NeighborBench

Media Contact:
Joy Audet
602.688.4569

NeighborBench and Mountain West Credit Union Association Partner to Help More Credit Unions Address Compliance Challenges  

February 28, 2012 – (Denver, CO, Phoenix, AZ and Rockville, MD) – NeighborBench, a provider of advanced compliance solutions for credit unions, and the Mountain West Credit Union Association, have entered into a strategic partnership offering credit unions compliance solutions.

 

Mountain West Credit Union Association has offered compliance solutions regionally since 2008 and through this new partnership is now the national primary distributor of NeighborBench’s unique compliance solution.

 

“We’re thrilled about this new partnership,” said Ken Wolff, Founder of NeighborBench. “Mountain West Credit Union Assocition is known for providing high quality compliance review services. With our solution, they will be able to significantly expand their reach and help address credit unions’ compliance needs nationally.”

 

“Managing regulatory compliance is one of the greatest challenges our credit unions are facing,” said Scott Earl, President and CEO of Mountain West Credit Union Association. “The NeighborBench solution adds a powerful automated and online element to our Compliance Solutions tool that will help credit unions address this challenge.”

 

NeighborBench’s unique compliance solution combines the latest in automated tools with experienced professionals to help reduce the primary challenges of compliance: cost, time, resource requirements, and the disruptive nature of traditional consulting firm solutions. Learn more at www.neighborbench.com.
About the Mountain West Credit Union Association
The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 154 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $29 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low cost financial services to their members.  Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports member credit unions through advocacy, communications, community outreach, education & training, operations, public affairs and regulatory & compliance services. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and CUNA Mutual Group.
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Introducing: Strategic Partners

Media Contact 
Joy Audet
602.688.4569

   Mountain West Credit Union Association Introduces Strategic Partners Inc.,
a Reinvented Service Corporation

 Phoenix, AZ, Denver, CO and Casper, WY (02/14/2012)— As of January, 2012 the recently formed Mountain West Credit Union Association has leveraged their combined strength to better serve their member credit unions through the newly merged and reinvented service corporation, Strategic Partners Inc., a subsidiary of the Mountain West Credit Union Association. 

The Mountain West Credit Union Association’s board of directors voted in favor of merging the service corporations and elected a new board of directors for the organization in January of 2012.

President/CEO of Mountain West Credit Union Association, Scott Earl said, “Together we are better equipped to leverage our strength, providing our member credit unions with increased value for years to come.”

Mike Williams, Board Chairman said “Bringing our service corporations together as one unit was the appropriate next step in unifying our credit unions.” He continued; “I have great confidence in the success of the organization as a collaborative network.”

The Mountain West Credit Union Association Board of Directors includes a representative number of directors from each state the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves.

Chairman
Mike Williams, President/CEO, Colorado Credit Union

Vice-Chair
Bob Ramirez, President/CEO, Vantage West Credit Union

Members:
Larry Knopp, President/CEO, UniWyo Federal Credit Union
Nathanael Tarwasokono, President/CEO, Pima Federal Credit Union
Horacio Peralta, President/CEO, B.C.S. Community Credit Union
Rainy Thoen, President/CEO, Community Choice Credit Union
Sandy Neves, President/CEO, Fitzsimons Federal Credit Union
Jim Barber, President/CEO,  Minnequa Works Credit Union
Jay Curtis, President/CEO, First Credit Union

 
About the Mountain West Credit Union Association
The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 154 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $29 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low cost financial services to their members.  Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports member credit unions through advocacy, communications, community outreach, education & training, operations, public affairs and regulatory & compliance services. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and CUNA Mutual Group. 
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CU4Kids 2012 Kick off Breakfast

Media Contact
Joy Audet
602.688.4569

  Children’s Miracle Network kicked off 2012 with Credit Unions for Kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital with One Darn Cool School.

 
Phoenix, AZ (02/09/2012) – Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) hosted a breakfast for Arizona’s credit unions on February 8, 2012 to kick off 2012 and honor the support that credit unions have shown throughout 2011 and in years past.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital presented awards to the top five fundraising credit unions and another to the credit union with the highest increase in fundraising.  Desert Schools Federal Credit Union raised an impressive $329,280.  Followed by Arizona Central Credit Union at $26,577, TruWest Credit Union with $25,000, followed by First Credit Union with $8,550 and Mountain West Credit Union Association with $8,000.
 
Funds raised by Phoenix credit unions support One Darn Cool School, an accredited K-12 school located within Phoenix Children’s Hospital and available to all PCH patients from admittance through school reentry and more.

Arizona’s credit unions raised a total of $429,000 in 2011 and have raised more than $4 million since 1994 through Credit Unions for Kids for Children’s Miracle Network, supporting both Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Tucson Medical Center.
Photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.
About the Mountain West Credit Union Association
The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 154 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $29 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low cost financial services to their members.  Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports member credit unions through advocacy, communications, community outreach, education & training, operations, public affairs and regulatory & compliance services. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and CUNA Mutual Group. 
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Changes to filing CTRs and SARs under the Bank Secrecy Act

As you may be aware, on December 20, 2011, FinCEN announced that the deadline for financial institutions to require the use of FinCEN’s new electronic filing process for CTRs and SARs is extended from June 30, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
 
http://www.fincen.gov/whatsnew/html/20111220.html

Note!  This regulation is “preliminary” at this point.  There are a number of webinars beginning to be offered on this topic.  However, the revised forms and details for filing are not yet available.  Substantial action is not required by credit unions at this point!  When the relevant information is published, we will schedule a timely webinar.  Our goal is to make the most of your training dollars!  You need not attend a “preliminary” webinar and yet another webinar when the final rules and forms are issued.

You can count on Mountain West Credit Union Association to keep you informed.  Watch your email for upcoming webinars or click here to view the entire schedule.

Fair Share Is Headed Your Way

 
Each year your Credit Union Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming and The Credit Union Foundation of Arizona help advance the credit union movement by promoting credit union leadership, education, social responsibility, and supporting long-term success in our credit union community.  Now, here is an easy way to support the Credit Union Foundations and contribute to the success of our movement by including your Foundation Fair Share donation with your 2012 dues statement.

Fair Share is a modest 7 cents per member, or interested credit unions can make a donation at the Foundation Leadership level by donating 10 cents per member.  These important donations will be used to support affordable financial services, credit union development, financial education, leadership development, and education.  Additionally, your donation will be used to support Foundation initiatives in your home state.

Credit Union Leadership Institute

“Leaders for Life”   

CU Leadership Institute is an exceptional series of in-depth workshops designed to develop your next generation of leaders.  This is not your ordinary school or class. 

It  is performance based instruction which teaches the art of leadership with well-focused guided practices that encourages interactive participation and discussions.  It is the direct application of concepts shaped specifically for credit unions that makes the CU Leadership Institute unique.

Now accepting nominations.  The Wyoming Series will commence March 6-7, 2012 and the Arizona Series will begin March 13-14, 2012.  Click on the Education tab and then scroll down to Leadership Institutue for all the details. 

Regulation Z: Credit Counseling Required

Regulation Z Revisited:
Credit Counseling Required?
Provided by:
Chad M. Gentry, Executive Director
Community Credit Counseling Services


Here are a few facts about Regulation Z that you may find interesting:

 
6.5 ft – The height of the banking regulations changes from 2010 if printed on single sheets of paper and stacked vertically.
270  – The number of pages in Regulation Z Part II issued by the Federal Reserve.  (Read it here: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-624.pdf)
27 – The number of pages in the summary of coming changes issued in 2009 by CUNA! (Read it here: http://www.cuna.org/download/rcc_101409.pdf)
74 –The number of times Credit Counseling is referenced throughout the regulation.

Given this information, you can start to understand why the credit union industry is feeling the pressure regarding the increased costs of the new regulatory environment.   One important measure implemented in Regulation Z is that if you offer your members credit cards (open ended lines of credit), then you are required to provide a 1-800# on card statements in order to connect card holders with at least three credit counseling resources.

How does this 1-800# translate to your credit union from a compliance and cost standpoint?

As of February 2010 your members’ credit card statements are required to provide a contact number to a minimum of three credit counseling resources. These credit counseling resources must be non-profit 501(c)(3) debt management and credit counseling agencies.  A qualified agency must:

  • Be on the Federal Trustee’s approved list,
  • Provide services in the footprint where your clients live,
  • Provide qualified and certified counselors,
  • Provide adequate provisions for safe keeping of client funds,
  • Make all services available to the public regardless of ability to pay,
  • Provide trained counselors who receive no commissions.

 

To make matters even more complicated, the 1-800# itself must fulfill additional qualifications:

  • Must provide three credit counseling options that are approved by United States Trustee,
  • Must provide websites as an access point to these credit counseling agencies,
  • Must provide counselors in the foot print where the member is located,
  • Must provide a resource in at least one language other than English.

Many credit unions attempt to fulfill these requirements by offering the phone number to their own customer service department where they have trained credit union staff filter calls and provide resources for credit counseling.  Unfortunately, while this may be cost effective in the short term, it is NOT in compliance with the guidelines. 

The following non-profit credit counseling services are offered to Mountain West Credit Union Association Members:

  • Community Credit Counseling Services is offering there service to Association members throughout Colorado.   Contact Chad M. Gentry at 303.233.2773 for more information.
    www.community-credit.org
  • Take Charge America is a resource available through REAL Solutions.  Contact Paul Nichols at Take Charge America at (623) 266-6286 for more information.  www.takechargeamerica.org

  • GreenPath Debt Solutions is a credit counseling service available through CUNA Strategic Services.  Contact partnerrelations@greenpath.com or 1.866.809.8913 for more information.  (In Wyoming was previously known as: Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Colorado and Southeast Wyoming)  www.greenpath.com

 

2012 Western States Volunteers’ Conference: The Game Changer

Leading your credit union is a labor of love but challenges in regulations, laws, and the economy make it difficult to focus on what you love most about your volunteer role.  It’s time to change the way this game is played.  The 2012 Western States Volunteers’ Conference delivers you simple and effective ideas that will bring results to your credit union.  Learn tactics to break out of the board room and bring leadership back to your role, despite the day-to-day hurdles you face. 

The Western States Volunteers’ Conference is brought to you by the Credit Union Leagues of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  In 2012, the conference is being held February 12-14 at Treasure Island in Las Vegas, NV.

This conference is specifically geared toward

• Board members

• Supervisory committee members

• Credit committee members

• All interested volunteers CEOs, managers and significant others are also invited to attend.

E-mail Shay Jacobs at sjacobs@gowest.org to have a conference brochure sent to you, or visit www.mwcua.com/wsvc.

Arizona’s Political Races

Arizona’s Politial Races: A Guide For Your Credit Union

Last month, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission approved a draft version for the new 2012 U.S. congressional lines in Arizona. As you know, new congressional lines are determined every 10 years based upon the United States Census.  Beginning in 2012, Arizona will also gain an additional congressional district (9 in total) as a result of population growth. Although the district map that was released is not final, the draft version will likely only face minor changes from here on out.

According to “The Cook Report” the recommendations by the commission would set the stage for 4 relatively safe Republican districts, 3 relatively safe Democratic Districts and 2 toss up districts. Here is a breakdown of how each district could shake out.  

For a full breakdown of Arizona’s nine Congressional districts

AZ-01 is currently held by freshman lawmaker Dr. Paul Gosar (R), who defeated Ann Kirkpatrick (D) during the 2010 election. The district has always been considered competitive, and the new map would make it even more of a tossup. As a result, democrats see this as a high possible pick up for them in 2012, especially with Kirkpatrick looking to regain her seat. 

AZ-02 is currently held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D). The new lines would give an edge to the democrats, but maintains a level of competitiveness for a possible Republican victory.  However, any potential challengers for the seat will wait to see if Giffords decides to run reelection.  Most likely, Democrats or Republicans will not challenge her if she does decide to run in 2012.

AZ-03 is currently held by Congressman Raul Grijalva (D). The new map would maintain an extremely safe democratic district for the Congressman. Grijalva is a strong friend of credit unions, that has cosponsored every credit union MBL piece of legislation.

AZ-04 would be a heavily Republican district with no incumbent.  The conservative district is currently shared by Trent Franks (R), and Paul Gosar (R).  Potential candidates could include Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, state Senator Ron Gould, or even Paul Gosar who may move into the district to represent a more conservative seat. 

AZ-05 is another open seat that encompasses much of the district that will be vacated by Rep. Jeff Flake (R), who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.  The district will remain a safe Republican district, but the 2012 primary is shaping up as one of the closest in the state.   The lines would pin former AZ Speaker of the House Kirk Adams against former Congressman Matt Salmon.  Adams who has the backing of Sen. Jon Kyl, was the Arizona Credit Union League’s Legislator of the Year in 2008.  Salmon is backed by Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio.

AZ-06 would generate one of the more unique situations for the Congressional lines.  The district is considered safe Republican, but would likely pin freshman representatives, Ben Quayle (R) and David Schweikert (R) against each other in a primary showdown.  Also, neither of the incumbent Congressmen currently live in the district.  However, it is likely that the lines will be revised to include Quayle’s house, while Schweikert has already announced his intention to run for the district and has even bought a house in anticipation of the new congressional map.    

AZ-07 is the district that is currently held by Congressman Ed Pastor (D).  It is the district that would be changed the least, and remains the safest Democratic district in Arizona.  

AZ-08 is the district that is currently represented by Congressman Trent Franks (R).  As a result of the population growth in his current district, much of his district was shed off to others.  Despite the geographical shrinking, Frank’s district would remain among the most conservative in the state. 

AZ-09 would be a new district and possibly the most competitive districts in the state.  Former Congressman Harry Mitchell (D) would be seen a frontrunner if he decided to return to politics.  Other Democrats that are mulling a bid would be state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and attorney Jon Hulburd.   On the Republican side, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman would be seen as a top contender to appeal to this moderate new district. 

No matter the final outcome, redistricting will certainly reshape the political landscape in Arizona’s Congressional races (not to mention the 30 legislative districts that are also getting redrawn).   However, the other wildcard in 2012 is the open Senate seat that will be vacated by U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.   

The Arizona Senate race will be the first open seat in Arizona for an US Senate in 18 years.   Despite the high profile seat, only 3 candidates stand out as potential contenders for the seat.  As it stands now, Republican Congressman Jeff Flake is considered the front runner in the race.  The biggest challenge for Flake could be Wil Cardon, a political newcomer with deep pockets as an investment banker.  Other potential contenders that have yet to make a decision include: Sheriff Joe Arpio and former AZ Attorney General Grant Woods.  The former Democratic Party Chairman Don Bivens is the lone Democratic to announce his candidacy. However, former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona has been courted by President Obama to run for the seat.  Other potential democrats could
include Representatives Ed Pastor and Gabrielle Giffords.

Provided by: Austin De Bey, VP of Legislative Affairs