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Alabama State GAC concludes with lawmaker visits

Rep. Jim Patterson (R-21st) meets with credit unions from Madison County

The second day of the Alabama State GAC had two main components: regulator roundtable and lawmaker visits. Attendees spent a couple of hours at the State House meeting with their state senators and representatives. Many of the messages to the lawmakers centered on public deposits and interchange fees. Even though the interchange fee is a federal issue right now, the merchants have begun reaching out to governors asking them to write their members of Congress. The meetings were especially important with so many new faces in Montgomery. The credit unions were very well received by their lawmakers.

During the hour long regulatory roundtable, credit unions heard frank talk from NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles and ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan. Being newly appointed to his position, Morgan joked he just got a computer, but it doesn't work. He told the attendees, many of whom he's known from his 37 years in the credit union business, that his plan this year is to meet with all of the state chartered credit unions. He's beginning with the ones he does not already know. He also told the attendees to get in touch with him when they have a problem. He said he's willing to work with credit unions before it's too late or to look at a regulation that might be outdated.

Yolles spoke for more than half an hour. He said that interest based risk was an area he feels could be a concern for credit unions. He again emphasized the need for credit unions to communicate with their examiners, something he's pushing to his people, and to question anything they don't understand. He says credit unions have rights and they must feel empowered to exercise them. He explained that examiners are taught to look for the problem areas and sometimes they find things they believe will be a problem. Yolles also went over the corporate stabilization plan and took a few questions on the subject. This was a very good session for credit unions and a rare chance to interact with their state and federal regulators.

NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles talks to credit unions as ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan looks on

Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) meets with Legacy CEO Joe McGee, Alabama Telco CEO Linda Cencula and LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine