CDFI Fund Spared on Cuts, NASCUS Reaccreditation, CUSO Card Awards
The U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions fund is not yet commenting on an announcement from the Senate Appropriations Committee that appears to leave much of its funding for this fiscal year unscathed.
Over the last few years, the fund has provided needed support to community development banks and credit unions and the initial budget proposals cut the fund sharply.
According to the committee’s announcement, the budget compromise deal has $227 million for the fund, an increase of $177 million (or 350%) above the level initially appropriated by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
The number is $19.75 million below the funding level appropriated in 2010, the committee noted, and maintains the administration's initial funding request.
“The CR level is equal to the FY12 President’s request and will continue critical seed funding that generates private investor confidence to support community development projects in our nation’s communities that are unserved or underserved by traditional financial institutions,” the committee said, “including affordable housing developments, retail developments, community facilities such as day care centers, and small business loans.”
Cliff Rosenthal, CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and a strong supporter of the fund, generally praised the development but stressed CDFI is not the only program facing cuts.
“Especially in light of the devastating cuts that other federal programs have faced, we take this as a strong statement of Obama administration support for the CDFI Fund,” said Rosenthal.
Keep Card Rewards
A leading card processing CUSO has released a white paper that urges credit union card issuers not to reel in debit and credit card reward programs but to target and change them instead.
The Members Group is a card processing CUSO that is affiliated with the Iowa Credit Union League and processes cards on the First Data Corps card platform.
“Still in Control” pointed at data from the Federal Reserve and others that show that card holders generally respond to even small rewards and incentives for card use. In one example from the Fed, the CUSO noted that even a 1% cash back bonus brought about an average increase of $220 per month among cardholders that had previously been inactive.
“More importantly, the researchers concluded that the small cash-back incentive encouraged cardholders to choose the rewards card over others in their wallets,” wrote Ivy Sprague, a product development architect at the CUSO.
The Missouri Division of Credit Unions has won reaccreditation by the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors.
The division touted the fact that it was the third state agency to receive the recognition since the accreditation process was started in 1989. The Missouri division become recognized in 1990. There are currently 27 state agencies that have the NASCUS distinction.
“I'm proud that our agency has been a leader in national accreditation,” said Ken Bonnot, director of the Division of Credit Unions. “It's a tribute to the professional state regulators on our team and their commitment to protecting Missouri consumers.”
A team from NASCUS performed an on-site review of the agency in Jefferson City informing Bonnot April 12.