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NEW: Illinois league names Hession to succeed CEO Plauda

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (2/4/14, UPDATED 3:42 p.m. CT)--Sean Hession, current president/CEO of Callahan and Associates in Washington, D.C., has been named to succeed Dan Plauda as president/CEO of the Illinois Credit Union System (ICUS) .
Hession, a former Omaha businessman, has been with Callahan and Associates, since early January 2012. Earlier, he served in a series of staff and operational positions at First National Bank of Omaha over a decade.
Last June 10, Plauda announced his intentions to retire from the top league position on June 30 this year. There will be a 60-day transition period, starting May 1, during which both Hession and Plauda will be on board at the league.
Plauda joined the ICUS staff in May 1977, serving at that time as the organization's first general counsel. Before that, he was a partner in a Minneapolis law firm.
At the time of his retirement announcement, Geri Burek, ICUS chairman of the board, said that, because of Plauda's leadership legacy, the association is "well positioned for great success for many years to come." And Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that Plauda "contributed greatly to the growth and success of the Illinois league and the state's credit unions during a distinguished career that has spanned nearly four decades." ( News Now June 11, 2013)

Risk-based capital plan heads News Now's January Top 10 list

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MADISON, Wis. (2/4/14)--An article on a new risk-based capital framework for credit unions released by the National Credit Union Administration was the most-requested News Now article in January.
Rules and regulations dominated the Top 10 with capital requirements, qualified mortgages and call reports making the list.
Articles about the Target data breach appeared on the list twice.
The Top 10 list included:

10. Risk-based capital rule would affect fewer than 200 CUs, Metsger says

WASHINGTON (1/14/14)--As the National Credit Union Administration works to modernize the 15-year-old credit union capital regime, board member Rick Metsger said Monday night that fewer than 200 credit unions would be required to make adjustments under a new risk-based capital proposal now being developed.
9. No credible case for capital requirement increase, says CUNA

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/24/14)--"Given how well credit unions in general survived the recent great recession, we do not think there is a credible case for increasing credit union capital requirements," Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said following Thursday's National Credit Union Administration open board meeting.
8. NCUA to CUs: Examiners will reward good faith QM compliance efforts

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/6/14)--National Credit Union Administration field staff  "will take into account a credit union's good-faith efforts to comply" with new qualified mortgage regulations as they conduct their early-stage examinations, the agency said in a just-released supervisory letter to credit unions (14-CU-01).
7. CUNA highlights QM resources as rules go into effect today

WASHINGTON (1/10/14)--Today may not look a lot different than yesterday to many people, but for mortgage lending credit unions and thousands of other lenders today is the day that the Ability-to-Repay(ATR)/ Qualified Mortgage (QM) lending rules go into effect.
6. CUNA: Target breach to cost CUs an estimated $25M-$30M
WASHINGTON (1/21/14)--Credit unions have already incurred costs estimated to be in the range of $25 million to $30 million in costs as a result of the Target stores data security breach, a Credit Union National Association survey has shown.
5. NCUA Reg Alert Covers QM Rule

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/2/14)--Credit unions that make closed-end consumer loans secured by a dwelling must comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) rule for loan applications received on or after Jan. 10, the National Credit Union Administration reminds in its first Regulatory Alert on 2014.
4. Late call report filers will be fined by NCUA--starting soon

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/16/14)--Procrastinators beware: The National Credit Union Administration will begin to impose civil money penalties against federally insured credit unions (FICUs) that do not meet their quarterly call report filing deadlines.
3. State of the Union speaks of tax changes, jobs, and patent and housing finance reforms

WASHINGTON (1/28/14)--Job creation and tax reform were topics of President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, and the Credit Union National Association is urging the president to consider the credit union perspective in these and all important financial policy discussions.
2. Target-like attack hitting 6 more retailers

LOS ANGELES (1/21/14)--At least six additional U.S. retailers have been attacked with the same software used late last year to steal credit card and personal data from upward of 110 million Target Inc. customers, according to research released Thursday.

1. NCUA unveils risk-based capital plan

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/23/14, UPDATED: 11:44 a.m. ET)--A new risk-based capital framework for credit unions has just been released at today's National Credit Union Administration board meeting.

47 CU professionals earn DE designation

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MADISON, Wis. (2/4/14)--A record 47 credit union professionals earned certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) last week after being guided by eight program facilitators and mentors through Credit Union Development Education (DE) training from the National Credit Union Foundation.
Click to view larger image Graduates of the National Credit Union Foundation's Winter 2014 Credit Union Director Education training display the flags of Kenya and Malawi at the Rizzo Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., to honor their credit union colleagues who attended the training from both countries. (Photo provided by National Credit Union Foundation)
The Jan. 22-29 training was conducted on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"DE training was hands-down the most educational, inspirational, and emotional training or conference I've ever been fortunate enough to be a part of," said Michael Waylett, president, $44 million Vision Financial FCU, Durham, N.C. "I learned of the principles on which credit unions were founded and how these principles should remain at the heart of every decision that we make today. It is not possible to attend this training and not, as a human being, be changed significantly."
DE training provides lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. Participants were involved in group exercises, field trips and discussions with speakers from the credit union system. They completed team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations.
Registration is still open for the next two 2014 DE trainings, which will be held April 23-30 and Sept. 10-17 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. Use the links for more information or to register.

For a list of the 47 DE graduates, use the link.

NCUA derivatives rule is focus of CUNA Feb. 14 webinar

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MADISON, Wis. (2/4/14)--The Credit Union National Association scheduled a hot-topic webinar Feb. 14 on the recent final rule from the National Credit Union Administration on derivatives.
The "NCUA's Final Rule on Derivatives" webinar will be noon to 1 p.m. (CT) Feb. 14. It will cover the evolution of the rule; which credit unions quality for it; critical components and NCUA expectations; the application process; costs, controls, resources and limits associated with derivatives; and reasons to participate.
At its Jan. 23 meeting, the NCUA approved a proposal to use simple derivatives to hedge against interest-rate risks. The NCUA plan will allow only well-managed credit unions with $250 million or more in assets to invest in derivatives (See Jan. 24 News Now: NCUA approves final derivatives investment rule.)
Speakers are Mary Dunn, CUNA deputy general counsel; Bill Hampel, CUNA chief economist; and Emily More Hollis of ALM First Financial Advisors.
To register, use the link.

Mich. league endorses Gov. Snyder for 2nd term

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LANSING, Mich. (2/4/14)--On Monday, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) announced its endorsement of Gov. Rick Snyder in his bid for reelection and cited his support of credit unions and the credit union philosophy.
"As governor, Snyder has worked with Michigan's credit unions and other lenders to build a common-sense regulatory structure that allows credit unions to best serve Main Street businesses and members," said league CEO David Adams. "Gov. Snyder's continued leadership will enhance the economic revitalization of Michigan, and we strongly support his re-election."
Snyder, a Republican, was elected in 2010.  
MCUL also noted Snyder's commitment to the role of local lenders and credit unions in strengthening the economy. He also has pushed back against unnecessary government regulations and policies that would further restrict access to credit for Michigan families and businesses, the league said, adding that these issues are critical for "Main Street credit unions" to continue to serve their members and communities.
The association's endorsement reflects the industry's broad view of Snyder's support on credit union issues that benefit the 4.6 million Michiganders served by credit unions with affordable and essential financial services, the league said.

Mobile payments can make, break loyalty, says CO-OP white paper

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RANCHO CUCAMUNGA, Calif. (2/4/14)--With smart phones playing an increasingly prominent role in American life, one electronic financial service provider is warning credit unions without mobile banking plans that they are flirting with irrelevance.
CO-OP Financial Services on Monday released a white paper citing a number of studies which found that mobile banking services have a significant impact on customer loyalty.
The Southern California firm pointed to a study by consultants AlixPartners which showed that 52% of consumers between the ages of 26 and 34 would switch financial institutions for a digital wallet, while 38% and 36% would swap for mobile peer-to-peer payment and remote deposit capture systems.
The paper also cited a Yodlee Interactive Survey, which found one in three mobile banking users claiming the services are the main reason why they're doing business with their financial institution, and 71% of mobile banking users reporting that they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with online and mobile banking options.
Other research bolstered the CO-OP paper, including a study by Bain & Company Brief, which concluded that mobile-banking users in the U.S. were more loyal than competitors' customers who lack access to similar services, with Net Promoter Scores 14% higher than the average. Accenture, another management consulting firm, also discovered that 21% of a survey's respondents were "planning to" use a mobile device to make payments in stores.
"As consumers live more and more of their lives online, the role of mobile in financial services is shifting along with it," the paper stated. "Just a few years ago, going mobile was a way to surprise and delight tech-savvy credit union members. Today, mobile engagement is fast becoming the only way to serve mobile-driven consumers."
CO-OP, which offers a number of mobile services, cautioned that credit unions that "don't reach members where they live--on their mobile devices--will have a hard time maintaining that primary connection."
Smartphone users now make up more than half the population with 1% of Americans joining the joining that group every month., the firm said, citing more AlixPartners research.
"As the mobile majority grows, both in numbers and in devotion to their devices, leaving your members without the mobile capability they expect may leave them feeling abandoned altogether," the paper concluded.

Cornerstone monitors legislative action in three states

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/4/14)--Following a merger in 2013, the Cornerstone Credit Union League will monitor spring legislative activity in three states--Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The Oklahoma Legislature convened Monday, and is scheduled to meet through May. The Cornerstone league is closely monitoring two bills in particular, said Tom Haider, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer at the league.
One bill would change a state law to require towing companies to lien holders when a vehicle is towed. "What has happened in some situations is that vehicle will sit in storage and rack up tremendous storage fees, and by the time the lender finds where the vehicle is, it's no longer cost effective to recover the vehicle," Haider told News Now. "What we're hoping to do is amend that law to put an affirmative duty on anybody who takes possession of a vehicle to notify the lien holder."
Another bill would allow lien holders to represent themselves in small claims court on defaulted loans. Under current law, credit unions must take claims into full court where full legal representation is required. In small claims court, the credit union can be represented by an employee, such as a loan manager.
In 2014, the Texas legislature will not hold a regular session. The legislature meets in January during odd-numbered years.
"In off years, they hold a lot of interim hearing and conduct studies on major issues," Haider said. "For example, this year they might hold a hearing on data security as a result of the Target breach."
The Arkansas General Assembly's will hold a fiscal session, from Feb. 10 to early March, to settle the state's $5 billion budget.
In odd-number years the Arkansas General Assembly meets for regular sessions where any type of bill can be filed. In even-number years the assembly convenes for fiscal sessions.
"There really won't be anything coming up that will have any impact on credit unions, but we will certainly monitor the session," Haider said.

CU System briefs (02/04/2014)

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  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (2/4/14)--The Alabama Credit Union Association State Governmental Affairs Conference begins today, and attendees and non-attendees alike can take advantage of a mobile app that is available for Apple and Android devices (eSignal Feb. 3). It provides access to the agenda, speakers, social media integration for Facebook and Twitter. The app also includes a map of downtown Montgomery, Ala., tips for credit union advocates' visits to the Capitol and a league contact. Legislative, regulatory and grassroots advocacy are among the topics for today's agenda. Hill visits are set for Wednesday afternoon ...
  • WICHITA, Kan. (2/4/14)--Sixteen members of the Kansas Credit Union Association's young professionals group spent Jan. 28 in Topeka for CUnext Advocacy Day (Vision Jan. 31).  The CUnexters learned about credit union advocacy and the legislative process, watching the latter in action as they shadowed their state legislators through committees, constituent meetings and onto the House floor. During lunch, State Sen. Rob Olson (R-23), who also is chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, detailed the role of committees in the legislative process. The group also learned about the state regulators at the Kansas Department of Credit Unions. (Kansas Credit Union Association photo) ...
  • NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (2/4/14)--Merrimack Valley CU pumped up 144 lucky drivers Friday by giving away free gas at a North Andover, Mass., gas station. CEO Peter Matthews and other staff of the $497 million-asset credit union manned the pumps to give away more than $6,000 in free gas. "We made a lot of people happy today and in doing so supported a local business and created some awareness of our credit union," Matthews said ...
  • RALEIGH, N.C. (2/4/14)--A loan promotion from ElecTel Cooperative FCU for new and transferred auto loans paid off for members when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Sunday. The $40 million-asset credit union started the promotion in December that if the famous groundhog saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter, eligible auto loan holders would have six weeks with no loan payments. "Hopefully it will make the six more weeks of winter a little more bearable, especially after the winter weather we've had this past week," said CEO Nancy Long. The Raleigh, N.C, credit union booked more than $600,000 in new auto loans as part of this promotion ...