AUGUST 8, 2014
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Paving Building Inroads with Legislators
(Issue 1 of 6)

Representatives of Fulton Teachers' Credit Union and Georgia's Own Credit Union met with state Sen. John Albers of Roswell, discussing issues of importance to credit unions and fostering greater awareness of credit unions' role in helping Georgians afford life.

 
     
  On the Eve of Recess, Regulatory Relief Bills Move Forward
(Issue 2 of 6)

Just ahead of Congress' summer recess, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee passed two regulatory relief bills, dealing with capital requirements and appraisal requirements for some higher-risk mortgages.

 
  Minimum Reserve Study (Reg D) Bill Passes Committee
(Issue 3 of 6)

The House Financial Services Committee passed a credit union-supported bill requiring the Government Accountability Office to study the Federal Reserve's Regulation D minimum reserve requirements.

 
  Credit Unions Are Growing! (Issue 4 of 6)
U.S. credit unions this week reached a milestone, having added enough new members to reach the 100 million memberships mark. The past year's 2.9 percent membership growth rate was the highest in a quarter century.

 
  CFPB Weighing Overdraft (Issue 5 of 6)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it had studied the effect of a 2010 opt-in requirement on overdraft fees and is now considering what additional consumer protections might be needed.

 
  Curious Where Legislators Stand on CU Issues? (Issue 6 of 6)
If you're not sure where your legislators stand on issues that matter to credit unions, or how they voted on bills important to the industry, the Affiliates offers easy-to-access resources to help you find out.

 
 
 
Albers
From left: Kathy Igou, Georgia’s Own CU; Angi Harben, GCUA; State Sen. John Albers; Jim Helms, Fulton Teachers’ CU; Stephen Smith, Fulton Teachers’ CU; Jason Golden, GCUA
Building Inroads with Legislators (Issue 1 of 6)

On Friday, July 25th credit union leaders met with state Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) to discuss the industry and legislative issues of importance that arise at the Georgia Capitol. Sen. Albers has moved up the Senate ranks quickly since his first election in the fall of 2010, and may have more of a leadership role in key committees for credit union interests. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to build a stronger relationship for the future. With more than 34,000 members in his district, a broad picture of the industry and how it positively impacts his area was presented to the senator. While he has been open to credit union positions in the state legislature, the time at this event helped expand his understanding of how credit unions help people afford life in his own “back yard.” Our thanks to Fulton Teachers’ CU and Georgia’s Own CU for making such a positive impression on the senator!


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U.S. CapitolOn the Eve of Recess, Regulatory Relief Bills Move Forward
(Issue 2 of 6)

Before breaking for the five-week Congressional summer recess, there was some positive forward momentum on issues of credit union interest in Washington, D.C.: The House Financial Services Committee passed two regulatory relief bills on July 20th that have been supported by the industry. CUNA testified on behalf of these bills in the process, along with urging the committee to act via letter on July 28th. The two bills are:

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Minimum Reserve Study (Reg D) Bill Passes Committee (Issue 3 of 6)

EyeThe House Financial Services Committee passed the Regulation D Study Act (H.R. 3240) on July 29th, which is a bill supported by credit union lobbying efforts. The bill, introduced by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in consultation with credit unions and community banks, to study the Federal Reserve's Regulation D minimum reserve requirements. The bill calls for the study to report: 

  • A review of how the Fed has used reserve requirements to conduct U.S. monetary policy;
  • The impact of the maintenance of reserves on depository institutions;
  • The impact upon consumers in managing their accounts; and
  • Alternatives available to the Federal Reserve Board to maintain reserves to effect monetary policy.

Regulation D affects credit union members by limiting the number of automatic withdrawals from a member's savings account to six per month. This can cause members to overdraw checking accounts when a debit draws the account balance below $0 and the number of transfers for the month has already happened. Members who might have the funds in a savings account are unable to automatically transfer the funds, which could lead to a nonsufficient funds fee. 

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100 millionCredit Unions Are Growing!
(Issue 4 of 6)

This week, credit unions reached and surpassed the 100 million memberships mark nationwide! Credit unions added a total of 2.85 million memberships over the past year – the largest reported increase in more than a quarter century. And, in percentage terms, the 2.9% increase was the fastest since 2000, according to the CUNA analysis. Georgia credit unions are projected to grow to 2 million members this year in the upward trend. Check out www.americascreditunions.org for details on this milestone!

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CFPBCFPB Weighing Overdraft (Issue 5 of 6)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on July 31st that it has studied the effect of a 2010 "opt-in" requirement that depository institutions obtain a consumer's consent before charging fees for allowing overdrafts on most ATM and debit card transactions – and found it lacking. The bureau noted it is weighing what additional consumer protections may be necessary for overdraft and related services. 

The new CFPB report indicated that the majority of debit card overdraft fees are incurred on transactions of $24 or less and that the majority of overdrafts are repaid within three days. "Put in lending terms, if a consumer borrowed $24 for three days and paid the median overdraft fee of $34, such a loan would carry a 17,000 percent annual percentage rate," the CFPB said in a release. 

The study was based on data from a set of large banks supervised by the CFPB. It found also that among the banks studied, overdraft and Not-Sufficient-Funds (NSF) fees represent more than half of the fee income on consumer checking accounts. The study found that about 8% of accounts incur the majority of overdraft fees. The CFPB acknowledged that some credit unions and banks do not charge an overdraft fee if the consumer overdraws an account by a small amount; some also cap the number of overdraft and NSF fees they will charge on an account on a single day.

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OwlCurious Where Legislators Stand on CU Issues? (Issue 6 of 6)

Everyone has personal political preferences, but do you know where your legislators stand on credit union issues, or how they voted on bills of key importance to the industry? Below are tools that illustrate how both federal and state legislators impact credit unions and how they serve their members:

Federal Legislative Profile
State Senate Voting Scorecard
State House Voting Scorecard
Previous Years (Federal and State)

Need a password? Follow the prompts at the bottom of the member log-in page to initiate access to these and the other affiliated-credit-union-only restricted areas today.

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