WASHINGTON (3/14/14, UPDATED 9:59 a.m. ET)--Voting 55-0, the House Financial Services Committee passed a bill to broaden credit unions' ability to apply for Federal Home Loan Bank membership.
The bill is strongly supported by the Credit Union National Association to put the country's privately insured credit unions on the same footing as their federally insured counterparts where it come to membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
The bill was one of three passed over two days, all strongly supported by CUNA, the state credit union leagues and credit unions across the country, that--when they become law--will potentially provide significant relief for credit unions from their regulatory burden.
Together with National Flood Insurance Program reforms passed Thursday by the Senate and a bill to make changes to the operating structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also approved this morning by House Financial Services--CUNA says the bills will help credit unions by cutting costs, increasing their voice in the regulatory process, and giving credit unions more flexibility to fund mortgage lending.
In a markup session Thursday for the FHLB bill, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said approval of the bill (H.R. 3584) would correct a "drafting oversight" that occurred years ago.
The new bill, introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers' (R-Ohio), amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to authorize privately insured credit unions to become members of an FHLB.
CUNA urged committee leaders in a letter Wednesday to vote in favor of the Stivers' bill.
CUNA noted that the bill would create no additional risk of loss to any FHLB or to taxpayers. In the Thursday committee markup session Stivers underscored that there is only $11 billion total in privately insured credit union assets. And Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), a bill co-sponsor, noted that the bill only affects credit unions in nine states and they represent less than 2% of all credit unions in the U.S.
The bill states that a privately insured credit union will be considered to have met the eligibility criteria for federal home loan bank membership if, six months after its application date, the state supervisor has failed to act upon the application.
If H.R. 3584 is approved by the full House, it would then move to the Senate for consideration.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/14/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has sent a reminder to credit unions that its new liquidity and contingency planning regulation will become effective March 31 (Letter to Credit Unions 14-CU-05).
The NCUA letter includes a supervisory letter and examination questionnaire for examiners to use when reviewing liquidity risk management at credit unions. These resources will give credit unions further insight into how the NCUA will examine for compliance, the agency said.
Under the final rule:
- Credit unions with less than $50 million in assets would need to maintain a basic written emergency liquidity policy, but would not be required to take further action;
- Credit unions with assets of $50 million or more would be required to develop contingency funding plans describing how their credit union would address liquidity shortfalls in emergency situations; and
- Credit unions with assets of $250 million or more would be required to have access to a backup federal liquidity source for emergency situations.
The final rule does not include the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) as an acceptable source of emergency liquidity, although eligible credit unions required to meet the federal source provisions would be free to borrow from a FHLB for nonemergency purposes. Without the FHLB, credit unions have two options to ensure a federal liquidity source for emergency situations: Becoming a member of the NCUA's Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) by subscribing to CLF stock or access to the Federal Reserve's discount window.
The Credit Union National Association strongly supports the use of the home loan banks for liquidity.
CUNA has developed an
section on the emergency liquidity rule, and the issue was also covered in the January 2014 edition of
Credit Union Magazine
and March 10 issue of
For the NCUA letter and CUNA resources, use the resource links.
WASHINGTON (3/14/14)--Credit unions and their members continue to contact federal
lawmakers about preserving the credit union tax status--and this time it was to thank House Ways and Means Committee members for not touching credit unions in the committee's draft tax code reforms.
More than one-quarter of a million Twitter users were potentially exposed to the credit union message yesterday through the Credit Union National Association's latest social media blitz, "Thank You Thursday." It was the latest innovation launched under CUNA's successful "DontTaxMyCreditUnion" campaign, which started in 2013.
CUNA created the "DontTaxMyCreditUnion" effort in anticipation of this year's release of a tax reform draft. More than one million contacts to the U.S. Congress were generated under that program, first on July 23, then on Sept. 10--and then on the eve of Rep. Dave Camp's release of his tax reform discussion draft last month.
Maintaining the exemption in the Camp proposal was proclaimed a "big win" for credit unions by the press. Nevertheless, CUNA continues to urge credit union advocates to educate lawmakers and consumers alike about the good public policy reasons behind the credit union tax status. Even though the credit union federal tax exemption remained untouched, bank trades are pressing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Camp to reconsider taxing credit unions.
To quickly send a Twitter message, credit union advocates can got to
and click on the "
Tweet Your Legislators
" icon at the top. A tweet to a member of the House Ways and Means Committee will automatically populate, or an advocate can create a personal message to legislators on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #DontTaxMyCU.
WASHINGTON (3/13/14)--Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), as expected, introduced a credit union relief bill Thursday that would exempt loans for one- to four-unit non-occupied dwellings from the member business lending cap.
The "Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act"--now also known as H.R. 4226-- is co-sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.).
Royce unveiled his intention to introduce the MBL-related bill when he addressed the 4,400 credit union advocates attending the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference late last month.
Royce has explained that his bill fixes a disparity between how credit unions and banks can account for certain loans.
"When a bank makes a loan to finance the purchase of a small apartment building it is called a residential real estate loan. When a credit union makes the same loan it is called a business loan," and thereby falls under the low 12.25%-of-assets MBL cap, Royce has noted.
He's estimated that enactment of his bill would allow credit unions to lend an estimated additional $11 billion to small businesses, and would free up "much needed private sector financing for commercial businesses and rental housing without costing taxpayers a dime."
The bill also authorizes the National Credit Union Administration to apply strict underwriting and servicing requirements for the loans.
WASHINGTON (3/14/14)--The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) can now move on to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed into law after the Senate approved the bill on Thursday.
The Senate approved the bill on a 72-22 vote. The bill passed the House earlier this month by a 306-91 vote.
The bill, in part, would delay planned increases in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums until the Federal Emergency Management Agency puts in place a plan to ensure they are implemented affordably.
A range of other NFIP fixes has been discussed in recent months. The National Credit Union Administration joined the Federal Reserve, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to ask whether federal financial regulatory agencies should adopt additional regulations on the acceptance of flood insurance policies issued by private insurers.
The joint agency proposal would:
- Require regulated lending institutions to escrow payments and fees for flood insurance for any new or outstanding loans secured by residential improved real estate or a mobile home, not including business, agricultural and commercial loans, unless the institutions qualify for a statutory exception;
- Result in new and revised sample notice forms and clauses concerning the availability of private flood insurance coverage and the escrow requirement;
- Clarify that regulated lending institutions have the authority to charge a borrower for the cost of force-placed flood insurance coverage after a homeowner's private insurance lapses or becomes insufficient; and
- Outline the circumstances under which a lender must terminate force-placed flood insurance coverage and refund payments to a borrower.
WASHINGTON (3/14/14)--The National Credit Union Administration has awarded $517,890 in grants to 127 low-income credit unions in the first 2014 round of its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund program.
The credit unions that receive these grants will be able to offer "more services to members, more resources to their communities and more education for young people interested in financial services careers," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in an agency release.
This round of the grant program will provide:
- Thirty-three credit unions with funds to help the development of new products and services for their members;
- Forty credit unions with funds to help apply for Community Development Financial Institution certification; and
- Fifty-four credit unions with funds to offer internships to local students.
The funds will be administered by the NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.
Grant applications representing a total of $2.3 million in funds were submitted by 320 credit unions.
The agency has received more than $12.8 million in grant funding from the U.S. Congress since 2001. Congress provided the NCUA with $1,144,746 in funding for this year's round.
For the NCUA release and a full list of 2014 first-round CDRLF grant recipients, use the resource links.
WASHINGTON (3/14/14)--National Credit Union Administration board member nominee J. Mark McWatters said at his confirmation hearing Thursday that a risk-based capital approach
NCUA nominee J. Mark McWatters (far right) greets Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, who is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, before that panel begins its confirmation hearing for McWatters and four other Obama nominees. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is in the background. (CUNA Photo)
"makes sense" for credit unions, but warned the "devil is in the details" of any proposal.
He told Senate Banking Committee members that examining the overall issue in general and the NCUA's proposal specifically would be high on his list of priorities if he is confirmed to join the NCUA board.
That proposal, issued in January, was one of many regulatory issues the potential NCUA board member brought up in response to a question from the committee's chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Overregulation of small credit unions is another challenge, he said, adding that the NCUA has made some progress in this area, but more needs to be done.
The principle challenge for credit unions and the credit union system, McWatters stated, is to look to the future and anticipate the next systemic shock. This applies to both credit unions and banks, he noted, and said that while regulators look for future problems, they must also exercise judgment. "If you are always crying wolf, you'll be considered a flake," he said.
The greatest opportunity for credit unions, the NCUA nominee asserted, is to continue doing what they are doing now. Credit unions' membership and loan base are growing, and many low-income credit unions have the chance to expand their mandate to those who are underbanked and unbanked. Underbanked and unbanked Americans need financial services at a reasonable rate, McWatters added.
In his opening remarks, he briefly previewed his overall approach to regulation in his opening statement, saying his focus as a regulator "will remain straightforward: Don't neglect the fundamentals of capital, liquidity, and transparency, and always remember that the greatest threat to a financial system may reside where you least expect it--hidden within plain view."
McWatters also pledged to "work diligently to ensure the continued integrity and safety and
McWatters testifies that his approach to regulating credit unions will be "straightforward." (CUNA Photo)
soundness of our nation's credit union system in an ever-evolving marketplace...I will aim to balance competing viewpoints while maintaining the safety and soundness of the credit union system, safeguarding the Share Insurance Fund, enforcing consumer protection rules, and protecting taxpayers and credit union members from losses," he said.
Johnson said McWatters will hit the ground running with an eagerness to learn more about credit unions. He called for all nominees at Thursday's hearing to be confirmed quickly. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also commented on her work alongside McWatters on the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel. She commended McWatters as "smart, thoughtful and principled."
McWatters said he intends to work with NCUA board members, agency staff and external stakeholders "in an open and respectful manner, with the goal of finding a common ground and working cooperatively through any differences." This approach has worked for him in past positions, he said. In addition to his work on the TARP panel, McWatters has served as counsel for Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and as dean for graduate programs at Southern Methodist University's School of Law.
If confirmed, McWatters would replace board member Michael Fryzel, whose term ended Aug. 2. Fryzel will continue to serve until McWatters is confirmed.
The committee also reviewed the qualifications for Stanley Fischer, as a member and vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; Jerome Powell, as Federal Reserve Board governor; Lael Brainard, as a Fed governor; and Gustavo Aguilar, to be an assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
IRVINE, Calif. (3/14/14)--An improvement in foreclosure numbers unseen in seven years was reported this week by RealtyTrac in its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February.
Filings for foreclosures--default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions--last month dropped by 10%, or down to 112,498. The recent decline also reflects a 27% decrease from levels in February of last year (
But despite the positive numbers, a new trend in foreclosures appears to be creeping up as of late.
"Zombie" foreclosures--or uncared-for, owner-vacated properties--have started to grip the housing market, as 21% of all foreclosures, or about 152,000, fall into this category.
On average, zombie foreclosures dwell in the foreclosure process for 1,031 days, or almost three years.
"The biggest threat from foreclosures going forward is properties that have been lingering in the foreclosure process for years, many of them vacant with neither the distressed homeowner or the foreclosing lender taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the home," said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president.
"These properties drag down home values in the surrounding neighborhood and contribute to a climate of uncertainty and low inventory in local housing markets," Blomquist added.
Blomquist also has written that before lending institutions repossess these properties, houses are left to deteriorate, attracting vandalism and other crime to the area.
While several solutions to the zombie foreclosure problem exist that could lead to the retention of these homes, studies show the most viable way to cure housing markets replete with "the undead" is demolition.
Cleveland, for example, a rust-belt city like many others grappling with a spate of zombie foreclosures, has demolished more than 1,000 homes so far (
However, if a new homeowner is interested in buying the vacated home and rehabbing and revitalizing it, Blomquist said, the new owner can improve the value of the property, which can spill over to other parts of the surrounding neighborhood.
Daily Financial Rates -- 2014-03-14
Friday, March 14, 2014
03:55 AM CDT
TREASURY YIELD CURVE
(based on the $1 million market)
Results of the March 10, 2014 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||0.050||0.050||0.050||0.070|
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.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (3/14/14)--The New Jersey Credit Union League wrapped up its three-day Credit Union Reality Check conference Wednesday.
The three-day program started by partnering three Creative You teams--Team Aspire, Greater Team Alliance and Team XCEL--with mentors from the Filene Research Institute to incubate their innovative ideas for New Jersey credit unions (
The Daily Exchange
|Bryan Eichenbaum, vice president, sales and lending, United Teletech Financial FCU (left); Beverly Zook, president/CEO, MoneyOne FCU; and Chris Chichester, president/CEO, Jersey Central FCU, took part in the lending panel moderated by Alex Sornoza, calling officer and vice president, sales and business development, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, during the 2014 Credit Union Reality Check in Atlantic City, N.J. (New Jersey Credit Union League photo)
The three credit unions on the lending panel offered distinct takes on the environment. MoneyOne FCU, $104 million in assets, sticks to what it is good at and outsources what it needs to in order to provide options to its members, said Beverly Zook, president/CEO of the Largo, Md., credit union.
Jersey Central FCU, Cranford, has nearly 50% of its members borrowing from the $17 million-asset credit union, according to President/CEO Chris Chichester. Technological advancements are on the horizon for $317 million-asset United Teletech Financial FCU, Tinton Falls, N.J., said Bryan Eichenbaum, vice president of sales and lending.
All three agreed that there is a story behind every loan application, which highlighted the importance of the "people helping people" philosophy.
Other speakers and their topics included:
- Author Mike Staver challenged credit unions to be courageous in their leadership and how to strike a balance between logic and "gut feelings."
- Credit unions' priority should be how well they help members manage their financial lives, Aite Group analyst Ron Shevlin told Tuesday's audience. To do that, he said, credit unions must shift their data collection from demographics and attitudes to purchases and behaviors.
- Howard Stoeckel, former president/CEO of the Pennsylvania-based Wawa convenience store chain, gave attendees a sneak peek at his new book, "The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name and Six Core Values Revolutionized Convenience."
- Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Mercer University, Macon, Ga., assured attendees that despite their doubts, the economy is improving. He tackled job growth, both statewide and nationally, oil prices and inflation trends.
- The conference ended with this thought from executive coach Mike Neill: The service you provide your members will never be better than the service you provide to each other.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (3/14/14)--While 23 total loans over a 12-month stretch may not raise too many eyebrows, Community Promise FCU, Kalamazoo, Mich., still has labeled the past year a success.
Community Promise, a community development credit union striving to provide financial services to those typically not served by traditional financial institutions, celebrated its one-year anniversary last month.
The $520,000-asset organization will host its first annual meeting Saturday.
"I want the community to know we are here with a better financial alternative than people of low- and moderate-incomes have had," President/CEO Michael Ross told
The community-minded credit union was created to offer people in poor economic standing an alternative to check-cashing businesses, with a primary focus on promoting financial literacy.
Ross, who spends his evenings working at the credit union for $1 per year, will sit for hours with each loan applicant to assess his or her ability to repay a loan, work on developing a budget, and offer guidance to those who the credit union must turn down.
"If I can help one person improve her situation, I feel I have done something. And if that person pays off the loan from us, we have been successful," Ross told
For 23 people, so far, that success has been achieved.
Dr. James Houston, the first chair of the credit union's board, values adherence to the organization's mission and principles, and sees potential for growth as the organization rolls on.
"I believe that Community Promise will be considered as a community treasure, as people in Kalamazoo realize the long term effect it is having, and will have, on the low-income citizens of our city," Houston told
Credit union organizations supporting Community Promise include: the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; Educational Community CU, Kalamazoo; and First Community FCU, Parchment, Mich.
MADISON, Wis. (3/14/14)--With a $20,000 grant, CUNA Mutual Group will fund a scholarship offered through the World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Women's Global Leadership Network.
The WOCCU Global Women's Leadership Network Scholarship aims to further the careers of emerging credit union leaders by supporting projects that solve a problem or meet a credit union and/or a community need.
Scholarship candidates who apply can submit their project description at
. Successful projects will address a credit union or community need and further the mission of the applicant's credit union. The application deadline is March 28.
Beyond the scholarship, CUNA Mutual Group has expanded its support of WOCCU initiatives and recently became the only diamond-level supporter of the organization.
"Our expanded support to a longtime partner like WOCCU is a natural extension of CUNA Mutual Group's commitment to credit unions worldwide," said Faye Patzner, CUNA Mutual Group executive vice president and chief administrative officer.
Scholarship candidates will be selected to attend the 2014 Global Women's Leadership Forum and World Credit Union Conference in Australia, July 25-30.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/14/14)--CO-OP Financial Services has announced the initial slate of speakers for THINK 14, to be held May 19-22 in New Orleans with the theme "It Starts with You."
"Consumer expectations of credit unions are higher than ever, driven by innovations in service, technology and branding," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "THINK 14 will bring our industry's leadership new ways to evolve, helping credit unions remain the world's finest financial institutions."
THINK 14 speakers scheduled to-date include:
- Kate Feather, executive vice president of customer experience transformation group at PeopleMetrics; and strategic consultant to Christie's auction house and Coca-Cola;
- Debbie Millman, president of the design division at Sterling Brands and author of six books, including "Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits;"
- Mark Thompson, CEO/co-founder of Virgin Unite Mentors, Richard Branson's network for executive coaching and entrepreneurial innovation;
- Gary Vaynerchuk, an investor and adviser to startups, and a Fortune 500 expert through his work as CEO of Vaynermedia, a social media marketing agency;
- Tess Vigeland, THINK 14 Conference master of ceremonies, CEO of Tess Vigeland Productions, and former anchor for National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program; and
- Randi Zuckerberg, former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and CEO of Zuckerberg Media.
Each general session will include a speaker on one specific credit union issue. Presentations will be followed by a case study and a roundtable "THINK It Out" discussion.
NEW YORK (3/14/14)--A team of security specialists. A $1.6 million malware detection tool. Compliance with payment card industry (PCI) standards. With these tools in place, retail giant Target still suffered one of the biggest data security breaches late last year.
According to a report in Thursday's
, Target didn't react to the red flags that went up--resulting in the compromise of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers and 70 million addresses, phone numbers and other personally identifiable information.
The hackers' activity was detected Nov. 30 not only by the malware detection tool from FireEye but by security specialists in Bangalore. "Had the company's security team responded when it was supposed to, the theft that has since engulfed Target, touched as many as one in three American consumers, and led to an international manhunt for the hackers never would have happed at all,"
The Target data breach cost credit unions an estimated $30.6 million, according to a survey by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and future fraud could increase these costs. Credit unions are among the plaintiffs in more than 90 lawsuits that have been filed against Target.
In an email to
Target Chairman/President/CEO Gregg Steinhafel stated, "Target was certified as meeting the standard for the payment card industry in September 2013. Nonetheless, we suffered a data breach ... we have already taken significant steps, including beginning the overhaul of our information security structure and the acceleration of our transition to chip-enabled cards."
CUNA has asked Congress to address data security relative to merchants, who are not held to the same standards of security as financial institutions. In particular, CUNA suggests all payment system participants are held to comparable levels of federal data security requirements; those responsible for the data breach are responsible for the costs of helping consumers; and ensuring consumers know where their information was breached.
The stream of consumer data continues to flow from companies that hold the information of millions of people. Earlier this week,
reported that 200 million consumer records held by Experian had been compromised (March 10).
The information was siphoned from Experian, one of the three major U.S. credit bureaus, through a company it had purchased in 2012. That company--Court Ventures--had an agreement to share consumer information with US Info Search and vice versa.
Through his connection with Court Ventures, Hieu Minh Ngo, a 24-year-old Vietnamese national, allegedly allowed customers of his identity-theft service to access the data.
In the transcript of Ngo's guilty plea in New Hampshire District Court, investigators found that his customers made about 3.1 million inquiries on American consumers over 18 months.
wrote, "At this point the government does not know how many U.S. citizens' [personally identifiable information] was compromised, although that information will be available in the near future," according to U.S. Attorney Arnold Huftalen.
MADISON, Wis. (3/14/14)--For new-car buyers conforming to the growing trend in auto sales, it might be six years--or 72 months of car payments--before they own their vehicles outright.
reported Wednesday, consumers have been selecting lengthier lease terms at a higher clip lately, with six-year loans--or longer--jumping 19% in the fourth quarter, to about 20% of all new vehicle loans.
Just last month about one-third of all new vehicle sales fell into the long-term loan category of 72 months or longer.
"Longer-term loans, coupled with the current low-interest rate environment, increases the affordability of new vehicles for consumers," said J.D. Power in a statement to
ABA Banking Journal
. "This is resulting in strong demand for new vehicles and also record transaction prices."
Auto loans in general have surged at credit unions recently as well, according to Steve Rick, Credit Union National Association senior economist. While overall loans rose 6% last year, new car loans almost doubled that number at 11.4%.
Leasing also has ramped up, as 26.5% of new car transactions last month were leases, according to J.D. Power's Power Information Network.
One explanation for this new trend in buyer preference could be the rising costs of new cars. The average amount a customer actually paid for a new vehicle last month was $32,319--2% more than last year, according to numbers reported by Kelley Blue Book.
But while these longer-term loans repackage higher price tags into what seem like more affordable deals, in the end, the longer terms leave buyers paying much more for their new rides than they're worth.
Car dealers, meanwhile, are directing the attention of consumers to the monthly payments, rather than total cost, so they can sell the most expensive vehicles possible, Mike Sante, managing editor of
Sante recommends limiting loan terms to four years and saving enough cash to put 20% down on new vehicle purchases.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/14/14)--Alabama and Florida credit unions experienced "encouraging" loan growth in 2013, spurred by a $178 million increase in member business lending, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) reported.
"When you look at the year as a whole, Alabama and Florida credit unions are truly serving their members and their communities," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "For the first time in years, Alabama and Florida credit unions are at the national growth rates and, in some cases, exceeding the growth rate in key areas like total loans and member business loans. This is especially encouraging in Florida where the Great Recession hit hard."
The MBL growth rate in Florida was nearly double from 2012 and nearly twice the national credit union average. Loans as a whole were strong in Florida. The state's 158 credit unions added $1.9 billion in new loans in 2013, $154 million of which were new MBLs.
The Credit Union National Association is pressing the U.S. Congress to increase the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level. CUNA estimates the MBL cap change would help credit unions lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create around 140,000 new jobs.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 4226 Thursday--a bill that would exempt loans for one- to four-unit non-occupied dwellings from the credit union member business lending cap. (See related story in today's
Florida had the eighth-highest median loan growth year over year in the U.S. MBL growth was more than 11%, year over year. Florida's net charge-off and delinquent loan rates continued to show improvement, LSCU said. Three years ago both were nearly triple the national credit union average, the league noted.
In Alabama, loan growth was steady but improved over 2012. Alabama's 120 credit unions added $385 million in new loans for the year, 24 million of which were new MBLs. Alabama's net charge-off rate and delinquent loan rates remain steady and continue the yearly trend of improving.
Collectively, Alabama and Florida's 278 credit unions added $2.2 billion in new assets, 161,000 new members and $2.28 billion in new loans last year.
Alabama credit unions welcomed 40,000 new members in 2013 for a record 1.878 million total members.
In Florida, credit unions welcomed 121,000 members for 4.716 million total members; just shy of a record. To put this trend into perspective, in three years Alabama and Florida credit unions have increased membership by 312,000 members.
To illustrate how credit unions are leaders in their communities, last year Alabama and Florida credit unions added more than 500 new jobs. In Florida, 468 new full-time positions were added at credit unions, while Alabama saw 74 new full-time employees added to payrolls.
POTTSVILLE, Pa. (3/14/14)--You won't find credit unions listed on any stock exchange. That was among the ways that John H. Murga, president/CEO of $109 million-asset Hidden River CU, Pottsville, Pa., distinguished credit unions from banks in an op-ed piece that appeared in the March 12 issue of the
"Banks...have full access to the capital markets and may sell stock or debt (bonds) in order to raise the capital they need to fund growth," Murga wrote in his commentary, "Tax exemption status warranted."
Credit unions are democratically controlled, not-for-profit financial institutions, Murga explained. Unlike shareholders of corporations, member share equally in the credit union. "That's why you're called a member," Murga wrote. "You own it and have a voice in how things are run, no matter how much you have on deposit. There are no customers and certainly no stockholders. As an owner, your opinion matters every time you come through the front door."
Capital is returned to members as owners in the form of better rates on products and services, Murga wrote. At a bank, capital and profits are owned exclusively by stockholders.
A credit union's board of directors is made up entirely of volunteers elected by the membership. They are leaders who serve the interests of the members, help manage the credit union and are willing to commit hundreds of hours of sincere, dedicated service without pay, Murga noted.
It was also banks that asked Congress for taxpayer-funded bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis. "As a movement, we paid for any credit union losses from within the system and from amongst our fellow credit unions with not one cent of taxpayer funds," Murga wrote. "Banks believed then it was the taxpayers' turn to pay their 'fair share.'"
NEW YORK. (3/11/14)--Consumer spending in January climbed higher than predicted, swelled in part by the biggest increase in services outlays since 2001.
The spending on services was likely driven by the unusually cold weather and higher-than-normal heating costs, but household purchases, which account for about 70% of the economy, were also up by 0.04%, according to Commerce Department figures (Bloomberg
The financial forecast anticipates consumers will continue spending more on goods and services as hiring gains, climbing housing values, and a robust stock market drive an improving economy.
But, just a few years out from the Great Recession, are Americans already spending too much? Last month The Wall Street Journal
reported that most financial planners would say, "Yes."
The reasons are varied--lack of a budget or a desire to maintain appearances--but, to better manage your spending, many financial advisers recommend tracking your cash flow and monitoring your emotional state.
. It's not only big expenses that put you in debt. More likely it's "death by a thousand tiny cuts" eating up your income. Track your spending with a notebook or online app, shop with a list, consider using only cash for a couple of months, and set up monthly automatic deductions from your share draft/checking account into an emergency savings fund.
. Try to understand why you're overspending. Maybe you're trying to keep pace with high-rolling friends or spending makes you feel better--temporarily. Regardless, when you feel compelled to buy something you maybe don't need, wait 24 hours and consider why you're buying it. Ask yourself, "How will I feel when the credit card bill comes?"
. Know what pleasures you can't live without and decide in advance how much you'll spend on them each month. Try to focus on the joys in your life that cost nothing--friends, family, a favorite public park--and for big-ticket items, set aside a little each paycheck until you can afford to buy it.
For more information, read "Everybody's Money Matters: Deciding How Much to Save" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
BROOKFIELD, Wis., and NEW YORK (3/14/14)--Fiserv Inc. and MasterCard announced an agreement to make MasterCard's U.S. common debit EuroPay MasterCard Visa (EMV) solution available for Fiserv's Accel debit network.
Under this agreement, MasterCard issuers receive flexibility to select and implement network relationships, while merchants and acquirers will continue to route transactions as they prefer, without introducing multiple applications and complicated technology upgrades. The agreement provides Fiserv clients with access to a broad EMV solution.
In January 2013, MasterCard was the first network to offer its proprietary technology to other U.S. debit networks in support of the migration to EMV and to allow the routing of PIN debit transactions over multiple, unaffiliated networks.
The MasterCard U.S. common debit EMV solution is consistent with the EMV Migration Forum's recommendations, including a single common debit application identifier and single application on each card, as well as multiple ways to verify the cardholder's identity.