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Posted: Mar 6, 2018
Categories: Regulations, Consulting
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ThePaymentsReview continues a new feature that occasionally highlights regulatory topics important to credit unions.

Accounting for loan losses is at the heart of credit union accounting. Setting aside reserves for loan losses is an important accounting component, but an increase in allowances reduces a credit union’s capital. Under current accounting standards, a credit union recognizes losses when they reach a probable threshold of loss. This is called an incurred loss accounting model. In practical terms, incurred loss accounting is a backwards-looking model, measuring a pool of loans against historic annualized write-offs. This method can drastically underrepresent potential future losses when a loan portfolio is exposed to a financial crisis, especially after a run of several years with lower losses. And this is exactly what happened following the financial crisis of 2008 in which some credit unions found themselves under reserved and unprepared for losses in their loan and mortgage portfolios while losses to their investments, and in many cases, shares declined. In the rising economy of the early 2000’s, losses were not being accounted for as “probable”.

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Posted: Feb 21, 2018
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Author: Lou Grilli

Use of debit continues to grow as consumers shift their cash and check spend to the convenience of plastic. According to the Fed, the number of debit payments increased from 56.5 billion in 2012 to 69.5 billion in 2015, the largest increase in the number of payments among the payment types. More recently, and more relevantly, Trellance credit unions saw their Visa Signature Debit transactions grow year over year in January 2018 by 8.83%. Yet at the same time, credit unions are seeing a decline in average debit interchange. So, what is going on?

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Posted: Jan 29, 2018
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In keeping with the tradition started last year, where we scored how well we did on the previous year’s predictions, here is a look at what we thought was going to happen in 2017, versus what really did.

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Posted: Jan 10, 2018
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ThePaymentsReview introduces a new feature, which will occasionally highlight regulatory topics important to credit unions.

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight, and has been modified.] 

Credit unions typically incorporate minimal fees, deriving most of their non-interest income from interchange on credit and debit portfolios. As the income from interchange declines, some credit unions look to fees to replace that revenue. What fees can be charged is, in part, limited by “Reg Z”.

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Posted: Nov 9, 2017
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A recent CNN Money article, Millennials Aren’t Opening Credit Cards. That’s a Mistake, caught my eye.   While the article does talk about the benefits for Millennials to open a credit card such as building a credit score, earning rewards, and fraud protection, it also mentions that the Card Act made it harder for Millennials to open credit cards.  The Card Act didn’t make it harder for Millennials (or other generations) to open credit cards, issuers did by their interpretation of the Card Act requirement of “proof of ability to pay”. 

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