NOVEMBER 4, 2016
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  Remember to Vote
in the November 8 General Elections!
Balls NCUA Modernization of Fields of Membership (Issue 1 of 5)
The National Credit Union Administration finalized its field of membership rule and set up a 30-day period for public comment on additional changes to FOM regulations, including some that credit unions have been advocating for.

  Making an Impact on the Elections: Credit Union Phone Bank Night (Issue 2 of 5)
Representatives of two Georgia credit unions and GCUA provided phone-bank assistance to a state representative who has been a strong supporter of the industry on the House Judiciary and Rules committees.

  Marietta Credit Unions Educate Legislator on Industry
(Issue 3 of 5)

A Hike at Home meeting provided a venue for leaders from three credit unions and GCUA to share insights on industry priorities with a Marietta legislator who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and serves on the Rules Committee.

  State Continues Hearings on Data Security Standards
(Issue 4 of 5)

The state Senate's study committee on cybersecurity held its third off-session hearing, focusing on potential threats to state systems, measures to counter those threats, and potential upcoming legislation on data security.

  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)
The credit union message continues to spread, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

mapNCUA Modernization of Fields of Membership (Issue 1 of 5)

On October 27th the NCUA Board finalized its field-of-membership (FOM) rule, which provides regulatory relief for credit unions. In addition to the final rule, NCUA also established a 30-day comment period for a proposed rule with additional changes, including several that credit unions, Leagues and CUNA have advocated for in recent years.  CUNA is currently analyzing the final rule, as well as the additional changes proposed at the meeting.  The final rule will become effective 60 days after being published in the Federal Register.

What is in the proposal:  The proposed changes include a 10 million population limit for a field of membership, as well as a full return to the narrative approach that gives credit unions flexibility to define an FOM boundary.

What is in the final rule:  The final rule will implement changes in policy affecting:

  • The definition of a local community, a rural district and an underserved area;
  • The expansion of options for a multiple common bond credit union to add potential members;
  • The expansion of options available to single common bond credit unions based on a trade, industry or profession; and
  • The process for applying to expand membership in a federal credit union.
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Making an Impact on the Elections: Credit Union Phone Bank Night (Issue 2 of 5)
Phone bank

From left: Tanesha Harper, Georgia's Own CU; Felicia Howard, Georgia's Own CU; Randy Stamps, MembersFirst CU, and Carmen Cotton, Georgia's Own CU made campaign calls Thursday in support of State Rep. Stacey Evans.

Each election cycle credit unions help provide physical assistance to candidates with challenging races who exhibit strong support of the industry.  Earlier this year, in the 2016 primary and runoff, credit unions were actively involved in campaigns by phone banking, partisan communications and yard-sign drives to get out the vote on candidates.  And while the bulk of the races in Georgia are truly competitive only in the primary, there were a handful of candidates with potentially challenging districts in the general election who were targeted for possible industry assistance as they have been strong supporters of credit unions.  These were: 

  • Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) who as vice-chair of the House Banking Committee has been a strong ally for credit unions on bills, championing amendments to protect the industry.
  • Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta) who has a strong connection to the industry and has been supportive since his first election, helpful to the industry in his two committees, House Banking and House Ways and Means, and
  • Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) who is supportive of credit unions and their issues in the bills debated by the House Judiciary Committee, in which she is an active member. 

All three candidates were grateful for the offer of support back in the summer and felt their campaigns should progress well without calling on credit unions to engage.  However, after some recent analysis on her race, Rep. Evans reached back out to GCUA in the past week to share that she did indeed need last-minute assistance from the industry in the form of a phone bank.  Credit unions responded quickly and on Thursday, November 3rd, credit union employees in the Smyrna/Marietta area made get-out-the-vote calls to help support her re-election campaign.

Rep. Evans is an active member of the House Judiciary Committee, where many of the bills that can impact credit unions are debated (such as foreclosure bills, bills on lending operations, as well as the garnishment correction legislation from 2016).  She has been instrumental in pushing pro-credit union amendments forward, and is also one of the few in the minority party who are on the Rules Committee, which determines what bills the House can vote on for any given legislative day.

This is one of the few districts that could easily swing in the general election for no reason other than voter turnout, especially given the unpredictability of this election year.  An evening of phone banking and postcard writing could be the difference in her race, and even though many have cast ballots early, this last-minute push was to help encourage her supporters to go vote.  Thank you to the credit union volunteers from Georgia’s Own Credit Union, MembersFirst Credit Union, and GCUA for sharing their time and generating calls and postcards to individuals in the district yesterday evening – we look forward to election day!

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Marietta Credit Unions Educate Legislator on Industry (Issue 3 of 5)
From left: Susan Tillery, LGE Community CU; Robin Ralls, Delta Community CU; Keith Pritchard, United Methodist Connectional FCU; Brandee Bickle, GCUA; State Sen. Judson Hill

On Tuesday, October 25th credit union leaders had breakfast with State Senator Judson Hill (R-Marietta) at an in-district Hike at Home meeting.  Sen. Hill serves on two committees important to credit unions:  the Rules Committee (which decides what bills the Senate can vote on each day), and the Finance Committee, of which he is the chairman. As chairman of Finance, he has direct control over all bills that touch taxation – and while he has been helpful and receptive to the credit union lobbying team, this meeting was held to grow personal relationships between him and the credit unions located in his district.

The meeting helped build those in-district relationships, illustrate how credit unions help people afford life, and articulate the impact of the regulations coming out of Washington, D.C. – and particularly with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And while Sen. Hill is in the state Legislature, this education was important so as to provide context for issues that impact credit unions at the state level.  Legislators vote on bills that impact how credit unions operate, and when they have a personal understanding of what makes credit unions unique, they have a better background on how a bill can change the success trajectory for the industry with the touch of a button! Our thanks to the credit unions that sat down with Sen. Hill and put a personal face on the industry: Delta Community Credit Union, LGE Community Credit Union, and United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union.

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SenateState Continues Hearings on Data Security Standards
(Issue 4 of 5)

On Thursday, October 27th the state Senate study committee on cybersecurity held its third hearing of the off session to draw focus on the importance of cybersecurity (and draft pending legislation for 2017).  The hearing reviewed how state systems are analyzed for potential threats, what changes are on the horizon to help protect state data, and what points may be pursued in upcoming data security legislation.

While this hearing was focused on the perspective of state agencies, peppered in all of these hearings have been the points of importance of cybersecurity in the private sector, the news of large breaches at businesses, as well as protecting financial transactions.  And at the second hearing, the question of why all payments cards should or should not be legislated to be chip-and-PIN arose.  GCUA continues to educate legislators on why a chip-and-PIN mandate in Georgia would not achieve total data protection and to work to circumvent retailer attempts to pursue this.

At least one more hearing of this study committee should be held before the end of the year, and GCUA will continue to monitor to see what legislation is produced from it to help protect credit unions.

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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)

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."

Also in the news: Love My Credit Union "Share the Love" video campaign voting is underway! To vote for the Georgia credit unions please click here, and to view GCUA’s Helping People Afford life video (and vote) please click here.

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