By The Way

The By The Way newsletter is a great way to keep Kentucky credit unions informed of the latest updates in governmental affairs, compliance and regulations, education and training.  In addition, By the Way highlights the difference credit unions are making on a daily basis.

League Updates

CUNA Announcements

Educational Opportunities

Credit Union News

SUBMIT AN ARTICLE OR PRESS RELEASE

Compliance Updates

Career Opportunities

Not Receiving Our Newsletter?

Subscribe to our Mailing List

 

A Message from the President 

It is so hard to believe that the first quarter is already wrapping up.  Where does the time go?  The COVID-19 vaccine seems to be the topic of the day as our Governor starts opening up the eligibility.  With access to the vaccine comes a hope of getting things back to some form of normalcy.  If not normal, then at least some of how we used to operate.  While most credit union lobbies are either open or beginning the process of reopening, and employers are bringing employees back to the office, there will still be some changes in the way we do business.  

For some employees, remote work will be the norm. For some members, conducting their financial business via remote technology will be the norm.  For some employers, the word “hybrid” is the new norm.  The bottom line is that COVID has brought us options.  How we choose to utilize the options is up to each credit union.  

As we move forward, entertaining and strategizing over our options, it is really important to not overlook the challenges and struggles that remain, especially, when it comes to our employees’ and members’ mental and physical well-being.  I heard someone say, “We’re all in the same storm, just different boats.”  What boat are you in today?  Your League is here to serve and if there are programs, services or products that will help you navigate your boat and the fleet of boats your employees are in, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Debbie Painter
League President

BACK TO TOP


 

Governmental Affairs Update

This month, much of the attention in governmental affairs was focused on the ending of the 2021 State Legislative Session.  As this year is a 30-day session, it formally adjourns for the year on March 30th. While a quick glance at the legislative calendar might lead you to believe that, with only 11 “legislative days” this month, March would be a relaxed or slower month, the opposite has proven true. 

March has featured ongoing discussion and debate regarding the next one-year state budget, pension reforms, reforms to County Clerk operations, and statutory updates for the alcohol industry just to mention a few.  Additionally, with the passage of the American Rescue Plan in Washington, the legislature included a provision in the state budget that required their direction in order to spend the billions allocated to Kentucky.  A plan on how to spend most of those funds was still outstanding on the to-do list for the legislature, as of writing of this article, with just 2 official “legislative days” remaining.  

Additionally, March saw the (virtual) CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. While we could not bring a group of you to meet with our delegation of Federal Representatives in person, many of you joined our virtual meetings with our Senators and Representatives. Those who joined were able to share stories of their experiences serving members through a pandemic and how their operations may be impacted going forward.  

Taking advantage of opportunities to engage directly with policymakers is one of the most important aspects of successful advocacy and I want to thank all of you who were able to join one or more of these virtual meetings this year. 

Sincerely,

Kyle Hagerty, CUCE
Director of PR & Governmental Affairs

BACK TO TOP


 

 

Credit union membership just got sweeter!

Members can now purchase discounted Kentucky Kingdom tickets through their credit unions

As the weather begins to warm up, more and more will be looking forward to enjoying outside activities.  This is the perfect opportunity to remind you of our partnership with Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay.  

We are happy to be able to work with Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay once again to help your credit union offer another “perk” to credit union membership.  With in-branch flyers and online web banners already available for your use, your members can simply click and purchase their deeply discounted tickets.      

PLUS:

  • This service is of NO CHARGE to your credit union.
  • It drives TRAFFIC to your credit union's website.
  • It is a great VALUE-ADD to credit union membership.
  • It is LESS labor-intensive with no physical tickets to count. 

For more information, or to start marketing this partnership to your members, visit https://www.kycul.org/e-consignment-store-marketing or contact Andrew Barr at (502) 855-8208 or [email protected].

BACK TO TOP


 

CU PolicyPro Pre-Registration

The Kentucky Credit Union League is excited to bring a offer a new FREE member benefit! CU PolicyPro allows members to select from more than 230 detailed model policies to help manage today's ongoing compliance and operational challenges. Together with InfoSight, your credit union will have at its disposal a comprehensive suite of policies and regulatory compliance guidance written especially for credit unions by legal and financial experts.

Because your credit union is unique, CU PolicyPro not only includes the model policy content, but a full policy management system that lets you customize any model policy to fit your credit union’s individual operations.  Your existing polices can also be added to and maintained within the system.

CU PolicyPro is currently undergoing a full system rebuild to bring more robust policy maintenance tools, including tracked changes, additional auditing tools, update notifications, and enhanced user access. 

We are currently allowing credit unions to pre-register for access to CU PolicyPro. Those pre-registered will receive login and training information via email once the system rebuild is complete and can begin using CU PolicyPro at that time. 

Are you looking for a model policy in the meantime? Contact [email protected] for assistance. 

Note: your CU PolicyPro login will be separate from your InfoSight login

All credit union staff who register will be set up initially with "Admin" access. Once the logins are distributed, each credit union can adjust user access as needed. 

PRE-REGISTER YOUR CREDIT UNION

BACK TO TOP


 

CUNA and Kentucky Awards are now OPEN!

Kentucky’s credit unions do amazing things every day for their members and their communities.  Each year, we recognize those achievements at a banquet during our Annual Convention.  Below is a description of the awards available for nominations.  To read more about each award, or to make a nomination, please click on one of the links below.

CUNA Awards

Administered by the Kentucky Credit Union League & Affiliates and CUNA, the Louise Herring, Dora Maxwell and Alphonse Desjardins awards programs are a wonderful way for credit unions to showcase all the great things they do for their members and their communities.

Below you'll find a brief description of each of the programs:

Louise Herring Award
The purpose of this award is to promote credit union philosophy by formally recognizing credit unions that demonstrate in an extraordinary way the practical application of that philosophy for their members.

Dora Maxwell Award
The purpose of this award is to promote social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their community service achievements.

Alphonse Desjardins Award
Alphonse Desjardins was a credit union pioneer who was instrumental in forming the Canadian and U.S. credit union movements. Besides helping to found the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school "banks", known as caisses scolaires. This award honors leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth and adult financial literacy.

In an effort to streamline the submission process for our member credit unions and to reduce financial and human resources spent on the submission process, CUNA and the Leagues have collaborated to produce one standardized format and online submission process for our member credit unions.

Submission Instructions
You will automatically establish an account when you create an application to submit your first project by clicking on the designated link below. You may save your work and return to the submission site as often as needed as long as you complete and submit all parts of the project submission by the due date of June 1, 2021. State winners will advance to the national competition for judging.

KY Homepage

KY Louise Herring

KY Dora Maxwell

KY Desjardins

Kentucky Recognition Awards

Your League sponsors several different award categories to recognize the achievements of individuals, credit unions, and chapters in Kentucky.  There is no fee to submit an award. All affiliated credit unions, their employees, and volunteers are encouraged to participate.  

Learn more about the award categories.  Submit nominations by June 1st. 

If you have any questions on awards, you may contact Sabrina Orkies at the League Office at [email protected].

BACK TO TOP


 

CUNA Credit Union Board Accelerator Virtual Conference

April 6 & 7, 2021 | Virtual

Concise updates for experienced board members

It can be challenging to keep up with everything that goes on in the economy and the financial services industry. Experienced credit union board members can get a concise update by attending this new conference designed to focus on board-related hot topics and current events and help you bring these discussions to the board room. 

Who Should Attend?

This event is beneficial for experienced credit union board & committee members.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

BACK TO TOP


 

CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Virtual Conference

April 20-22, 2021 | Virtual

Hit refresh!

It’s time for leaders of HR and organizational development to come together and share knowledge to make better decisions faster in an unpredictable world. Gain new ideas for people management at CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Virtual Conference April 20-22

All credit unions are invited to register for this event. CUNA and CUNA Council members receive a significant discount. Click here to join or renew your membership

Additional discounts available to CUNA member credit unions: 

  • Less than $50 million in assets save 20%
  • League staff save 20%
  • Multi-Attendee discount - Register 4 attendees get the 5th free
    Please include all registrations on the same order for the discount to apply 

One discount can be applied per registration. If a registration qualifies for more than one discount, the highest-value discount will be applied. 

Other non-credit union attendees should contact CUNA to confirm eligibility. 

Additional Information

BACK TO TOP


  

Foundation launches national Biz Kid$ showcase

The National Credit Union Foundation launched the first-ever national Biz Kid$ Showcase on March 15. Biz Kid$ is a credit union-funded and branded financial education program for young adults, championed by the National Credit Union Foundation. Biz Kid$ gives students the opportunity to invest in their financial futures through lessons on entrepreneurship, managing finances, and more.

BACK TO TOP


 

Save the date for these signature events

The Kentucky Credit Union League is closely monitoring the latest developments related to COVID-19 and is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and information from local government and health authorities.

At this time, the following events are scheduled to happen in-person.

VISION 2021 – Annual Meeting & Convention

August 25-27, 2021 | Omni Louisville Hotel | Louisville, KY

The Kentucky Credit Union League is proud to provide our credit unions with this distinguished opportunity for improvement, growth, and knowledge.

VISION 2021, the League’s Annual Meeting & Convention, will feature a comprehensive agenda on top-of-mind issues, the KCUL Business Meeting, a golf outing, an awards banquet, entertainment and an extensive showcase of business partners and exhibitors.

Whether you are a credit union professional or volunteer, from a small or large credit union, you will find useful information geared towards your needs.

More details coming soon!

Board & Committee Leadership Conference

October 14-16, 2021 | Gatlinburg Convention Center | Gatlinburg, TN

Make plans to join your peers for an education conference designed just for credit union volunteers. The 2021 Board & Committee Leadership Conference (Formerly Volunteer Leaders Conference) is set for October 14-16 in beautiful Gatlinburg, TN and features a full range of informative sessions on critical, timely issues, with first-rate speakers.

More details coming soon!

BACK TO TOP


 

2021 SRCUS registration now open!

Registration is now open for the 2021 session of the Southeast CUNA Management School! Although many things have changed in the past year, our commitment to providing an outstanding educational experience for credit union professionals remains strong! Here’s what you need to know for this year’s upcoming program…

  • Registration is open now! Click here to register.
  • The program will be held online from June 7 – 11, 2021. Students will also complete 10 to 15 hours of self-paced coursework during the two-week period prior to June 7. Click here for a tentative schedule.
  • The registration deadline for the 2021 program is Friday, May 21, 2021; registrations will not be accepted after this date.
  • The cost to attend is $1,645 - BUT we are giving away FREE money!  Contact Katie Means or click the link at the bottom of the page.
  • If you were previously registered for the 2020 session, you will not need to re-register as your registration will automatically be transferred to the 2021 session and you will receive a refund for the difference in your registration fee ($500). If you were previously registered for the 2020 session and you are not planning to attend in 2021, you will need to contact the Georgia Center directly to cancel your registration.

Need more info? Contact us!

BACK TO TOP


 

Abound Credit Union Partners with Local Education Foundation to Expand Outreach

The Omicron Nu Lambda Education Foundation and Abound Credit Union are on a mission to provide life-changing financial knowledge to more Kentuckians. Through their new partnership, Omicron Nu Lambda will provide free access to Dave Ramsey’s financial peace program. 

“We’re excited about expanding the reach of our financial education efforts through this partnership,” says Becky Ates, EVP of Abound Credit Union. “The fraternity’s motto of ‘Service to All’ aligns with the Credit Union’s mission to serve. Together, we can change more lives. 

“Omicron Nu Lambda has a legacy of service and deep commitment to the Hardin County community,” says Carl Millsap, Education Foundation Chair. “With Abound’s support, we’ll be able to connect with more individuals in need and provide them with a proven plan for financial success so they can take control of their money and change their lives.”


In addition to Abound’s community partnerships, free online learning tools and financial education resources for Kentuckians of all ages are available at www.aboundcu.com.

BACK TO TOP


 

Abound & Baptist Health Hardin’s Virtually Well Series Offers Free Educational Opportunities

Abound Credit Union has partnered with Baptist Health Hardin to improve community health and encourage overall wellness. The Virtually Well Series shares important physical and financial health tips via live events and on-demand videos each month, featuring physicians and advanced practice clinicians, dietitians and financial education professionals. 

Working together, Abound Credit Union and Baptist Health Hardin are empowering the community to make sound financial decisions and improve their health. Recent financial wellness topics have included: Managing Everyday Expenses, 4 Easy Tips for Homebuying and Refinancing, and 5 Ways to Get Ahead Using Your Stimulus and Tax Return. All events are recorded and available to watch on-demand via Abound’s YouTube channel.

“Financial health is an important part of overall wellness. We’re excited about partnering with Baptist Health Hardin to share our knowledge and easy to follow financial tips with the community,” says Ray Springsteen, President/CEO of Abound Credit Union. 

“The pandemic challenged Central Kentuckians in ways we never imagined, so Baptist Health Hardin wants to safely share health information to help residents take even better care of themselves and their families,” says Tracee Troutt, VP and Chief Development Officer, Baptist Health Hardin. “With Abound’s partnership, we can reach a wider audience and include both the physical and financial information Kentuckians need for a healthier, less-stressful future.”

Upcoming Virtually Well Series health topics will include:

  • Sun Safety: Skin Cancer Prevention (April)
  • Stroke Awareness (May)
  • Back-to-School Family Health (July)
  • Mental Well-Being (August)
  • Know Your Numbers: What’s Your Cholesterol Count? (September)
  • Smoking Cessation: Low-Dose CT Scan (November)

In addition to Abound’s community partnerships and events, free online learning tools and financial education resources for Kentuckians of all ages are available at www.aboundcu.com.

BACK TO TOP


  

Commonwealth Credit Union Reaches Out to Help Those Affected by Devastating Storms

As we all let out a sigh of relief after 2020 ended, we did not know what 2021 had in store for us. 2021 came in strong and brought in huge rainstorms that devasted several parts of the country. At Commonwealth Credit Union, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help. We have always operated under the philosophy of “people helping people,” and we quickly decided to take action. 

The first step we took was inside our home state. We reached out to Owsley County which was one of the hardest-hit areas. While there were several people who were volunteering to help clean up the city, they would still not have access to clean water. We sent 11,000 water bottles to the city, and Camp Hero, a 100% volunteer non-profit organization, distributed the water to those in need. 

We then decided to take it a step farther and help those in need in Texas, which was another area that was hit hard by floods following devastating winter storms. We had a few pallets of water sitting in storage at our distributor and instantly made the decision to send a pallet down to Texas to assist volunteers and others in need.

BACK TO TOP


 

CCU President/CEO Karen Harbin Named One of the Top Women In Business by The Lane Report

Commonwealth Credit Union has been living in the fast lane. The fast lane of the Lane Report that is. 

Click here to read the full interview with Karen.President/CEO Karen Harbin was nominated for the March edition of the Top Woman in Business. This is a regular feature the Lane Report puts out and is one of their most popular stories they run. It features women in a variety of industries who are making an impact in business, politics, and the economic development of Kentucky. It recognizes women in key roles whose work ethic and body of work are making key contributions to the commonwealth.

BACK TO TOP


 

Commonwealth CU Partners With Sports & Learning Complex, Urban League to Address Financial Inequality

Commonwealth Credit Union said it is partnering with the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex in conjunction with the Louisville Urban League as part of its commitment to financial empowerment.

CCU will serve as the exclusive credit union for the facility. 

“This new partnership not only affords Commonwealth Credit Union the chance to offer financial literacy classes, but also the opportunity to step up, come together, and take action to better the lives of a community in need of healing,” Commonwealth CU said. 

Participants of the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex will have access to a customized online and in-person financial curriculum. Participants will also receive access to specific products and individual accounts geared to lay a solid foundation for a lifetime of financial success, the credit union stated.

A ‘Step Toward Healing’
“We strive to remove economic inequalities in our communities through our partnerships and products. Every day at Commonwealth Credit Union, we work to better the lives of those we serve,” said Karen Harbin, president/CEO of Commonwealth Credit Union. “We see this partnership as a step towards healing. Working together, we can not only build back - but also build up.”

Commonwealth CU said its culture is built on care for others, and it believes that everyone has a voice and that financial success is not destined for only a few.

“They have heard the cries for change, and they strive to remove inequalities so that everyone can be empowered to achieve the financial future they deserve,” the credit union said, noting it is dedicated to giving back to Louisville’s West End community both economically and educationally.

The Commitment
To help close the divide, Commonwealth Credit Union said it is committed to:

  • Building a customized, co-branded portal for financial education curriculum for Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex staff and participants
  • Providing regular financial success classes at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex
  • Creating and providing a broad range of Financial Empowerment class topics geared towards all levels of financial education       

‘Far-Reaching’ Impact
Commonwealth CU added the partnership comes with a large investment to the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex.

“The impact of the investment will be far-reaching and help to carry the next generation forward and making strides to close the gaps of social and economic inequality,” the credit union said.

Other community supporters include Norton Healthcare, Humana and Kindred.

BACK TO TOP




NCUA Board Approves Interim Final Rule on Large CU Asset Thresholds

The NCUA board has voted 3-0 in favor of an interim final rule related to asset thresholds pertaining to large credit unions.

As part of the vote, one NCUA board member proposed well-managed credit unions be given extended exam cycles so that NCUA might direct resources to credit unions that require more work.

Todd Harper
The rule approved by the board—technically parts 700, 702, 708a, 708b and 790, is in response to the surge in deposits related to the pandemic and stimulus payments that has pushed some CUs over the $10 billion in assets threshold, which creates new regulatory and compliance demands.

The rule seeks to mitigate transition costs on certain credit unions related to the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing federally insured credit unions to use asset data as of March 31, 2020, to determine the applicability of certain regulatory asset thresholds during calendar years 2021 and 2022.

Specifically, the interim final rule allows a federally insured credit union to use March 31, 2020, financial data when determining whether the institution is subject to capital planning and stress testing requirements under the NCUA’s regulations and supervision from the Office of National Examinations and Supervision (ONES).

The change is expected to affect approximately 10 credit unions.

Response to ‘Temporary’ Issues
NCUA Chairman Todd Harper said the interim final rule is being issued to address economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is also comparable to an interim final rule for certain banks put in place by banking regulators.

“As financial first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, many credit unions have experienced rapid and unexpected balance sheet growth resulting from government policy responses to and consumer choices resulting from the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic,” said Harper. “In most cases, this growth is expected to be temporary and unlikely to change the long-term risk profile of the affected credit unions. In fact, many credit unions are holding these new deposits in cash, instead of long-term investments and member loans.”

Harper noted the assets have grown at many CUs due to factors related to the pandemic, including more than $1 trillion in stimulus payments to consumers and businesses, and the growth is expected to be temporarily.

“For federally insured credit unions just below $10 billion in assets at the start of the pandemic, these factors have resulted in their balance sheets burgeoning by an average of about 14%, and in one case by more than 34%,” said Harper. “In contrast, in 2019, federally insured credit unions with assets just below the $10 billion threshold had an average asset growth of only 9%."

The result, said Harper, is some federally insured credit unions have been, or may soon be, pushed over the asset thresholds that could subject them to additional regulatory requirements and supervision by the Office of National Examinations and Supervision (ONES).

“Because the asset growth was rapid and unexpected, many of these institutions have not adequately planned and budgeted for these transitions,” said Harper. “What is more, some of them may eventually fall below the thresholds as government interventions subside and consumers return to more traditional spending patterns. Accordingly, this interim final rule gives affected federally insured credit unions more time either to reduce their balance sheets or to prepare for higher regulatory standards.”

‘Treated Differently’
Harper acknowledged that there may be limited instances in which a threshold exemption would be inappropriate, which is why the interim final rule allows the board to continue to use its existing reservations of authority to designate a federally insured credit union as subject to ONES supervision or other stress testing and capital planning requirements.

“In instances when the federally insured credit union crossed the threshold due to a merger or purchase and assumption transaction, the asset growth is planned and should be treated differently than unanticipated increases,” said Harper. “In the case of the former, the credit union had the opportunity to plan and prepare for the change in regulatory requirements. In the case of the latter, it did not.”

Harper added that the board may in some instances still require a federally insured credit union to conduct capital planning and stress testing in the absence of a merger or purchase and assumption transaction, if significant asset growth at a federally insured credit union reflects a material change in the business model, risk profile, or complexity of the credit union.

Hauptman: Being ‘Thoughtful & Appropriate’
NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman said the proposed rule will allow those credit unions nearing the $10 billion threshold to “thoughtfully and deliberately make the operational changes needed to comply with significantly heightened reporting requirements.”

“Normally, crossing the $10 billion threshold should be something one plans for carefully, given the substantial regulatory burden that comes with being over $10 billion — hence there’s not much reason to be sitting on, say, $10.1 billion in assets,” continued Hauptman. “Larger institutions do obviously place a larger risk on the Share Insurance Fund—no one is forgetting that—but today’s action is in line with NCUA’s efforts to provide temporary pandemic relief.

Citing the growth in assets and membership during 2020 by credit unions, including a record $273 billion (20%) surge in share deposits, Hauptman said it’s a “remarkable increase, but these changes in behavior are the result of the current environment and do not represent a threat to safety and soundness. We can also expect members to soon ramp up spending, as the American economy is the undisputed world champion at finding ways for consumers to spend money.” 

Examination Incentive Proposed
Hauptman also added, “While we’re talking about thresholds, we may want to continue our conversations around aligning incentives so the NCUA can do what credit unions do, which is put resources where they’re most effective. What I mean is that perhaps well-managed credit unions can earn a longer exam cycle. If we can offer more credit unions the carrot of getting an 18-month exam cycle only if they get high CAMEL ratings, then NCUA can focus on the more problematic institutions. Plus those that earned the 18-month cycle would really want to excel on their future exams so they can keep the 18-month cycle, and those who didn’t earn it would have an incentive to do better so that they, too, can move to 18-months.”

Hood: ‘The Right Thing to Do’
NCUA Board Member Rodney Hood agreed with his fellow board members.

“Given the influx of stimulus deposits, and other government stimulus programs, this only makes sense to provide relief for share growth that could be temporary,” said Hood. “Temporary share growth should not bring credit unions additional regulatory burden.”

Hood noted five CUs have passed the $10-billion threshold since April 1, 2020, and four more are approaching the milestone.

“The biggest adjustment for credit unions entering the ONES supervision is preparing for the quarterly data submissions and the capital planning and stress testing rule,” said Hood. “Providing a temporary reprieve is the right thing to do.”

Source: CUToday

BACK TO TOP


  

NCUA Orders CU to Correct Numerous Issues in Managing Marijuana Business

The NCUA slapped a cease-and-desist order against the $69 million Live Life Federal Credit Union last month, ordering it to immediately stop opening new accounts for marijuana business members, discontinue operating a money services business program, and file suspicious activity reports.

The independent federal agency also ordered the Fraser, Mich.-based credit union to suspend transactions activity on its existing money services business accounts and hire a qualified third-party to perform a retrospective review of its MSB activity to identify suspicious transactions.

What’s more, the retrospective review must include an evaluation based on a 2019 FinCEN advisory in identifying and reporting suspicious activity on how criminals and other bad actors exploit virtual currency for money laundering, sanctions evasion and other illicit financing purposes. Based on the results of this review, the NCUA directed Live Life FCU to file SARs recommended by the third party.

By April 30, the credit union must implement an automated system to effectively monitor and identify all transactions for suspicious activity, including functions to support Live Life FCU’s compliance with FinCEN requirements for marijuana related businesses, or MRBs.

The credit union also is required to immediately develop and implement a system to ensure all Currency Transaction Reports are filed accurately, according to the cease-and-desist order.

After Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana in 2018, the first pot shops opened in January 2019.

Since then, the financial performance for the small Michigan credit union has improved.

After posting six-figure losses in 2016 and 2017, and a modest five-figure income in 2018, Live Life FCU recorded income of $426,540 in 2019, which soared to $2.8 million at the end of 2020, according to NCUA financial performance reports.

The credit union’s total loans increased substantially from $5.4 million in 2016 to $32.6 million in 2020, while its total loan income also jumped significantly from $395,228 in 2016 to $920,708 at the end of last year, NCUA financial performance reports show.

However, the credit union’s fee income made the most impact on its financials, jumping from $64,326 in 2018 to $852,725 in 2019, Call Reports show. At the end of 2020, Live Life’s fee income skyrocketed to $3.5 million, according to Call Reports.

Because of the labor-intensive compliance requirements that come with providing banking services to cannabis companies, financial institutions charge higher fees.

In a February CU Times article, Chris Call, president/CEO for the $97 million North Bay Credit Union in Santa Rosa, Calif., said 17 people were working in its compliance department. Call indicated he needed to increase his compliance workforce from one to 17 in just one year to ensure that cannabis business members were complying with state and federal regulations.

However, Live Life FCU’s number of employees increased by only two from 7 in 2018 to 9 in 2020, according to its Call Reports.

Though the NCUA’s order does not say how many marijuana business members Live Life serves, its membership increased from 1,339 in 2018 to 1,624 in 2020.

Live Life FCU President/CEO Karla Haglund did not respond to CU Times’ email and phone messages requesting comment regarding the NCUA order.

According to an October 2019 local news site, Deadline Detroit, Haglund claimed the credit union was managing about 100 cannabis-related accounts, noting that the compliance reporting is “strenuous and complicated” and that “bankers must monitor licensed pot merchants closely.” Haglund also reportedly said she had to hire to hire two additional employees just to count all the cash deposited by marijuana business members.

The Live Life cease-and-desist order was posted on NCUA’s administrative order website on Feb. 26.

Source: CUTimes

BACK TO TOP


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
By the Way

 

Not receiving our newsletter?

If you aren't receiving the monthly By the Way newsletters, a firewall or spam filtering service is likely the cause of the issue. Try the steps below.

  1. Check your profile to be sure we're using your desired email address.

  2. Check your spam/junk folder.

  3. Are you using Gmail? Check to see if you have a “Promotions” tab, and look there. If our emails are there, you can add us to your Contacts list on Gmail so our emails push to your Primary tab.

  4. If you still can’t find our emails, add [email protected] to your contact list. This should permit future emails through the filter.

  5. Still not getting them? You may need to "whitelist" or add us to your "safe sender" list. Depending on your e-mail service, you may be able to do this yourself, or you may need the assistance of your IT administrator.

BACK TO TOP