Greetings – It’s great to have boots back on the ground here in the Dakotas after another successful Legislative & Regulatory “Hike-the-Hill” trip to Washington, DC. Technically, this was our tenth such event (we had to skip 2020 and 2021 due to COVID), and I can say that it was good to be back in the District to personally engage with our regulators and congressional leaders.
Because of our direct involvement and personal engagement last week, we successfully secured support on bi-partisan credit union specific legislation in both chambers as Senator Cramer (ND) agreed to co-sponsor S.4323; and Congressman Dustin Johnson (SD) and Congressman Kelly Armstrong (ND) will be supporting H.R.6869, legislation that will enhance credit union board meeting flexibility.
We also pushed to preserve the integrity of a well-functioning debit and credit card electronic payment system by asking our Dakota legislators to oppose S.4674. Interchange fees make it possible for credit unions to offer members and consumers low-cost access to credit. These fractions of a penny-per-dollar transacted ensures that consumers are protected from bad actors that are exploiting retailers’ and merchants’ poor data and security measures. These meetings provided our Dakota credit unions opportunity to discuss how rising credit card fraud is not only impacting operations but harming our members as well.
In addition, we engaged regulators on overdraft protection matters that impact our members, as well as appraisal issues, member expulsion, and statutory maturity changes on commercial loans.
As visiting restrictions continue to loosen up in DC and at the Capitol in particular, we were able to meet with all of our lawmakers in their offices on the Hill. While we were able to meet with Chairman Harper at NCUA Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, we utilized Credit Union House on Capitol Hill to meet with CFBP Director Chopra and NCUA Directors Hood and Hauptman. Amy Kleinschmit covered the regulatory visits extensively in Friday's Compliance Update.
Dakota event at CU House a smash success!
I’m pleased to share that we hosted our first ever Dakota delegation CULAC social and political event at Credit Union House as well. All six of our Dakota Lawmakers came to our “home away from home” in DC for an informal social and gathering with our Dakota credit union advocates. The event was a huge success as each member took a moment to thank Dakota credit unions for their support, but also to share details and insight on what is likely to transpire legislatively over the next few months leading up to the election and a potential lame duck session after.
Two weeks to New Ideas Conference – last chance to sign up!
It’s hard to believe our fall conference is just two weeks away, but no worries as there is still time to register, if you act by this Thursday, September 22. Today, I want to bring your attention to one of our presenters, Sean Raboin with HTG Architects, one of our preferred member services providers. We all know that it’s a challenge to find meaningful interactions with our credit union members as more and more services become automated and virtual. If you find yourself looking out at an empty lobby and searching for ways for your staff to become more engaged with members and potential members, you cannot afford to miss this conference. Check out the humorous (but poignant) video from Sean here. More information about all the New Ideas presenters and topics can be found here.
Dakota Credit Union Foundation E-Bike Raffle Tickets Still Available.
Tickets sales have been brisk, but there are still many available to purchase and support the financial well-being efforts of the Dakota Credit Union Foundation. Remember, only 250 tickets will be sold and we’re fast approaching the end of the event. The prize drawing will be held at the New Ideas Conference on October 4th for the pair of Ride1UP 700 series electric bikes, a prize worth $3,390! One suggestion – any credit union can buy up to five (5) tickets and if they are the winner, they could use as a prize at their annual meeting or for any other member incentive. Shipping to the destination of the winner’s choice is included! Get your tickets and learn more here.
This week Pints & Politics
We are just 50 days away from the general election and our legislative chapter events are in full swing. These events are an important part of our ongoing advocacy efforts. While we have hosted three events so far, our credit union attendance and participation has been disappointing. We really need our credit union leaders to step up and be engaged in these efforts.
We have two Pints & Politics events happening this week: Tuesday, September 20th in Huron at 6:00 p.m. at Top Floor, and Thursday, September 22 at the VFW in Devils Lake starting at 5:15 p.m. These events are designed to educate legislators and candidates about the credit union difference, and to discuss legislative agenda items for the upcoming session. I hope to see many of you there – you can find more details and other upcoming meetings here.
Kudos to First Community CU
Congratulations to Steve Schmitz and the crew at First Community CU on being named to the “Top 50 Best Places to Work” list by Prairie Business magazine. This is quite an honor, and it’s the third consecutive year they have made the list! Prairie Business is distributed nationally, and covers business news in North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Minnesota.
Congratulations Black Hills FCU
I would also like to extend my congratulations to Jerry Schmidt and the entire team at Black hills FCU on their new project – a location in Box Elder, SD. The new Member Service Center will provide the city of Box Elder, along with outlying communities east of Rapid City, with even more convenient access. We are always excited to see the continued growth of our Dakota credit unions!
Three Dakota CUs Named as Top Mortgage Originators
Finally, I want to send a shout out to three Dakota credit unions that landed on the Peer-to-Peer data review by Callahan & Associates for Top 300 Mortgage Originations by Credit Unions. The nationwide calculations included total originated first mortgages, outstanding first mortgages, sold first mortgages, and loans sold but serviced by the credit union. Congratulations to: Black Hills FCU #234; Town & Country CU #270; and Dakotaland FCU #290. You can see the entire report here.
Have a great week,
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