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L-R: Barbara Bean, CEO of Cal Poly FCU; Eric Bruen, CEO of Desert Valleys FCU; and Pete Meza, CEO of Corrections FCU

CALIFORNIA CUs RECEIVE 'LICU' GRANTS
updated 03/19/14 03:59 PM
Part of National Recipient Group
Three low income-designated credit unions in California—and 124 others nationwide—will be able to offer new products, train the next generation of credit union leadership, and gain access to more resources to help their communities with grants awarded last week from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

In this round, credit unions received approximately $517,000 through the first Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant round in 2014, with NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) administering the funds.

Cal Poly FCU, Desert Valleys FCU, and Corrections FCU collectively received $10,500.

Cal Poly FCU
“There’s never a lack of projects we need help on,” said Cal Poly FCU CEO Barbara Bean, whose credit union received $4,000 to put toward a summer internship. The credit union will most likely hire at least one Cal Poly Pomona student. “We have a number of opportunities, whether it’s providing financial literacy to incoming students, helping us develop a home banking app, creating a new member rewards program, or assisting with our social media expansion,” she said.

Bean is grateful for the grant funds, which are “extremely limited,” she said. Cal Poly FCU continually applies for several grants but is oftentimes turned down. Demand is high among credit unions. “We get expertise that we could not otherwise afford, and interns receive money for working during the summer,” Bean said. “Our members will be served with new products and services they want—so it’s a win for everyone involved.”

Desert Valleys FCU
Desert Valleys FCU received a $2,500 technical assistance grant—money that’s going toward hiring a consultation company to assist the credit union in securing a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification from the U.S. Treasury Department. “CDFI programs provide substantial grant opportunities to introduce small business lending programs and Individual Development Accounts (IDA), both of which we see as opportunities for our credit union,” said CEO Eric Bruen.

He said grants such as these are important. “They provide a way for small credit unions to explore new avenues and opportunities to serve their existing members, and potentially new members,” Bruen said. “The real key to all of these programs is strategic planning and understanding how they enhance your mission or help your credit union grow, either in membership or services.”

If the credit union received CDFI certification, it will be in a unique position. “We’ll be the only CDFI-certified institution within several hundred miles of the communities we serve,” Bruen said. “This gives us a chance to offer something different and that’s a powerful competitive edge in today’s market.”

Corrections FCU
Corrections FCU received $4,000 to hire a student accounting intern—an important position at this stage of the credit union’s operations. “We’re looking at implementing a new core data processor and a fixed-asset software program,” said CEO Pete Meza. “Whoever is hired for the internship will be completing due diligence for this.”

The credit union will be holding interviews with students from four local colleges. At $10 per hour, Corrections FCU will benefit from 400 hours of internship work. “The grant is going to help us out a lot,” Meza said. “We’re very grateful.”

Since 2001, NCUA has received more than $12.8 million in grant funding for credit unions serving low-income communities. The revolving grant and loan fund was established by Congress. In this current round, 320 credit unions submitted grant applications to NCUA, with more than $2.3 million in funding requests. Click here for more information.

 
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CONGRESSMAN VISITS SAN DIEGO CUs updated 04/01/15 03:18 PM
Rep. Xavier Becerra Talks Industry Issues
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) held a series of meetings in San Diego on March 30, the first of which was with credit union leaders.

CA GRR: JIM BRULTE AND JAN OWEN updated 03/31/15 11:37 AM
Exciting Guest Speakers
This year’s California Government Relations Rally (GRR) from April 13-14 in Sacramento will feature guest appearances by Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party, and Jan Owen, commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO).

LEAGUES TO MEET WITH WHITEHEAD updated 03/31/15 10:29 AM
Exam Survey in Focus
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director Liz Whitehead and her senior staff will meet with representatives from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and other state leagues in Arizona this coming Friday to discuss credit union issues, including the examination process.

ANTICIPATING THE CFPB’S FIRST VISIT updated 03/30/15 10:38 AM
SchoolsFirst FCU Discusses Preparation
The fact that examiners from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are expected to walk through the doors of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s headquarters in Santa Ana sometime this year is not only “a first” for California’s largest cooperative financial institution, it’s a landmark event for the state’s entire credit union industry.

CA MEDIA JUMP ON LEAGUE DATA updated 03/27/15 01:58 PM
Impressive Story Coverage
The California credit union system has gained substantial momentum in local media outlets in recent months. Among the top topics covered by publications is the California Credit Union League's strong fourth quarter lending data.

HARRY REID TO RETIRE IN 2016 updated 03/27/15 01:11 PM
Served Senate Since 2005
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will not seek re-election in 2016, he said in an interview with the New York Times. He has led the Senate democrats since 2005 and has had a three-decade congressional career.

FIRST CU REG. RELIEF BILL PASSED updated 03/26/15 09:21 AM
H.R. 299 Approved by Committee
The House Committee on Financial Services passed H.R. 299—the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act—granting privately-insured credit unions access to the Federal Home Loan Bank. The bill now moves to House floor for consideration hopefully before June.

FIs TRUSTED OVER RETAILERS updated 03/25/15 03:00 PM
Better Data Protection
According to a recent Gallup poll, 91 percent of consumers trust credit unions and banks to better safeguard their personal information and keep data secure, compared to less than 70 percent of consumers who trust merchants. More than 11,000 U.S. adults age 18 and older were surveyed for the poll.

OVERDRAFT PROPOSAL OPPOSED updated 03/24/15 08:56 AM
Treatment of Prepaid Cards
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have submitted a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that strongly opposes the bureau’s proposed treatment of overdrafts on prepaid cards as credit and subject to Regulation Z requirements.

GRR IS LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY updated 03/23/15 10:54 AM
Crucial Event for CA State Advocacy
The 2015 Government Relations Rally (GRR) is the most important state legislative event for credit unions in California— and it’s less than three weeks away. Will you be there to advocate for your credit union?

CEOs TALK RISK, OPPORTUNITY, FUTURE updated 03/19/15 05:04 PM
Cheney, Gunderson, and Hernandez
Threats to cybersecurity, defending against card fraud, and remaining relevant to consumers are top concerns for three credit union CEOs who recently participated on a special panel during a California Credit Union League Orange County Chapter meeting.

CA CEO TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS updated 03/18/15 10:18 AM
Also, Rep. Royce Reintroduces Bill
Patrick Miller, CEO of CBC FCU testified before today’s House Committee on Financial Services hearing titled “Preserving Consumer Choice and Financial Independence.” Miller was the witness on behalf of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The bulk of his testimony centered on duplicative compliance burdens, as well as the modifications needed to strengthen the credit union charter.

NCUA WARNS ABOUT PHISHING SCAM updated 03/18/15 03:00 PM
‘National Credit Union’ Con
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has issued a warning to consumers that the agency has received reports of an online phishing scam which uses a website with a logo and a design similar to the agency’s own site in an attempt to convince customers/members to provide information or send money. Click here to read the warning.

SMALL, LARGE CUs MEET AT 'GAC' updated 03/16/15 11:31 AM
Also, Pete Aguilar Fundraiser
Nearly 50 CEOs and professionals from small credit unions and their large-sponsor counterparts attended the Partners in Advocacy reception last week at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

MCWATTERS MEETS WITH CA, NV LEADERS updated 03/16/15 10:27 AM
CFPB Officials Address Rules
The room was packed last week when National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters made time to address attendees from California and Nevada during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

CU HILL VISITS: 'TREMENDOUS SUCCESS' updated 03/16/15 01:25 PM
Keeps Advocacy Top of Mind
More than 225 colleagues from California and Nevada credit unions joined thousands of their peers at the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) last week, making visits to lawmakers’ offices and meeting with regulatory officials.

ADVOCATES GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C. updated 03/10/15 10:51 AM
2015 Governmental Affairs Conference
California and Nevada credit union leaders attending the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C. focused on pressing legislative and regulatory issues as they were briefed in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite on Monday afternoon and met intermittently on Tuesday.

COMMITMENT TO SUPP. CAPITAL AND RBC updated 03/10/15 09:57 AM
Plus, Modernizing FOM Limits
Credit union leaders from California and Nevada were surprised and pleased with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz’s comments from this week regarding the use of supplemental capital for risk-based capital purposes.

PURCELL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED AT 'GAC' updated 03/10/15 07:50 AM
Honor ‘Means a Great Deal to Me’
This year’s Kelly J. Purcell Credit Union Memorial Fund Scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Herrigel, a student at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management who will graduate this year with a master’s degree in political management.

REG. RELIEF HEARING ANNOUNCED updated 03/09/15 10:06 AM
Signals Many Discussions Ahead
With the opening of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on March 8, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues had its first of many announcements.

CEOs JOIN CU HOUSE HALL OF LEADERS updated 03/09/15 09:30 AM
Eric Bruen and Joe Schroeder
Desert Valleys FCU CEO Eric Bruen and Ventura County CU President Joe Schroeder were inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders during the Credit Union House meeting, prior to the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), which began on March 8. Both received this honor for their significant impact on the credit union movement, and are the third and fourth inductees from California since the program’s inception in 2008.

NCUA, CFPB TO MEET CA AND NV LEADERS updated 03/03/15 09:12 AM
RBC, Overdraft, and Other Topics
On board for California and Nevada attendees of the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) is a special visit from officials with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' hospitality suite.

THREE TOPICS SHAPING ‘GAC’ THIS YEAR updated 03/02/15 05:08 PM
Data Security Will Top GRR
Next week the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) will kick off in Washington D.C.—a conference that, unlike others, is focused on bringing the credit union message to Congress and the administration.

EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN CU CEO RETIRIN updated 03/02/15 04:20 PM
Holbrook Served For 36 Years
Evangelical Christian CU's Mark Holbrook will retire in May after 36 years as CEO. He is widely acknowledged for growing the 50-year-old institution to an alliance of more than 11,000 members and ministries in 130 countries.