November 2013
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.) 
HeadlinerPre-employment background checks "a must"
  By Sheila Parocai, EDS


A Los Angeles Times newspaper article told of a thief who was sentenced for embezzling over $1.8 million from Southern California businesses over a period of 14 years. He did so by answering employment ads for bookkeepers. An accomplice would then provide a glowing recommendation to anyone who called the "reference" number listed on his application. A pre-employment background check would have alerted a potential employer to his false professional claims and actual criminal record.


checkbook-pen.jpg Do you really know your manager, staff and volunteers? If you don't conduct a pre-employment background check, you can't truly answer "yes" to this question.   Conducting such a check allows you to verify the freely volunteered information provided by an applicant on their resume or job application.


"Deterring Employee Fraud" was the topic of OSCUI's November 2013 webinar featuring guest speakers from CUNA Mutual Group and Your Credit Union Partner. In three weeks, an archive of the live webinar will be posted to our website.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers guidance on this topic in an article, "6 Tips for Preventing Employee Theft and Fraud in the Workplace." The SBA website includes other related resources such as a Guide to Pre-Employment Background Checks.


Click here to read the entire article.  

OSCUI Dates to Remember

December 17 -  OSCUI Monthly Webinar:

Succession Planning

2 p.m. [Eastern]

To register, click here.

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OSCUInewsOSCUI in the news


NCUA Approves E-Filing Regulatory Rule


"All but a few dozen credit unions already file their financial reports electronically, and for those that do not have the capacity, our Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives is ready to assist. The change will save time and money, remove unnecessary paperwork and enable NCUA to report industry-wide data more quickly," NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said.


NCUA Again Offering Consulting Services

Credit Union Times

Credit unions with total assets under $50 million, a charter under 10 years old or a low-income designation are all eligible for the service from the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.


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ConsultingLast call for Consulting requests   


The deadline for credit union nominations for the next Consulting cycle
November 30 at 5 p.m. [Eastern].  The cycle will run from January through June 2014. Credit unions with assets below $50 million and/or holding a low-income designation are eligible. Take advantage of this opportunity for free consulting services by an Economic Development Specialist (EDS) and complete a nomination form for your credit union.


Demand for the upcoming cycle has been strong.  We have already received many nominations. During December, we will review the nominations select credit unions for enrollment. Shortly afterward, we will notify credit unions of their selection and introduce them to their EDS consultant. Our selection criteria and process were explained in the Consulting column of the May 2013 issue of this e-newsletter.


Once again it's, "last call for nominations!"


Recent feedback about our Consulting service

I am currently onsite at Austin FCU performing their exam. I just wanted to let you know that both the staff and board members have had wonderful things to say about [EDS] Sherita Jones. They really appreciated her help and said she did an excellent job.

Jennifer Allen, Credit Union Examiner, NCUA Region IV


Click here to learn more about OSCUI's Consulting Program or email us at


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OSCUI salutes these low-income and small credit unions on their recent achievements.


Bill Bynum Hope CU
CDFI Fund logo
AFI-IDA logo
Bill Bynum, Hope CU
Both the credit union and its CEO were awarded the 6th annual John P. McNulty Prize by The Aspen Institute. According to The Aspen Institute's announcement, " The $100,000 prize recognizes the spirit of innovation and excellence of private sector leaders who use entrepreneurship to address important global social issues." (Photo, courtesy of The Aspen Institute/Dan Bayer) Link
38 CUs Receive CDFI Fund Awards
These credit unions were awarded more than $26 million in aggregate by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund through its 2013 funding rounds.  This represents an increase in the number and amount of 2012 awards to credit unions.  The awards were made under the CDFI and NACA Programs.
Newrizons FCU
This credit union was awarded $75,000 as an Assets for Independence (AFI) grantee. AFI, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the federal government asset-building program through individual development accounts. Link


PartnershipsOutreachConsumer protection resources for CUs


NCUA recently released a three-part video, "Consumer Protection Update," and posted supporting content on its consumer website, The video and online materials explain new rules on international remittances and mortgage lending required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Developed by NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection, these materials should help credit union officials to better understand and follow the new rules. Click here to view the official media release. is NCUA's consumer-oriented website.  It includes financial tools and resources, tips for protecting against fraud and identify theft, and other information by age groups. Feel free to pass these free resources on to your members.


Is there an article you'd like us to consider for FOCUS? Email your suggestion to Partnerships & Outreach at 

TrainingNovember may be cold, but OSCUI training is HOT! 


Webinar: Succession Planning

December 17: Before we let you go for the year, we have one more webinar.  John Dock, an Economic Development Specialist with OSCUI, will host the webinar with guest speakers Holly Herman, Management Consultant with Achieving Skills, and Julie Kappenman, Director of Association Compliance Services with Mountain West Credit Union Association. Don't miss this one. Use this link to register.


Our webinars are archived for on-demand viewing three weeks following the live event. The most recent posting is the Member Business Lending, Part II webinar.  Use this link to access all of our webinars.


Our newest video Common Sense Consulting Service

We've heard from many participants about the benefits their credit union received from enrolling in OSCUI's free Consulting Program. Now you can hear firsthand accounts from credit unions as they discuss their experience with the program. You'll also hear from our Economic Development Specialists as they explain their work assisting small and low-income credit unions. Click this link to watch the short video, "OSCUI's Common Sense Consulting Service."


Supervisory Committee video a huge hit

Our Supervisory Committee training modules have logged more than 10,000 views as of the writing of this e-newsletter! Big thanks to those of you who've demonstrated your commitment to continuing education by making it a priority to learn about the primary duties of a credit union's Supervisory Committee.


The video features six, short modules:

  • Supervisory Committee Training Overview
  • Monitoring Management Activities
  • Annual Audit
  • Verification of Member Accounts
  • Handling Member Complaints
  • Resources

Because each module is less than 10 minutes, you may access them at any time without feeling overwhelmed with information. Here's the link.


In response to your requests to make the modules available in another format, we've converted this series to DVD. Email us at for a copy. The online version will remain available.


Recent feedback about our Training service

I've received the e-mail and other information you've sent regarding Supervisory Committee Training. I really appreciate it. I will be asking my colleagues to watch the video or have a group training. This will be very helpful to us.

Rosario Marfori, Sunkist Employees FCU


The training modules are great. My supervisory committee has watched four to date. They clearly define the duties, requirements and provide listings for resources. I highly recommend them for all supervisory committee members and as a 'must watch' for new committee members!

Tandie Kenser, Garland County Educators' FCU


Let us know what you think about the services we offer or your suggestions for other services.  Email OSCUI's Training Division at We'd love to hear from you!


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happeningHappening in OSCUI



We are pleased to welcome two staff members to NCUA and OSCUI, both work in NCUA's Central Office.

  Photo of Jason Penn

Jason  Penn is our Grant and Loan Administrator.  Jason previously served as a Grants Administrator with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Jason's educational background is in finance.  In his spare time, he trains for a half marathon.


Matt Traille is our Management Analyst. Most recently Matt worked for the U.S. Department of State with the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic. Previously, he was a vice president at Wells Fargo where he worked in a number of operational capacities.  Matt and his wife, Jenny, have two children.



Director Myers: During the month of October, OSCUI Director William Myers made presentations to management at NCUA Regional Offices I, III, IV and V; and the Metropolitan Area Credit Union Management Association

on the topic of mergers.  Director Myers also attended meetings with staff of the House Financial Services Committee and a credit union delegation from Kenya.


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OSCUI Partners


The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund has a number of opportunities for CDFI credit unions:

  1. Capacity Building Initiative Series for Native CDFIs: "The Leadership Journey II: Continuing Native CDFI Growth and Excellence," is a comprehensive program of targeted training and technical assistance. NeighborWorks® America will provide the training, assisted by the Seven Sisters Community Development Group. The application deadline is November 20, 2013, 11:59 p.m. [Eastern]. The CDFI Fund will cover the costs of training, technical assistance, travel and hotel accommodations for the CDFIs selected. Link 
  2. "The Role of Market Research in Scaling Microfinance": This is the last in a series of five "Scaling Up Microfinance" webinars. This free webinar will take place November 21, 2013, 1 p.m. [Eastern]. The webinar will address how to access and deploy tools and resources to define and size target markets, assess needs, and generate customer insights. Click here to register. An archive of the series is available, link.
  3. CDFI funds now available: Applications are being accepted for the 2014 funding rounds of the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program. Through these programs, the CDFI Fund makes awards to certified CDFIs that provide financial products and services to low-income communities. The application deadline is December 23, 2013, 12:00 p.m. [Eastern]. Link   


1:1 Fund has a new website: The 1:1 Fund is a platform of CFED that supports the college dreams of low-income children through a matched savings program. CFED is a poverty alleviation organization that works at the local, state and federal levels.


Save Your Refund 2014: The nonprofit Doorways to Dreams Fund is sponsoring a nationwide sweepstakes to encourage saving at tax time. Beginning with the 2014 tax season, filers age 18 and over who are due a federal tax refund and save a portion of that refund using IRS Form 8888, can enter the promotion to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $25,000. Link (Except where prohibited, you may pass this information on to your members.)


7th Annual Financial Literacy Symposium: The New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education will host this conference December 5, 2013 in Mercerville, NJ. Link


New Markets Tax Credit Coalition's 2013 Annual Conference: Will be held December 12 - 13 in Washington, DC. The NMTC was designed to increase the flow of capital to businesses and low income communities by providing tax incentives to private investors. The NMTC Coalition is a national membership organization that advocates on behalf of the NMTC program. Link


9th Annual Educator Conference: The Michigan Jump$tart Coalition will sponsor this financial education conference December 11, 2013 in Detroit. Link


"A Just Economy: Ideas, Action, Impact": Is the theme of the 2014 National Community Reinvestment Coalition's (NCRC) Annual Conference. The conference will be held March 12-15, 2014 in Washington, DC. The conference will include workshops and sessions on housing, access to credit and capital, fair lending, business development, community organizing and workforce and community development. Link


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