is produced by the Cooperative Credit Union Association's Strategic Communications Office.
Cindy Lepore, editor
800.842.1242, ext. 338
We are delighted to share with you this quarterly publication reporting on our efforts in Q4'2016 to support our member credit unions in the principal areas of advocacy, compliance, education, strategic communications, business services, and social responsibility. You'll also find an update on CCUA's Members Insurance Agency, a value-added subsidiary of CCUA. In this and future issues, you will see just how we continue to fulfill our promise to keep the wheels of progress spinning on your behalf.
Advocacy continued at a rapid pace to conclude 2016 with local and national victories benefiting member credit unions.
Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) President Paul Gentile welcomed newly appointed Massachusetts Commissioner
of Banks Terence McGinnis to the top regulatory position for credit unions with a personalized briefing followed by a roundtable discussion. McGinnis, former executive vice president and general counsel of Eastern Bank, fielded questions from members during what marked his first CU industry appearance.
roactive engagement with lawmakers remains a priority for CCUA and Gentile and members hosted discussions with D
elaware Senator-Elect (now Senator) Lisa Blunt Rochester on regulatory burden and costs of compliance;
Kevin Rocks, supervisory examiner, NCUA Region II, on extended examination cycles; New Hampshire Commissioner of Banks Jerry Little on drought conditions, branching and extended examination cycles; and M
assachusetts Congressman Richard Neal on efforts to reform the tax code and credit union tax exemption.
They also began preparations for the 2017 Massachusetts legislative session by meeting
with staff of the house financial services committee to review the intricacies of the credit union recodification and public funds bills.
Progress on the Federal Front
Gentile led advocacy and regulatory reform initiatives before the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that helped bring about positive change to the call reporting cycle for federally insured credit unions. Beginning with the
Dec. 31, 2016, cycle, credit unions now have until the final Sunday of the month following the end of each quarter to file - an average of seven additional days. The change means a significant reduction in the administrative burden of filings and provides greater parity with similar filings by other financial institutions.
NCUA will consider other options for setting future call report filing deadlines, including using a fixed date, such as the 30th of each month, once the impact of the new process is reviewed.
Addressing the call report deadlines was just one piece of the overall examination modernization initiative for which CCUA focused its advocacy efforts.
Gentile was a strong proponent of further regulatory relief on examinations in the following manner:
- Extended exam cycle for well-managed, lower risk federal credit unions with assets less than $1 billion.
- Targeted exams of certain small credit unions that lack internal controls and haven't been examined in at least five years.
- Enhanced coordination of exams for federally insured, state-chartered credit unions.
- Establishment of an NCUA and state supervisor working group.
The changes to the call report and exam cycle were significant but not final advocacy victories.
In October, Gentile personally delivered written and oral comments on the NCUA's proposed 2017-2018 budget during the agency's first comprehensive budget briefing. His comments addressed the need for greater transparency; standard public review of the budget; staffing and technology issues; revisions to the methodology supporting the overhead transfer rate; additional information on contracted services and the capital budget; and greater coordination and reliance on state supervisors.
Advocacy remains an evolving, cumulative activity in which investments in dialogue lead to future success. Capitol Hill advocacy throughout the year increased sponsorship from local Congressional delegations.
- New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen on the NCUA Budget Transparency Act.
- Massachusetts Congressman Michael Capuano on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HDMA) reporting requirement to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for home equity lines of credit to expand the 100 HELOC reporting exemption and/or more narrowly tailor the size of the institution to which it applies.
- Rhode Island Congressman James Langevin, together with Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey and Congressmen Capuano, Katherine Clark, Stephen Lynch and Seth Moulton on the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act, which provides an exemption and parity for 1-4 family, non-owner occupied properties from the member business loan cap calculation.
Providing another opportunity to build on the year's successful efforts, CCUA formalized plans for an enhanced presence at the 2017 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 26-March 2, in Washington, D.C.
Grassroots and Political Action
CCUA launched grassroots initiatives using several strategies to gather member input for comment letters to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on: payday, vehicle title and certain high-cost installment loans and the NCUA on
field of membership (FOM). These strategies involved member surveys; working groups, including one addressing FOM that featured NCUA consumer access experts Rob Leonard and Rita Woods; and a "key contact" database that incorporates legislative and advocacy contacts submitted by members and information compiled by the Credit Union National Association.
Credit unions participated in annual fundraising campaigns to benefit state and federal political action committees and were publicly recognized through the distribution of the annual honor roll from each state.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, CCUA compliance staff completed the following items of note:
- Compliance Development Day: Thirty credit union staff attended this free event that outlined the CFPB enforcement action against Navy Federal Credit Union and reviewed the Military Lending Act and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Held at the CCUA office in Marlborough, Mass., the event was streamed live over the internet to participating credit unions.
- Network Program on "Compliance Officer Best Practices."
- Compliance Hotline - 145 credit union compliance and operational inquiries and solutions.
Compliance services continues to offer many distinct avenues for assistance to member credit unions:
- InfoSight - This online compliance manual offers easy-to-understand compliance topic summaries, direct links to laws and regulations, checklists, related information, as well as archived YouTube video snapshots of current compliance topics. InfoSight is tailored specifically to the needs of credit unions in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island with direct links to state laws and regulations and it offers compliance information in a user friendly platform.
- CU PolicyPro - This online policy management system provides access to more than 200 detailed model policies and offers the ability to maintain a cloud-based, fully-indexed policy manual for staff to access anytime, anywhere.
- Compliance Connection - Provides practical information on the regularly changing rules and regulations. This publication is archived online through InfoSight and is easily searchable when the need arises.
- Compliance Calendar - provides a running list of upcoming compliance dates. It is available in the Daily CU Scan; on demand through InfoSight; and is provided in the Compliance Connection publication.
- Compliance Specialist Program - A fee-based service where a compliance specialist is hired, trained, and managed by CCUA then placed on-site at participating credit unions to handle their compliance needs. Currently, CCUA has three compliance specialists dedicated to nine credit unions.
- Compliance OnDemand - CCUA completed one OnDemand project. OnDemand projects are available to all of our credit unions when a credit union just needs a little extra support in a specific area.
- ComplySight - A web-based compliance management and tracking tool designed to streamline the compliance process. Four credit unions are currently taking advantage of this tool to manage, communicate, and document the overall compliance position of each credit union.
Convention goers had their pick of more than
24 educational sessions and took time to catch
The core of the fourth quarter education programming centered on events at CCUA's Annual Meeting and Convention held in October at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, CT. The department also coordinated other significant events and offerings:
- Annual Meeting and Convention
- Twenty-five education opportunities, with specific learning tracks designed for volunteers, credit union professionals and small credit unions.
- State-specific updates on local legislative and regulatory issues presented by CCUA staff, local regulators and lobbyists.
- Three-hour session on fintech.
- CU growth strategies' session on "Bricks vs. Clicks" that was broadcast live via Livestream for those unable to attend.
- Volunteer Leadership Conference, in partnership with the MD/DC League in Ocean City, Maryland. In addition to hosting, CCUA provided:
- two educational sessions;
- an industry update by CCUA President Paul Gentile;
- a compliance overview for directors by CCUA Professional Development SVP Bill Nagle; and
- management training to a group of credit union professionals in North Carolina, in cooperation with the Carolinas League.
- One-Hundred Thirty Six Webinars with 717 active registrations, meaning that the actual number of individuals participating was likely higher. Many webinars have been grouped into a series designed for a target audience that includes board members, compliance and audit staff, collections, and IT/cyber.
- Five Peer Network Meetings
- Training Network: a workshop to understand and utilize YouTube for learning events with an instructional designer from the New England College of Business.
- Compliance Network - an overview of best practices for managing policies and procedures by CU compliance guru Gaye DeCesare and broadcast to Delaware members via videoconferencing.
- Young Professionals Network - a contest for YPs to create the tag-line for CCUA's Spring 2017 conference, CU Accelerate.
- Human Resource Network - annual review of changes to federal and state employment laws presented by Attorney Lori Rittman Clark and delivered to Delaware members via videoconferencing.
- Marketing Network Meeting - an overview of geo-fencing presented by Mame Conroy of CBS Radio.
Special thanks to network meeting sponsors NEACH, Synergent, MacPage, CU Direct, UBS Financial Services, and the New England College of Business.
- Sixteen Onsite Training Programs for credit union staffs and boards on topics ranging from compliance - specifically, BSA and sexual harassment awareness - to sales and service skills; to management/leadership communication and diversity challenges in the workplaces.
Besides the continuation of "In Your Neighborhood"gatherings at such locations as Colleen's in Medford, Mass.; the Profile Coffee Bar in Portsmouth, NH; and Gunther Tooties in Quincy, Mass., CCUA's consumer awareness campaign jumped into high gear in October with an intensified push to have consumers search for a credit union on the
BetterValues.BetterBanking. website. To help promote the effort, B
etterValues.BetterBanking. added an incentive to win prizes for doing the search.
To become eligible to win, consumers were invited to submit their email address when they searched for a credit union. A number of prizes were awarded to names drawn randomly from the list of emails received. The addition of winning a prize added further momentum to the BetterValues.BetterBanking. effort at attracting consumers to perform a credit union search and the accompanying analytics for the site demonstrated the initiative's success.
In Delaware, BetterValues.BetterBanking. signed an agreement with Delmarva Broadcasting, giving it the title sponsorship of the 7th Annual Women's Expo scheduled for Saturday March 18, 2017, at the Nassau Valley Vineyards, in Lewes, Delaware. As the title sponsor, BetterValues.BetterBanking. will see its Del. credit union members promoted on radio stations Eagle 97.7; Cool 101.3; the Wave 97.1; and Delaware News-Talk Radio 105.9 for several weeks leading up to the event, which is expected to draw more than 4,000 attendees!
The BetterValues.BetterBanking. consumer awareness campaign and CCUA President/CEO Paul Gentile get the start treatment at Boston's FOX25.
During the period, CCUA President Paul Gentile was interviewed by Michele Lazcano at FOX TV-25 for the station's news segment "About Town." In his remarks, Gentile shared comments on credit union values and their influence on the banking experience. The interview formed the basis not only for the segment on "About Town," but also for several 30-second commercials promoting credit unions.
As part of the production effort, CCUA visited Central One Credit Union, Bellwether Community Credit Union and Mass Bay Credit Union to video record B-Roll footage which was incorporated into the spots. FOX25 then introduced the spot and its partnership with BetterValues.BetterBanking. during a luncheon at its studios in Dedham. Attendees were given the opportunity to tour the studios and receive a sneak peak of the "About Town" interview with Gentile, which hit the airwaves the following week.
During the quarter, BetterValues.BetterBanking. television commercials were also seen in the Worcester and Springfield markets on the local Fios and Comcast cable TV systems.
As activities began to slow down leading up to the Christmas holiday, CCUA conducted a meeting with marketers from Rhode Island Credit Unions to discuss its new BetterValues.BetterBanking.-sponsored venture in partnership with Cox Cable TV.
The venture consisted of seeing Rhode Island credit unions produce a 30-minute, monthly cable TV program, which would run three-times per week on cable systems throughout the state. The package also includes promotional spots and advertisements from Cox Cable using its digital assets and strategically-placed commercials.
Finally, Q4 2017 introduced an effort to see CenterPoint magazine undergo a redesign and re-purpose in the articles it offers to readers. Serving as a print version for news items appearing in each edition of the Daily CU Scan, the quarterly publication will be refreshed to focus exclusively on legislative, regulatory and consumer advocacy initiatives beginning with its Q1 2017 edition.
Annual Meeting and Convention Trade Show
The statistics tell the story: 83 booths, more than 400 attendees, close to 40 prizes awarded, heaps of desserts and hundreds of conversations added up to a productive, memorable event.
New this year was the presence of 'Doc Brown' from Back to the Future, with his sidekick, the "Mechanic." These two representatives from new exhibitor CU Certified, which offers best-in-class vehicle service contracts, got members' attention by playing a game that was a bit trivia based and the Price is Right, all rolled into one. Members who were able to answer a couple of the Mechanic's questions from information they learned from Doc Brown got to draw a ticket for a wide variety of gifts - from cash to accessories to television sets. More than 100 attendees played and a great time was had by all.
SiriusXM™ Radio Program Launch
Also in October, CCUA and SiriusXM™ Radio pumped up the volume on their SXM CU Program by taking it nationwide in an advertising campaign with CU Journal.
More than 50 credit unions from around the country responded by registering for informational webinars held Tuesday afternoons, wherein representatives from both CCUA and SiriusXM demonstrated the ease of using the SXM CU Program website and discussed features and benefits for both credit unions and members.
For credit unions, this is a safe, simple and exciting way to add value for their members. There is no fee to join, and all marketing materials are downloadable from the website above. By enrolling through the portal, credit unions can monitor progress, add users and communicate back to SiriusXM.
The offer is available to members who borrow from credit unions to purchase or refinance a used auto. Those who meet the eligibility requirements get three months' free trial of SiriusXM Radio's All Access program, not only in their vehicles but streamed over other devices as well. The All Access program delivers more than 175 channels of information, sports, music, and comedy, so members may choose their preferences. And there is no obligation for a member to continue once the three month trial comes to a close. If they do not choose to sign up for the service, the radio signal is simply turned off. SiriusXM Radio and credit union members - perfect harmony!
NECUS Card Services Move to PSCU
As of Dec. 31, 2016, the New England Credit Union Service Card Services program began a new chapter by partnering with PSCU, a payments processing CUSO headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla. The NECUS Card Services team of Kathy Leveille and Dean Martino will be shepherding the transition from former processor Fidelity Information Services (FIS) to PSCU over the next several months.
||CCUA and PSCU staff celebrate their new partnership.
PSCU is credit union owned and operated entity that focuses on member service. The company offers a suite of technology services, including payments processing, call center, data analytics and more. The CUSO has already stepped up to sponsor a number of CCUA events, including both CU Accelerate 2017 and Convention in 2017.
Staffed by member credit union leaders, social responsibility committees in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island organize events and activities that benefit the people and communities served by their charitable partners.
Massachusetts Credit Unions - Massachusetts Coalition for Homeless
- Convention Donation - In addition to the airing of a special video that showcased the efforts of the Massachusetts Credit Unions to support the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Gentile and social responsibility committee members in attendance presented a $1,000 donation to coalition executive director Robyn Frost. A copy of the video can be found on the CCUA and BetterValues.BetterBanking websites.
- Convention Charity Silent Auction - The Massachusetts Credit Unions joined forces with the three states, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island to host their silent auction to benefit each state's respective charity. Fifty items were donated from the various states for the effort. More than $7,000 was collected and the Massachusetts Credit Unions raised $2,050 for Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.
- Hope Candy Bar Sales - Twenty-three Massachusetts credit unions participated in the fall Hope candy bar sales for the month of November. A total of $6,426 was raised toward the 2016 goal.
- Holiday Toy Drive - In December, CCUA staff collected gifts for the coalition's toy drive. The Southern Mass. Chapter also dedicated its December meeting for the toy drive and collected a large amount of toys. The Tri-County North Chapter made a holiday donation to the coalition as well. Several credit unions also donated toys for the holiday season.
The Massachusetts Credit Unions Social Responsibility Committee wrapped up its 2016 fundraising season with a $150,000 donation to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. The donation demonstrates the exceptional generosity of 70 CCUA member credit unions and four state chapters, and surpasses the committee's $135,000 goal.
New Hampshire Credit Unions - Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire
- Convention Donation - In addition to the airing of a special video that showcased the efforts of the New Hampshire Credit Unions to support Make-A-Wish (MAW) New Hampshire, Gentile and social responsibility committee members in attendance presented a $1,000 donation to MAW Hampshire CEO Julie Baron. A copy of the video can be found on the CCUA and BetterValues.BetterBanking websites.
- Convention Charity Silent Auction - The New Hampshire Credit Unions joined forces with Del., Mass. and RI to host their silent auction to benefit each state's respective charity. Fifty items were donated from the various states for the effort. More than $7,000 was collected and the New Hampshire Credit Unions raised $3,360 for MAW NH.
- 2017 Calendar and Holiday Kick-Off with NH Governor Hassan - All 2,500 MAW calendars were distributed to credit unions and Make-A-Wish NH for purchase during the months of November and December. The calendar features the stories of two Wish children. A special holiday season calendar kick-off celebration with New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan was held in November with approximately 40 people in attendance, including Wish children and their families, credit union CEOs, social responsibility committee members and additional credit union staff.
- Merrimack Valley Chapter Holiday Auction - Proceeds from the silent and live auction along with personal donations totaled $18,000 for MAW. Guest speaker Wish Child Renee, age 17, was the highlight of the evening as she shared her wish experience of being a Broadway star and the impact it made on her life.
- Holiday Reunion - More than 500 Wish kids, their families and Wish granters celebrated the 30th anniversary of MAW New Hampshire in December at the organization's annual holiday reunion of Wish families and Wish granters. The yearly event brings families together to enjoy a fun day meeting new families and reuniting with Wish granters and other volunteers.
- Commercial - Ronald Covey, Jr., president/CEO from St. Mary's Bank Credit Union in Manchester, NH, served as the credit union spokesperson in a new MAW New Hampshire commercial created by Comcast Cable and aired during the holiday season.
Credit Unions of Rhode Island - Special Olympics Rhode Island
- Convention Donation - In addition to the airing of a special video showcasing the efforts of the Credit Unions of Rhode Island to support Special Olympics Rhode Island (SORI), Gentile and committee members in attendance presented a $1,000 donation to SORI Director of Marketing and Communications Gerri Walter. A copy of the video can be found on the CCUA and BetterValues.BetterBanking websites.
- Convention Charity Silent Auction - The Credit Unions of Rhode Island joined forces with Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to host their charity silent auction to benefit each state's respective charity. Fifty items were donated from the various states for the effort. More than $7,000 was collected and the Credit Unions of Rhode Island raised $1,140 for Special Olympics Rhode Island.
- 2017 Inspire Greatness Calendar - More than 1,400 "Inspire Greatness" Calendars were distributed to nine credit unions and SORI for purchase during the months of November and December. The calendar features the stories of two SORI athletes, Christopher Lussier and Amy Henrich.
- Holiday Auction - Online bidding was held Sunday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 11. Auction items included Red Sox tickets, donated by the Credit Unions of Rhode Island, as well as donations made by several individual credit unions.
- Children's Miracle Network Donation - A total of $4,699.26 was donated to Hasbro Children's Hospital in December on behalf of the Credit Unions of Rhode Island. Seven credit unions participated in two casual days in 2016 that generated the funds. Since 2007, more than $40,500 has been donated to Hasbro Children's Hospital.
Member credit unions receive value through three principal channels.
- a longtime and valued partner of the Members Insurance Agency and CCUA, CUNA Mutual is a proven supporter of the credit union industry that devotes significant financial and non-financial resources each and every year. In recognition of this fact, CCUA actively collaborates with CUNA Mutual to educate credit unions about the many ways their organization brings value to credit unions.
CUNA Mutual has programs to assist credit unions in the areas of market intelligence, lending, compliance, and the development of non-interest income through various member benefit programs such as TruStage
. In the fourth quarter, CUNA Mutual continued its long-standing practice of providing no-cost education programs to credit unions. The highlight was the Discovery Conference, which provided a long list of learning opportunities for credit unions of all sizes. CUNA Mutual's "Webinar on Demand" series provides a library of recorded sessions that every credit union can take advantage of. Lastly, risk alerts were issued on topics that included: lending; compliance with employment practices; counterfeit check fraud; plastic card fraud/scams; and physical security.
MemberClose - Home equity lending is a good, but very competitive, business for credit unions to engage in. The MemberClose program has been designed as an efficiency tool that will save credit unions on the time it takes and the money it costs to process all types of home equity loans.
Launched in 2004, the program continues to grow. During the fourth quarter, two credit unions signed agreements with MemberClose bringing the total to 18 for 2016. These credit unions come from two different states. The program now provides a bundled settlement solution to 200 credit unions in 20 states that range in asset size from under $10 million to over $2 billion.
MemberClose continues to look for ways to add value for its client credit unions. With the realization that the ability to make more loans to qualified members would be especially beneficial, a significant commitment was made towards the relaunching of a program that allows for 100% Loan-To-Value (LTV) home equity loans.
The MemberClose Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) is now available to all CCUA credit unions. With this program your credit union can now make 100% LTV loans of up to $250,000 with no additional risk.
Employee Benefits - the agency operates as Comprehensive Benefit Administrators (CBA), one of the largest benefit management companies in New England. CBA works with credit unions in areas of compliance, benefits (group health, dental, life & disability, and voluntary benefits) and administration (TPA) services. During the fourth quarter, the agency successfully worked with 37 credit unions on benefit renewal strategies relating to more than 72 lines of insurance coverage. Jeff Tyrakowski is the lead contact for credit union employee benefit programs.
The area of employee benefits has become increasingly costly and complex for credit unions as employers seek to provide best-in-class benefits in the most affordable manner possible. CBA has proven an ability to develop "outside-the-box" solutions to complex challenges. This is often the result of using our collective experience and expertise along with superior technological capabilities to re-engineer off-the-shelf plans into customized solutions that best fit the needs of each particular client.
CBA is also committed to providing no-cost education to its clients with both onsite meetings and webinars. Client credit unions have access to a wide variety of topics from past webinars that are accessible through the CBA website.