Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dan Mica Leaving

From CUNA News Now:

WASHINGTON (8/27/2009)--Dan Mica is stepping down as president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association effective January 2011. Mica made the announcement to the CUNA Board and executive management team today (Thursday, Aug. 27).

Additionally, Mica said, CUNA Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff Richard McBride is also stepping down in January 2011. McBride and Mica have been close associates for many years.
"My mentor, the late Rep. Paul G. Rogers, often said an individual should spend no more than 10 years in any particular role or position," Mica said. "I followed that advice as a congressional staff member, as a member of Congress and in my position prior to CUNA. I love what I do here at CUNA, and I deeply care about the credit union movement – so I have stayed a bit longer than Paul's advice would allow.

"Now, completely of my own choosing and preference, I am making the change. I fully intend to move on to something else after I depart CUNA. There is much room in my life for additional accomplishments, and I am looking at all opportunities," Mica said.

Mica commended and thanked the CUNA Boards he served with over the past 13 years as CEO, as well as each of the chair persons he served. He said that, in each case, the relationship between himself and his chair person was "incredible, special." Mica particularly commended the staff and management team of CUNA, calling them persistent, ardent and tenacious in pursuing whatever he has requested of them. "I hope they remain friends of mine forever," he said.
CUNA Chairman Kris Mecham said that "the board understands that this has been a tough decision for Dan. During his tenure at CUNA – longer than any other CEO – Dan has brought CUNA and the credit union movement to the highest levels of respect in Washington and nationwide. We thank him for his service."

Mecham noted that a committee will be formed to find Mica's replacement, and that Mica will participate throughout that search. "From the day I joined CUNA, I put my whole heart and soul into the credit union movement," Mica said. "I am a true believer of credit unions and sincerely fond of the people who nurture and lead them. I have seen how they provide the best deal to consumers – and I am convinced that, in the future, credit unions will become of even greater importance to more and more consumers."

A former five-term member of Congress, Mica represented his home state of Florida from 1979 to 1989 in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. He assumed his duties at CUNA in July 1996. During his time at CUNA, he is credited with raising the visibility and presence of credit unions in Washington, building a powerful grassroots lobbying structure for credit unions before the Congress, and developing new and innovative products to help credit unions serve their members.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The United States Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Senator Dan Inouye, held a local hearing today, for the purpose of reviewing the State of Hawaii's use of stimulus money. Among the "witnesses" were Governor Linda Lingle, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto, and Department of Transportation Director Brennon Morioka. Senator Dan Akaka also appeared at the hearing.

All of the witnesses agreed that the state is still stuck in economic crisis, however, the stimulus money has given Hawaii a necessary boost.

Read Governor Lingle's testimony here.
Read the Honolulu Advertiser article here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CARD Act Deadline

From CUNA News Now, August 13, 2009

WASHINGTON --Working closely with the Connecticut Credit Union League, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) yesterday urged the Federal Reserve Board to provide relief to credit unions regarding the 21-day rule under the Credit Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act as it applies to open-end plans other than credit cards.
In a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Sen. Dodd urged the Fed to allow credit unions "more time to come into compliance" for such open-end plans.
Under the Act, creditors are required to provide periodic statements to all open-end plan borrowers 21-days before their payment due dates, effective Aug. 20. Credit unions have indicated they can comply with these provisions for credit cards, but many credit unions have indicated that meeting the requirements for all other open-end plans is horrendous, and may not be possible for some credit unions by the rapidly approaching Aug. 20 effective date.
Sen. Dodd urged the Fed to extend the current compliance deadline for credit union open-end plans other than credit cards, stating that the existing compliance date has caused "legitimate implementation difficulties" for a credit union product that "was not the primary focus" of the CARD Act.
Dodd said that while the main goal of the 21-day provision of the CARD Act is to "ensure" that financial firms provide consumers the necessary window to respond to their billing statements, the rule is causing particular problems for credit unions that offer multi-featured credit plans with sub-accounts.
The effort was supported by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
CUNA said it will continue to pursue relief for credit unions on the issue by urging policymakers to limit the scope of the 21-day rule to credit cards. Barring that, it is seeking more time for compliance with the 21-day provision for open-end plans other than credit cards.
Also, CUNA has met and discussed this issue repeatedly with the Fed. Earlier this week, the Consumer Federation of America, working with CUNA, expressed its concerns over this portion of the CARD Act in letters to the Fed and to Dodd.
Late last month CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica encouraged credit unions to communicate directly with the Fed regarding this matter. CUNA issued a memo to help member credit unions deal with compliance issues created by the 21-day rule.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Councilwoman Kobayashi

Ann Kobayashi claimed victory in the special election held on Friday for Honolulu City Council District V. In what turned out to be a short, but highly expensive election, Kobayashi received 37.5% of the vote to win. Ann Kobayashi previously held the same seat before vacating it to run against Mayor Mufi Hannemann in 2008.

Former State Senator Matt Matsunaga finished second, having lost by about 1,300 votes.

Congratulations to the former-and-newly-elected Councilwoman Kobayashi.

View the complete results here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Election Day

The special election for Honolulu City Council District V will end tomorrow. Ballots must be received by the City Clerk no later than 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7th. Election results will be announced Friday night.

To view the Candidates In Focus statements, click here.

To view the HPR debate, click here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Promoting Lending to America's Small Business Act (HR 3380)

From CUNA News Now 8/3/09:

WASHINGTON (7/31/09)—Proposed legislation that would lift the current member business lending (MBL) cap to 25% would allow credit unions to "help address a real need in a difficult economic time" and "provide economic stimulus without increasing the size of government or costing taxpayers a dime," the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) said on Thursday.
H.R. 3380, the "Promoting Lending for America's Small Business Act," which was introduced on Thursday by co-sponsors Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), would double the current statutory MBL cap of 12.25%, and would exclude from the new 25% statutory cap loans of less than $250,000, business loans in underserved areas, and loans to non-profit religious institutions.

The "bipartisan legislation," if passed, "would enable credit unions to make more small business loans and create jobs at a time when our country needs a financial boost," Kanjorski said in a release announcing the bill. Kanjorski said that the bill will use credit unions "as a resource to boost lending to small businesses" and to fill the void created by "commercial banks and other entities" that "have unfortunately pulled back their lending activities" as the economic crisis wears on.

CUNA has consistently argued in support of raising the MBL cap, saying that lifting the cap would allow credit unions to aid the ongoing economic recovery by increasing the loan opportunities available to small businesses.

National Credit Union Administration Chairman Michael Fryzel in a Thursday release said that the board "looks forward to working with Congress as the legislative process progresses to produce a bill that enhances safe, well-supervised and beneficial member business lending,"
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently said that legislation that would lift the MBL cap would be "worth looking at," and a CUNA representative in recent Senate testimony told legislators that lifting the MBL cap above 20% of assets would "safely and soundly" result in $10 billion in new small business loans within one year.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) indicated that there is a "growing sentiment" among members of Congress that the MBL cap should be lifted, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) earlier this year announced plans to develop legislation to address the MBL cap.