Removing Barriers Blog

LSCU Aims for Legislative Wins in Florida and Alabama
Posted January 12, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

The Florida legislature reconvenes today and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) is already pushing a number of issues to advance credit unions. At the top of the agenda is an update to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUPTA). Currently, the law exempts banks from certain lawsuits under FDUPTA. LSCU seeks parity by updating the state statute to include an identical exemption for credit unions.

Also, in order to prevent confusion and process service delays, the league is championing legislation, H 897 and S 1104, which will allow credit unions to register a central location and person to be served with any lawsuits. Under current Florida law, financial institutions do not have a central location registered for the process service of lawsuits.

LSCU is also advocating a measure that would grant Florida credit unions access to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s (FHLBank) mortgage purchasing program. The program permits member credit unions and banks to sell mortgages into the secondary market in a more efficient and cost-effective way. A requirement of the program is that the regulator shares the institution's CAMEL score with the FHLBank. Due to their interpretation of a 1992 statute, the Florida regulator does not share this information. LSCU’s supports H 1233 and S 1490, which would permit the regulator to share an institution’s CAMEL score, thus granting state-chartered credit unions access to the program.  

When the Alabama legislature returns in February, LSCU’s main priority will be enacting an update to the state’s Credit Union Act. Some of the improvements being sought by the league include:

  • Modernizing the current investment language for state charters to permit them to invest in anything that is legal for banks;
  • Modernizing the selection process and role of the credit committee of a credit union;
  • Increasing protections of members of a credit union in the case of a voluntary merger; and
  • Increasing the confidentiality of credit union documents and records.

The league is also seeking additional wild card language granting state charters parity with federal credit unions and additional powers as approved by the state regulator. LSCU convened working group to identify needed updates and worked closely with the regulator to garner support for the legislation.

Public deposits remain a top priority in both states. While legislation has not been filed in either Alabama or Florida, the league continues to work to educate lawmakers on the importance of this issue and the necessity of depository choice for governmental entities.