It was a packed schedule. Lots of speakers. Plenty of big ideas. A bustling exhibit hall. Constant chatter in the halls and during breaks. A generally upbeat mood. What did you miss out on learning because you were not at the annual conference of the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues in the Las Vegas Mirage hotel?
* MBL’s Time Is Now. CUNA’s CEO Bill Cheney did not exactly promise the member business lending cap would be lifted soon – but he did say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had promised a vote on the issue. And, per Cheney, that vote will come in the lame duck session of Congress, meaning before year end.
The sides are stark of course. Community banks want to keep the cap in place for credit unions, who want it obliterated.
Cheney now has called for a “hike the Hill” show of strength in the last week of November when he wants credit unions and business members to pound on doors in Washington, to get the message across that MBL matters, not just to credit unions but also to the nation’s economic recovery.
An electorate that is less white, with more immigrants, and with many fewer church-goers spells a run of bad times for the Republican Party, per Carlson. He indicated he expected the GOP to change, dramatically, to adjust to new demographic realities. But he offered no timetable.
Carlson, incidentally, was not optimistic that there would be easy or quick solutions to the so-called “fiscal cliff” issue now consuming Washington, D.C. He did seem to think Republicans would give on more taxes for the wealthy but he did not appear to see a path to controlling entitlements spending that would leave both parties happy.
De Dios gave her talk a day before Carlson – but in many ways she set the stage for his remarks. Hispanics, she noted, had made a huge difference in the 2012 presidential election – and they can do the same with many credit unions, she indicated.
The key, according to De Dios: credit unions need to decide they want to pursue that market, then pursue it properly (with bilingual staff, Spanish language materials, etc.)
Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services’ CEO, in brief remarks put concrete parameters around his company’s rollout of EMV, the PIN-and-chip security upgrade planned for credit cards over the next few years, according to timetables from Visa and MasterCard. “We are taking a phased approach.” CO-OP, Hollen said, has an EMV rollout on its road map, but “the magnetic stripe will remain on cards for eight to 10 years.”
He said that CO-OP will go live with an EMV pilot “by year end.”
He also warned that EMV cards – which come with a computer chip and software – “are much more expensive, approaching $5 per card.”
The takeaway from Goldman’s talks: banks have dropped the ball but it is up to credit unions to pick it up and run with it and, so far, they haven’t. A lot of consumer outreach and education has to occur for credit unions to truly seize the initiative of Bank Transfer Day, suggested Goldman.