Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

Ann Romney praises CU RNC effort to enrich Tampa community

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (8/30/12)--Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, helped Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and other credit union and hospital representatives open a new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg Wednesday.

At the beginning of her remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the playground facility for use, Romney thanked credit unions for their fundraising efforts that made the playground project possible.

Click for slide showAnn Romney, wife of the GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney, greets CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney as she arrives at the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the end of many months of work by CUNA, the state credit union leagues, credit unions and others (see story text for more project sponsors). The ceremony also marks the beginning of a new therapeutic playground for young patients at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Romney praised the fundraising efforts of the state leagues and credit unions to fund this "wonderful" playground. (CUNA Photo)

[Click for larger view]
Romney joined Cheney and representatives from CUNA, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group and others at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the playground, saying the project was one way to help "make people's lives better."

The new play space will serve All Children's Hospital and patients in the area, and features special play equipment designed for the rehabilitation process. New plants were brought in and a retaining wall was constructed as part of the playground renovation process.

Cheney said the playground project is emblematic of the credit union philosophy of "people helping people."

"This newly revitalized playground will provide a beautiful place for healing and play--a place where children undergoing treatment here can have the joy of just being able to climb, swing, and pretend," Cheney said in prepared remarks. "Sometimes, as I think all the parents here would agree, that can be the best medicine of all."

He noted that hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in the Tampa Bay area and across the country in support of the project. Cheney also offered special thanks to Patrick La Pine, CEO, and Mary Wood, member of the board, of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, as well as recognized the strong support of CUNA Mutual Group and CO-OP Financial Services.

The charitable "leave behind" project is in honor of the 2012 Republican National Convention, which began Monday in Tampa and is scheduled to continue through Thursday.

A similar project to renovate a rooftop playground is also underway at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte renovation project will honor the 2012 Democratic National Convention. That convention begins next week.

CUNA honors RNC delegates the Tampa way

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (8/30/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Wednesday afternoon sponsored an event to honor delegates participating in the Republican National Convention (RNC) being held here this week, and the event highlighted a product for which Tampa is well-known--quality cigars.

Click to view larger imageJoann Sordellini (left), CUNA's director of political affairs and special projects, poses with Arturo Fuente Jr., in a shop of his 100-year-old, family-owned business, Tampa Sweetheart Cigars, after the two discuss final details of a CUNA event to honor RNC delegates, which featured Fuente's product. (CUNA Photo)
Working with Arturo Fuente Jr., the head of a 100-year-old Tampa-based family business--Tampa Sweetheart Cigars, which makes and sells famous cigars, as well as distributes to other cigar shops--CUNA hosted about 300 RNC delegates at a reception.  

The reception was held on the grounds of GTE Financial, a credit union in Tampa.  Fuente is a board member at GTE Financial.

The CUNA reception for delegates also drew RSVPs from almost two dozen Republican members of the U.S. Congress. Their attendance provided a wealth of opportunity for CUNA and state credit union league representatives to represent the credit union movement at this important national political scene and even address legislative priority issues, such as increased member business lending authority and alternate sources of capital for credit unions.

Click to view larger imageTampa Sweethearts Cigar Shop. (CUNA Photo)
Another topic of conversation at the reception was the day's earlier credit union event, in which CUNA, the state league, and credit unions joined with partners to unveil a therapeutic playground for young patients at nearby All Children's Hospital.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony--at which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, participated and praised credit union efforts. (See related story: Ann Romney praises CU RNC effort to enrich Tampa community.)

Republican National Convention Wed. highlights

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (8/30/12)--Convention delegates on Wednesday eagerly anticipated Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.,) acceptance of the GOP nomination to be its vice presidential candidate on a day that also saw Ann Romney join the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state credit union league and credit union representatives for the unveiling of credit unions' "leave behind" project at All Children's Hospital near Tampa.

Ann Romney attends CU "leave behind" event: After wowing the convention hall in her speech the night before, Ann Romney on Wednesday morning attending the ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling the therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney thanked credit unions for their fundraising efforts that made the "leave behind" project possible. Similarly, in his comments, CUNA President /CEO Bill Cheney noted that, "Hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in the Tampa Bay area and across the country to have this convention's leave behind project come to fruition." (See full story: Ann Romney praises CU RNC effort to enrich Tampa community.)

Paul Ryan's acceptance speech:  The acceptance speech by Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, was the Republican party highlight of the day's convention activities. Ryan discussed the nation's economy and  GOP's efforts to help the middle class.

Remarks from other GOP luminaries: Throughout the day, delegates gathered at the Tampa Bay Times Forum heard from such party notables as Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky; Arizona Sen.  John McCain; Ohio Sen. Rob Portman; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

CUNA-sponsored Daily Briefings:  CUNA is also a sponsor of a morning daily convention briefing organized by the National Journal Group. The Wednesday program was called "Down Ballot: The Top Senate and House Races for the Cycle" and brought together Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report, to predict which party will win a majority in each chamber of Congress.

See the rest of today's News Now for more reports on credit union activities related to the convention

Inside Washington (08/29/2012)

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (8/30/12)--The National Credit Union Administration has released an archived version of its Aug. 14 webinar. That webinar featured discussion of low-income credit union issues, Central Liquidity Facility changes and the agency's new proposed rule on credit union access to emergency liquidity ...

Disaster relief activated by NCUA in Isaacs wake

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/30/12)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has activated its disaster relief policy to help credit unions, members and others in affected areas of the Gulf Coast cope in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, which is now a tropical storm.

The disaster relief policy helps to ensure the continuity of credit union services in storm-impacted areas.

The agency in a release reminded credit unions and members that the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) is always backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and said member share accounts are insured up to $250,000.

The NCUA said credit unions in impacted areas should do what they prudently can to recognize financial disruptions for both individuals and businesses, and can take actions to ensure credit is available to those in need.

Those actions can include:

  • Extending the terms of loan repayments;
  • Making loans with special terms or reduced documentation standards available to members;
  • Restructuring a borrowers debt obligations; and
  • Easing credit terms for new loans to certain borrowers, consistent with prudent practices.
NCUA examiners will soon survey credit unions in storm-impacted areas, and may reschedule examinations for impacted credit unions, if needed.

The agency alert also reminds federal credit unions that they may also provide assistance to other credit unions, their members and non-members in areas affected by the disaster, under certain conditions. They include:

  • Emergency financial services for non-members, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals. These services can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities. Federal credit unions providing services on this charitable basis may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs; and
  • Services to other credit unions that a credit union is authorized to perform for its own members or as part of its operations. This activity is part of a federal credit union's incidental powers, so it may impose charges for these services.
Isaac made landfall as a hurricane at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday but was downgraded back to tropical storm status on Wednesday afternoon. The weakening storm continued to rake Louisiana and Mississippi with heavy rains and high winds as it slowly moved through those states Wednesday. Storm surges and flooding have posed the greatest threats so far, with intense flooding reported in many areas. (See related News Now story: Isaac stalls, while CUs wait it out)

For the full NCUA release, use the resource link.

NCUA sets Sept. 20 TDR webinar

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/30/12)--Loan workouts, nonaccrual policies and troubled debt restructured (TDR) loan reporting will be the top topics at a Sept. 20 National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) webinar.

The webinar, which is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET, will be moderated by NCUA Office of Examination & Insurance Program Officer Lisa Dolin and will feature insight from NCUA Region III Specialized Lending Examiner Jeff Marshall, NCUA Office of Examination and Insurance Chief Accountant Karen Kelbly, and Sydney Garmong and Mark Taylor of consulting firm Crowe Horwath.

Recent NCUA supervisory guidance will be the focus of the webinar.

New NCUA TDR rules, which were released this spring, allow credit unions to modify TDR loans without having to immediately classify those loans as delinquent. The rules also set consistent standards for the management of loan workout arrangements that assist borrowers, and eliminate confusion between TDRs and other loan modifications.

Under the rules, credit unions need to establish their own written policies for management loan workout arrangements. These written loan workout policies must be completed by Oct. 1.

TDR loans, which have very specific accounting and reporting requirements, include certain loan modifications where a credit union or other lender grants a concession--often involving modification to the terms of a loan--to a borrower that it would not have otherwise provided based on the borrower's financial situation. The financial statement and call report treatment of TDRs are also unique.

To register for the free NCUA webinar, use the resource link.

CU-supported candidates see primary gains

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (8/30/12)--A trio of credit union-supported candidates fared well in their respective Arizona and Oklahoma primary contests Tuesday.

Current U.S. House member Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has the support of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), defeated businessman Wil Cardon on Tuesday. Flake will serve as the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat after winning 70% of the primary vote, and will face Democratic candidate and former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona in November.

Another CULAC-supported House incumbent, Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), will fight to retain his seat for a full term this fall after he won his own Tuesday primary contest by a 65-precentage-point margin. Barber, who took on the seat held by now-retired Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after he won a special election this summer, will face Republican nominee and former Air Force Colonel Martha McSally this fall.

Former Arizona State House speaker Kirk Adams (R), a consistent credit union supporter and Arizona Credit Union League legislator of the year, was defeated in his Republican House primary contest by former Congressman Matt Salmon. Salmon won 54% of the total vote to Adams' 46%.

In Oklahoma, CULAC- and Credit Union Association of Oklahoma-backed candidate Markwayne Mullin won his Republican nomination contest, gaining nearly 57% of the total vote. He will face Democrat Rob Wallace in November for the right to replace retiring Rep. David Boren (D) in the House.

Lakota FCU charter approved by NCUA

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/30/12)--Lakota FCU, a newly chartered low-income federal credit union, will begin serving the 40,000 people that live, work, worship, volunteer, attend school and transact business in South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in November, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said in a Wednesday release.

The agency said around 40,000 people will be able to access financial services through the credit union.

Noting that many Native Americans who live on reservations have access only to predatory lenders, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said the credit union "has the potential to play an important role on a 2.2 million-acre reservation that has no other access to federally insured financial services."

The credit union, which will be sponsored by Lakota Funds, a 26-year-old non-profit Community Development Financial Institution located in Kyle, S.D., plans to offer a number of financial options to its members. Those products include regular shares, share certificates, unsecured loans, share secured loans, auto loans, money orders, cashier checks, direct deposits, wire transfers, and check cashing, the NCUA said. Financial literacy and membership education initiatives will also be key elements of the credit union's mission.

Credit Union Association of the Dakotas President/CEO Robbie Thompson said Lakota Funds "has worked very hard at getting their new charter and getting this credit union up and running.

"They are in one of the poorest areas of the country and the people there will greatly benefit from having a credit union. Our Association is excited for them and the services that a credit union will bring to the reservation, and we look forward to supporting them any way we can," he added.

Lakota FCU is the second low-income federal credit union to be chartered in the past week. The NCUA last Friday approved the charter of New Brunswick, N.J.'s Internet Archive FCU. That credit union is scheduled to open in October and will offer regular share accounts, share secured loans and signature loans to members. (See Aug. 27 News Now story: 2012 sees its first new FCU charter)

NEW Ann Romney helps CUNA CUs open renovated play space

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (UPDATED: 12:15 P.M. ET, 8/29/12)—Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, helped Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and other credit union and hospital representatives open a new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital today.

Click to view larger image CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney and Ann Romney, center, are joined, from the left, by RNC Committee on Arrangements Chairman Alec Poitevent, Romney's granddaughter Chloe, and Maggie Reilly of Tampa's All Children's Hospital.
Romney joined Cheney and representatives from CUNA, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group and others at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the playground, saying the project was one way to help "make people's lives better." She also thanked credit unions for their fundraising efforts.

The renovated play space will serve All Children's Hospital and patients in the area, and features special play equipment designed for the rehabilitation process. New plants were brought in and a retaining wall was constructed as part of the playground renovation process.

Cheney said the playground project is emblematic of the credit union philosophy of "people helping people.

"This newly revitalized play ground will provide a beautiful place for healing and play—a place where children undergoing treatment here can have the joy of just being able to climb, swing, and pretend," Cheney said in prepared remarks. "Sometimes, as I think all the parents here would agree, that can be the best medicine of all."

He noted that hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in the Tampa Bay area and across the country in support of the project. Cheney also offered special thanks to Patrick La Pine; CEO and Mary Ott Wood, chairman of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, as well as recognizing the strong support of CUNA Mutual Group and CO-OP Financial Services.

The charitable "leave behind" project is in honor of the 2012 Republican National Convention, which began Monday in Tampa and is scheduled to continue through Thursday.

A similar project to build a rooftop playground is also underway at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte renovation project will honor the 2012 Democratic National Convention. That convention begins next week.

See News Now Thursday for more details about Romney and this CUNA leave-behind project.

GOP convention overview CUNA leagues busy with events

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (8/29/12)--Representatives from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the state leagues and credit unions took full advantage yesterday of the opportunity to interact with key policy makers on the first full day of the Republican National Convention (RNC).  Here is an overview of the activity:

  • Junior Achievement/Financial Literacy: CUNA Executive Vice President John Magill, League of Southeastern Credit Unions League Vice President of Governmental Affairs Jared Ross, and the league's director of governmental affairs, Jason Cochran, represented credit unions at an event in nearby St. Petersburg honoring Junior Achievement.  The session highlighted JA's work to promote financial literacy among the nation's youth. Financial literacy is a top priority issue for the nation's credit unions.  Key legislators who addressed the session included Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chief sponsor of House legislation to raise the cap on CU member business lending.
  • National Journal Daily Briefing: CUNA was prominent at the National Journal Group's Tuesday briefing program, entitled, "The Election in Numbers: A conversation with Leading Pollsters." CUNA is a sponsor of the daily briefings and the CUNA logo is featured each day, with other sponsors', behind the speakers and before the TV cameras.
  • Tampa Bay Times Forum: CUNA and state credit union league, and credit union representatives were on the Tampa Bay Times Forum floor Tuesday when the RNC event schedule got to launch in earnest. Mitt Romney was nominated to be the GOP presidential candidate.
  • State Roll Call: The state roll call to formally nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican party's candidate for president.
  • Ann Romney, Chris Christie Prime Time Speeches: Prime time remarks by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and by Ann Romney, who is scheduled to appear this morning at the ribbon cutting for this year's credit union "leave behind" project, a therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital.
  • Remarks from noted GOP officials: Floor speeches earlier in the evening by House Speaker John Boehner, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker;  Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley; and First lady of Puerto Rico Lucé Vela Gutierrez.
See the rest of today's News Now for more detailed coverage of these events and CUNA/league/credit union activities.