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Advocacy News

Ohio CU PACs exceed 2018 fundraising goal; thank you!

The League’s political advocacy machine is operating at a high level and our political action committees (PACs) are the fuel that keeps the engine running. While the final accounting is not complete, we fully expect to exceed our combined state and federal PAC goal for 2018 of $325,000. This new League record is a testament to the support and generosity of credit unions, their employees, volunteers, and advocators from across Ohio.

To give you an idea of the scope of your support in 2018, we had 2,872 unique contributors who made 34,369 transactions. The average contribution amount was $8.96, which shows that small-dollar contributions can make an impactful difference when pooled together. Our team is excited to build on the momentum to raise more in 2019 that will be put to work to benefit Ohio’s credit unions. To learn how to contribute to the PAC or how to inform others about the benefits in donating, contact team members Cory Fleming at (800) 486-2917, ext. 205, or cfleming@ohiocul.org or Andrew Canan at ext. 210, or acanan@ohiocul.org.


League proactive in getting linked-deposit programs up and running

In a rising interest-rate environment, small businesses need affordable financing options. Which is why your League successfully lobbied the Ohio General Assembly to change the law in order for credit unions to offer borrowers two different interest-rate reduction programs, Ag-LINK and Business Linked, administered by the Treasurer of the State’s office. Before a credit union can apply to become an eligible lender, the rules governing the programs need to be approved by the Treasurer. To ensure the rules are approved quickly and are favorable to credit unions, your League government advocacy team met with Bill Beagle, a former State Senator, who was recently named Policy Director for Treasurer-elect Robert Sprague. Our team has a productive relationship with not only Beagle, but other new staff members in the office; thus, we are optimistic credit unions will soon be able to start the application process. To learn more about linked-deposit programs and eligibility to administer, contact team members Cory Fleming at (800) 486-2917, ext. 205, or cfleming@ohiocul.org or Andrew Canan at (800) 486-2917, ext. 210, or acanan@ohiocul.org.


Credit unions remain top-of-mind with Ohio Congressional delegates

With the constant stream of fresh faces into Congress, there’s a constant need to onboard the new members of the Ohio Congressional delegation about credit unions so they make good decisions regarding them. Your League is working hard to ensure your priorities and concerns are top-of-mind, especially with those new to the U.S. House of Representatives. We recently sent a welcome letter that included a list of credit union legislative priorities for 2019 to all sixteen Ohio members. Despite the ongoing government shutdown hampering legislative activity, your League continues pursuing opportunities and avenues to fight for regulatory relief, expanded powers, enhanced information security, and the preservation of the tax status. Connecting early with seasoned and newly-elected federal lawmakers is imperative because it allows us to tell the credit union story, rather than someone else incorrectly defining it. We’ve found that your specific credit union story is what resonates the most with lawmakers. Keep an eye out for League invitations to legislative meetings or D.C. fly-ins to tell your story. Contact League VP of Government Affairs Emily Leite at (800) 486-2917, ext. 270, or eleite@ohiocul.org with questions or to share your story.


New state legislature, new faces, same League presence

Similar to the new Congress, there is also a new Ohio General Assembly, with more than a quarter of the House being first-time members and two new faces in the Senate). Good thing your credit union have a constant in-person presence at the Ohio Statehouse, thanks to the League government affairs team, in order to keep the voice of Ohio’s credit unions resonating in state legislators’ heads. Defining your issues and priorities before others can do so for you is a crucial component to a successful advocacy program. This is why your League government affairs team is and will continue to be busy meeting with newly-elected members and Statehouse leadership, including recently-elected House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and his leadership team. If you have questions or have suggestions about how legislative changes can help you better serve your members, contact League Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Cory Fleming at (800) 486-2917, ext. 205, or cfleming@ohiocul.org or League Manager of Legislative and Political Advocacy Andrew Canan at ext. 210 or acanan@ohiocul.org.


#AdvocacyInAction: League to share successes of 2018, looking forward to 2019

From enhancing the state credit union charter to securing tangible regulatory relief at the federal level, 2018 was a banner year for credit union advocacy to the state membership growth rate nearing 3%. Your League advocacy team is excited to highlight our achievements in 2018 and plans to keep advancing our advocacy agenda in 2019. To ensure you are getting the most up-to-date news this year, follow our social media channels: TwitterFacebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat (@WeareOCUL).

-        Check your inboxes Friday, Jan. 18, for our 2018 Advocacy in Review, a comprehensive review of the work we did to strengthen the CU Movement through political, legislative, regulatory and media advocacy. The document is encouraged to be read and shared as there’s no other place to get such a detailed overview of the advancements made for Ohio credit unions last year.

-        Advocacy does not just take plays in the halls of Congress or the Statehouse. We leverage our deep connections with the media to make sure credit unions are covered favorably across the state by reporters and news outlets. Kim Connor, Director of Consumer Awareness, is your point person for all media related inquiries, so contact her at kconnor@ohiocul.org for any insights or advice.


Have questions? Contact Emily Leite (800) 486-2917, ext. 270 or eleite@ohiocul.org; Cory Fleming, ext. 205 or cfleming@ohiocul.org; Andrew Canan, ext. 210 or acanan@ohiocul.org; Miriah Lee, ext. 262 or mlee@ohiocul.org; or Kim Connor, ext. 248 or kconnor@ohiocul.org.


Newest OSC partner: Add expert contract negotiators to your credit union arsenal with SRM

The next time you have to negotiate your credit union’s high-stakes contract, wouldn’t it be great if you had an expert in your back pocket with extensive experience and knowledge so you were certain you were getting the best terms and pricing possible? You can with Strategic Resource Management (SRM), a new resource partnership with OCUL Services Corporation, leveling the playing field when negotiating vendor contracts.

Vendor contracts connected to your financial mission, particularly those touching the member, have high stakes and can have long-lasting effects on your credit union’s market image for quality service and innovation. With contract terms becoming more complex, partnering with SRM can aid your credit union in leveraging these complexities and understanding their position to negotiate contracts that work in your favor and benefit members, while maintaining a positive relationship with the vendor.


Utilizing SRM causes little disruption to your daily operations, and SRM offers impartially by not endorsing any particular supplier. They take on the risk, only sharing in savings when there is measurable savings to your credit union. So there’s no up-front cost to try SRM’s services, and they typically achieve 15-20% savings per contract.


SRM has more than 26 years of experience in contract negotiations and a deep database updated daily for securing credit unions savings and revenue opportunities quickly. For more information about this solution and how it can minimize your credit union costs and maximize revenue, contact OSC Business Consultant Shaun Spencer at (800) 486-2917, ext. 279, or sspencer@ohiocul.org.


Farewell and good luck to Juliana Maneno; plenty of PolicyWorks team to continue assisting you

Juliana Maneno has been answering your questions via the League’s compliance hotline since 2010. Even when the Ohio League joined the PolicyWorks collaboration to continue bring you premier compliance services, Juliana remained the face and voice of compliance expertise in Ohio. We wish her well as she takes the next step in her career journey, still using her regulatory compliance mojo to help credit unions at Symitar, a division of Jack Henry & Associates.


The good news: the PolicyWorks bench of compliance experts is deep and a team other folks, whom have probably helped you a time or two previously when Juliana was busy or out of the office, is still answering your questions and inquiries. Because we’re all about the people, here’s a brief introduction of who’ll find manning the League’s compliance hotline:


Jeremy Smith, Compliance Manager, PolicyWorks

Before coming to PolicyWorks, Jeremy worked in regulatory compliance, developing policies, coordinating and communicating with state and federal examiners, developing and monitoring the company’s compliance risk assessment, and developing a compliance management system.


Lisa Quaranta, Compliance Officer, PolicyWorks

With more than 19 years in the financial services industry, Lisa has a wide range of experience. Prior to joining PolicyWorks, she worked as a senior compliance consultant providing support and analysis to firm clients and attorneys on regulatory compliance issues. She researched and analyzed federal and state regulations, reviewed pending and final rules and changes, developed and maintained compliance resources and drafted, advised on and implemented policies and procedures. Lisa also has experience in consumer lending, business accounts, IRAs, and account reconciliation.


Marina Hernandez, Compliance Officer, PolicyWorks

Marina has more than 16 years of credit union experience in the areas of frontline operations and consumer loans, business analysis, compliance analysis, and compliance testing and monitoring. Marina also has experience in developing board policies, drafting procedures, and providing compliance project support for credit union business lines.


Strategizing for this year? Check out the latest performance stats to help 
As a credit union leader, your primary goal is the credit union’s success, and there’s no better way to determine that than through metrics. What is the market like in Ohio? How is my credit union performing? What about my peers? Thanks to your League membership, the answers to all these and more are available at your fingertips with the latest Quarterly Performance Report. Third-quarter data is now available, along with a special deep-dive on retail delivery.


Given the expense of operating a physical location coupled with the growing preference of consumers to conduct routine transactions digitally and more sophisticated engagements in person, curiosity about the future of retail delivery is not unwarranted. Nationwide, the industry lost 679 brick-and-mortar branches in the course of a year. Despite the declining number of physical branch locations, membership has increased 4.5%.


Credit unions increased market share across all major loan products: auto, first mortgage, and credit cards. They are also changing the way they staff branches – the number of full-time employees increased 4.6% annually since September 2017, while the number of part-time employees decreased 4.6%.


Also, if you want a higher return on your products, the most-recent Fee Report, also courtesy of your League membership, reveals what other credit unions and banks charge for various product lines. View average fees for banks and credit unions together, separately, and side-by-side.


For more information, contact League Sales Analyst Courtney Heimberger at (800) 486-2917, ext. 208, or cheimberger@ohiocul.org.


New year, new blog! Check out the League’s newest legal and regulatory Insights

Credit union operations keep you busy day in and day out, but you still want to know the latest on legal and regulatory changes effecting credit unions. That’s why League Regulatory Counsel Miriah Lee has started a new blog to assist in keeping you apprised of important developments. Miriah provides commentary on the latest legal and regulatory buzz, while offering insights about its significance. The inaugural post of “On Miriah’s Mind” covers consumer data & privacy and the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings. Make sure you check back every second Wednesday of the month for the latest “On Miriah’s Mind” or follow our social media channels for reminders and other member benefit updates: TwitterFacebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat (@WeareOCUL)


Ohio Shared Branching Network nears 400 locations

With the addition of Incenta FCU, the Ohio Shared Branching Network (OSBN) gains six more branches, bringing the number of convenient locations available to your members up to 390. In addition to Incenta FCU, there are now 112 Ohio credit unions participating and more than 1,800 nationwide, amounting to more than 5,000 participating locations nationwide. Not to mention, Shared Branching is now in eight different countries.


For members who travel, don’t work close to their credit union, or simply enjoy the convenience of expanded access, Shared Branching links participating credit unions electronically, allowing members to perform transactions as if they were at their home branch. Shared Branching is yet another example of credit union membership offering the best of both worlds, individualized attention and nationwide availability. The cooperative spirit of credit unions allows you to work with each other in ways that competing banks typically do not. Visit SharedBranching.org or download the Shared Branching locator app to find branches near you. Contact OCUL Services Corporation Business Consultant Marty Auxter at (614) 581-5926 or mauxter@ohiocul.org to learn more.