WASHINGTON (4/24/15)--The U.S. House passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 Thursday, by a 355-63 vote. This is the second cybersecurity-related piece of legislation passed by the House this week, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560), was passed Wednesday.
H.R. 1560 allows enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats, while H.R. 1731 amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to enhance multi-directional sharing of cybersecurity risk information.
CUNA supports both pieces of legislation. Both bills will be combined. The Senate is expected to act on cyberthreat information sharing legislation at some point in the coming weeks.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/24/15)--Consideration of a final rule that would change field-of-membership regulations tops the agenda for the National Credit Union Administration's April 30 board meeting.
NCUA Director of Examination and Insurance Larry Fazio provided some insight into the final rule during testimony before a House subcommittee Thursday. (See related story: NCUA's Fazio highlights agency support for reg. relief legislation.)
"The final rule will include substantially more regulatory relief than the proposed rule as NCUA responds to the comments received," Fazio said. "For example, the Board will likely add five additional types of groups that will automatically satisfy the associational common bond provisions."
Other items on the agenda are:
- Final rule on corporate credit unions concerning technical amendments;
- Proposed rule on aggregate lending limit for corporate credit unions;
- Proposed rule on adding share insurance coverage under interest on lawyer trust accounts;
- An exemption request by the State of Connecticut Department of Banking;
- Board briefing on a final interagency rule concerning minimum requirements for appraisal management companies; and
- National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund quarterly report.
is still open for the live video feed of the meeting. Reminder, individuals interested in watching the meetings online must register each month.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/24/15)--Dayton, Ohio's Montgomery CU Inc. was placed into conservatorship Thursday, and the National Credit Union Administration has been named conservator, according to the agency.
Montgomery County CU was placed into conservatorship by the superintendent of the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions (DFI).
The DFI placed Montgomery County CU into conservatorship after the discovery of unsafe and unsound practices. While continuing normal member services, the two agencies will work to resolve issues affecting the credit union's safety and soundness.
Montgomery County CU Inc. is a federally insured, state-chartered credit union with 6,605 members and $27.3 million in assets, according to the credit union's most recent call report.
It was chartered in 1963, and serves anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Montgomery County, Ohio.
Deposits at Montgomery County CU remain protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. The NCUA has posted a FAQ
about the conservatorship.
WASHINGTON (4/24/15)--The National Credit Union Administration supports several CUNA-backed regulatory relief bills, including ones that would raise the member business lending cap and allow supplemental capital.
Larry Fazio, director of the NCUA's Office of Examination and Insurance, testified before the U.S. House Financial Service subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit at a
designed to get regulators' perspectives of regulatory burden.
"NCUA encourages Congress to consider providing regulators like NCUA with flexibility to write rules to address such situations, rather than imposing rigid requirements," Fazio said. "Such flexibility would allow the agency to effectively limit additional regulatory burdens, consistent with safety and soundness."
Fazio said the NCUA supports three bills:
- The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (H.R. 1188), which would raise the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets;
- The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act (H.R. 1422), which would exempt credit union loans to purchase a one- to four-unit, non-owner occupied residential dwelling from the 12.25% cap on member business lending; and
- The Capital Access for Small Business Act (H.R. 989), which would allow credit unions to raise supplemental capital.
Fazio outlined other areas the NCUA is pushing for regulatory relief, including a finalized rule that will be presented to the board April 30 regarding field-of-membership rules. (See related story in today's
Final FOM rule tops April 30 NCUA agenda.)
Subcommittee chair Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) asked Fazio if he believed the NCUA is "getting it right" when it comes to its revised risk-based capital proposal, and about a "capital cushion" that might be required of credit unions should the rule be finalized.
Fazio said the rule would likely have a "relatively modest impact," but it would be effective in picking up outliers.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) inquired as to why the NCUA stopped holding public meetings regarding its budget and asked if the agency would hold a meeting for its 2016 budget. Fazio said the NCUA board has not made a decision on that yet.
For some on the committee, regulatory relief cannot come soon enough for constituents. Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) said he has had many discussions in recent months with credit unions and community banks about regulatory burden.
"I'm actually a little discouraged, and I remain discouraged, with some of the things I've been hearing relative to the regulatory burdens," he said. "This is the single issue that I hear about from institutions in New Hampshire, more than any other issue."
Daily Financial Rates -- 2015-04-24
Friday, April 24, 2015
03:55 AM CDT
TREASURY YIELD CURVE
(based on the $1 million market)
Results of the April 20, 2015 auction of short-term U.S. government bills, sold at a discount from face value in units of $10,000 to $ 1 million
||Last changed December 16, 2008 |
|near closing bid||0.050||0.080||0.100||0.130||0.100|
FREDDIE MAC (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)
FANNIE MAE (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)
COMMERCIAL PAPER (Financial, 90 days)
: Data not available at time of page generation (shown at top of page)
Wall Street Journal
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
All rates are from the previous business day unless otherwise noted.
WASHINGTON (4/24/15)--For the first time since the second quarter of 2012, the share of seriously underwater homes increased in the first quarter, rising 0.4 percentage points from the fourth quarter, according to RealtyTrac's Home Equity and Underwater report (
On an annual basis, however, the share of homes that are seriously underwater is down 4%.
"At the end of 2014, we saw the lowest share of seriously underwater properties since we began tracking such data, but in the first quarter, that share bumped up slightly as home-price appreciation continued to slow down in many markets," said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president.
"Most of the seriously underwater homeowners are still stuck in their homes as short sales and other foreclosure alternatives lose momentum, tilting the national home-equity scales back slightly toward a higher share of negative equity," Blomquist added.
Meanwhile, after reports of positive gains in existing-home sales Wednesday, the Census Bureau said Thursday that new-home sales took a nosedive in March.
Sales toppled by 11.4% for the month after climbing by 5.6% in February. Though new-home sales still remain strong on an annual basis, posting a 19.4% year-over-year increase for the month (
"The asymmetry between existing- and new-home sales in March is surprising, but not shocking, as potential homebuyers often turn to existing homes if they judge that new homes are overpriced," said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody's analyst (
). "Also, new-home sales had been increasing strongly in the past three months, drawing down the number of potential new-home buyers."
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/24/15)--The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation's Grants Committee approved 35 grants totaling more than $71,000 to support credit unions in community outreach, financial literacy and professional development, the Cornerstone Credit Union League reported (
Twenty-four of the grants awarded were for professional development. Another 11 were community outreach grants to support activities such as Junior Achievement, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and financial education partnerships, according to Emily Moreno, foundation grants manager.
The foundation also supports the Cornerstone Credit Union League's REAL Solutions initiatives.
REAL Solutions is a National Credit Union Foundation program that works with state credit union leagues to provide credit unions the tools to make a difference in the financial lives of members, families and communities.
REAL Solutions builds member and consumer financial capability through product development, credit union financial counseling certification, experiential learning programs, planning, coaching, speaking and training.
"Financial literacy is so important today, with approximately 38 million Americans living paycheck to paycheck," said Paula Upchurch, Cornerstone Credit Union League REAL Solutions director. "For many families, the lack of financial education is a key contributor to their financial problems. That's where grants from the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation have made an enormous impact through the REAL Solutions initiative."
Upchurch said a grant from the foundation has allowed the Cornerstone's REAL Solutions program to partner with credit unions across the region to build programs for low- to moderate-income families.
The Pineywoods Chapter of Credit Unions also received a grant this quarter.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (4/24/15)--Innovation is a core value at Community First CU, Jacksonville, Fla. To turn that value into a competitive advantage the credit union has launched an innovation team that fulfills the needs of consumers.
Formed in 2013, Community First CU's innovations team met with Ignite, a local incubation lab, to learn the process of turning ideas into solutions (
Jacksonville Business Journal
The seven-member team is inspired and driven by the millennial generation, according to Community First President/CEO John Hirabayshi.
It includes members from a cross-section of the credit union. The team talks to consumers and develops strategies to better serve the credit union's membership.
The key to the team's success is its ability to think like consumers, Hirabayshi told the
Jacksonville Business Journal
Team member Jairo Lobusta said the team identifies problems and tries to make the financial lives of members easier.
As a result, the credit union has launched several new products and services, such as a mobile banking app that includes a personal budgeting function, and new loan options, including a fast growth line of credit aimed at young professionals looking to build up credit quickly. That initiative alone has netted the credit union 100 new members in the last two months, the
Jacksonville Business Journal
Most recently, the team has launched a campaign targeted to serve the needs of University of North Florida students.
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (4/24/15)--Clearview FCU wanted to make its members feel special in celebrating the 10th anniversary of its community charter. So not only did the Moon Township, Pa.-based credit union return $1 million to its membership, it used some of the money to surprise individual members with gifts.
Part of the $1 million went toward a "thank you" patronage dividend to members. The remainder went toward gifts that in some cases made members' dreams come true.
For example, member Lisa Zoller received a trip to Paris. "I can't believe Clearview would do this!" Zoller said. "I've always wanted to go to Paris, but I never imagined it would finally happen."
"We recognize that our members have a choice when it comes to selecting their financial institution, and we appreciate that they have chosen Clearview," said Mark Brennan, Clearview president/CEO. "This is one small way we can show them our appreciation and thank them for their membership and loyalty."
Some of the gift highlights include:
- Jairus Moore was presented with a donation to the New Brighton Fire Station, where Moore is a volunteer fighter. Moore, a country music fan, was also given tickets to 11 country music concerts this summer, along with a $1,000 gift card to Best Buy;
- Ed Ames, a Korean War veteran and lifelong Pittsburgh Pirates fan, will get to throw out the first pitch at a Pirates game this summer. Clearview has also reserved a suite at PNC Park for Ames, his family and friends;
- Shannon Taylor, a 33-year-old who is fighting multiple sclerosis (MS), was presented a donation for her MS walk. A loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Taylor was also given tickets to training camp and an upcoming Steelers game;
- More than 600 members were surprised with envelopes containing $50 cash; and
- Clearview presented 20 different members with a $2,500 loan payment.
Other gifts included a $1,000 gift card for home improvements, big-screen TVs, a guitar, $500 Amazon gift cards, iPads, and $250 and $500 Barnes & Noble gift cards.
Clearview also is planning to treat 40 members and their guests to a Pittsburgh Pirates game this summer.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (4/24/15)--California regulators recently introduced a proposal aimed to curb the use of Internet-based payday lending services by prohibiting lenders from accessing their customers' online bank accounts.
Customers often secure payday loans from online lenders by handing over access to their bank accounts, a measure the lenders require because they worry their customers may blow off the loans (
But the proposed changes by the California Department of Business Oversight would ban the practice, and require that loans only be secured through a paper check.
"It may not necessarily be a bad thing to reduce the amount of payday lending business that's conducted online," said Thomas Dresslar, spokesperson for the business oversight department, adding, "The more the scope of payment instruments expands beyond paper, the more dangerous the market becomes for consumers."
The proposal could cripple the online payday lending industry in California,
reported, while posing less of a threat to traditional financial institutions such as credit unions and banks.
Still, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues plans to monitor the proposed changes as the process moves forward.
"This proposal applies to payday lenders and is on our watch list right now," Sharon Lindeman, league vice president of regulatory advocacy, told
. "We will be studying the proposal as it evolves."
Added Rodney Wilson, league senior legislative advocate: "We are monitoring all state issues that impact credit unions and the financial services marketplace, including this issue. California credit unions offer healthy competition in the financial services marketplace to ensure consumers have access to alternatives that are affordable, sustainable and that comply with state laws and regulations."
STRATFORD, Conn. (4/24/15)--Nothing says financial literacy like a credit union-run reality fair.
|Students from Bunnell High School in Stratford, Conn., receive a dose of reality during a recent reality fair put on by Sikorsky CU. (Sikorsky CU Photo)
Credit unions nationwide are taking advantage of the increased awareness of financial education during National Financial Literacy Month by putting on scores of reality fairs.
Through these fairs, students assume different livelihoods that they must consider when making various mock-financial decisions. The result is a taste of what life can be like in the real world.
"Child care is hitting me hard, plus having to buy two vehicles," said a participant of a reality fair led by Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., earlier this month. The student had picked the role of a low-income worker. "(Expenses) add up on a low income."
Sikorsky Financial CU, Stratford, Conn., added its own wrinkle to its reality fair by incorporating a "Wheel of Reality" that can alter a participant's cash flow to simulate the unexpected events and expenses that occur in everyday life.
"I have seen what happens when people aren't prepared for their financial present or future," said Mike D'Orlando, Sikorsky operations manager. "This event gives young people something to think about many years before they might experience it, and hopefully they will be ready when the time comes."
People First FCU, Allentown, Pa., hosted the Lehigh Valley Chapter of Credit Unions' reality fair at DeSales University earlier this week, the third event of its kind organized by the chapter in the last three years (
Life is a Highway
Nearly 300 students from nine schools participated in the event, which was operated by 50 volunteers from credit unions throughout Pennsylvania.
The reality fair also was attended by the offices of Rep. Michael Scholssberg (D-Lehigh) and Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh).
A team of New Hampshire-based credit unions partnered to put on a joint reality fair earlier this month at Manchester (N.H.) Community College (
Daily CU Scan
More than 500 students participated in the "CU4 Reality" event, organized by Northeast CU, Portsmouth; Bellwether Community CU, Manchester; and Granite State CU, Manchester.
|Victoria Reishus, Northeast CU assistant vice president of marketing, counsels students on their budgeting decisions. (Cooperative Credit Union Association Photo)
"The financial fair is a great way for students to learn about budgets and their expenses vs. their spending money," said Victoria Reishus, Northeast vice president of marketing. "Some of the students were very responsible with their fictitious budgets, while for others it was a great opportunity to educate them on the benefits of saving their money."
Hanscom FCU, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., also put on a reality fair recently for students from the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Lowell and Bedford high schools (
Daily CU Scan
"Having airmen and civilians from the base here helped the students see that everyone needs to watch their spending and create a savings plan," said Paul Marotta, Hanscom board chair.
BRAINERD, Minn., and COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (4/24/15)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and MidMinnesota FCU, Baxter, welcomed a special guest during a recent "Your Money, Your Goals" training session.
|Deputy Commerce Commissioner Shane Deal (left) works with Bridges of Hope case workers during a training session at MidMinnesota FCU. (Minnesota Credit Union Network Photo)
Shane Deal, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, joined the session held at Bridges of Hope--a local nonprofit--to learn about the program, which allows credit unions to help low-income consumers set goals and choose financial products that build strong financial habits.
Credit unions also use "Your Money, Your Goals," a toolkit developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to train local nonprofits such as Bridges of Hope to serve low-income consumers.
"Personal finances can be a tough topic for families to discuss," Deal said. "The training MidMinnesota provides to nonprofits like Bridges of Hope helps start the conversation and gives Minnesotans of all ages a stronger foundation of financial skills."
Following the training session, Deal and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Higher Education, joined MnCUN on a visit to a student-run credit union branch started by Collegeville Community CU in Sexton.
The branch, which is the first student-run branch to open on a college campus in Minnesota, was founded with financial support from the Minnesota Credit Union Network Foundation.
"Financial education is a lifelong learning experience," Pogemiller said. "Collegeville Community Credit Union's student-run branch provides students with opportunities to share the financial knowledge they gain on the job with their classmates and to develop experience that can help them in their future careers."
Both events were held in celebration of National Financial Literacy Month, and to demonstrate the commitment credit unions throughout the state have made to financial education.
McLEAN, Va. (4/21/15)--College students are gaining confidence in personal finance management but unfortunately also have become less competent. A survey conducted by High One and Everfi recently found that in 2014, college students were more likely to use more than one credit card than they did in 2012 (USA Today
Considering that nearly two-thirds of undergrads take out student loans, and college seniors are graduating with an average loan balance close to $24,000, if students aren't careful about spending, the first financial steps they take after college might send them in the wrong direction.
While college expenses may seem limitless, students can learn to manage them by avoiding these common money drains, according to CUNA's member education department:
Carrying a credit card balance. Many credit card companies lure borrowers with enticing offers, and then hit them with a hefty monthly interest charge on their accrued balance. According to Forbes, the average student graduates with $4,100 in credit card debt. Using a credit card is not a bad thing and actually can improve a credit score, but the key is to pay off the balance every month. If you don't already have one, consider getting a credit union credit card. Credit union cards typically carry lower interest rates and fees than credit cards from other financial institutions;
Going out to eat--a lot. Say you spend about $5 on a coffee and bagel for breakfast each morning and $8 on a sandwich or fast food for lunch and dinner. That means you're spending more than $100 for five days of food--and these examples are modest. While it may take a few extra minutes each day, buying $100 worth of groceries and cooking at home will stretch your dollar, and can be healthier too;
Buying new textbooks. According to the College Board, the average student at a four-year public college spends $1,200 on books and supplies annually. You can't eliminate the cost completely, but there are ways to trim your textbook budget. Consider purchasing used textbooks online. You also can resell your textbooks via sites like Amazon Marketplace or Half.com after classes end. Textbook rentals also have become popular. Some colleges offer free book rentals to their students. Anyone can rent though. Try sites such as Chegg, BookRenter, CampusBookRentals and CollegeBookRenter; and
Not using campus resources. Most colleges assess fees, which help provide a range of student services beyond those covered by tuition. Since you're already paying for these services, don't waste the money elsewhere. For example, use the campus gym instead of paying for an additional gym membership and use campus technology resources instead of paying an offsite repair shop.
For related information, read "Understanding College Financial Aid Awards" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center
LAKE MARY, Fla. (4/24/15)--DH Corp. has formed a strategic alliance with mobile banking provider Malauzai Software Inc. to develop mobile banking solutions for D+H core system and Internet banking clients.
The new solution, called Mobile Banking Applications, powered by Malauzai, will allow credit unions and community banks to offer mobile banking across multiple devices and operating systems.
"This is a critical strategic relationship for D+H," said Bill Neville, D+H U.S.A. president. "We are committed to helping all of our clients seize the opportunity mobile presents. Malauzai offers the market-leading product, and the company has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and the dedicated development resources needed to keep our clients ahead in the rapidly evolving mobile world.
"By offering the Mobile Banking App powered by Malauzai, in addition to our existing Cavion Mobile Banking App solution, we can provide our clients choice, flexibility and the most innovative and modern mobile experience available on the market today."
Malauzai mobile banking solutions are used by nearly 350 credit unions and community banks.
"We are both focused on helping community banks and credit unions compete and win in the marketplace," said Tom Shen, Malauzai Software founder/CEO. "By leveraging Malauzai's innovative mobile platform, coupled with deep core and payments integration, D+H will deliver to its clients a best-in-class mobile solution at a very attractive price point."