unions. More attention and potential efforts (legislatively and/or regulatory) can be anticipated.

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