Over 1/2 Of Cards Issued Are EMV-Enabled

on 10:13 AM

As reported by Pymnts.com, 54.6% of all cards issued globally by the end of 2017 were EMV-enabled. In addition, the number of EMV payment cards in circulation around the world increased by 1 billion over the previous 12 months to a total of 7.1 billion.

Data also shows that 63.7% of all card-present transactions made around the world between January and December 2017 used EMV chip technology. That is an increase from 52.4% in 2016.

Regionally, EMV chip card adoption is highest in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, followed closely by Europe Zone 1. The United States is in 2nd to last place.

Federal Marijuana Legalization Gaining Traction

on 10:05 AM

While financial institutions serving marijuana industry became a bit more perilous with Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversing Obama-era Department of Justice guidance earlier this year, credit unions are seeing the movement in the U.S. Senate toward decriminalization.

Yesterday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders signed onto a bill introduced last year by Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and punish states that have harsh marijuana laws Thursday. The bill would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of most dangerous substances and would eliminate federal criminal penalties related to trafficking, growing, distributing and possessing pot. Sanders says the country should “end this absurdity” of classifying marijuana in the same category of substances like heroin, and that “nobody I know thinks that it makes any sense at all that under the federal Controlled Substances Act, you have … marijuana as a Schedule I drug alongside of heroin, which is a killer drug,”

Sanders is the 3rd co-sponsor of Booker's Marijuana Justice Act. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., often mentioned as a possible 2020 presidential candidate, also joined Booker’s effort. Nine states have some form of legalized marijuana policies, including Vermont, where possession of small amounts will be legal for adults starting later this year. Twenty-nine states have medical marijuana systems.

See Sanders & Booker joint video announcement below.

Also on Thursday of this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced that he will soon be introducing a separate bill to decriminalize marijuana, marking a significant shift in policy for the Democratic leader.  Schumer says that legislation to increase access to marijuana is “long overdue” and that far “too many people” have been affected by the government’s crackdown on the drug. Schumer called Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole memo, effectively limiting federal prosecutions of groups or individuals who sold pot in a manner legal under state laws, “a very bad one.”

As an aside, last week former House Speaker John Boehner joined the board of Acreage Holdings, a firm that cultivates, processes and dispenses marijuana.

NCUA Revises Advertising Reg., Changes Capital Planning & Stress Test

on 9:38 AM

The NCUA Board convened yesterday and approved two items, as reported on the Agency's website.

Final Stress-Testing Rule Tailors Requirements to Covered Credit Unions’ Size
Capital planning and stress testing requirements for credit unions >$10B provide some regulatory relief under a fi
nal rule (Part 702) approved by the Board. The rule requiring capital planning and stress testing for federally insured credit unions with assets of $10 billion or greater anticipated credit unions being allowed to conduct stress tests once the NCUA had completed three stress tests. The Board approved a proposed rule making changes at its October 2017 open meeting.  Under the final rule approved yesterday, credit unions with assets of less than $20 billion will continue to develop annual capital plans, but those plans will no longer be submitted to NCUA each year by May 31. Credit unions with assets greater than $20 billion will continue to submit plans that must be approved by the agency.

Under the final rule, NCUA will no longer conduct supervisory stress tests. Credit unions subject to the rule will conduct stress testing themselves. NCUA has reserved the right to conduct stress tests on covered credit unions if it deems such action necessary.

Credit unions with assets of less than $15 billion will no longer be subject to stress-testing requirements. Credit unions with assets greater than $15 billion will be required to conduct stress testing, though credit unions with assets greater than $20 billion will be subject to a 5 percent minimum stress test capital ratio.

The final rule is available online and becomes effective June 1, 2018.

Rule Provides Options when using NCUA’s Official Advertising Statement
Credit unions will gain an added measure of flexibility and regulatory relief in complying with the NCUA’s advertising rule under a final amending rule (Part 740) approved by the Board.

The advertising rule had required federally insured credit unions to use one of three versions of the NCUA’s official statement in all advertising. Today’s approved rule adds a fourth version, allowing a credit union to state “insured by NCUA.” To provide additional regulatory relief, the Board is expanding a current exemption from the advertising statement requirement regarding radio and television advertisements and eliminating the requirement to include the official advertising statement on statements of condition required to be published by law.

The final rule is available online and becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Beige Book Remains Mostly Rosy, But Tariffs Flagged As One Concern

on 9:01 AM

Beige Book Remains Mostly Rosy, But Tariffs Flagged As One Concern

Senate OKs CUNA-backed disapproval of CFPB lending bulletin

on 8:31 AM

Senate OKs CUNA-backed disapproval of CFPB lending bulletin

CUNA backs Senate use of CRA for CFPB lending bulletin

on 8:45 AM

CUNA backs Senate use of CRA for CFPB lending bulletin

Reminder: CUAC applications open through April 23

on 9:12 AM

Reminder: CUAC applications open through April 23

Mulvaney highlights CU issues during Congressional hearings

on 10:16 AM

Mulvaney highlights CU issues during Congressional hearings