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Advocacy News

League ensuring pro-CU provisions of budget endure in the Senate
The fight isn’t over, which is why the League government affairs team isn’t resting when it comes to shepherding pro-credit union provisions of the biennium state budget passed earlier this month by the Ohio House to make sure they remain untouched as the bill is considered by the Senate. Additionally, the League is working with Senators to ensure that language related to accessing linked deposit programs is completely consistent between banks and credit unions and doesn’t treat one more favorably than another.

The pro-credit union, OCUL-supported provisions of the budget include:
- Language permitting credit unions to partner with the Treasurer of State’s Office to administer an interest-rate reduction for small business partners on new or existing small business and agri-business loans, which is similar to House Bill 415 from the last General Assembly.
- Permission to use a secure, remote portal to notarize legal documents, such as mortgage or HELOC closing forms, saving the member time and money during the real estate settlement process.
- Raising the current limit of $1,000 for a cashier/certified check during a real estate settlement to $10,000. Further, the use of all electronic financial instruments, not just a wire, would be permitted for a credit union when moving funds from an escrow account.

League Managers of Legislative and Political Advocacy Cory Fleming and Emily Leite are present daily in the Statehouse as the Senate works through its process, meeting with Senators, affirming how the pro-credit union provisions empower Ohioans, and reinforcing the need for equal treatment between banks and credit unions in regards to accessing the linked deposit accounts. Interested in learning more about the bill? Connect with Cory or Emily.

CUs successfully delay vote impacting MBL practices
360-degree advocacy means legislators stop to consider your interests before voting on a bill. And a recent move by the League helped stop an impending vote on legislation altering the confession of judgment process for member business loans and further limiting cognovit clauses. Leveraging testimony before the House Financial Institutions Committee, the League tapped Greg Kidwell from Pathways Financial CU, who highlighted the need to responsibly balance lender and borrower rights. Kidwell and the others’ testimony succeeded in making the committee decide to take more time to consider the bill’s impact. Your League continues engaging with the bill sponsor and committee members to craft revised cognovit rules that do not impact credit unions’ operations. What concerns do you have about altering confession of judgment practices used in member business lending? Let League Manager of Legislative and Political Advocacy Emily Leite know at (800) 486-2917, ext. 270, or eleite@ohiocul.org.

League in D.C. to talking interchange cap, 1-to-4 legislation
As a system, our aggregate power provides you with daily “boots on the ground” representation in Congress and the Ohio Statehouse, which means experts on staff at the League and CUNA are exclusively representing and protecting your interest as policymakers make decisions impacting you, such as eliminating the interchange cap.

What does this look like? In just one day: It’s League VP of Government Affairs Patrick Harris in D.C. boldly standing outside the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing room to track down U.S. Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus), Warren Davidson (R-Troy), and Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) as the CHOICE Act debate occurred. Patrick nabbed Davidson’s aide to reinforce the importance of keeping language in the bill that removes the interchange cap, which remained a part of the bill as it passed out of committee along bi-partisans lines. It’s Patrick and CUNA lobbyist Robert Flock spending time with Congressman Stivers about a regulatory relief strategy moving forward. It’s Patrick and CUNA lobbyist Phil Drager also engaging U.S. Senator Rob Portman about enabling credit unions to classify liens on one-to-four, non-owner occupied residential units as “residential loans,” as banks do, rather than as “small business loans,” which would exempt these loans from the arbitrary member business lending cap and enable them to serve more people.

CU system wins! CDFI funded in full, thanks to CUs-League-CUNA efforts
Not long ago, a budget proposal in Congress’ hands would have “zeroed out” funding of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) grant program. Hearing your outcry that this would hurt credit unions’ service to members, the League and CUNA took up the fight to protect the funding, and it has been restored, plus some. The U.S. House and Senate passed a spending package that funds the program with $248 million, an increase of $14 million over the previous fiscal year, which President Trump signed last week. In April, League staff in Washington, D.C. meeting with Ohioans on the House Appropriations Committee requested the program be funded and provided specific examples of how the fund allows credit unions to fulfill their mission. “This is a great example of how advocacy can have a direct impact on a specific outcome,” said Patrick Harris, League VP of Government Affairs. “The League requested stories from credit unions and several responded. Those stories made a difference and we can’t thank credit unions enough.”

PZC updates: Demonstrating our strength in numbers
If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu! Make sure Congress is aware of credit unions’ significant population by updating your Project ZIP Code (PZC) numbers. You’ve grown and we want the PZC numbers to reflect that, so please take 15 minutes to run the secure program to help us accurately represent to state and federal legislators the size and influence of credit unions. PZC identifies the number of credit union members in each state and federal legislative district, which your League and CUNA use when urging lawmakers to vote for legislation benefiting the Movement. For maximum impact, each Ohio credit union is asked to run the simple and secure program. Presently, only 157 have ever run PZC, and only 12 have updated the program since April 2017. Download the latest version of PZC. If you have questions, contact League Manager of Legislative and Political Advocacy Emily Leite at (800) 486-2917, ext. 207, or eleite@ohiocul.org.

June 21 Haynes Circle webinar: Metrics for driving membership growth
When there are so many performance measurements to monitor and so little time, what’s a credit union to do? First, know which sales and marketing metrics are meaningful. Second, learn how to use traditional tools and new platforms to create a marketing and delivery scorecard. And the June 21 Haynes Circle webinar will outline exactly how to get started. A complimentary webinar as part of your League membership, you’ll learn how to create a 12-factor scorecard that helps your credit union optimize data, sales, and marketing initiatives; drive revenue and maximize lifetime member profitability; and engage all levels of your credit union in support for member growth, relationships, and experiences. That’s a lot to gain from a 60-minute webinar! Register today.

Compliance isn’t fun, but the League makes it easier
In today’s fast-changing environment, compliance departments face many regulatory challenges with finite resources. Thanks to your credit union’s membership with the League, you have access to seven PolicyWorks compliance experts, available daily to answer your questions. The regulatory environment is ever-changing, and that’s why the compliance hotline’s main objective is providing you expert support every business day on any compliance problems your credit union may encounter. The knowledge and timeliness of the seven experts answering the hotline, as well as the other PolicyWorks staff with decades of experience as attorneys and former regulatory examiners, is at your fingertips. Connect with them at (844) 731-6073 or OCULCompliance@policyworksllc.com. Compliance isn’t fun, but the League has member benefits like the hotline to make it easier to tackle.

Peer ah-ha moments at i48, Part 1: Point of purchase still a top priority
Nothing represents the core of credit union lending more than auto loans, so as consumers change their buying habits, it is important to stay informed to position yourself for continued success. To keep you abreast of the trends, a panel of industry experts explored the market forces impacting credit union auto lending during InVest48, answering questions directly from the audience. Their sharing revealed that, in today's market, it is no secret that most vehicle sales are financed at a dealership through a lease or an indirect loan. The majority of questions focused on the indirect space, and panelist stressed the importance of dealer relationship management and being a good partner to your auto dealer network. "Responsiveness is key; when you can ensure credit answers in a timely manner, within 3 to 4 minutes, the finance managers and producers will recognize your effort and reward it," said Don Bader, VP of Business Development for CRIF Lending Solutions. In addition to indirect, the panelist discussed credit unions’ increased interest in the leasing market and encouraged thorough due diligence when entering the space. The group also stressed the value of strong member relations practices and unique incentives to increase the viability of direct loan initiatives.

OCUL Services Corporation has services to help you grow and manage your auto program, including options for indirect, leasing, lending technology, loan analytics, and managing credit risk. To explore how OSC can help you drive auto lending success, contact VP of Business Development Adam Kearns at (800) 486-2917, ext. 237, or akearns@ohiocul.org.

Expand your community impact; join a CU Outreach Alliance
“People helping people” is the backbone of the Credit Union Movement, and each day people like you are reinforcing the integrity of that mission as they utilize Ohio’s Credit Union Outreach Alliances to extend their impact on the community.

What is a Credit Union Outreach Alliance? A similar way to ask this question might be: “What is a family of financial professionals who care more about what they can give than what they can get?” It looks like the many Credit Union Outreach Alliances that offer financial scholarships in these days of student debt crisis. It’s the seas of students experiencing interactive financial education through several Alliances hosting “Mad City Money” and “Finance 101” reality games that give them hands-on experience with financial life choices. It’s strapping on some gloves, overalls, and rubber boots with the Southwest CU Outreach Alliance to clean up a community river. An Alliance can be whatever is relevant to your credit union members and community.

If these opportunities are something that interests you, the League welcomes you to explore the Credit Union Outreach Alliances, learn about their individual focuses and activities, and find one to join. If you’d like to learn more, contact League Manager of Governance and Corporate Support Melanie Koch at (800) 486-2917, ext. 207, or mkoch@ohiocul.org.

Tips to share with members about smart summer traveling and spending
Spend more of your spring enjoying the sunshine rather than writing content for your credit union’s marketing and communication channels with ready-to-use content from the League. The Monthly Marketing Toolkit provides savvy consumer spending tips to share with your members. Each month, this toolkit from the League provides timely, helpful content to use in your credit union's communication channels (newsletters, websites, blogs, social media, etc.). May’s Monthly Marketing Toolkit provides consumer tips on wisely planning a summer vacation. If you have questions, contact League Public Relations Manager Kimberly Stewart at (800) 486-2917, ext. 248, or kstewart@ohiocul.org.

Curious how the League’s working for you? Follow us on social media
What does the League do for you? Follow us on social media and we’ll show you. Through the various social media avenues -- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram -- we keep you up-to-date on how we’re working to help your credit union succeed, alert you to important issues that may help or hinder your credit union, and remind you of tools available to streamline your workload. We are all in this together. Follow and like the League on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and watch us increase the power and awareness of the Credit Union Movement one retweet, like, and share at a time.

What are you puzzling over? An answer awaits you on Huddle
Are you wondering what penalties others charge for early withdrawal of share certificates, looking to compare notes on online/mobile banking vendors, or seeking options for a cost-effective third-party document scanning service? Your peers’ thoughts and experiences on these and hundreds of other topics await you on Huddle, the private online community for Ohio’s credit unions. You can get input from peers throughout the state, right from your desk, by simply starting or joining a discussion. Huddle is available for all staff and volunteers as a benefit of your credit union’s membership with the League. Join the conversation at my.OhioCreditUnions.org.

Spam, shams, and other scams: CMG covers all
Scams, scams…go away! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Spam, shams, and other scams are on the rise, warns CUNA Mutual Group (CMG). Fraudsters use clever schemes to defraud millions of people for billions of dollars every year. In fact, 27 million Americans lost a total of $7.4 billion to telephone scams alone in 2015, according to a survey by TrueCaller. Fraudsters are crafty. They pressure people to make important decisions on the spot by using innovative schemes and new twists on age-old scams. Their multi-channel approach can involve phone calls, e-mails, online banking, and mobile technology. Fraudsters look for victims who find their stories convincing and willingly share sensitive information, which can be used to authorize and transact wires, ACH, plastic card, and other types of transactions. Read this article from CMG for more details about how fraudsters are targeting your members through spam, shams, and scams.