July 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.) 
Grants and Loans: Round 2 Grants Update
Partnerships & Outreach: More state CUs become LIDs
Happening in OSCUI: Information and updates
NewsOSCUI in the news


NCUA Charters New CU In Rural Mississippi

Credit Union Journal

NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, which provided guidance to the charter group throughout the chartering process, will continue to provide assistance to the new institution.


NCUA charters First Unity Federal Credit Union

CU Insight

The low-income designation will allow First Unity to accept secondary capital and non-member deposits, obtain grants and loans from NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and qualify for certain exemptions from statutory limits on member business lending.


Matz Reflects On Small CUs As 80th Anniversary Of FCU Act Approaches

Credit Union Journal

We have our Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives that works hard to assist small credit unions that have a solid business plan.  


Reminder: Still time to register for NCUA's July training events

CU Insight

Get needed knowledge and skills at Workshops and Leadership Boot Camps

The National Credit Union Administration announced today that credit union staff, managers and senior leadership still have time to register for informative training sessions in July, hosted by the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.


Spots open for OSCUI training sessions

CUNA News Now

The National Credit Union Administration's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) is hosting two training sessions during the month of July.


California-Nevada Credit Union League

"Boot camp" has a whole new meaning for a group of small credit union leaders who attended an insightful educational event hosted by the National Credit Union Administration's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues in Los Angeles on Saturday.


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AdvisoriesCall NCUA's Fraud Hotline


To report suspicious or illegal activity by officials, employees, or members of a federally insured credit union.


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2014 OSCUI Webinar Dates

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.

ConsultingThe keys to the credit union
By Victor Costa, EDS Supervisor and Malia Peel, EDS
Our series on key positions within the credit union continues with the last installment about Supervisory Committee interim audit reviews.

Supervisory Committee Action Series: Part 4 of 4

Review of File Maintenance Reports 


File maintenance reports generated by most data processing systems show non-financial transactions such as changes to the account name, address, interest rate, due date or dividend rate. Unauthorized system changes can affect who receives an account history and interest rate charges.  Additionally, such changes can hide delinquency or excess dividend payments. For these reasons, review of file maintenance reports should be performed monthly.


Following is general guidance for conducting such reviews: 

  • Obtain a copy of the file maintenance report for the period to be reviewed.
  • Scan the report for unusual items focusing on loan data changes and address changes.
  • Investigate unusual items with the person making the change and review documentation supporting the change.
  • Pull a sample of entries on the report and review them to ensure they are legitimate and that there is appropriate documentation to support the change.
  • Retain copies of the file maintenance reports and other work papers used to support your review of this area.
  • Report your findings to the board of directors.

Review of other monthly reports provides a quick way to check for improprieties.  General guidance on conducting these reviews include:

  •  Obtain copies of all pertinent monthly reports such as:
    • Low balance, negative share and share draft reports (look for unauthorized negative balances).
    • Loans by interest rate (look for unusually low rates or rates above the legal limit).
    • Shares by interest rate (look for unusually high rates).
    • Loans paid ahead greater than 90 days (review a sample of these loans to ensure monthly payments are being made and that they are not paid in advance as a result of manipulating the due date).
    • Any exceptions reports.
  • Review the reports for unusual activity; periodically request reports for a date other than month end.
  • Retain the reports and your notes as documentation of your review.
  • Report your findings to the board of directors.

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, the focus of this series about key credit union roles will shift to responsibilities of the board of directors.  Email your Consulting questions to oscuiConsulting@ncua.gov.
GrantsandLoansRound 2 Grants Update

The response to the second round of CDRLF grant funding was strong. More than 230 credit unions submitted applications in response to the funding round that closed last month. Funding requests were submitted for new products, staff training, CDFI certification, and collaboration grants. The table below provides a break-out of the applications by funding initiative.






Request Amount

Funds Available





New Product




CDFI Challenge









235 Credit Unions





We will notify applicants of their award status by August 1.

Contact us with questions about the Grants and Loans Program at oscuiApps@ncua.gov.

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PartnershipsMore state CUs become LIDs
By Annette Moore, NCUA Consumer Access Analyst

The Massachusetts Division of Banks is helping state-chartered credit unions determine eligibility for the low-income designation.  Beginning in 2014, state examiners started obtaining a member address listing within the first week of arriving at a credit union to begin their examination.  The Division of Banks sent each of these listings to Consumer Access Analyst Annette Moore in NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection, and within 24 hours, received documentation of the eligibility results.


For qualified credit unions, the state examiners presented the results to the CEO and other credit union officials before leaving the credit union.  The state examiners also explained the benefits of the designation, answered questions and provided guidance on what the credit union needed to submit to receive the designation.


To date, eight state-chartered credit unions in Massachusetts have received the designation through this partnership. Several others are receiving assistance to determine their qualification.

For questions about the designation, contact NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection at 703-518-1150 or DCAMail@ncua.gov.  For more information on the Massachusetts Division of Banks' process, contact Andrea Cipolla, Chief Director of Credit Union Supervision at 617-956-1532.
happeningHappening in OSCUI


Outreach: OSCUI Director Myers attended the NCUA "Listening Session" in Los Angeles.  NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz hosts such events throughout the country as "an opportunity for NCUA Board members and senior staff to hear directly from credit union officials about how we can further improve regulations, the exam process, and any other NCUA initiatives."  Myers also moderated a panel, "Business Models for the LMI Market," at the National Savings Forum. Practitioners discussed viable business models with innovative savings products.  Click here to view the recording.


Impact Analysis Study: The Filene Research Institute conducted the first focus group under the Impact Study. The session was designed to elicit credit union feedback about the impact of OSCUI services on the credit union's performance. Credit unions will have additional opportunities to comment on their experience with OSCUI's services through interviews, another focus group and an online survey.  Stay tuned for additional announcements.


Dan Semore, an examiner with NCUA's Region III Office, recently completed a detail with OSCUI.  Dan assisted the Grants and Loans Program.  He has  been with NCUA for three years and is stationed in Jackson, MS.  He requested the detail to "gain a better understanding of the services available to small credit unions."  With this knowledge he hopes "to take what I learn into the field to help small credit unions utilize OSCUI's services."


Recent Comments About Our Services

Information provided at this Bootcamp was excellent.  I really appreciate the time and effort put into these seminars.  They are the most informative of any I have attended since I joined the credit union industry three years ago. 

Manager Sandra Griffis, CN/IC Employees Credit Union


EDS Sherita Jones did a great job assisting management with their strategic planning needs. I look forward to my next contact with this credit union to see how they have improved.

JoAnn Gilyeat, NCUA Examiner - Region II

Regarding consulting services provided by OSCUI.


I want to thank EDS Dominic Carullo on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of ARC FCU for the great assistance on our Strategic Plan. President Haines commented, "We were pleased with the insight you brought to the planning process from your many years of experience with NCUA."

CEO Victor Gioiosa, ARC FCU


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Partner Events

CFPB seeks your input on how mobile technology works in the financial services market and how consumers, particularly economically vulnerable consumers, use technology to achieve their financial goals. Click here to participate.


1-800-FedInfo is the new number for the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission telephone hotline. Consumers may use this number to direct questions about federal agencies, programs, benefits or services related to financial literacy and education. A trained specialist will be able to respond in English or Spanish.


NeighborWorks America is offering training for nonprofit lenders - August 18-22 in Orlando. It will provide training in community development and nonprofit management at the Orlando NeighborWorks Training Institute. The event will feature more than 100 courses such as Designing and Managing a Microenterprise Revolving Loan, Intermediate Underwriting for Micro and Small Business Lenders and Single-Family Mortgage Lending: Loan Servicing and Collections. Click here for details and to register.



Cities for Financial Empowerment Fundwill host a Bank On 2.0 conference - "Building a National Platform for Local Programs," November 6 in Washington, DC. The conference is open to financial institutions, nonprofits, government leaders and affordable financial services initiatives. Email Suzanne Reisman, National Bank On 2.0 Initiative, at sreisman@cfefund.org for additional information.


A recording and presentations from CFED's 2014 Children's Savings Conference are available, click here. The materials cover the basic structure of a Children's Savings Account program. CFED has also launched the Children's Savings Network listserv to help practitioners, researchers, funders and others connect on key developments in the children's savings field.  Click here to register.


White Paper on the Power of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Certification: CDFI Certification: A Building Block for Credit Union Growth assesses the status and impact of CDFI certification on credit unions and the communities they serve. Find the full report online here.


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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