The Point: March 13, 2013

State GAC will deliver legislative, regulatory advocacy opportunities

Credit union advocates are invited to "join the action in Albany" during the Credit Union Association of New York's State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). The event will be held April 16-17, and several highlights are planned.

In addition to legislator visits, which will allow attendees to discuss priority issues with their representatives, the agenda includes:

  • a regulator roundtable for state-chartered credit unions, featuring representatives from the NYS Department of Financial Services and NCUA;
  • a compliance update session with Compliance Director Mike Carter;
  • a legislative briefing and lobbying 101 workshop; and
  • an evening reception with legislators.

The Association is also offering a separate young professionals agenda for attendees age 35 and younger. The agenda features additional events, speakers and sessions focused on professional development and networking.

"I encourage new and experienced advocates to join us in Albany for State GAC," said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. "This year's agenda will allow us to build connections and dialogue with two key groups: our lawmakers and our regulators. It's a great opportunity for us to shape the future of our statewide movement."

For information and registration, visit the Association website.

House passes privacy notice bill

A bill that would make significant improvements in consumer privacy notices was passed by the House yesterday. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced the bill, H.R. 749, or the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act. New York co-sponsors include Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D), Gregory Meeks (D) and Bill Owens (D).

The bill would provide benefits to credit unions by streamlining compliance burden. Every year, credit unions are required to send millions of privacy notices to their members-most of which go unread and even unopened. Under current rules, credit unions alone have sent an estimated 1 billion annual privacy notifications to members since 2001.

By eliminating repetitive privacy notices that are often ignored, the bill would also build greater member awareness of a credit union's privacy policies. A similar bill passed the House in late 2012, but the Senate did not vote on it before the last session of Congress ended.

Along with CUNA and other state associations/leagues, the Credit Union Association of New York has backed the bill since it was introduced. Thousands of credit union representatives also sought support for the legislation when they met with their Washington representatives last month during the CUNA 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference.

The Association will continue working with CUNA and other state associations/leagues to advocate for the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.

Calling all CUs: Complete MORE survey by March 15

To gather vital outreach statistics for the 2012 MORE Report, the Credit Union Association of New York is conducting an online, statewide survey through March 15.

By completing the MORE Survey, credit unionists can help the Association collect and publish statistical information regarding New York credit unions' community outreach, financial education initiatives and customized products and services. The statistics will be featured in the 2012 MORE Report, along with the information and stories submitted by credit unions in 2012.

The MORE Report and survey results will be shared with legislators, the media and the public.

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