OCTOBER 16, 2015
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ICU Day Celebrating ICU Day, GA CUs Meet with Legislators (Issue 1 of 6)
Representatives of several Georgia credit unions marked International Credit Union Day by meeting with their state and federal legislators to build relationships and promote the credit union message.

  It's Official: NCUA Approves RBC2 Plan (Issue 2 of 6)
The National Credit Union Administration approved the revised risk-based capital proposal on October 15. The revised plan includes several improvements over the original proposal and would apply to 22 percent of credit unions, NCUA says.

  U.S. House Passes CU-Supported TRID Safe Harbor Bill
(Issue 3 of 6)

The U.S. House passed a credit union-supported bill to establish a hold-harmless period, through Feb. 1, 2016, for the Truth in Lending-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule (TRID).

  State Holds Cyber Security Hearing (Issue 4 of 6)
The Georgia Senate and House, in a joint hearing to study developments and needs surrounding cyber security, heard testimony about what state agencies and departments are doing to protect sensitive data.

  Growing In-District Legislative Connections (Issue 5 of 6)
Credit union advocates from several Georgia credit unions took advantage of in-district political events to build personal connections with state legislators - relationships that may help shape industry issues in the future.

  TNC Coverage and Credit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)
The credit union message is getting out. This week's news includes the fact that CUNA Mutual has added a no-cost Transportation Network Company endorsement to its Collateral Protection Blanket Auto policy.

From left: Kabir Laiwalla, Platinum FCU; State Sen. Elena Parent; Bob Manning, Delta Community CU
Celebrating ICU Day, GA CUs Meet with Legislators (Issue 1 of 6)

Credit unions all across the world celebrated International Credit Union Day this week. Here in Georgia, credit unions hosted special events for their members and their staff, and with their fellow credit unions; there were four chapters around the state that held meetings to celebrate on October 15th. Several credit unions also utilized ICU Day to meet with their legislators in the district:

  • On October 15th, IBM Southeast Employees FCU and GCUA sat down with U.S. Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-11) at his area district office in Atlanta. This meeting provided the opportunity to reinforce the credit union message on topics including cyber security, regulatory relief, and expanding opportunities for credit unions to serve their members.
  • In Atlanta, credit unions sat down with State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) to grow her understanding of the industry. Sen. Parent was a freshman legislator in the 2015 session; however, she was quite active in her caucus, shaping opinions on issues, making her one to build a relationship with early. Helping her have a well-rounded understanding of what makes credit unions unique is beneficial to future advocacy efforts. Credit union leaders from Delta Community CU, Platinum FCU and GCUA shared their insight on legislative issues, industry issues and the types of loans available at credit unions.

These meetings helped further the relationships credit unions have with state and federal legislators, helping advance the issues important to the industry. Having elected leaders on all levels who understand how credit unions help people afford life is important. In advance of the 2016 elections, CUNA has rolled out a new campaign to reach out to all the presidential candidates, via social media with the “Middle Class Project,” to see precisely that. But at the root of that message is what this ICU Day and credit unions are all about – people, helping people afford life and achieve their financial goals. To see how other credit unions celebrated around the world, or to share how your credit union celebrated, utilize the twitter hashtag #ICUDay.

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It's Official: NCUA Approves RBC2 Plan (Issue 2 of 6)

NCUA signIt’s official: NCUA approved the revised risk-based capital (RBC2) proposal on October 15th. The agency issued RBC2 in January after its original proposed rule was introduced last year, and the revised proposal has a number of improvements from the RBC1 plan:

  • Limited the scope of the proposal by increasing the asset threshold to $100 million;
  • Lowered the risk-based capital requirement for well-capitalized credit unions;
  • Improved risk weights;
  • Permitted goodwill in supervisory mergers to be included in risk-based capital; and
  • Delayed compliance until Jan. 1, 2019.

According to NCUA, the revised proposal would apply to 22 percent of credit unions (those with assets exceeding $100 million). The risk weights have been calibrated so that 71.8 percent of complex credit union assets would have equivalent risk weights to banks and thrifts. The remaining number of complex credit union assets are weighted lower than banks and thrifts.

NCUA estimates fewer than two dozen credit unions would not meet the proposed risk-based requirement to be well-capitalized. Those credit unions would have several options until the Jan. 1, 2019 implementation date: reduce risks on their balance sheets, raise capital to cover those risks, or a combination of both. “For the vast majority of credit unions, the existing 7 percent net worth leverage ratio established by Congress in the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 will remain the primary governing capital measure,” said Chairman Debbie Matz. 

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U.S. CapitolU.S. House Passes CU-Supported TRID Safe Harbor Bill
(Issue 3 of 6)

On October 8th the U.S. House passed one of the bills addressed by the Georgia credit union Hike the Hill attendees in September – a bill to establish a hold-harmless period for the Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure (TRID) rule (H.R. 3192) through Feb. 1, 2016. This credit union-supported bill would protect mortgage stakeholders making a good-faith effort to comply with TRID from enforcement and litigation during the hold-harmless period.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray has said on multiple occasions that initial examinations into TRID compliance would be “diagnostic and corrective,” and the Federal Financial Institutions Council issued letters through its member regulators recently saying the same thing. However, the lack of anything more specific regarding a grace period led legislators to introduce the bill, and credit unions, Leagues and CUNA to advocate heavily for its passage. And while the bill still is to be addressed in the Senate, this legislation would help ensure access to mortgage credit during the hold-harmless period as it would allow small lenders to work toward full compliance without penalty.

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NCUA signState Holds Cyber Security Hearing
(Issue 4 of 6)

There continue to be multiple hearings during the off session of the state Legislature; these are the opportunity to gain insight into potential legislation, and as such they are monitored to advance and protect the credit union industry. One of particular interest to credit unions was on October 7th – a  joint House and Senate hearing to study developments and needs surrounding cyber security. This hearing was held on the base of Fort Gordon, where the U.S. Army has dedicated significant money and resources to develop the military’s cyber security protections and training.

During the hearing, individuals testified on what the state is doing to address the various agencies’ and departments’ data-protection systems, and universities shared their efforts to help expand the number of individuals in the cyber security career. One could glean from the questions of the legislators that the state is wishing to move slowly on this topic as it involves more than the state (it’s an issue influenced on a global level). However, there are 236 legislators, and it is anticipated that it will be a topic of continued interest in 2016. The challenge will be in the details!

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Growing In-District Legislative Connections (Issue 5 of 6)

Throughout the year, credit union connections with legislators at local in-district events have been highlighted in Creating Influence – it’s these connections that help build a strong relationship between the industry and legislators. And relationships are what create advocacy strength. Thank you to all of the credit unions that have engaged so far this year, and please look out for opportunities for you to connect also. By growing these personal connections, it creates a personal reference point for any legislator when addressing issues. This is the pinnacle of grassroots strength – when a relationship  between a legislator and credit union individuals can help shape the issues. Two of the most recent in-district connections:

  • RootsOn October 6th Jerry Jordan, CEO of CGR CU attended a political event in Eatonton, in the district of Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson) and Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro). Jordan brought with him fellow credit union advocates Tim Slocum, Allen Gilbert and Ken Merritt; their collective involvement was key as Sen. Jones is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Rep. Rhodes a freshman on the House Banking Committee. Thanks to the group for sharing their time!
  • On October 14th Cheryl Spires, CEO of Combined Employees CU, John Rhea, CEO of Robins FCU, and Christina O’Brien, VP of Robins FCU attended an in-district political event for Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon). All three of these individuals recently developed a strong base for a relationship with Sen. Kennedy at the Hike at Home held in September, and the timing of this event provided the opportunity to grow those personal connections even more on a local level. Thanks to the group for sharing their time at both this as well as the September Hike!

Please continue to connect with your legislators in the district at town halls, political events, local chamber meetings, civic groups, and church. And when you do, please let us know.

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TNC Coverage and Credit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)

NewsRecently in credit union news was that CUNA Mutual Group announced that it is enhancing its Collateral Protection solutions to address emerging risks to their loan portfolios related to the growing popularity of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft.  Credit unions in Georgia will recall that the issue of TNC insurance coverage was lobbied heavily in the 2015 state legislative session to pass a bill to set standards of coverage for Georgia drivers of TNCs.  Now, a new no-cost TNC endorsement to CUNA Mutual Group’s Collateral Protection Blanket Auto policy protects credit unions from potential loan losses due to damage caused while a borrower is operating as a TNC driver. To learn more or attend the free online event, check out CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery Conference on Oct. 21; the TNC portion is “Uber, Lyft and Your Rising Loan Risk” at 10:10 a.m. CDT, in the “Protect Your Loan Portfolio” section.

In addition to news surrounding the industry, credit unions themselves continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it’s in a local newspaper, niche magazine or radio show, the credit union message is shared through a multitude of outlets across Georgia. Click here to see recent coverage of Georgia’s credit unions "In the News."

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