SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
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Rotunda Georgia CUs Meet with Congress
(Issue 1 of 6)

The recent Hike the Hill event in Washington, D.C., brought representatives of 16 Georgia credit unions together with members of Congress to discuss issues of importance to the credit union industry.

  Rep. Woodall at The Hill Financial Forum (Issue 2 of 6)
Georgia U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall was one of the panelists at a financial issues forum held this week as part of a CUNA-sponsored celebration of 100 million credit union members in the United States.

  Congress Looks at Options for CU Relief from Regulatory Burdens (Issue 3 of 6)
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to explore ways in which Congress might reduce the regulatory burden on small depository institutions, including credit unions.

  Start Gathering Information on Home Depot Breach
(Issue 4 of 6)

CUNA encouraged credit unions to start gathering information on how they are being affected by the recent Home Depot data breach, in anticipation of an upcoming survey on the breach's impact.

  Seven Points to Know About New CUNA CEO Jim Nussle
(Issue 5 of 6)

Relevant facts about the next CEO of CUNA, Jim Nussle, include the fact that he is a former U.S. Representative from Iowa and the fact that he was director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget from 2007 to 2009.

  GA Firm Helps Apple Take a Bite of Mobile Payments
(Issue 6 of 6)

Atlanta-based First Data Financial Services, one of the biggest names in the payments processing industry, will partner with Apple in its new Apple Pay digital wallet service.

Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, second from left, meets with representatives of Coosa Valley FCU and Georgia’s Own CU
Georgia CUs Meet with Congress (Issue 1 of 6)

Georgia credit union leaders were in Washington, D.C., this week to address issues of industry importance with members of Congress at the Hike the Hill. This trip was right on the heels of the much-publicized Home Depot data breach, and the credit unions utilized the opportunity to illustrate how credit unions are financially impacted by these merchant breaches - and that Congress should improve the data security standards to protect consumers and financial institutions.

Other issues addressed by the group focused on the overwhelming regulatory burdens that credit unions face from a barrage of directions. While credit unions support strong safety and soundness regulations, the often unnecessary and redundant practices stifle the ability of credit unions to focus on the members - a point that was reinforced frequently in the Hill visits. Other issues addressed with members of the Georgia delegation included:

  • educating Congress on the not-for-profit structure of credit unions,
  • seeking the ability to provide member business loans,
  • promoting the ability to obtain supplemental forms of capital, and
  • maintaining credit union access to the secondary mortgage market.

Thank you to all the credit unions who shared their time at this Hike: Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union, Coosa Valley Federal Credit Union, Delta Community Credit Union, Ethicon Credit Union, Family Savings Federal Credit Union, Five Star Credit Union, Fulton Teachers’ Credit Union, GEMC Federal Credit Union, Georgia United Credit Union, Georgia’s Own Credit Union, Kinetic Credit Union, North Georgia Credit Union, Peach State Federal Credit Union, Savannah Schools Federal Credit Union, United 1st Federal Credit Union and United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union. Your time and energy speaking to members of Congress is invaluable to the entire industry.

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From left: U.S. Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.) speak to The Hill' s Kevin Cirilli
Rep. Woodall at The Hill Financial Forum
(Issue 2 of 6)

As part of the 100 million membership celebration, CUNA sponsored a financial issues forum hosted by The Hill this week. Georgia’s Rep. Rob Woodall (R-7) joined Reps. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Denny Heck (D-WA) to address the country’s financial services landscape at the September 17th event. In the discussion of the credit union tax exemption, the bankers’ often-played tax-exemption point of the “unfair advantage of credit unions” was shared by one of the legislators, to which Rep. Woodall replied that “if they believe the credit union structure is so advantageous that it must be changed in order for you to maintain your competitive edge, maybe just join the credit union movement. I think it’s a red herring to suggest that the playing field we have today is somehow uneven.” Our thanks to Rep. Woodall not only for participating in this event, but for understanding and supporting the credit union industry so strongly!

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Paper waveCongress Looks at Options for CU Relief from Regulatory Burdens (Issue 3 of 6)

The state of small depository institutions, including credit unions, was the subject of a September 16th hearing by the Senate Banking Committee titled "Examining the State of Small Depository Institutions." The hearing, which included testimony from NCUA and CUNA, examined ways Congress could reduce the amount of regulatory burden.

Dennis Pierce, board chair for CUNA and CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Kansas City, was one of several to testify about the challenges credit unions face under increasing regulatory requirements. His testimony focused on the current regulatory burdens facing credit unions, and bills they should support heading into the final months of this Congressional term:

Pierce also utilized the opportunity to address concerns with the NCUA's risk-based capital proposal.

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Start Gathering Information on Home Depot Breach (Issue 4 of 6)

Home DepotBeing able to articulate the impact of the breaches with hard numbers and not anecdotal stories is important in turning the tide with Congress. As such, CUNA encourages credit unions to start gathering numbers for an upcoming survey. Please start tallying the costs of the massive Home Depot card breach now; record breach-related activity and the costs as you receive them in the upcoming weeks. When the upcoming survey is released, it will ask:

  • the number of debit and credit cards affected,
  • costs incurred for card reissuance,
  • costs related to staffing, etc., to address the issue,
  • changes in call volume, and
  • any fraud-related losses.

Stay tuned, and please complete the survey when it is released. Your input is key in communicating with media and legislators.

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NussleSeven Points to Know About New CUNA CEO Jim Nussle
(Issue 5 of 6)

On September 9th it was announced that Jim Nussle will be the new president and CEO of CUNA. Nussle will assume his new role in the coming weeks, and there have been several articles in the press that highlight how he looks forward to working for credit unions and moving the industry forward. Here are seven quick points on Nussle and his background, and what he brings to the table:

  1. Nussle served in the U.S. House from 1991-2007 as a Republican representative from Iowa.
  2. From 2001-06 in Congress, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee, a key panel that oversees the federal budget process.
  3. In 2007, President Bush appointed him as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office within the Executive Office of the President. As OMB director, he was a member of the president's cabinet where he served through the conclusion of the Bush administration in 2009. 
  4. He is a member of the founding board of Growth Energy, a trade association of renewable energy companies and industry partners; was named president and COO of the group in November 2010.
  5. He is the founder of The Nussle Group, a public affairs and strategic consulting firm.
  6. Native to Iowa, Nussle received a degree in political science from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and his law degree from Drake University in Des Moines.
  7. Nussle is 54, and he and his wife Karen have two adult children.
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AppleGA Firm Helps Apple Take a Bite of Mobile Payments
(Issue 6 of 6)

Much has been said in the press already about the Apple Pay system, calling it a “new era of fully digitized money” per the September 12th Forbes article. The impact of September 9th’s new mobile-payment unveiling is yet to be seen, and credit union system partners are working to ensure that the industry is a part of that environment (CUNA, September 11th). However, an early partner for Apple’s new digital wallet service is right here in Georgia: Atlanta-based First Data Financial Services. First Data is hoping this will be a game-changer for consumers, who until now have been slow to adopt technologies that effectively convert their smart phones into credit cards.

This Georgia company is little known to consumers, but First Data is one of the biggest players in the payments processing industry, handling $1.8 trillion of credit card and other transactions a year. The new payment service will be available beginning in October, and retailers will likely be investing in updates to their cash registers and point-of-sale units. Apple said department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, drugstores including Walgreens, and other stores including McDonald’s, Staples, Subway and Whole Foods are participating in Apple Pay. First Data said about 220,000 stores have the updated terminals already - and more merchants are expected to adopt the technology in coming months due to a October 2015 deadline to replace their old terminals with new ones capable of handling more sophisticated credit and debit cards that include a secure data chip.

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