Greetings and Happy Monday~
Dakota CU Leaders Meet with Senate Offices Over Concerns with NCUA Strategic Plan
Last Friday, several credit union leaders from North and South Dakota jumped on a virtual call with senior legislative aides from Senator Cramer’s (ND) and Senator Round’s (SD) offices to share our concerns on language included in the NCUA’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.
Specifically, concerns with the language included on page 12 of the plan regarding climate-related financial risks, which states that credit unions need to consider climate-related financial risks and how they may impact their institutional performance.
The NCUA plan states that some industries may affect climate change and that “changing weather patterns will disproportionately affect farming communities.” The plan goes on to state, “credit unions may need to consider adjustments to their fields of membership as well as types of loan products they offer,” and goes even further, adding “the agency will need to adapt to its risks monitoring framework to account for climate-related threats to financial stability, the credit union system and the Share Insurance Fund.”
Could this directive lead to more scrutiny for Dakota credit unions with ag related and/or with portfolios supporting the energy sector moving forward? The language is concerning to Dakota credits unions that are engaged in farm and ranch lending, supporting livestock producers, and supporting energy sector businesses. This initiative doesn’t come as a surprise to us, and it isn’t the first time we heard it. Chairman Harper teed up similar language to Dakota credit unions leaders during our virtual meeting in September where he stated, “We are actively monitoring certain segments of the system, including credit unions closely connected to the oil and gas industry and the agricultural sectors.”
The purpose of bringing this to the attention of our Senate Banking Committee members was to make clear that many of our Dakota credit unions were founded for the purpose of providing financial support and operating capital in their rural communities, and that this language could lead or force credit unions to revise their current business strategies in their respective regions.
The comment period on the NCUA strategic plan is open until January 24th. The association is currently drafting our comment letter and we are strongly encouraging our ag lending and rural communities to provide comment as well. We’ll be providing further background information to our members prior to the comment deadline. Meanwhile, please reach to Amy Kleinschmit for additional talking points and help with your comment letters.
NDSU Champions in “Border Battle” Victory over Montana State
As most everyone across North Dakota already knows, the North Dakota State Bison earned their 9th National FCS Football championship with a convincing win over Montana State in a game played in Frisco, TX on Saturday. The Bison win earns the Dakota Credit Union Association bragging rights in our friendly wager with our friends and colleagues from the Montana Credit Union League.
The good-spirited contest allowed the two credit leagues to use the event to raise awareness and funds for our Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Collectively we generated $6,195 in support, and while the Bison won the big game, Montana credit unions won the fund raising battle with $3,510 pledged in Montana to $2,685 in North Dakota.
My good friend and colleague, Traci Kenyon, President/CEO of the Montana Credit Unions is such a good sport that she has agreed to don a green and gold jersey during our combined MonDak Roundtable conference in Las Vegas next month. We’ll be sure to get some pictures!
Congratulations to our Roger Heacock Scholarship Recipients
I am very pleased to announce that the ND and SD GAC Committees have approved four Roger Heacock Scholarships for Dakota credit union professionals attending the GAC in Washington, DC next month. Congratulations to: Chad Bartosh, Chief Lending Officer, Railway CU; Lacey Fetch, CEO, University FCU; Tyler Gross, Loan Analyst, Sioux Valley Co-op FCU; and Andy Kronaizl, VP of Lending, Vermillion FCU. Be sure to check out the complete story included in today’s Memo.
New Requirements for GAC Attendees
As a reminder, you can refer back to the DakCU GAC “one stop” page for the latest on mask and vaccine requirements for indoor venues, including the Convention Center where the GAC will be held. The situation is fluid and we are paying close attention. As of now, anyone over age 12 must be fully vaccinated by February 15, 2022.
CUNA has agreed to remove any cancelation deadlines on registrations; however, the hotel deadline to cancel is January 31st. If you are in the DakCU hotel block and want to cancel, please reach out to Debbie Kruckenberg for assistance.
Voyage FCU Announces New Building Project
Last week, Voyage FCU announced plans to build a branch at the former Gage Brothers site off I-29 and 12th Street in Sioux Falls. This branch will replace their existing location on Kiwanis Avenue, and construction will begin as soon as possible. Congratulations to Jeff Schmidt and the entire crew at Voyage on this new venture! We look forward to visiting your new site as soon as you are moved in and ready for company.
Opportunity for Lenders
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it is deploying $100 million under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to make available nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees to back private investment in processing and food supply infrastructure that will strengthen the food supply chain for the American people. The funding is available through the American Rescue Plan Act, and these efforts are to address food system challenges, and ultimately deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for farmers, as well as provide greater access to healthier foods and help eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain. Approved lenders may provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies and people in rural and urban areas. Be sure to check out the full Memo story for additional information.
See You Soon in Pierre!
I hope to see many of you in Pierre, as we are heading back to the South Dakota State Capitol for our annual Legislative Social and CU Roundtable on January 26, 2022. Complete agenda along with hotel information and registration can be found here. This is a free event for DakCU members; however, we do want you to register so we can plan accordingly. I hope to see many of you there!
Have a great week!
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