Articles

No Rate Hikes Expected in 2019

Citing "global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures," the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left the federal funds target rate unchanged following its March meeting concluded Wednesday. A majority of committee members believe the rate will remain unchanged through year’s end, and many believe that only one adjustment will be made in the next two years.

House Passes Gottheimer-Lucas Bill for Transparency, Accountability at Federal Reserve

The U.S. House last week passed the Federal Reserve Supervision Testimony Clarification Act (H.R. 974) sponsored by Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-05) and Frank Lucas (R-OK), both members of the House Committee on Financial Services. The bill mandates that in the absence of a Vice Chair of Supervision on the Federal Reserve Board, someone from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors must appear before Congress to testify on supervisory issues. It also mandates that the Vice Chairman for Supervision must provide written testimony, in addition to verbal testimony.

Staff Changes in Two NJ Delegation Offices Announced

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) announced this week that Kari Osmond and Courtney Cochran have been promoted to the position of deputy chief of staff. Osmond had been Watson Coleman’s district director. Cochran had been the communications director and press secretary in the Washington office.

NJ CU Foundation Hosts its 100th Reality Fair!

Southern Credit Unions Collaborate to Bring Financial Literacy Experience to Millville Memorial High School, Marking a Milestone for the Foundation

MILLVILLE, N.J. – Bay Atlantic FCU, Members 1st of NJ FCU, and Thunderbolt Area FCU teamed up once again to bring the hands-on personal finance experience to Financial Literacy classes at Millville Memorial High School on Wednesday. This marks the 100th Reality Fair the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation (Foundation) has hosted in the state of New Jersey! The program has reached more than 13,600 students throughout the state since the program’s inception in 2010.

FOMC Meeting, No Rate Hike Expected

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting arm, began its monthly two-day meeting Tuesday. The meeting is not expected to end with a rate hike.

Budget Proposal Again Nixes CDFI Funding, Brings CFPB into Appropriations Process

The Trump Administration has released additional details for the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 (FY2020). The proposal shows similarities between previous ones including elimination of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, bringing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the appropriations process, increasing government-sponsored enterprises' (GSEs) guarantee fees and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Looking at the Record-breaking 2019 CUNA GAC by the Numbers

The 2019 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) was a historic event for the credit union movement, celebrating a year of unparalleled success and looking ahead to future advocacy goals. This year’s event also set several records, from the number in attendance to the first time a sitting Vice President addressed the CUNA GAC.

Frivolous ADA Lawsuit Against Ohio CU Dismissed

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has dismissed a lawsuit against an Ohio credit union alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CUNA and the Ohio Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in Mitchell v. BMI Federal Credit Union as part of the CUNA/league defense of credit unions facing frivolous ADA suits.

CUNA Details Effects on CUs of Warren CRA Legislation

CUNA responded to several recent inaccurate reports about its support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) new housing bill, which CUNA, leagues and credit unions worked with Warren on for months, in a recent Removing Barriers Blog entry. Through these advocacy efforts, Warren’s bill does not place credit unions under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as the version introduced in the previous Congress would.

Strong, National Data Security/Privacy Standard Only Way to Stop Breaches

Stringent data protection requirements is a hallmark of the financial services industry, but the lack of standards for other entities mean current data security and privacy laws do not work, CUNA wrote Friday. Its letter was sent to Senate Banking Committee leadership in response to an invitation of stakeholder feedback on collection, use, and protection of personal information by financial regulators and private companies.

Warren Bill is Proof CU Difference Resonates, Says Donovan

The credit union mission and structure is a tentpole of credit unions’ advocacy playbook because it resonates with lawmakers, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in Credit Union Times this week. This is evidenced by successful CUNA, league and credit union engagement with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the last several months.

NCUA Holds March Board Meeting

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board held its third open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters and unanimously approved one item: a final rule making regulations regarding loans and lines of credit to members clearer and easier to follow.

South Jersey FCU Celebrates Relocation of Moorestown Branch

DEPTFORD, N.J. – South Jersey Federal Credit Union (SJFCU) announced the relocation of its Moorestown Branch. They are now located in the East Gate Shopping Center 1180A Nixon Drive, Mt. Laurel, N.J. 08054. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception was held on Wednesday, March 13th.

New CFPB Law Protects Minors Against ID Theft

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced a new federal law (section 301 of EGRRCPA) that went into effect September 21, 2018, which lets parents and child welfare representatives of people under 16, as well as legal guardians, request a security freeze, also called a credit freeze, on their behalf. Taking this step can help protect a young person from identity theft and fraud – and it’s free.  

Senator Warren Releases CRA Bill Reflecting Months of CUNA/League Engagement

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released an updated version of her housing legislation Wednesday, a version of the bill that reflects significant engagement between CUNA, leagues, credit unions, and Warren. Unlike the previous version, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019 would not require credit unions to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

CU Leaders Visit Capitol Hill on Behalf of Members

Credit unions could be spotted in every single Congressional building on Capitol Hill Wednesday as credit union leaders visited with elected officials to tell stories about the credit union difference, including New Jersey credit union advocates (see related story above). The visits are an annual tradition that is part of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

NJ Joins Annual Hike-the-Hike During CUNA’s GAC, Meetings Held with All 14 Delegation Offices

WASHINGTON – After wrapping up at the Wednesday morning session at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, leaders in attendance headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with their legislators. Fourteen professionals and volunteers from seven New Jersey credit unions joined NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil and Vice President of Corporate & Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel and CUNA Engagement Consultant Sterling Nowka in meetings with the offices of all 14 members of New Jersey’s delegation.

McWatters, Metsger Join Nussle on Stage at CUNA GAC

Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO, released a statement after National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman J. Mark McWatters and board member Rick Metsger spoke at the 2019 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC).

NCUA Board’s Partnership Transformed Regulatory Structure

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – By working together in a bipartisan manner, the NCUA Board enacted a number of regulatory reforms and modernization initiatives to meet its statutory obligation of ensuring a safe and sound credit union system while providing credit unions with measures of regulatory relief, National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters and Board Member Rick Metsger said.

Vice President Pence Delivers Message to Credit Unions

WASHINGTON – At the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) Tuesday, credit union professionals from around the country gathered to hear Vice President of the United States Mike Pence recognize credit unions for the vital role they play in the American economy.  

Brett Martinez named 2019 CUNA board chairman

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced election results for its Board of Directors Executive Committee Members. Brett Martinez, President & CEO of Redwood Credit Union (RCU), was elected as the CUNA Board Chair. Martinez addressed the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) yesterday for the first time as Board Chair.  

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill Visits With NJ CU Advocates at League’s GAC Dinner

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), one of the newest members of the state’s congressional delegation, joined New Jersey credit union advocates at a New Jersey Credit Union League dinner in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening. The dinner was held for NJCUL-member credit unions that are in Washington this week for CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

CFPB Issues Guide for Its Payday Lending Rule

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 20, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide on the payment-related provisions of its Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule. The Guide covers aspects of the rule that go into effect on August 19, 2019.

CUNA Backs SAFE Banking Act to Allow Financial Services to Legal Cannabis Businesses

The absence of access to financial services for legal cannabis-based businesses is a significant public safety issue, CUNA wrote to Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Denny Heck (D-Wash.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). The legislators introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would offer protections to credit unions and other financial institutions to offer services to cannabis-based businesses.

Record-Breaking 100 Young Professionals 'Crash the GAC,' Take Part in CU Advocacy Efforts in Nation’s Capital

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle welcomed a record-breaking class of “crashers” Sunday at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), including our New Jersey representative Amanda Meeker from Jersey Shore FCU. Meeker is sharing photos in the NJ CU Emerging Leaders Facebook group and will be sharing her experience in an upcoming blog post.

CFPB Issues Resources for Prepaid Product Agreements

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 27, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released technical specifications and related resources for credit unions that issue prepaid products to members. The resources include instructions for submitting prepaid product agreements to Collect, the CFPB’s database of those agreements. Credit unions must use Collect beginning April 1, 2019.

Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Legislation to provide a safe harbor for credit unions and other financial services providers that serve marijuana-related businesses in states where the drug has been legalized in one form or another was introduced Thursday by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA).

Can’t Make it to CUNA GAC? Here’s How to Follow the Action

For those unable to join the more than 5,000 credit union leaders at this year’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), it’s possible to follow along the conference via social media and other channels. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle’s keynote address will be streamed live online, and attendees will be on social media using the #CUNAGAC hashtag.

Symbionce Financial Solutions Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

EAST HANOVER, N.J. – The Symbionce Board of Directors is pleased to announce MaryAnn Lunetta has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Symbionce Financial Solutions, LLC. MaryAnn brings to Symbionce over 25 years of operations and executive management leadership in the credit union and banking industries.

CFPB Publishes 2019 Lists of Rural and Underserved Counties

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 12, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published lists of rural and underserved counties for use in 2019, and a tool to assist credit unions in use of the lists. These help credit unions determine if they will be eligible for a safe harbor and assist in applying certain regulatory provisions related to mortgage loans.

Robust Security Standards Needed for All Data-handling Entities, CUNA Letter for the Record Notes

The cornerstone of any new data privacy requirements should be robust data security requirements for entities that collect consumers’ personal information, CUNA wrote to the House Homeland Security sub-committee on investigations Wednesday. CUNA’s letter was submitted for the record of the sub-committee’s Thursday hearing on private sector data breaches.

FFIEC Members Adopt Policy Statement on the Report of Examination

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members issued principles to promote consistency, clarity and ease of reference for the presentation of information in examination reports. The FFIEC Policy Statement on the Report of Examination was developed as part of the FFIEC’s Examination Modernization Project, which is aimed at reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on community financial institutions.

Governor Murphy Presents Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Entitled "A Blueprint for the Middle Class”

Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday presented his Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) budget to a joint session of the state Legislature, a plan he said, “to put New Jersey on a responsible path forward through over $1.1 billion in sustainable savings and support for the middle class through targeted investments in NJ TRANSIT, school funding, social services, and property tax relief.”

CFPB issues ANPR on S. 2155-required changes to PACE financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR) Monday on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) directs the CFPB to prescribe certain PACE consumer disclosures, and CUNA and leagues have urged the Bureau to quickly implement the statute.

Senator Menendez Names New Legislative Director

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has named Rebecca Schatz as his new Legislative Director. Schatz has been serving as his legislative counsel and has covered the senator’s financial services and housing portfolios on the Senate Banking Committee. She has been the primary contact for the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) in the Senator’s office.

Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Wendy’s Lawsuit Settlement

On February 26th, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted preliminary approval of a proposed settlement in First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy's Company, a data breach lawsuit brought by CUNA, leagues and credit unions affected by a data breach. The parties submitted their proposed settlement to the court February 13, which would conclude the lawsuit stemming from a 2016 data breach at certain Wendy’s franchise locations.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Report on First-Time Homebuying Service members

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report focusing on mortgages made to first-time homebuyers, who are serving in the armed forces or are veterans. The Bureau’s report is the first time researchers have been able to provide a description and analysis of service members’ mortgage choices and mortgage performance, both during and after the housing crisis of the last decade.

National Consumer Protection Week 2019 Kicked off Sunday, March 3

FTC, partners promote efforts to protect consumers from fraud, identity theft, and other consumer issues

The Federal Trade Commission and its federal, state and local partners, together with consumer groups and national advocacy organizations, will participate in the 21st annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from March 3-9, 2019. NCPW is a nationally coordinated campaign to help consumers understand their rights while giving them access to free educational materials.

Push for Data Security Continues with CUNA Letter to All 535 Congressional Offices

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to 535 Congressional offices Thursday continuing CUNA’s call for data privacy and security legislation. Thursday’s outreach is part of several efforts for CUNA on the topic of data privacy this week, CUNA also wrote to the House and Senate Commerce Committees for the record of their data privacy hearings.

Elder Financial Abuse on the Rise, According to CFPB Report

The number of elder financial exploitation (EFE) suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions quadrupled between 2013 and 2017, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In addition, nearly 80% of these filings involved monetary loss to individual or financial institution.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Counterfeit Corporate Checks Reported

Counterfeit cashier's checks and/or corporate checks that closely resemble credit union authentic checks have been presented for payment at financial institutions in connection with scams. Slight alterations in check color, check stock, logo, or location of key credit union check branding elements have been reported. In many cases, Routing & Transit Number (RTN) and MICR information is accurate.

CUs' Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Outlined for Financial Services Subcommittee

CUNA and its members are committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion continue to play a meaningful role in every aspect of the credit union system, CUNA wrote for the record of a subcommittee hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The hearing, titled “An Overview of Diversity Trends in the Financial Services Industry,” will be the first conducted by the House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity and inclusion, newly formed for the 116th Congress.

CU Journal Outlines What to Expect from a New NCUA Board

Following today's vote from the Senate Banking Committee, Todd Harper and Rodney Hood's nominations to the National Credit Union Administration board are headed to a vote in the full Senate. The pair's confirmation hearing earlier this month gave the industry a glimpse at what it could expect should both nominees be confirmed. It would be the first time in nearly three years the board was at full capacity. CU Journal outlines eight takeaways industry experts gleaned from the pair's nomination and hearing.

Small Business Disclosure Bill Passes State Senate with League Requested Amendments

State legislation (S2262) that supplements New Jersey’s “Small Business Loan Act” by applying some disclosure provisions of the federal “Truth in Lending Act” (TILA) to certain loans made to small businesses in the state passed the Senate last week 35-0. The measure was amended in at the NJCUL’s request to exempt credit unions and Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs).

Registration Open for CU FINHEALTH19

MADISON, Wis. – Registration is now open for the Credit Union FINHEALTH19 Conference taking place April 24-26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev., with the opportunity for scholarship assistance through the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation).

CUNA Engaged with Data Privacy, CDFI, Diversity Hearings this Week

CUNA wwas engaged with a variety of hearings in both chambers of Congress this week, including ones on data privacy and diversity in financial services. The Senate Banking Committee met in executive session to vote on NCUA board nominees Rodney Hood and Todd Harper, and nominee for director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration Mark Calabria (see related story).

Deadline to Purchase Tickets & Sponsorships Approaching for National CU Foundation’s Wegner Awards Dinner

Celebrate a Night with the Stars at the Annual Fundraising Gala

The deadline is approaching to purchase tickets and sponsorships for the 31st annual National Credit Union Foundation Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards on March 11, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.
National Consumer Protection Week Starts Next Week!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is excited that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is just around the corner and they hope you’ll check out the events they have planned. During NCPW, they join their partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues.

National Credit Union Foundation Honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award on Behalf of America’s CUs

CUs Awarded for Support of Junior Achievement USA

MADISON, Wis. – Junior Achievement (JA) announced that it will honor the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) with the 2017-2018 U.S. Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award on behalf of America’s Credit Unions for providing over 15,000 volunteer hours to Junior Achievement USA.

CFPB Issues Reference Tool for 2019 HMDA Data Collection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the 2019 edition of the Reportable HMDA Data: A Regulatory and Reporting Overview Reference Chart. The chart is a reference tool for credit unions and includes information on data points required to be collected and recorded in 2019, and reported to the CFPB in 2020 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, as implemented by Regulation C.

SSA Amends Rules on Representative Payee Approval

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published 84 FR 4323 in the Federal Register last week, a final rule on conducting background checks to prohibit persons convicted of certain crimes from serving as representative payees under the Social Security Act, as required by the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The rule will be effective March 18, 2019.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Dave Crenshaw, the MythBuster of Multitasking​, Reveals Time We Could Be Using More Wisely and the Lies We Tell Ourselves About Being ‘Busy’
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - If you had an extra 40 hours per month, what would do with that time? That time is right under our noses, according to best-selling author and entrepreneur Dave Crenshaw who took to the Reality Check stage as the last speaker to break down the myths of multitasking.
CU Reality Check Coverage: Disrupting for Good: Chris Field Challenges CUs to Keep Disrupting and Making a Difference
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - From running for mayor as a teenager to breaking multiple Guinness World Records to helping save over a hundred children from slavery, Chris Field has been disrupting most of his life. He’s a natural born disruptor, but he believes anyone, anywhere can choose to disrupt for good. Including credit unions! During his Wednesday morning presentation titled “Disruption for Good:  Using Passion and Persistence to Create Lasting Change,” Field layed out a “Disruption MAP” for the leaders in the room to follow to be both prepared and inspired to disrupt for good. 
Governor Signs Paid Family Leave Expansion

Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed into law legislation to expand the state’s paid family leave program. The legislation (A3975) extends leave time limits, provides higher compensation to those taking leave, covers more family members, broadens job protections and boosts awareness of the program.

CUNA Stresses Need for ADA Lawsuit Solution to New Attorney General

CUNA wrote to newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General William Barr Tuesday to call attention to the legal threats facing credit unions due to uncertainty with how the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to Web sites. Due to a lack of specific guidance, credit unions around the country have been hit with frivolous lawsuits claiming non-compliance with the ADA.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Dr. Troy Hall Outlines an Effective Success Model to Grow from Apprentice to Expert

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -  A world traveler that inspires and teaches others how to create cultures of cohesion to retain talent, Dr. Troy Hall’s mission is to advise executives on how to build a Cohesion Culture™ with the intent of retaining top talent. During his Tuesday afternoon Reality Check presentation titled “From Apprentice to Expert – The Success Model that Works​,” Dr. Troy broke down the elements of influence thinking, building behaviors, and the art of cohesion and collaboration.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Identifying Your “Wow” and Using it to Make an Impact

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - You have only eight seconds to make an impactful first impression. So what’s your “wow?” Author and radio show host Kate Delaney passed the mic to speaker Brian Jones from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York; Bill Mellin, president/CEO of the New York Credit Union Association; Trish Shermot from Visions FCU and others allowing them to tell their stories and their “wow.”

NCUA Review Finds No Bank Secrecy Act Data Breach

Upon learning of the recent spear phishing campaign targeting Bank Secrecy Act officers at credit unions, the NCUA conducted a comprehensive review of its security logs and alerts. This review is completed, and it did not find any indication that information was compromised. The most recent information available indicates the campaign extends beyond credit unions to other parts of the financial sector.

FTC works to get your money back

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brings lawsuits to stop unfair and deceptive business practices. One way it helps right those wrongs is by getting refunds to people who lost money. And from July 2017 to June 2018, people got more than $2.3 billion in refunds from FTC cases.

Governor to Sign Paid Family Leave Expansion Today

Governor Phil Murphy will be at the JFK Library in Piscataway this morning where he will sign into law legislation to expand the state’s paid family leave law. The legislation (A3975) expands leave times, provides higher compensation to those taking leave, covers more family members, expands job protections and boosts awareness of the program.

Credit Union Times Highlights NJCUL’s Partnership with Redstone Consulting Group on ACET Portal

Last week, Credit Union Times correspondent, Tina Orem, sat down with New Jersey Credit Union League President/CEO David Frankil to discuss how the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) has partnered with Huntsville, Ala.-based Redstone Consulting Group on a subscription-based portal aimed at helping credit unions prepare for examinations involving the NCUA’s new Automated Cybersecurity Examination Tool (ACET).

FHFA Should Continue Partnerships Between CUs, FHLBs, GSEs

Credit unions play an important role in the housing finance market, and have a vested interest in the ongoing stability of the secondary mortgage market that the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will help oversee, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee Thursday. The committee heard testimony from several presidential nominees Thursday, including from Mark Calabria, current chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence and nominee to serve as director of the FHFA.

Supervisory Committee Audit Changes Will Simplify Compliance

Thursday, the NCUA Board held its second open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters today and unanimously approved one item: A proposed rule to clarify and provide additional flexibility in the agency’s regulation covering required credit union supervisory committee audits. The Office of the General Counsel also attended the meeting and briefed the Board on a final interagency rule covering loans in special flood hazard areas.

National CU Foundation and MDC Collaboration Designed to Help Credit Unions Advance Consumer Financial Health

MADISON, Wis. – The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) and Members Development Company (MDC) are collaborating to bring credit unions additional value and resources on consumer financial health. The Foundation and MDC have a joint membership in the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) Financial Health Network.

Settlement Proposed in Wendy’s Data Breach Lawsuit

A proposed settlement was submitted to the court in First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy's Company for approval Wednesday, which would conclude the data breach lawsuit from a 2016 data breach at certain Wendy’s franchise locations. CUNA, state leagues, and a number of credit unions are among the plaintiffs.

Access to Financial Services is Vital for Cannabusinesses, CUNA Witness Testifies

Allowing legal, cannabis-based businesses to receive mainstream financial services comes with challenges, but also community benefits, CUNA witness Rachel Pross told a House subcommittee Wednesday. Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., testified before the House Financial Services subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions on access to financial services in places where cannabis is legal.

Votes on Government-Funding Package Imminent as Deadline Approaches

The U.S. Senate and House could vote as soon as today on a package to fund nine federal departments and avoid another partial government shutdown. Leaders from the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate announced the bipartisan deal earlier this week. While President Trump has given no indication one way or another, he is expected to sign it.

Congressman Kim to Hold Town Hall Meeting Saturday

Congressman Andy Kim (D-3) will hold a town hall meeting Saturday in Toms River to report on his first month in Congress. He will discuss efforts to lower prescription drug prices, protect Social Security and Medicare, and establish constituent service programs in both Washington and in New Jersey.

Sen. Booker Announces Leadership Changes in Senate Office

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced Tuesday leadership changes in his Senate office. Tricia Russell will be chief of staff, Nicole Morse will be deputy chief of staff for administration, Kristin Lynch will be communications director, and Jane Wiesenberg will be director of scheduling. The changes are effective immediately.

CUNA Witness to Appear Before HFSC Subcommittee Today

CUNA witness Rachel Pross will talk about the challenges facing legal cannabis-based businesses and financial institutions in those communities Wednesday before the House Financial Services subcommittee (HFSC) on consumer protection and financial institutions. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., and live video will be streamed on the committee’s Web site.

Bill to Rescind SALT Deduction Cap, Introduced by Sen. Menendez and Rep. Pascrell

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), senior members of the tax-writing Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, unveiled a bipartisan, bicameral bill to repeal the federal cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, imposed by the Trump Tax Law of 2017. With the beginning of tax-filing season underway, many taxpayers—especially in higher cost states like New Jersey—are just now realizing that they owe significantly more on their taxes as a result of the SALT cap.

CUNA Witness Testifies this Week, As Do NCUA, FHFA Nominees

CUNA will have a witness testifying on its behalf before a House subcommittee Wednesday and will be closely engaged with NCUA and Federal Housing Finance Administration nominees before a Senate committee Thursday. CUNA also continues to monitor negotiations for funding the federal government past Feb. 15, when it lapses.

Nussle Op-Ed Points Out Hypocrisy of Bank Attacks on Tax Status, Mergers

The latest bank attacks on credit unions have a new level of hypocrisy previously unseen in the financial services sector, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in Credit Union Journal Friday. Responding to attacks on the tax status and emergency mergers by the big banks, Nussle pointed out the $21 billion windfall banks saw in 2018, and the recently announced merger that would create the sixth largest bank in the country.

Education on ‘The CU Difference’ Lays Foundation for Advocacy Work

By educating credit union members, they can in turn ensure policymakers know about the credit union difference, CUNA Chief Political Officer Richard Gose said Friday during a webinar on CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP). MAP allows credit unions to reach out to their members on certain campaigns, and CUNA launched its latest campaign on the credit union difference in January.

New Tools Make Children's Miracle Network Fundraising a Hit with Employees

Employees can drive the success of your charity fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They are not only the front line in your member-facing fundraising activities, but they are also a dedicated force for good: Your fundraising success is their success. To ensure that your employee giving campaigns are a hit, Credit Unions for Kids is introducing new tools to make employee-based fundraising easier and more effective.

Congress Wrestles to Avoid Another Government Shutdown, NCUA Nominees under Consideration, CUNA to Testify at Cannabusiness Hearing

The short-term funding bill that ended the recent partial government shutdown is set to expire at midnight Friday. The House and Senate are expected to consider a longer-term funding solution this week to avoid another shutdown, though there are reports that the two parties are still in disagreement over some aspects, which could prevent a compromise from being reached. As Congress considers potential funding compromises, CUNA is working to ensure credit union priorities, such as full funding for the NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) and 504 loan programs, are included.

Treasury and IRS Issue Interim Guidance on Executive Compensation Excise Tax; Impacts CU Executive Pay

On December 31, 2018, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-09 providing comprehensive interim guidance under section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code to assist tax exempt organizations to comply with the new excise tax that was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2017.

Sen. Booker Names New State Director

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced Hanna Mori has taken over as his state director, replacing George Helmy who left to become Gov. Phil Murphy’s new chief of staff. A veteran Booker administration staffer, Mori most recently served as the deputy state director. Zachary McCue has been promoted from projects director to replace Mori as deputy state director.

Payday Lender Fined $100K

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Tuesday announced a settlement with payday lender Cash Tyme for Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) violations related to unfair acts and practices. The company, which has retail lending outlets in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, has been ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $100,000.

Credit Union of New Jersey donates $25K to SERV

Credit Union of New Jersey makes first of three $25,000 donations for local technology center.

Credit Union of New Jersey recently donated $25,000 to SERV Behavioral Health System. The inaugural donation is set to recur for the next two years, totaling $75,000 to support the upcoming state-of-the-art SERV Technology Center.

CUs Beware, “Phishing” Emails are Alive and Well!

The USA PATRIOT Act, Section 314(b) permits financial institutions (after certain notice provided to the U.S. Department of Treasury), to share information with one another in order to identify and report to the federal government activities that may involve money laundering or terrorist activities.

HMDA 2018 Data Reporting Deadline March 1

Financial institutions, including credit unions, required to file Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data should begin soon. Beginning with HMDA data collected in or after 2017, financial institutions will use the HMDA Platform to upload their loan/application registers (LARs), review edits, certify the accuracy and completeness of the data, and submit data for the filing year.

Restaurant Chain Hit by 18-Month Data Breach

Restaurant chain Huddle House has notified consumers of a breach to its point-of-sale (POS) system, which likely impacted 341 locations between over an 18-month period from August 2017 to February 1, 2019. The company said that malware was installed on POS systems to collect payment information, including cardholder name, card number and expiration date.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Remain Vigilant During Tax Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists refund fraud on the 2018 Dirty Dozen list of tax scams. Credit unions should not let their guard down – particularly in light of large-scale data breaches which provided fraudsters with the personally identifiable information needed to file fraudulent tax returns.

Time to Order Materials for National Consumer Protection Week

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2019 is just around the corner. This year, NCPW is March 3 – 9, 2019. That’s just about a month away, so now is the time to jump into planning. During NCPW, government agencies and consumer protection groups band together to help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about money. Credit unions are encouraged to participate.

Debt Reduction is a Top Priority for Parents, Survey Finds

Reducing debt is the top financial priority in 2019 for roughly three-quarters of parents, according to a survey recently released by New York Life. While two-thirds of respondents said they plan to save more this year, 30 percent plan to seek expert advice for financial planning.

Sen. Booker Announces Presidential Bid

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) chose today, the first day of Black History Month, to make his long-anticipated announcement that he is running for president. He joins a growing list of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

CUs Need to be Included in FHFA’s Proposed Small Member Goal

CUNA wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) Tuesday opposing its proposed Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) affordable housing goals regulations because they specifically exclude credit unions from being eligible to participate in the newly created smaller member participation goal. CUNA sent its comment letter in response to FHFA’s proposed regulation on its affordable housing goals.

HFSC Sub-committees Assignments Approved, Rules Adopted

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) yesterday approved rules for the panel and membership to its various sub-committees. Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) in her opening remarks noted that there is a new sub-committee, as well as name changes to some, as the committee hones its focus on initiatives that benefit consumers, small businesses and the economy as a whole, among others.

Senator Singer Visits First Atlantic FCU

EATONTOWN, N.J. – State Sen. Bob Singer (R-30) visited First Atlantic FCU Tuesday. NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil and Vice President of Corporate and Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel were on-hand for the meeting hosted by First Atlantic President/CEO John Culp and Board Chair Dr. Deborah Frank.

House Financial Services Committee to Hold First Meeting Today

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) will hold its first meeting of the 116th Congress today to adopt a resolution related to its governing rules and another one to name majority and minority committee members to sub-committees. HFSC member from New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) will serve on the following sub-committees: Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets; National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, and; Diversity and Inclusion.

House Resolution Encourages FIs to Provide Solutions for Those Affected by Shutdown

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed H. Res. 77, expressing the sense of Congress that “financial institutions and other companies should work proactively with their customers affected by the shutdown of the Federal Government who may be facing short-term financial hardship and long-term damage to their creditworthiness through no fault of their own.”

Taxi Medallion Lender Progressive CU Posts a 2018 Loss of Almost $103 Million

Progressive Credit Union (New York, NY) reported a loss of $102.99 million for 2018, according to Keith Leggett’s Credit Union Watch. The credit union’s loss for the fourth quarter was $49.7 million. A casualty of the disruption to the taxi industry by ride sharing companies, Progressive Credit Union was acquired by PenFed earlier this month. PenFed ($24.1 billion in assets, 1.7 million members as of Sept. 30) chose to keep all of Progressive’s loans including its taxi medallion loans. 

CFPB Fines Payday Lender $3.2M

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Friday that it has ordered Enova International to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty for unfair practices related to unauthorized debiting of accounts and failure to honor loan extensions.

$15 Minimum Wage Bills on Fast Track

Legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all but a few worker categories passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee Monday along partisan lines. The measure was approved last week by the Assembly Labor Committee, also along partisan lines.

Lawmakers Seek Housing Finance Reform Details

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are asking the administration for its housing finance reform plan following comments from Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Joseph Otting.

$15 Minimum Wage Scheduled for Assembly Committee Action Today

Legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all but a few worker categories is scheduled for consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today where it is expected to pass. The measure was approved Thursday by the Assembly Labor Committee, where the vote (6 to 3) was along partisan lines.

FHFA indicates housing finance reform coming soon

According to a story in Politico, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Joseph Otting recently told staff to expect a housing finance reform plan from the administration and Treasury Department within the next month. After that, Otting said he expects significant progress to be made within "six to 18 months."

Congress Continued to Hear about CUs’ Support During Shutdown

Credit unions in every state, congressional district and community stepped up to help workers affected by the government shutdown, CUNA has told Members of Congress in weekly communications throughout the shutdown. Using information that credit unions are sharing with CUNA, the shutdown assistance page is helping to reinforce the "people helping people" philosophy at the core of the credit union makeup.

Tom O’Shea Confirmed for Second Term as CULAC Trustee

The CULAC Executive Committee has confirmed state league nominations for two-year terms (2019-20) on CULAC Board of Trustees. CULAC, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, is the CUNA-League System’s federal Political Action Committee, or PAC. Each has a seat on the Board of Trustees, which is filled by a league nominee who is then confirmed by the Executive Committee.

CUNA, NJCUL Respond to Senate Banking Committee Members’ Request for CU Services During Shutdown

CUNA sent information on credit union assistance efforts for members affected by the government shutdown to a group of five senators Thursday. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), all members of the Senate Banking Committee, reached out to credit unions and other financial institutions Thursday seeking information about how federal workers are getting assistance. The NJCUL also responded individually to Sen. Menendez’s office to highlight the assistance New Jersey credit unions are offering.

NJCUL Provides ADA Compliant Student Application and Social Media Materials for YIB Scholarship Participants

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – The New Jersey Credit Union League has made it easier for New Jersey credit unions to promote their participation in the Youth Involvement Board (YIB) Scholarship program. The League’s Business Partner, Your Marketing Company, assisted by making the YIB Scholarship student application compliant with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Web site guidelines for credit unions to post online. The League also provided participating credit unions with social media graphics and messages to promote to members on digital platforms. 

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Non-EMV Enabled ATMs Targeted

Fraudsters are increasingly targeting non-EMV enabled ATMs with counterfeit cards. The resulting losses are uninsurable. In addition, credit unions operating non-EMV enabled ATMs are at greater risk to large losses due to MasterCard and Visa’s liability shift.

CUNA Outlines Concerns with NCUA’s Fidelity Bond Proposal

CUNA has several concerns with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)’s proposed regulation on fidelity bonds, it noted in a comment letter sent to the agency Tuesday. NCUA’s proposal is part of the changes recommended by the agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force, which was created to oversee NCUA’s regulatory reform agenda.

CUNA, MCUL Defend CUs Against Frivolous ADA Lawsuits

CUNA and the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) filed two amicus briefs Tuesday in support of credit unions hit with frivolous lawsuits claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CUNA and the MCUL filed briefs in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of two credit unions both of which are being sued by the same plaintiff.

CUNA Shares CU Shutdown Aid with HFSC Chair Maxine Waters

Without having been asked by the government, credit unions are doing the right thing and assisting the federal workers furloughed by the federal government shutdown, CUNA wrote to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Wednesday. Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, reached out to CUNA for information on how credit unions are assisting those affected by the federal government shutdown.

CUNA, Leagues Continue to Urge Credit Unions to Share Special Government-Shutdown Assistance; Six NJ CUs Have Reported Assistance

As the partial government shutdown enters its second month, CUNA and the state leagues continue to encourage credit unions to share how their institution is supporting members affected by the partial government shutdown, the longest in history and now headed into its second month. Here in New Jersey six credit unions have shared what they’re doing to help members, Aspire FCU, Essex County Teachers FCU, Federal Employees (Newark) FCU, Fort Dix FCU, South Jersey FCU, and XCEL FCU. Alloya Corporate FCU is also offering special loans to credit unions providing assistance to impacted federal workers.

Jersey Shore FCU’s Amanda Meeker to Represent New Jersey Among Young Professionals to Crash 2019 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference

100 Crashers head to Washington, D.C. for the 10th Crash the GAC with the Cooperative Trust 

MADISON, Wis. – Young professionals in the credit union industry, attending as “Crashers,” will join thousands of credit union advocates for the 2019 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC). Representing New Jersey this year will be Amanda Meeker, Operations Specialist at Jersey Shore FCU. Meeker is also a member of the New Jersey Credit Union League’s Emerging Leaders program.

Gloucester Chamber of Commerce Announces ‘Benjamin Griffith Young Executive Award’ in Honor of South Jersey FCU Leader

GLASSBORO, N.J. - As part of its continuing efforts to recognize the good deeds and works of the community, the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced this year’s winners of the 15th Annual Community Service Awards. This year the Chamber added a new award called the Benjamin Griffith Young Executive Award, named in honor of the Chamber's long-time member and leader, Ben Griffith. This award recognizes a young executive that has created a lasting impression on the community, much like Ben Griffith did during his tenure at the South Jersey Federal Credit Union.

CFPB Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustments

On January 15, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the annual adjustments for inflation to the CFPB’s civil penalty amounts, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and further amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. This final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Rodney Hood Re-nominated to NCUA Board

President Donald Trump Wednesday nominated former NCUA board member Rodney Hood to fill the board seat currently held by board member Rick Metsger. Hood was nominated in the last Congress but not confirmed, and previously served as vice chair of the NCUA board under President George W. Bush.

CFPB Signals ATR Changes Under Payday Rule

An American Banker article suggests that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will likely remove ability-to-repay (ATR) provisions from its 2017 payday lending rule. In its Fall 2018 Rule-making Agenda released in October the CFPB said that it would issue a proposed rule-making early this year to revisit certain provisions of the rule.

What’s NEW at League InfoSight!

Searching for information on a credit union compliance or other topic? Looking for an educational video? Don’t forget about League InfoSight! InfoSight is constantly updating its content and education videos. Check out the following for the latest. To access League InfoSight and the Compliance Connection Videos go to www.njcul.org or click here.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear CFPB's Structure Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied certiorari to a lawsuit challenging the single-director structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). CUNA and the state leagues have been advocating on Capitol Hill for a commission structure at the CFPB to ensure long term continuity and stability in its policymaking.

House Poised to Vote on Stopgap Funding Options

The House is poised to vote this week on two short-term spending bills that would reopen the various departments and agencies affected by the ongoing partial government shutdown. One of the bills, expected to be voted on today, would fund the government through Feb. 1, while the other would fund it through Feb. 28.

Nussle Talks 2019 Goals, CUNA GAC and More on Podcast

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle appeared as the inaugural guest on “The CUInsight Experience,” a podcast featuring thought leaders from around the credit union community. Nussle shared the latest on CUNA’s advocacy efforts, including 2018 victories and goals for 2019, and discussed his view of CUNA’s role in the credit union system, among other topics.

CUNA Calls for Increased Bylaw Flexibility

CUNA supports an approach to federal credit union bylaws that provides those institutions flexibility to work within the bylaws, as well as an efficient amendments process when deviation is appropriate, CUNA wrote to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Monday. CUNA submitted its comment letter in response to NCUA’s bylaws proposed rule.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Credit Privacy Numbers Fraudulently Used to Obtain Loans

Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) – a nine-digit number, similar to Social Security Numbers (SSN) – are being used fraudulently in an attempt to obtain new credit cards and loans. The CPN is being used to obscure the connection between an applicant’s name and the actual contents of credit reports. Using any number in place of a SSN on a credit application is considered fraud and is a federal crime.

Is Your CU Offering Aid to Workers Impacted by Shutdown? CUNA Collecting Info

America’s credit unions are embodying their structure and mission to ensure their members affected by the government shutdown have access to low- or no-interest loans with generous repayment terms. An estimated 800,000 federal employees and their families are facing financial uncertainty because they aren’t being paid during the shutdown. CUNA is currently collecting information regarding the assistance credit unions across the nation are providing.

National CU Foundation Approves Three Grants for Credit Unions to Develop Financial Health KPIs

National CU Foundation will invest $54,000 in credit union financial health initiatives

MADISON, Wis. – The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) has approved grants totaling $54,000 for three organizations to work with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to develop financial health-related key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the financial health and business impacts of their products and services.

FHFA Nomination Sent to Senate

Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, has been nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Ensuring credit unions have access to a viable secondary mortgage market is a top priority for CUNA and the state leagues.

National CU Foundation Announces New Engagement Department

The National CU Foundation Aligns Staff to Increase Credit Union Engagement and Involvement

MADISON, Wis. – The National Credit Union Foundation has announced a staff transition that will see three current employees take on exciting new roles with an increased focus on demonstrating the impact of Foundation programs and growing the number of Foundation supporters.

NJCUL-Supported Financial Education Mandate Signed into Law

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver last week signed legislation (A-1414) requiring school districts to provide financial literacy education to middle school students in grades six through eight. The financial literacy instruction will emphasize budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility to ensure New Jersey’s youth have access to the tools and foundation needed for sound financial decision-making.

CU-friendly Provisions Called for in Government Funding Legislation

CUNA wrote to leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees Monday to call for inclusion of House-reported language that contains credit union-friendly provisions in any final appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2019. The House and Senate are in Washington, DC this week and are expected to continue negotiations to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

NCUA Re-districting Completed

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)'s restructuring of its regional offices took effect with the new year. The changes reduced the agency's regional offices from five to three with the closure of the Albany (Region I) and Atlanta (Region III) offices. The remaining three regions have been organized geographically instead of numerically with Eastern, Southern and Western regional offices.

CFPB releases guidance on public HMDA data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released final policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data it plans to make available to the public starting this year. The final policy guidance applies to HMDA data compiled by financial institutions in or after 2018 and made available to the public by the CFPB beginning in 2019.

NCUA’s streamlined CDFI application period starts Jan. 13

Federally-insured, low-income credit unions that want to become certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) can apply to use the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)’s qualification process for streamlined CDFI certification from Jan. 13 through Feb. 9. The agency’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion hosts a resource page with details about certification and the streamlined process.

Credit unions see victory with ADA ruling

WASHINGTON – The Fourth Circuit of Appeals has ruled in favor of Department of Labor Federal Credit Union (DOL FCU) related to a frivolous lawsuit alleging Web site non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A panel of federal appeals court judges determined the plaintiff lacked standing.

Comments on NCUA bylaws, fidelity bonds proposals due in January

This month, both the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) have comment deadlines for proposed rules. The NCUA proposals involve bylaws and fidelity bonds, while the FHFA proposal deals with amendments to Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) housing goals. CUNA will be submitting comments on each proposal.

Bureau announces asset-size threshold adjustments under HMDA (Regulation C) and TILA (Regulation Z) and an annual adjustment under FCRA

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) has announced the asset-size exemption thresholds for depository institutions under Regulation C. The Bureau has also announced the asset-size exemption thresholds for certain creditors under the escrow requirements and small creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgage requirements, and the small creditor exemption from the prohibition against balloon-payment high-cost mortgages under Regulation Z. Finally, the Bureau has announced the annual adjustment to the maximum amount consumer reporting agencies may charge consumers for making a file disclosure to a consumer under FCRA.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Reg CC’s New Liability Provision

The final amendment to Regulation CC (Reg CC), published in September 2018, goes into effect January 1, 2019. The new rule creates a rebuttable presumption of alteration for substitute checks or electronic checks containing alterations or forged drawer signatures. This could impact your credit union’s schedule for retaining original paper checks as well as remote deposit capture service offering.

Treasury Publishes National Illicit Finance Strategy and Supporting Risk Assessments

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing (National Illicit Finance Strategy), pursuant to Sections 261 and 262 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA). The Strategy describes and assesses current U.S. government efforts to combat illicit finance threats and risks and identifies priorities, objectives, and potential areas for future improvement. It also highlights U.S. interagency and intergovernmental efforts to combat illicit finance domestically and internationally, including enforcement measures that include sanctions, prosecutions, and asset forfeiture, as well as improvements in information sharing mechanisms and updated guidance to aid financial institutions in detecting and combating illicit finance threats.

House passes bill with CUNA-backed UBIT repeal

The House passed the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act (H.R. 88) Thursday, a bill that makes a CUNA-backed change to Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT). H.R. 88 contains a provision that would eliminate the new UBIT on not-for-profit transportation and athletic facilities fringe benefits.

CUNA, Leagues Back CU in ADA Case with Appellate Level Brief

CUNA joined the Illinois and Wisconsin Credit Union Leagues to file a brief Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in support of a credit union facing a lawsuit due to uncertainty with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The brief is the latest in CUNA/league advocacy efforts to defend credit unions, and the second one filed at the appellate level, which would provide binding precedent in the 7th circuit.

NJ CU Financial Reality Fair Program Closes Out the Year with Final Fair of 2018 at Phifer Middle School; Program has Reached Over 1,300 Students This School Year

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – The Howard J. Phifer Middle School was the last stop of 2018 for the NJ CU Financial Reality Fair program, which brought the hands-on financial literacy experience to 150 students. The program has reached over 1,300 students across the state so far this school year, with more to come in the spring!

FASB to Conduct CECL Roundtable in January

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced it will discuss current expected credit loss (CECL) implementation at a public roundtable discussion, likely in January 2019. FASB recently finalized a CUNA/League-backed delay in CECL implementation. CUNA and the state leagues continue to maintain the standard is not appropriate for credit unions.

CUNA, Trades Press Agencies for CECL Relief

CUNA joined with four other financial services trade groups Wednesday to press the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) for a delay in CECL (current expected credit loss) implementation until a transparent quantitative impact study is performed and shared with the industry. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is a member of the FSOC.

2019 Advocacy Agenda to Continue Advancement of CU Movement

CUNA and the state leagues advocacy agenda for 2019 reflects the needs of the credit union movement and the realities of the 2018 mid-term election results. As the 116th Congress convenes and new leadership takes over at federal regulators including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and later the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), CUNA Chief Advocacy officer Ryan Donovan said the CUNA/league system is eager to continue its work for and alongside the credit union movement.

2018 Victories Set Up CU Momentum Going Forward

CUNA and the state leagues came into 2018 with a bold advocacy agenda and saw historic victories as a result of unparalleled engagement and 360-degree advocacy. Execution of this agenda in the legislative, regulatory and judicial arenas helped ensure credit unions and their members are well-positioned going into 2019.

CUNA Engaged with Government Funding, H.R. 88, Housing Finance Reform

CUNA is engaged with several happenings on Capitol Hill this week, including ongoing discussions to fund the federal government and the National Flood Insurance Program. Both are expected to expire at midnight Friday, and the House and Senate are expected to work this week on an agreement to fund government operations through all or part of remainder of fiscal year 2018.

ABCO Community Supports Operation Yellow Ribbon's 'Treats for Troops'

WILLINGBORO, N.J. – ABCO FCU staff and members were proud to be a part of Operation Yellow Ribbon's "Treats for the Troops" program this year! ABCO branches were utilized as dropoff locations for cookie and other baked good donations for this program that aims to bring holiday cheer to troops serving overseas.

Final Legislative Week on Capitol Hill

In the final scheduled week of the legislative calendar, Congress will need to pass a government funding bill to prevent a partial government shutdown and extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before it lapses. Both are set to expire Friday. As of this writing, the Administration and legislative leaders have yet to reach an agreement on boarder security funding so a partial shut-down is possible.

NCUA, Six state regulators launch pilot program

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced last week that it and six state credit union regulators will launch an alternating examination pilot program for a select group of federally-insured, state-chartered credit unions. According to the agency, the program is based on its 2016 Exam Flexibility Initiative report, and will run for one full alternating cycle of approximately three years.

ABCO Community Donates to South Jersey Food Banks

WILLINGBORO, N.J. – ABCO FCU is happy to announce that with the help from their members and staff, they were able to collect nearly 800 lbs. of food for the Food Bank of South Jersey and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. ABCO made an additional donation of $500 to support the initiative.

Wave of Hoax Bomb Threats Made Across County, FIs Among Targeted

KrebsOnSecurity reports that financial institutions are being targeted by an email extortion scam. The emails claim that bombs have been planted inside the recipient's building and will detonate unless a ransom is paid in bitcoin. The email's subject line reads, "I advise you not to call the police." Others have read “Think Twice.”

NCUA Board Lowers Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating Level to 1.38 Percent

Agency Will Return to Three-Year Rolling Regulation Reviews in 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Credit Union Administration Board held its eleventh open meeting of 2018 at the agency’s headquarters this week and unanimously approved three items: lowering the normal operating level of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to 1.38 percent from 1.39 percent, posting the final report of the agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force in the Federal Register, following a briefing by the Office of the General Counsel, and a final rule making technical amendments to agency regulations to correct minor drafting errors and rescind certain unnecessary provisions.

CUs, Don’t Let Your Members Fall for Fake SSA Scams!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. The caller then says your SSN is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. And he will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

Who Gets the Money and When: Decedent Account Workshop Provides Important Information to CUs

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. - On December 11, many gathered live at the League office in Hightstown and online via Zoom to learn how to properly handle Decedent Accounts and Loans. Led by attorney Scott Best from Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, this workshop focused on the responsibilities of the credit union versus the surrogates office when a death occurs. Best covered who gets the money and when they get it in this comprehensive session.

Tickets & Sponsorships Now Available for National CU Foundation’s Wegner Awards Dinner

Celebrate a Night with the Stars at the Annual Fundraising Gala

Tickets and sponsorships are now available for purchase for the 31st annual National Credit Union Foundation Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards on March 11, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.
Mark Calabria Nominated to Head FHFA

President Donald Trump Tuesday announced his intent to nominate Mark Calabria to succeed Mel Watt as head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Watt, who recently faced allegations involving his alleged conduct while at the agency, is set to depart in January.

CECL ‘Inappropriate’ for CUs and Future Relief Needed, CUNA Writes Sub-committee

"Application of the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standard to credit unions continues to be inappropriate," CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services sub-committee on financial institutions and consumer credit Tuesday. The sub-committee conducted a hearing yesterday on the impact of the standard, which was set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

League and Foundation Reach 500 Ocean County College First-Year Students Through Reality Fair Program

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – The New Jersey Credit Union Financial Reality Fair program visited Ocean County College Wednesday, reaching 500 first-year students with the award-winning program, which has now been integrated into the college's first-year class curriculum. Volunteers from ABCO FCU, Credit Union of New Jersey, Healthcare Employees FCU, Jersey Shore FCU, the New Jersey Credit Union League, and United Teletech Financial FCU manned the lifestyle booths and provided financial counseling along with faculty and staff from the school.

BCFP follows CUNA recommendation with ‘no-action’ letter proposal

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) will issue a proposal to revise its current “No-Action” letter policy following CUNA efforts to have the Bureau amend to provide clarity regarding enforcement and supervision expectations. The proposal will have a 60-day comment period after it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.

CUNA calls for not-for-profit excise tax parity from Treasury

CUNA wrote to the Treasury Monday to call for parity for executive compensation at not-for-profit employers, agreeing with a recent letter sent by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) that called on the Treasury to provide parity between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations by grandfathering not-for-profit employer contracts in effect on or before Nov. 2, 2017.

NLRB Further Extends Time for Submitting Comments on Proposed Joint-Employer Rule-making

WASHINGTON — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is extending the time for submitting comments regarding its proposed rule-making to address its joint-employer standard for an additional 30 days. The submission window is currently open and interested parties may now file comments on or before Monday, January 14, 2019. Comments replying to the comments submitted during the initial comment period must be received by the Board on or before January 22, 2019.

CUNA engaged with CECL hearing, H.R. 88 consideration this week

CUNA will be engaged with several hearings in both chambers of Congress this week, including one on the impact of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) current expected credit loss (CECL) standard. The House and Senate are both in session this week, and could vote on a farm bill, as well as a tax bill that contains two CUNA-supported extensions of expired tax provisions, H.R. 88.

Mulvaney Thanked for BCFP Tenure, CUNA Renews Call for Commission

CUNA wrote to Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) Acting Director Mick Mulvaney Thursday to thank him for his service during the 13 months he served as acting director for the agency. Kathy Kraninger was confirmed by the Senate to become bureau director Thursday; Mulvaney will continue his duties as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

NJCFE Hosts Free Financial Literacy Roundtable on Top Security Frauds in NJ

MANALAPAN, N.J. – The New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE) held a free Financial Literacy Roundtable at Navicore Solutions on Friday ahead of its board meeting. The keynote speaker, Christopher Gerold, Chief of the NJ Bureau of Securities, introduced attendees to the Bureau, explaining that its purpose is to protect investors from investment fraud, and regulating the securities industry in New Jersey. He then went on to list and explain the top 10 security frauds consumers should be aware of...

NCUA Files FOM Appeal Brief

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) yesterday filed its brief for the appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision in the American Bankers Association (ABA) lawsuit that challenged the agency's Field of Membership (FOM) rule. The lower court upheld two challenged portions of NCUA's FOM rule and struck down two provisions in the lawsuit filed against the agency.

Pending Regulatory Comment Calls

The IRS has published 83 FR 56763 in a recent Federal Register proposed amendments to the regulations relating to hardship distributions from section 401(k) plans. The amendments reflect statutory changes affecting section 401(k) plans, including recent changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. These regulations would affect participants in, beneficiaries of, employers maintaining, and administrators of plans that contain cash or deferred arrangements or provide for employee or matching contributions. Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by January 14, 2019.

BCFP Issues 2019 Regulations Z and M Dollar Thresholds

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), along with the Federal Reserve Board, updated the dollar thresholds in Regulation Z (Truth in Lending or TILA) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing) that will apply for determining exempt consumer credit and lease transactions in 2019. The Dodd-Frank Act requires these thresholds be adjusted annually based on changes to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Interagency Regulators Encourage BSA Innovation

The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currancy (OCC) have issued a joint statement to encourage banks and credit unions to consider, evaluate, and, where appropriate, responsibly implement innovative approaches to meet their Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance obligations.

BCFP Director Vote Today

The Senate will vote today on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). Kraninger was nominated to replace Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in August.

CUNA Talks CU Jobs, Rule-makings with DOL

CUNA met with the Department of Labor (DOL) Monday to discuss several credit union related issues. In addition to discussions on DOL rule-makings, CUNA provided the agency with data estimating the credit union sector supports nearly 900,000 jobs nationally.

CUNA, Leagues, CUs Talk ADA Concerns at DOJ Roundtable

CUNA, leagues and credit unions participated in a Department of Justice (DOJ) roundtable Monday to discuss topics related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Credit unions in more than 30 states are facing lawsuits due to ambiguity about how the ADA applies to Web site, and CUNA has made finding a solution a top priority.

U.S. Department of the Treasury’s FinCEN and Federal Banking Agencies Issue Joint Statement Encouraging Innovative Industry Approaches to AML Compliance

WASHINGTON— As a result of a working group established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and the Federal depository institutions regulators, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and its regulatory partners issued a joint statement to encourage banks and credit unions to take innovative approaches to combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial threats. 

Beware of the “Grandparent” Scam this Holiday Season!

In 2018, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network, it has seen a striking increase in the median dollar amount that people 70 and over are saying they lost to fraud. Digging into the data, they found common stories with an unusual twist: people 70 and older report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who pretended to be their grandchildren.

House Republicans Name Ranking Members for 116th Congress

The House Republican Conference chose ranking members for House committees in the 116th Congress last week, with several credit union supporters being named ranking members of notable committees. With Democrats taking control of the House for the next Congress, Democratic lawmakers will chair all House committees, with Republicans serving as ranking members.

BCFP Nomination Moves Closer to Final Vote

The Senate voted 50-49 to end debate on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) Thursday, setting up a final vote on the nomination in the coming days. Kraninger was nominated to replace Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The Senate Banking Committee approved her nomination in August.

NFIP Extension Passes Congress

Both the House and Senate passed a bill Thursday to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until Dec. 7. The program was set to expire at midnight tonight if the extension wasn't passed.

Needed BSA/AML Relief Outlined for Senate Committee

CUNA and the state leagues support efforts to track money laundering and terrorist financing but also believe it's important to strike the balance between the costs to financial institutions and the benefits to the federal government. CUNA sent a letter for the record of a Senate Banking Committee hearing on combating illicit finance.

BCFP Director Confirmation Expected

The Senate could vote on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). Kraninger currently serves as an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). President Donald Trump nominated her in June to lead the Bureau.

FHFA Conforming Loan Limits Increased for 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Tuesday its maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase in 2019 to a level of $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018.

Faster Payments Webinar Recording Available

CUNA members can register for free to access a recording of Wednesday's webinar on the Federal Reserve’s development of faster payments. The webinar was designed to answer member questions and solicit feedback for CUNA’s comments. The recording will be posted within the next 48 hours, and it features a discussion of faster payments as CUNA prepares its comments for the Fed, due Dec. 14.

BCFP’s Office of Cost Benefit Analysis Consistent with CUNA Recommendations

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) seeks an individual to lead a new Office of Cost Benefit Analysis, according to a notice posted Monday. CUNA and the state leagues have repeatedly called on the BCFP to conduct more comprehensive cost-benefit research and analysis in connection with its rule-makings and supervisory activities. It was among the numerous recommendations contained in the regulatory relief white paper CUNA submitted to the BCFP this past summer.

CUNA Calls for CU Relief Changes in New Tax Bill

CUNA raised concerns with several taxes contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in a Tuesday letter to Capitol Hill lawmakers. The letter was sent to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in response to Monday night’s release of the Retirement, Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 (H.R. 88).