By the time attendees headed home from the Florida Credit Union Association State Governmental Affairs Conference, they had met with their lawmakers, heard a keynote address from the Speaker of the House, met with their state and federal regulators, and received an inside look at the upcoming elections. It was a full day and a half for credit unions as they immersed themselves in state legislative and regulatory issues.
Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli provided the keynote remarks by telling credit unions about the progress being made in this legislative session and the priorities of the House. Florida Chamber of Commerce SVP of Political Strategy Marian Johnson, one of the deans of political strategists in the state, gave an overview of the upcoming elections from the state and federal levels. She said that through the Chamber surveys most Floridians are concerned about jobs above any other issue. She also said that the fastest growing electorate in the last 25 years is the “other” category over Republicans and Democrats. She asked credit unions to be engaged in the election process this year because every U.S. house seat, one senate seat, and 160 state seats are up for election; on top of the presidency. She said if credit unions weren’t trying to elect their candidates, then their competitors certainly would be.
NCUA and Florida Office of Financial Regulations (OFR) regulators spent 75 minutes with credit unions going over priorities and the state of credit unions in Florida. Bruce Ricca, the bureau chief of credit unions with OFR, said that 83 percent of state chartered credit unions were profitable and that 77 percent had a net worth over 10 percent. Both are excellent numbers that would make the competition envious. He and Ed Eastwood, control analyst for OFR, discussed loan portfolios and ways that credit unions could expand them within the regulations. NCUA Region 3 Associate Regional Director for Operations Joseph Ostrowidzki laid out the agencies priorities and said that they hear from consumers that a financial institution’s response program to an unauthorized access to member information was just as important as how the institution handled it. He also asked credit unions again to submit a comment on the Field of Membership issue before Monday’s deadline.
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Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli provides the keynote address at the State GAC.
NCUA Region 3 Associate Regional Director of Operations Joseph Ostrowidzki speaks while Florida Office of Financial Regulations Financial Control Analyst Ed Eastwood looks on.