Greetings and Happy Monday.
Here we are, just three weeks from our 15th Annual Summit in Fargo. It’s been far too long since many of us had the opportunity to meet, visit and share in person. Like many of you, I’m truly looking forward to being together and celebrating our movement. We have been promoting the Summit for several weeks already, and I’m pleased to share that registrations have been very brisk, and we are gearing up for a terrific turnout. Also, we have just added Eric Chester as the new keynote mainstage presenter for Tuesday!
Eric Chester is an award-winning speaker and bestselling author with expertise on finding, engaging, and keeping great employees. We are very excited to have engaged someone of his caliber – it’s quite possible you have already read one of his five bestselling books on employee development. Be sure to check out the feature story in the Memo today to learn more about his credentials. Eric will be replacing Michael Burger who had to cancel due to some personal health issues. If you are ready to reconnect with your credit union friends, I hope you will register now. I look forward to seeing many of you in Fargo May 3 – 4.
DakCU Hosts Small CU Webinar.
More than 200 credit union professionals from across the country joined the Small CU Webinar, “How grants can benefit your credit union” last Tuesday, hosted by your association along with Tawney Brunsch (Director of Lakota Funds) and Mike Beall (CU Strategic Planning). If you are interested in learning more about CDFI grants and/or becoming Low Income Designated, you can read more about the information presented here. As a reminder, there are a few sessions remaining in the Small Credit Union series, one on each of the next three Tuesdays. If you are interested in joining, you can still register here. Once registered, you can also view previously recorded sessions.
Successful In-District Hike the Hill Meeting with Senator Cramer.
Last week, a group of Dakota credit union leaders and advocates spent over an hour with Senator Cramer and his staff at his Bismarck office. We shared specific steps Dakota credit unions took to serve their members and communities in response to the COVID challenges, and several shared their successes in helping members through the Paycheck Protection Program as well as the challenges they faced, such as the ever-changing and unclear SBA guidance. Credit unions that serve ag communities also shared their frustration in helping farmers and producers. Many shared that the second phase was more “farmer friendly” and allowed more options for reimbursements; however, many operators were not eligible for the second phase since they had already received PPP reimbursements during phase one and lost out on the prospect of additional reimbursements.
Credit union leaders then went around the horn and shared the challenges that the stimulus package and personal checks have had on our capital levels and net ratios. Deposits in credit unions have swelled during the crisis, largely a result of government stimulus and changes in consumer spending and savings habits. Credit unions are increasingly investing these funds in zero and low-risk assets, such as shorter-term Treasury Securities. We stressed that these deposits and resulting investments have caused a decrease in the net worth ratio for many credit unions and hence the need to call for the NCUA to follow the lead of other federal banking regulators and exclude such investments, as well as 10 percent of deposits held at the Federal Reserve, from the net worth ratio calculation. We also discussed how the NCUA board needs to adopt an interim final rule to provide Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) relief.
Since the Senator serves on the Senate Banking Committee which has oversight of the NCUA and CFPB, many members shared their thoughts and concerns on the prospect of shared insurance premium increases, as well as a slew of prospective new rules and regulations that would put major burdens on operations and our ability to serve members properly and efficiently. Lastly, we shared the need to pass the “Safe Banking Act” as well as strong, consistent privacy and data security measures for consumers. Senator Cramer is a co-sponsor of The SAFE Banking Act.
A big shout out and heartfelt thanks to all those North Dakota CU leaders that participated in this Hike the Hill opportunity. Have a great week!
Dakota Credit Union Association
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