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Washington Archive

Washington

Ohio's Montgomery County CU placed into conservatorship

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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 document about the conservatorship.

Inside Washington(2)

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  • WASHINGTON (4/23/15)-- Money Smart for Young People is a new series of lesson plans for teachers and new resources for parents to help them teach children about managing money. The package of free resources was unveiled Thursday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. They are targeted to young people from pre-K through age 20 and were developed in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are curricula tailored for four different age or ability groups. Teachers can access the lessons and videos that demonstrate how financial education concepts can be taught in the classroom at www.fdic.gov/teachers .  Parents and caregivers can access teaching guides at www.consumerfinance.gov/parents ...
  • WASHINGTON (4/23/15)--U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives to clear small business access to financing will be the topic of the San Antonio National Small Business Week Town Hall May 6 at the University of Texas San Antonio Campus, the SBA announced Thursday. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will lead the discussion on "Access to Capital: Fueling the Financial Engine of Small Business Growth" and agency initiatives to address the opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs. San Antonio elected officials and community leaders have been invited to participate on the Town Hall panel. The town hall event falls within National Small Business Week, which will be recognized May 4-8 with national events planned in Miami/Boca Raton, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York and Washington, D.C. The events will be live-streamed on SBA's website at www.sba.gov and social media engagement will use the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz. For more information on the national events visit www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek ...

House passes 2nd cyber bill to promote info sharing

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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.

NCUA's Fazio highlights agency support for reg. relief legislation

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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 hearing 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 News Now: 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."

Final FOM rule tops April 30 NCUA agenda

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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.
Registration is still open for the live video feed of the meeting. Reminder, individuals interested in watching the meetings online must register each month.

Newest SARs stats available in FinCEN report

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WASHINGTON (4/23/15)--Statistics on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) were released Wednesday by the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). SAR Stats includes SARs filed through March 31 by financial institutions.

Click to view larger image From FinCEN's SAR Stats , a list of the most common payment mechanism in SARs.
The reports cover depository institutions, as well as entities such as money services businesses, insurance companies and casinos.

Items of note from the depository institutions section include:
  • A total of 213,280 SARs have been filed in 2015. In 2014, 886, 927 were filed;
     
  • The top five suspicious activity types are: multiple transactions below the $10,000 currency transaction report threshold (10.94%), suspicion about the source of the funds (10.49%), transactions with no apparent business or lawful purpose (6.01%), transactions out of a consumer's pattern (5.76%) and suspicious use of multiple locations (5.76%);
     
  • The National Credit Union Administration has filed 20,345 SARs this year, the second lowest amount among federal regulators;
     
  • Credit and debit cards account for the vast majority of product types involved in filings, with 25,153 and 16,841 respectively. The next lowest specified product type involves residential mortgages, at 5,801; and
     
  •  U.S. currency is the leading payment mechanism involved in SARs, with 97,627. The next lowest are funds transfers (40,505), personal and business checks (39,114) and bank and cashier's checks (13,085).
The quarterly reports succeed the previous The SAR Activity Review: By the Numbers , which was issued by FinCEN once or twice per year, from October 2003 to May 2013. Statistics covering the previous 12 months of activity are released around mid-year.

Matz says NCUA culture reflects environmental responsibility

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/23/15)--National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz marked Earth Day Wednesday by emphasizing that environmental responsibility is an essential part of the agency's culture.

"This ongoing management responsibility is in NCUA's annual performance plan, and our efforts are paying off," Matz said. "Many of the environmentally sound practices in our daily lives at NCUA were once new initiatives introduced through our greeNCUA initiative."

According to the NCUA, environmentally friendly efforts last year included:
  • Holding central office electricity use to 2013 levels;
     
  • Receiving a renewal for NCUA's central office of the ENERGY STAR certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, scoring 82 out of a possible 100 points;
     
  • Regional offices taking various energy efficiency measures, including replacing lighting, heating and air conditioning units; and
     
  • Leasing laptop computers with an ENERGY STAR 6.0 certification for all employees; and
     
  • Reducing trash by 2 tons by increasing shredding by 4,100 pounds of paper.
NCUA employees will observe Earth Day with an in-house cleanup and several recycling events.