March 30, 2011
The Great New England Credit Union Show April 21!
Where else can credit union professionals gather, and see the latest innovations that suppliers have to offer? This conveniently located day-long trade show and education program has been attracting credit union professionals from across the region since it was first introduced in 2009. Credit union CEOs, senior vice presidents, and middle managers have flocked to this event to learn and network and win some pretty nice prizes.
The Great New England Credit Union Show will be held on Thursday, April 21 at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA. Click here to register. The cost to register is $45 or FREE when invited by a participating vendor (hint: invitations are not difficult to come by).
Small business group reiterates MBL support
Saying it is "confident that the nation's credit unions stand ready to extend critical capital to America's small-business owners," the National Small Business Association (NSBA) this week again backed legislation that would lift the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL).
This round of MBL cap lift support came in the form of a letter to Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.). Udall is the chief sponsor of the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S. 509), a bill that would lift the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's total assets. A total of 18 cosponsors have signed on to support that bill since it was introduced on March 8.
The letter called on Congress to do "everything within its power to encourage and expand small-business lending. "If the nation's credit unions stand ready, willing, and able to increase their lending to small firms beyond their current statutory cap of 12.25 percent of assets, then Congress immediately should increase credit unions' small-business lending cap," the letter added. Click here to read the NSBA Letter.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) research has shown that the increased MBL cap could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs. CUNA underscores that these economic benefits come at no cost to taxpayers.
CUNA seeks Treasury backing for interchange delay, MBL and supplemental capital
As part of its ongoing effort to pursue relief for credit unions, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) encouraged the U.S. Treasury Department to support a delay in the debit fee interchange statute's implementation.
In a meeting with Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Lance Auer and others, CUNA also urged the department to continue its support of legislation that would increase the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL). The Obama administration has publicly endorsed the MBL plan that CUNA says would boost both credit availability for small businesses and the jobs market at no cost to taxpayers.
Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has introduced legislation that would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets. Auer indicated that the administration's previous support for this legislation had not changed because the legislation itself has not changed since last year.
CUNA also urged Treasury to support legislative reform to make supplemental capital available to credit unions, pointing out that U.S. credit unions are the only credit cooperatives in the world without access to such capital. CUNA also raised credit union concerns on regulatory examination issues.
On interchange, CUNA asked the Treasury officials to support bills in the House and Senate that would order a delay in the implementation of the interchange rule contained in last year's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. That provision orders the Federal Reserve to set limits on the interchange fee that could be charged to merchants who use the debit card system.
The interchange language was added to the Dodd-Frank bill "at the 11th hour," CUNA notes, without congressional hearings. Although it contains a small-issuer exemption that covers all but three credit unions, CUNA and many other parties are concerned that the small-issuer exemption will not work in practice.
While CUNA maintains that the government should not engage in price-fixing in interchange fees at all, at a minimum the association urges the U.S. Congress to "stop, study, and start over" on the issue, and asked Treasury to add its voice to that message.
Also, as noted, CUNA raised another key credit union issue, noting the important role that supplemental capital could play in enabling credit unions to contribute to the economic recovery by serving their members more extensively.
CUNA releases white paper on branch manager’s changing role
A new white paper from the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Community Credit Union Committee offers insights on the key forces that are changing the role of the branch manager and how credit unions should react.
The paper, titled The Credit Union Branch Manager: A New Leader for a New Era, outlines critical expectations for the next-generation branch manager and the skill sets that must be developed to meet those expectations.
The paper describes a digital shift that is beginning to affect the traditional retail banking model, and the changing role of the branch manager as credit unions see continued proliferation of mobile channels and e-payments. With this unprecedented consumer shift, financial institutions are struggling to determine where the brick-and-mortar branch fits into a future-looking business model--and what role a branch manager will play in the growth and success of their organizations.
The evolution of both the branch and the profile of the branch manager will be a difficult and volatile challenge for credit union executives, according to the white paper. This will be a major topic during strategic planning, annual budgeting and the ongoing execution of the organization's growth plans.
The CUNA Community Credit Union Committee was formed in 2006 to provide support for community credit unions. The committee's purpose is to support and service community credit unions and credit unions considering a community charter through representation of community credit unions' unique legal, legislative and regulatory needs; and education, resources and information.
To download a free copy of The Credit Union Branch Manager: A New Leader for a New Era, use this link.