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L-R: Lucy Ito, EVP and COO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; Dennis Flannigan, CEO of Great Basin FCU; Liz Whitehead, Region V Director for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); Dave Gunderson, CEO of Credit Union of Southern California; and Sharon Lindeman, Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy for the Leagues

EXAM, REG ISSUES DISCUSSED WITH NCUA
updated 03/28/14 11:05 AM
Leagues, CEOs Relay Concerns
In a continuing effort to effectively communicate regulatory concerns, representatives from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues joined other western state league officials and credit union CEOs in a meeting with National Credit Union Association (NCUA) Regional Director Liz Whitehead (Region V) last week.

Nevada credit unions moved back to Region V from Region I as of Jan. 1, 2013. California credit unions moved back to Region V from Regions II, III, and IV by Jan. 1 of this year.

The Leagues’ representatives included President and CEO Diana Dykstra, Executive Vice President and COO Lucy Ito, and Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy Sharon Lindeman. Joining the Leagues were Dave Gunderson, CEO of Credit Union of Southern California and the Leagues’ Regulatory Advocacy Committee chairman, and Dennis Flannigan, CEO Great Basin FCU.

“The meeting was a tremendous success,” Gunderson said. “Liz Whitehead and her team invested several hours to listen to our comments, perspectives, and recommendations. It was refreshing to discuss the NCUA and credit unions’ common goal of ensuring safety and soundness, as well as some respectful dialog regarding different strategies to achieve this goal.”

Flannigan added: “The meeting entailed good open constructive communication and discussion of the exam survey and other key issues. Liz Whitehead and her senior staff all seemed practical and hesitant to strict oversight without considering the context.”

Lindeman noted that the event provided an “excellent opportunity” for open, collaborative dialogue about regulatory and examination issues. "We appreciate Director Whitehead making time in her schedule to hear our concerns,” Lindeman said.

CUNA Exam Survey Report
The Leagues obtained an advance copy of the CUNA/League 2013 Exam Survey Report, which provided a basis for good dialog, including:

  • Region V exams are improving across the board. This is not true of other regions.
  • Region V attitudes towards exams were improved in 2013 (25 percent were dissatisfied) compared to 2012 (30 percent were dissatisfied). Nationally, there was a slight decline (in 2012, 25 percent were dissatisfied; and in 2013, 27 percent were dissatisfied).
  • Region V credit unions saw a substantial improvement in the use of Documents of Resolutions (DORs) between 2012 (46 percent) and 2013 (39 percent). Nationally, there was little change in examiners’ use of DORs (in 2012, 43 percent; in 2013, 41 percent).
  • Region V exams more closely resemble the exam experience of the other regions, but gaps remain. For example, in 2013, Region V credit unions were 30 percent more likely overall to be cited for one of the five most common exam issues than credit unions in other regions (compared to 38 percent more likely in 2012).

As to the use of DORs, Region V senior staff commented that their objective of the exam modernization and changes to DORs is not to ensure the number reduces, but to ensure the DORs are used for material findings—those that could cause a credit union to fail.

In regard to Region V exam findings, the five most common exam issues included: loan policies, Allowance for Loan Losses (ALL), strategic planning, interest rate risk, and loan concentration. Whitehead said the higher percentage of findings in Region V could simply be a result of the region having a higher percentage of larger credit unions.

The Leagues encourage all California and Nevada credit unions to complete the joint CUNA/League Exam Survey in 2014. The aggregate data will help ensure California and Nevada credit unions’ exam experiences are captured, and any negative trends can be brought to the region’s attention.

Supervision Consistency and Quality Control
In an effort to realize greater consistency across all NCUA regions and in examinations from credit union to credit union, NCUA has adopted two programs since California and Nevada credit unions were previously part of Region V. First, all NCUA examination staff are now guided by the National Supervision Policy Manual (NSPM), the agency’s internal policy for supervisory operations and procedures.

Second, all regions, including Region V, now routinely carry out Quality Control Reviews (QCRs) to specifically identify and address exam inconsistencies. Credit unions that experience quality control issues may contact Region V staff directly or via the Leagues.

Risk-Based Capital
The proposed risk-based capital rule was discussed, including remarks on how an examiner can require even greater capital than the proposed rule sets for an individual credit union.

Whitehead commented that any “individual minimal capital requirements” would have to go through the regional director and to the NCUA board for approval; that such a requirement would not be established by an examiner. In addition, a credit union can appeal the decision.

The Leagues strongly oppose any greater authority for the NCUA to impose additional capital requirements on a case-by-case basis. The Leagues encourage credit unions to review the proposal, the information and resources available on the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) website and in PowerComment, and submit a comment letter to NCUA on this and many other concerns with the proposal before the May 28 deadline. The Leagues also encourage credit unions to register for and attend NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz’s June 26 “Listening Session” in Los Angeles. Due to space constraints, registration is limited to 150 people.

Also, click here to access CUNA’s Risk-Based Capital Action Center.

 
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NEVADA CREDIT UNION LEADER PASSES updated 06/23/16 12:49 PM
More Information to Follow
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues received word that Doug Schwartz, President and CEO of Elko Federal Credit Union (EFCU), was struck by a car yesterday in Elko, Nevada and passed away early Thursday. Details are still being investigated.

TMG, CO-OP: BLOCKCHAIN STUDIES updated 06/22/16 02:45 PM
Help FIs Evaluate Opportunities
Three influential payments industry players–TMG, CO-OP Financial Services and Mercator Advisory Group–are making progress on their collective plan to create much-needed clarity around the potential for blockchain technology in the community financial institution industry.

CUs CONVERGE ON ECONOMY AND STRATEGY updated 06/20/16 03:00 PM
Forecast, Discussion, and Ideas
How can credit unions prepare for 2017 given so many "what if" scenarios on the economy, interest rates, labor force, household demographics, political environment, and consumers?

DIVERSITY: GOOD INVESTMENT FOR CUs updated 06/16/16 02:33 PM
Latest Issue of “The NCUA Report”
In the latest issue of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) monthly newsletter, an article by the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion outlines how diversity leads to better service, greater innovation and increased membership. These outcomes make credit unions stronger and more sustainable, and ultimately lead to greater strength for the entire credit union system.

CA CUs SURPASS $100B LENDING MARK updated 06/14/16 08:06 AM
Auto Market Under the Microscope
California credit unions just hit a record: they surpassed the $100 billion lending milestone for the first time ever, with used auto loans making a superstar appearance during this historical moment.

FEDERATION AND EQUIFAX PARTNER updated 06/13/16 02:48 PM
Launch Financial Capability Center
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and Equifax Inc. announced a partnership to build the Westside Financial Capability Center. The Center will provide the Atlanta Westside community with affordable banking, alternatives to payday loans, affordable home mortgages, and a suite of financial services designed to empower residents to achieve their financial goals. The search for a physical site has narrowed to several options that will allow the Center to function in coordination with Atlanta area credit unions, community stakeholders and service providers. Equifax has committed $450,000 through 2018 in support of the Center which is scheduled to open in early 2017.

TWO LARGE CALIFORNIA CUs TO MERGE updated 06/09/16 02:33 PM
N. Island Financial CU & Calif. CU
Two California credit unions—the $1.24-billion North Island Financial CU and the $1.6-billion California CU—announced plans to merge.

'JUNTOS AVANZAMOS' ADVANCES FORWARD updated 06/02/16 08:09 AM
Kinecta FCU Becomes 6th in CA
Kinecta FCU and its affiliate, NIX Neighborhood Lending, were recently recognized by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the California Credit Union League with the “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) certification—a branding initiative helping credit unions become the preferred financial resource for local organizations serving underserved Hispanic immigrants.

MEETING WITH NCUA REGION V DIRECTOR updated 06/01/16 02:11 PM
Freed Committed to Fair Process
Today in Sacramento, local credit union leaders met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director, Cherie Freed, who succeeds Liz Whitehead.

DEFENSE CREDIT UNION COUNCIL LIAISON updated 05/27/16 10:21 AM
McWatters Named to Represent NCUA
At the request of NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger, Board Member J. Mark McWatters will serve as the National Credit Union Administration’s liaison to the Defense Credit Union Council.The agency is committed to supporting service members and hiring veterans.

RMJ LAUNCHES 'BITE OF REALITY' APP updated 05/26/16 02:40 PM
Modernizes, Streamlines Program
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation recently rolled out an app for its successful Bite of Reality program. The app— believed to be the first of its kind for a credit union-sponsored reality fair program—modernizes Bite of Reality, making it more relatable to young people.

DECISION ENGINE TECHNOLOGY updated 05/24/16 09:57 AM
Get The Most Out of Your Technology
May is an awkward month. It’s as if it is not sure exactly what it wants to be. Somedays in May are more like April; some are more like June. Perhaps that is where we got the word “May”-be? But, one thing that is certain about May is that it is the month of graduation ceremonies, and much like the month itself, graduates are at that awkward point in life, where the future is not quite certain.

MOUNTAIN WEST JOINS 'PLEXCITY' updated 05/23/16 03:22 PM
CU Association is 6th Shared Owner
Mountain West Credit Union Association is purchasing a shared-ownership stake in Plexcity for information technology, accounting/finance, and human resource solutions, adding to the Ontario, CA-based company’s unique story of growing collaboration between credit union trade associations since January 2015.

CONNECTING WITH MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS updated 05/19/16 10:29 AM
Matrícula Consular Online Seminar June 9
Lack of identification is one of the biggest barriers for Hispanic immigrants to access affordable financial services. RSVP for a Juntos Avanzamos online seminar on using the Matrícula Consular to reach unbanked Mexican immigrants. Learn how to use the Matricula Consular as a safe, effective way to open savings and checking accounts.

SUMMER IMPACT OPPORTUNITY FOR CUs updated 05/19/16 03:30 PM
$21M Toward Jobs For Young People
Federal government leaders are working hand in hand with local stakeholders to craft solutions that harness resources across multiple agencies in response to local needs and priorities. Since 2009, more than fifteen Federal agencies have launched dozens of initiatives and partnerships with over 1,800 rural, tribal and urban communities. Federal leaders are working across agency lines and offering hands-on support to build local capacity, provide expertise, and unlock resources to help community leaders achieve their goals.

'IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO' updated 05/17/16 10:16 AM
CFO Professional of the Year
Most new ideas aren’t necessarily new, according to Susan Gruber. They are old concepts with a new twist, and they can have great potential.

WHY ONE SMALL CU RANKS BIG IN TECH updated 05/09/16 08:48 PM
Behind United Catholics FCU
No one was perhaps more surprised to learn her credit union ranked No. 1 on MagnifyMoney’s most recently published list of “most digitally savvy” U.S. credit unions than Lucy Sloan.

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY COLLOQUIUM updated 05/03/16 11:38 AM
Measuring Credit Unions' Impact
Nearly 30 leaders and professionals came together last week at the first Financial Capability Colloquium to discuss how to collectively and effectively measure the individual financial literacy efforts that their credit unions and organizations routinely implement within their communities, and how to use these measurements to tell a powerful story that will resonate with the public.

METSGER APPOINTED NCUA BOARD CHAIR updated 05/02/16 05:17 PM
Plus, CFPB on Arbitration and TRID
President Barack Obama has appointed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rick Metsger to be the ninth chairman of the NCUA Board of Directors, succeeding outgoing Board Chairman Debbie Matz, whose service ended April 30.

TV INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHTS 'PACE' updated 05/02/16 02:39 PM
Protecting Consumers Becomes Crucial
A TV news station in Los Angeles has captured a clear example of consumer protection issues stemming from the “PACE” lending program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in just one instance of how it is proving financially harmful to homeowners and credit union members across California.

'PACE' PASSES FIRST STATE COMMITTEE updated 04/26/16 08:48 AM
Congressman Sherman Gives Support
In a rare instance of federal and state legislative involvement, Assembly Bill 2693, authored by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), received two significant boosts yesterday.

INDUSTRY LEADER AND MENTOR PASSES updated 04/25/16 12:43 PM
O'Rourke 'Will be Missed'
Gene O’Rourke—who left a 40-year legacy of helping shape and place leaders in the credit union industry throughout California and the nation—died this past Friday. He was 70.

LEAGUES COMMENT ON OTR, FEE METHODS updated 04/25/16 04:12 PM
Plus, NCUA's 2 New Proposals
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have told the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) and federally chartered credit unions (FCUs) should be treated equitably in their comment letter on the Overhead Transfer Rate (OTR) and Operating Fee Schedule Methodologies.

REG COMMITTEE RESPONDS TO CORDRAY updated 04/19/16 09:31 AM
CU Leaders Express Opinions
In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Richard Cordrary’s recent response to a congressional letter that calls on him to fully utilize the bureau’s exemption authority for community financial institutions, Cordray cites examples of how the bureau has already used this authority.