The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson
President/CEO
6/10/2019

Greetings and Happy Monday!

Like you, I am looking forward to the summer weather and some rest and relaxation, although I wouldn’t put a new home and moving under the R & R categories. That’s what I have ahead of me at the end of this month. Exciting, yet hectic. Wish me luck!

On the credit union front, I joined my fellow league presidents in Washington, D.C. last week for the CUNA/AACUL (American Association of Credit Union Leagues) meetings. Our discussion focused on diversity, league governance, collaboration, league-system partners, and member value proposition and dues.  

As always, while in our nation’s capital, I hit Capitol Hill to visit with our congressional representatives. With Congress pretty much deadlocked on nearly every issue, it’s clear that not much will get accomplished this session, or perhaps until the 2020 election. Therefore, I focused on meetings with our two Senate Banking Committee members, Senator Rounds (SD) and Senator Cramer (ND) and regulator oversight, where we have the best opportunity to make positive inroads on regulatory relief. Specifically, we are focused on modernization of the Federal Credit Union Act.

In a nutshell, the financial services landscape is quickly changing, and the FCU Act has fallen behind the times. It is time for modernization. I shared several items on our FCU wish list for the upcoming year. Some are small, minor revisions, but certainly improvements, including:

  • Permit credit unions to establish their own fiscal year;
  • Eliminate a requirement to file certain information regarding loan officers;
  • Enhance flexibility of FCUs to schedule board meetings;
  • Remove outdated responsibilities of FCU board of directors;
  • The expulsion of disruptive members for just cause by the board or management;
  • Permit electronic balloting for conversions from state to federal charter and from federal to state charter.

Both of our senators were receptive to the modernization suggestions. We will continue to have dialogue and reach out to their offices with recommendations.

 

ND DFI Commissioner asking ALL credit unions to weigh in on Appraiser Waiver Application.

The Appraisal Waiver Application has been accepted and entered into the Federal registry, and we now have the opportunity to comment and share the impact on the scarcity and resulting delays in obtaining appraisals. ND DFI Commissioner Lise Kruse is asking credit unions to consider commenting. 

Here are some specifics to keep in mind:

  • This is a waiver of licensing requirement for appraisals. An appraisal is still needed; however, it can be conducted by anyone you deem qualified. Therefore, refrain from using the word “evaluation” since it creates confusion about our request.
  • The thresholds we are asking for were established after talking to the industry on what you found to be true relief.
  • The decision makers have most likely not been to North Dakota. They have limited concept of the distances we travel and how large our counties are.
  • Although comments are accepted on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, we recommend that you use the Federal registry, since that is the official site for requested comments.
  • The appraiser industry across the nation is certain to provide lots of feedback and comments on this, which is why it is important that your voice is also heard.
  • Comments are due by July 1, 2019.

Thank you again for your support on this issue. We do have a sample comment letter that is available for our members. Contact Amy Kleinschmit, Chief Compliance Officer for a copy.

 

South Dakota Healthcare Trust update – Information still needed.

The response from South Dakota credit unions who are interested in joining the healthcare trust has been terrific. So far, nearly half of our member credit unions have expressed an interest and are participating in the preliminary claims review. Those credit unions that are interested, or want to consider joining the CUAD HBT January 1, 2020, must complete the review process. Again, I want to reiterate that simply participating in the claims review DOES NOT mean you are opting in on the Trust for 2020; it is simply a necessary process for consideration. If you don’t participate in the review process, you will not be allowed to join in 2020.

Those of you that have not responded should have received a second request for information. We do need you response NO LATER THAN Friday, June 28th by noon (CDT). Also, we are in the process of hosting an informational conference call for South Dakota or North Dakota members who want to learn more. You will receive an email invite with instructions.

A review of key points:

  • For us to develop health insurance plan options and premiums for the SD CUAD members, the underwriters must to have the requested data from all SD CUAD members who MIGHT DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE in the Trust.
  • The actuaries need at least 6 to 8 weeks to develop our premium rates and plan options for you to choose from, so we are asking for your cooperation in getting the data back to us very soon.
  • Once the plans and premiums are developed, we will provide you this information and be available to meet by conference call or in person, to answer any questions you or your board members may have.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions at jolson@cuad.coop.

Have a great week!

 

 

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