The Point: Feb. 5, 2013

Mellin to CFPB: Remittance transfer revisions a step in the right direction

In a recent comment letter to the CFPB, Credit Union Association of New York President/CEO William J. Mellin expressed support for the Bureau's proposed revisions to the international remittance transfer regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. He also encouraged the CFPB to make additional revisions that would enhance the consumer disclosure process while reducing compliance burdens for credit unions that send 100 or more international remittances annually.

Mellin's recommendations included the following:

  • Where a credit union makes a good faith effort to obtain the necessary national tax information but is unable to do so, the CFPB should allow credit unions and other financial institutions to comply with this part of the regulation by informing members that "additional taxes may be imposed."
  • The CFPB should impose a good faith obligation to disclose fees.
  • The CFPB should establish a database of international fees and taxes upon which all financial institutions could rely when making the necessary disclosures.
  • The CFPB's amendment to provide that a remittance provider is not in error when funds are sent to the wrong account based on a member's representations should be refined to indemnify credit unions from all mistakes caused by a member.

The letter has been posted on the Association homepage under Of Interest.

CU staff, volunteer leaders invited to join Empire Club

Member credit union employees and volunteer leaders were recently e-mailed an invitation to support political action through membership in the Credit Union Association of New York's prestigious Empire Club. Membership may be attained two ways: by contributing at least $250 to New York credit unions' political action committees by April 1, or by committing to donate at least $250 in 2013 through payroll deduction.

Donations may be submitted using the Association's secure online platform, or checks may be mailed to the Credit Union Association of New York, ATTN: Governmental Affairs, P.O. Box 15118, Albany, NY 12212-5118.

Empire Club members will be invited to attend a special recognition dinner during the Association's 2013 State Governmental Affairs Conference, which will take place April 16-17 in Albany.

For more information, contact Dirck Van Deusen, director of political and foundation development, at or (800) 342-9835, ext. 8252.

Contributions to CUPAC (state) and CULAC (federal) are voluntary and not tax-deductible. You have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. CUPAC accepts contributions from individuals, SCUs, businesses and CUSOs incorporated as C or S Corporations. FCUs, according to Federal Election Law, may not contribute credit union funds to any PAC. CULAC may only accept contributions from individuals who are members of a credit union with a current CULAC signed permission agreement on file at the Association.

Reminder: Association seeking CU emergency contact info

The Credit Union Association of New York is still collecting emergency contact information for every member credit union. This initiative, launched in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, will help the Association inform, assist and support credit unions in the event of an emergency. More than 70 credit unions have already submitted their information.

Individuals designated as the main contact for their credit unions are asked to e-mail the following to as soon as possible:

  • a cell phone or other non-work phone number where the credit union main contact can be reached in an emergency; and
  • the name(s), title(s) and contact information of the credit union's business continuity contact(s).

This information will only be utilized in the case of an emergency when a credit union's primary communication channels are unavailable.

WOCCU offering short-term internships in Costa Rica, Brazil

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is extending its International Credit Union Leadership Program to a second year, offering intensive, short-term credit union internships to emerging leaders from the U.S., Brazil and Costa Rica.

Twelve U.S. participants will be selected to intern in Costa Rica June 16-29, and 12 will be selected to intern in Brazil in January 2014. Applications for the Costa Rica program are due April 12, and materials will be available on the WOCCU website in the days ahead.

Applicants will be evaluated based on leadership skills, adaptability to new surroundings and potential to initiate change in their credit unions. Intermediate Spanish-language skills are preferred.

Participants will learn about methods to better serve an increasingly diverse membership, including youth, low-income and Hispanic members. The program also will allow credit union professionals from Brazil and Costa Rica to work alongside their U.S. credit union counterparts to find solutions to similar challenges.

The International Credit Union Leadership Program is part of the U.S. Department of State's Professional Fellows Program and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges.

To learn more, visit the WOCCU website.

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