June 2014
FOCUS is the monthly e-Newsletter of the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI). It focuses on helping small credit unions achieve success by providing news and highlighting opportunities. Click here to subscribe to FOCUS.
topFeatured this Month (Click on a heading to go to the article.) 
Headliner: 179 CUs to receive Consultations 
In FOCUS with Bill: OSCUI's role
Headliner179 CUs to receive  Consultations

These credit unions will receive our free consulting services during second half of the year. Small, minority depository institutions and low-income designated credit unions are among those selected; the smallest has assets of $87,000 and several exceed $100 million in total assets.


We were able to service most (97%) of the 185 credit unions nominated for this semester. Credit unions are allowed the opportunity to select up to three consulting services among choices that include: strategic planning, marketing strategy guidance, grant guidance, field of membership expansion/capturing new markets, and budgeting guidance. The credit unions will receive consulting services from July through December, after which a new group of credit unions will be selected into the program.


Click here to complete the nomination form for consideration during the next semester.  Email your questions about the Consulting Program to oscuiConsulting@ncua.gov.


[Back to top]

2014 OSCUI Webinar Dates

July 9: Mobile Apps



August 20: Disaster Recovery



September 17: Mergers Best Practices



October 15: Product Pricing



November 19: Building a Loan Portfolio



December 17: Internal Controls



Webinars begin at 2 p.m., Eastern.  For more information, click here.

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube 
Connect with us!

inFocusIn FOCUS with Bill

OSCUI's role

 OSCUI Director Bill Myers    

The majority of the 7,128 small credit unions open in 2004 continue to serve their members in some form today. Though the number of small credit unions has declined, seven percent grew out of the small category and 28 percent voted for a voluntary merger. Through this whole decade, only 4 percent closed their doors due to liquidation, assisted merger, or purchase and assumption.


How much do small credit union failures cost?   Small credit unions, which are 66 percent of all federally insured credit unions, are responsible for only 25 percent of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund losses. The largest NCUA investment in small credit unions is in examination hours. The Small Credit Union Examination Program recalibrates and reduces the amount of time examiners are allocated for small credit union examinations in order to better match effort and risk. To an extent this reduction in examiner time is recouped by OSCUI's consulting assistance to small credit unions.


The benefit of OSCUI is not limited to the 75 percent of credit unions within our service fold. During our Bank Secrecy Act webinar, one third of all credit unions participated and one-half of those were large credit unions. Our white papers, workshops, and videos also see involvement by credit unions of all sizes. Our goal is to help credit unions survive and thrive and we reach the spectrum of NCUA covered credit unions.


In this column, OSCUI Director Bill Myers offers insights to small, low-income and new credit unions based on his role as Director and past experience in the credit union field.


[Back to top]

NewsOSCUI in the news


A Big Thank You to OSCUI

Credit Union Times

Our credit union has been honored to have the opportunity to be assisted by the OSCUI. What did we receive from those dollars invested in us? We received the services of a top-notch professional business woman who analyzed and evaluated our strategic decisions and made recommendations to our board. We also got a strategic plan with realistic goals, measurable and attainable, and a plan for carrying them out.


$1.2 Million Available in NCUA's Second Grant Round of 2014

CU Insight

The National Credit Union Administration will make $1.2 million available to low-income credit unions in the second round of Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants for 2014, the agency announced today.


Mobile Helps Compete With Geography, Demographics

Credit Union Times

While the OSCUI will still fund first-wave tech tools to help small credit unions compete such as ATMs and basic websites, the emphasis clearly is on mobile. A majority of its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants for new products and services at low-income credit unions so far this year have gone to enable mobile apps for rural and urban service areas alike.


NCUA Issues M&A Guidebook for Credit Unions

Credit Union Journal Online

To that end, last week the agency's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) released a brochure - "Truth In Mergers: A Guide for Merging Credit Unions" - to provide a framework for CU managers and directors "to begin discussions about the future direction of a credit union."


NCUA puts out CU merger guide

NAFCU Update

NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives put out a guide for credit union mergers, citing lessons from a review of more than 430 mergers in an 18-month period.


NCUA Goes Behind the Scenes of 430 Mergers

Credit Union Times

The NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives released the "Truth in Mergers" brochure on Friday, which provides guidance for credit union managers when discussing the future of their institution.



Truth in mergers report cover 
AdvisoriesNew guidance on mergers
We published "Truth in Mergers: A Guide for Merging Credit Unions" to help credit unions considering a merger.  It incorporates lessons learned from a review of more than 430 mergers.  The guide is available online for free, click here.
ConsultingThe keys to the credit union
By Victor Costa, EDS Supervisor and Malia Peel, EDS
Our series on key positions within the credit union resumes this month with coverage of the Supervisory Committee interim audit review.  This article focuses on reviewing insider account activity.

Supervisory Committee Action Series: Part 3 of 4

Review of Insider Account Activity


The Supervisory Committee should review insider (employees, board and committee members, and their relatives) accounts periodically to ensure these members do not receive preferential treatment. Following is general guidance for conducting such reviews: 

  • Obtain printouts of activity in each insider's share and loan account for the last 3-6 months.
  • Review all insider loan accounts for compliance with the loan policy.
  • Review all insider share accounts to ensure:
    • Applicable fees were charged in accordance with credit union policy;
    • Fees were not reversed because the person is an employee or official;
    • The dividend rate is as approved by the board of directors;
    • Appropriate fees were charged on overdrawn share draft accounts; and
    • The account has maintained the required minimum balance.
  • Check for large deposits or deposit activity that is unusual in relation to the account holder's income.
  • Check for large dollar deposit and withdrawal activity. This is a possible indication of check kiting.
  • Retain printouts and work papers to support your review.

For detailed guidance on this and other reviews, refer to NCUA's Supervisory Committee Guide for Federal Credit Unions.  It is available online at http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/GuidesEtc/GuidesManuals/supcomm.pdf.


Next month, this series on the responsibilities of the Supervisory Committee will conclude with a review of file maintenance and other monthly reports.  Email your Consulting questions to oscuiConsulting@ncua.gov.


Today is the deadline to submit your credit union's application for the second grantOSCUI Icon round of 2014.  Low-income designated credit unions are eligible for this funding.   The application is easy to complete and is entirely submitted online through NCUA's CyberGrants system.


Following are some last minute tips and reminders to help you complete the application:

  • Ensure the email address entered into the system is up-to-date.
  • Review the grant guidelines before you begin the application.
  • Submit your application by 5 p.m., Eastern, on June 30.

If you don't receive confirmation of your application's acceptance, contact oscuiApps@ncua.gov as soon as possible.  If you experience technical difficulties, contact the CyberGrants tech support at http://www.ncua.gov/Resources/OSCUI/Documents/CyberGrantsHowTo.pdf.

[Back to top]

PartnershipsHelping State CUs to become LIDs

Contributed by Annette Moore, 

NCUA Consumer Access Analyst


NCUA staff partnered with a trade association to help more than a dozen state-chartered credit unions get their low-income designation (LID). Most recently, in April, two credit unions received the designation through this partnership.


The partnership began with Annette Moore, a Consumer Access Analyst with NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and John Trull, Director of Regulatory Advocacy for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). The NWCUA is the credit union league for credit unions in Oregon and Washington. Shortly after NCUA notified qualifying federally chartered credit unions in July of 2012 that they met the requirements for the designation, Mr. Trull and NWCUA set a goal to help eligible state chartered credit unions in the Northwest receive the LID, too.  Click here to read the entire article.


For additional information about the benefits of the LID, read the Low Income Designation Fact Sheet. For questions regarding the LID, contact the OCP at 703-518-1150 or DCAMail@ncua.gov.  For questions about Trull's use of CUNA's Project Zip Code to identify potential qualifying credit unions in his state, contact him at 503-350-2209. 


[Back to top]
TrainingTraining is in full swing


We have free training sessions coming up featuring our popular senior executive and board of director training in many locations and formats.  Register for one today!


In-person events


Leadership Development Boot Camp: July 26, 2014 in Newark at the Hilton Newark Penn Station.  Click here to view the schedule of additional boot camps and to register.


Workshop: July 23, 2014 in Pittsburgh at the Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh North. Click here to register.


Exhibits at League/Association Annual Meetings: Come visit our exhibit booth at the African American Credit Union Coalition, Sheraton Memphis Hotel, Memphis, July 30 - August 2, 2014.


Upcoming webinars


On July 9, we will feature a webinar entitled, Mobile Apps, that explores the growing use of mobile banking applications and remote deposits.  Click here to register, the webinar begins at 2 p.m., Eastern:


Let us know what you think about the services that we offer, or what you'd like us to offer. We'd love to hear from you! Email OSCUI's Training Division at oscuiTraining@ncua.gov.


[Back to top] 

happeningHappening in OSCUI


Outreach: OSCUI Director Myers recently gave presentations at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Union's annual conference in Detroit and the America Saves Forum.  He also met with The Philanthropy Roundtable.  Ikenna Nwankpa, Financial Analyst with the Grants and Loans Program, presented our Grant Round II application requirements during the NFCDCU's webinar on CDFI Certification.


Impact Study: OSCUI launched a study of small, low-income, and new creditFilene Research Institute logo unions. This is the first such study by the agency to focus on these categories of credit unions.  The study will examine the performance of credit unions and include a survey of credit unions eligible for our services.  NCUA will use the study results to inform its decisions about the effectiveness of its programs and services in order to better support the credit unions we serve.


OSCUI has engaged the Filene Research Institute (Filene) of Madison, Wisconsin to conduct the study.  Filene has 25 years of organizational experience conducting credit union research. Filene will conduct focus groups, interviews, and develop an online survey.  Stay tuned for details.


Welcome: Sherri Atkisson, an Examiner with NCUA's Region IV Office, is performing a detail with OSCUI.  She has worked for NCUA since and is stationed in St. Paul, MN. Sherri was a Small Credit Union specialist for many years and enjoys training and helping the small institutions. Of her reason for seeking a detail assignment with OSCUI she offered: "I want to learn how the new small credit union program works. This will help me direct the credit unions to the specific programs and help that they need."


Stephen detailStephen Haluszczak performed a detail with the Partnerships & Outreach team.    He is an examiner in NCUA's Region II Office stationed in Pittsburgh.  Stephen joined NCUA in 2009 after working at a small credit union. His goal from the detail is to, "gain in-depth knowledge of the ways the Office assists small credit unions, combine them with the skills I have developed in the credit union and non-profit industries, and discover how best I may be able to assist the small credit unions in my district."







Grants: Two Urgent Need Grants totaling $13,049 were approved. In one case, the funds will be applied to assist  newly chartered credit union to hire a consultant to implement a prepaid card program. In the other case, proceeds will be used to repair/replace the HVAC unit at a credit union that was damaged during a storm.


Recent Comments About Our Services

EDS Dom Carullo guided the officials in establishing specific goals and timelines. The results from the Strategic Planning session were invaluable.

CEO Gail Mario, Bay Atlantic FCU


I recently became aware of a resource from NCUA with which I am very impressed. As a credit union professional, former CEO, Board member and Supervisory Committee member, I continually look for ways to share what credit unions are all about. The CEO Resource Guide is the perfect resource for this purpose.

David LeNoir, CUDE, League of Southeastern Credit Unions

[Back to top]


Grants and Loans 

Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program - The Office of Community Services (OCS) is offering grants to administer projects for the national AFI to provide Individual Development Accounts (IDA) and related services to individuals and families with low incomes.  Applications for fiscal year 2014 will be accepted until July 14. Click here to learn more or register for an upcoming webinar highlighting key aspects of the application process.



The National Federation of Community Development Credit Union's Webinar Series will be held on the third Wednesday of each month from 2 - 3 p.m. Eastern beginning in June.

  • July 16th - Managing Interest Rate Margin to Achieve Profit Objectives - delves into the profitability challenges facing credit unions and explores the proven methods to overcome these challenges. Register for Session 2.  

The 2014 Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) Credit Building Symposium, will be held on July 10th in Washington, DC. The Symposium is intended to be a dialogue between non-profit organizations involved in credit building and those corporate entities whose business practices include credit reporting, credit scoring and/or credit granting. Click here to learn more about this free event.


The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Annual Conference takes place July 22-26 at The Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel & Resort and is open to NAFCU members and nonmembers. Click here to learn more.


National Small Business Lending Workshops - Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will offer free, two-day workshops in July and August 2014. The workshops are designed to help small business lenders identify and pursue growth opportunities. Register now for one of three workshops in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York. View more information about the training curriculumOFN will also host an informational webinar on Thursday, June 19 at 12:00 EDT to provide an overview of the entire program.  Register to learn more.


Assets Learning Conference - Will be held September 17-19 in Washington, DC. The conference brings together professionals from leading nonprofits, foundations, financial institutions, corporations, academic institutions and government entities to learn about and advance asset building in the United States.  Click here to learn more.


Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund will host a Bank On 2.0 conference, "Building a National Platform for Local Programs," on November 6 in Washington, DC.  It is open to all Bank On programs, financial institutions, nonprofits, government leaders, and other access to banking and safe, affordable financial services initiatives. Email sreisman@cfefund.org to join the mailing list.



Mobile Financial Services and Economic Inclusion: An FDIC whitepaper exploring ways in which mobile financial services can help increase financial inclusion among unbanked and underbanked households is available here.



Pamela L. Williams
The Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives
1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Website: www.ncua.gov/oscui   

Email: oscuimail@ncua.gov