|Creating Opportunities for Credit Unions: Advocacy Policy Committee (Issue 1 of 4)
On August 2nd, the Advocacy Policy Committee met to discuss policy issues that impact Georgia credit unions and chart a course for continued advancement of the industry. This committee, composed of credit union leaders from around the state, tackled topics for almost five hours ranging from federal and state legislative issues, elections and the credit union involvement in campaigns, and public messaging awareness initiatives. The committee also heard from two guest speakers who illustrated grassroots strategies employed at the National Association of Realtors as well as the NRA, their challenges and successes, and how they look for opportunities to advance their industries.
In addition to the presentations, much focus in the committee was centered on the work of the Credit Union State Law Review Task Force, which met in June with the Department of Banking and Finance to discuss potential changes to credit union law to strengthen the state charter and reduce compliance burdens. Since the initial task force meeting, there have been multiple working group discussions to identify language to be considered for the Department’s 2017 legislation. The Advocacy Policy Committee was presented with an outline of the enhancements sought that range from:
The Advocacy Policy Committee discussed the focus areas and approved the potential changes being sought, and work continues to see where common ground could be achieved with the Department on legislative/regulatory language. While nothing is a given, it speaks highly of the positive relationship between the Department and credit unions to be a part of the Department’s legislative process at the onset. The time and work involved in the process is of importance to the industry, and creates the opportunity for positive operational changes for credit unions. Our thanks to the Department for engaging credit unions in this matter, and to all the credit unions in the Task Force and the Advocacy Policy Committee for their work, time and dedication to enhancing the state charter.
|State Legislature Studies Payments Industry Ecosystem in GA (Issue 2 of 4)
The state Legislature will not officially resume until January, but the study committees in the off session are in full swing with multiple topics being addressed over the next several months. One of interest to credit unions was held this week, on August 11th – the first meeting of the study committee on financial technology and the payments processing industry. Legislators heard from Commissioner Chris Carr (Department of Economic Development) on the economic impact of the payments industry in Georgia, Verizon on the infrastructure surrounding mobile payments, and a broad overview of entities in the payments ecosystem and financial technology sector marketplace.
While the purpose of the study committee is to ensure a positive environment for the payments industry in Georgia, it also opens the door for outside industries to push legislative initiatives, some of which could impact how credit unions operate now and in the future. Retailer interests have used similar study committees in the past to pursue a chip-and-PIN mandate in Georgia as a legislative response in reaction to data breach lawsuits and cybersecurity bill attempts in Congress. These off-session study committees will continue to be monitored closely by GCUA to protect against retailers’ push for chip-and-PIN mandates in the state, and to identify what legislation may arise in 2017.
|GCUA Signs onto Lawsuit on Behalf of GA Credit Unions in Wendy's Data Breach Lawsuit (Issue 3 of 4)
GCUA has joined the class action lawsuit against Wendy’s after the data breach that impacted credit unions all across Georgia. The lawsuit alleges the breach was due to Wendy’s poor data security measures and its failure to discover and contain the breach, and accuses Wendy's of neglecting to notify financial institutions of the compromise. The legal action, similar to the one GCUA joined against the Home Depot after its data breach, is intended to recoup some of the expenses heaped on credit unions in reissuing cards and refunding members’ lost money. Georgia is among the top 10 most affected states by the breach, and there are more than a dozen other states nationwide that have joined in the lawsuit along with CUNA.
|Credit Unions in the News (Issue 4 of 4)
Credit unions 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."