redit unions in
states where marijuana is legal won’t
for providing services to cannabis-related businesses as long
as they follow money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, safety
and soundness, and other rules,
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood
said on Aug. 2.
“It’s a business decision for
the credit unions if they want
to take the deposits,” Hood
told CU Times in a wide-ranging
interview at the NCUA’s head-
quarters in Alexandria, Va.
He added, “We don’t get in-
volved with micro-managing
He said credit unions that pro-
vide services to cannabis-related
businesses must comply with
FinCEN rules, file Suspicious Ac-
tivity Reports and strictly adhere
to other rules.
Then, they will not be cited for
merely doing business with cannabis firms, Hood said.
have said they have had trouble ob-
taining financial services because
marijuana remains illegal on the
federal level. They have said banks
and credit unions have expressed
concern that they will be cited for
conducting business with them
even if they follow all other rules.
Congress is considering legislation that would provide a safe har-bor for those financial institutions.
Hood said Congress could
remove all ambiguity if it en-
acted legislation to declassify
ust like that, the Midwestern
states are emerging as the
new hotbed for credit union
The $1.1 billion 3Rivers Federal Credit Union in Fort Wayne,
Ind., said it signed a purchase and
assumption agreement to acquire
the $298 million West End Bank in
Richmond, Ind., for an estimated
$37 million in cash.
This deal is the fourth bank
acquisition announced by a Midwestern credit union since May,
when the $3.2 billion Teachers Credit Union in South Bend,
Ind., agreed to buy the Michigan-based $119 million New Buffalo
Savings Bank in a cash deal of
more than $21 million. In June,
the $962 million Verve, a Credit
Union in Oshkosh, Wis., announced plans to buy the $295
million South Central Bank in
Chicago, Ill. And in July, the $605
million Corporate America Family
Credit Union in Elgin, Ill., signed
an agreement to acquire the $93
million Ben Franklin Bank of Illinois in Arlington Heights.
In addition, five Florida credit
unions and one Arizona credit
union have announced bank acquisition agreements so far this year.
On Aug. 5, the $8.7 billion VyStar
Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla.,
said it closed the acquisition of the
$280 million Citizens State bank in
Perry, Fla., after securing regulatory
approvals. That deal was initially
announced in January.
West End Bank, which specializes in commercial loans, posted a
net income of $391,000 and an ROA
of 0.52% at the end of the first quar-
ter, according to the FDIC. The bank
manages $219 million in deposits
and capital of nearly $30 million.
Founded in 1894, the bank oper-
ates four branches in Wayne County
and employs 82 staff members who
serve 24,000 customers. The bank
also operates a high school branch.
Once the deal is completed by
the first quarter of 2020 pending
regulatory approvals and other
customary closing conditions, the
bank’s branches and employees
will continue to operate under the
credit union’s brand. n
CUs Won’t Be Sanctioned for
Providing Marijuana Banking: Hood
Midwest Emerges as
CU-Bank Buy Hotbed
he CFPB has agreed to
extend the comment
period on its proposed,
Comments will now be due on
Sept. 18 on the plan, which covers
third-party debt collectors.
Several consumer groups had
requested that the CFPB extend
the deadline, saying that the complexity of the proposal would
make it difficult to fully analyze it.
The agency said it was extending the deadline to “facilitate the
ability of commenters to consider
the issues raised” in the proposal.
The consumer groups had requested a 60-day delay. The CFPB
said it had received another request for a 90-day delay.
The groups said the complexity
of the issue and length of the pro-
posed rule – 538 pages – make it
difficult to comment on.
They said there are not many
organizations that represent the
interests of people subject to debt
collection that have the expertise
to analyze the rule. They also said
they have been engaged in commenting on proposals from the
CFPB and other agencies.
The rules are intended to address allegations that debt collectors harass people who owe
money. It limits the number of
contacts that collectors may have
with borrowers. Consumer groups
have criticized the plan, saying
a debt collector could still make
seven telephone calls a week to a
The rule does not directly affect credit unions, but some credit
unions hire third-party companies to service their loans. n
eople who expect to buy
a house in the next 12
months are more likely
to worry about their
personal economic prospects
than interest rates, and more likely than not to be buying one for
the first time, according to a survey released Aug. 6 by the nation’s
third-largest credit union.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
of Tysons, Va. ($24.4 billion, $1.8
million members) found 40% of
adults report personal finances
or job stability as the top deci-sion-making factors when considering a new home purchase,
compared with 37% who cite low
The survey’s results helped
support PenFed’s decision to re-
vise its first-time homebuyers’
The program also comes as
PenFed originated $989.8 million
in real estate loans in the first six
months of 2019, down 49.5% from
2018’s first half.
PenFed hired Morning Consult,
a polling firm founded in Washington, D.C., in 2013, to probe
consumer sentiments and knowledge surrounding mortgages and
home buying options.
“At PenFed, we prioritize un-
derstanding consumer concerns
so we can tailor products to meet
those concerns and help consum-
ers accomplish their goals,” Lisa
Cookson, PenFed’s SVP of mort-
gage operations and home equity,
Among the 2,200 adults sur-
veyed online from July 19 to 22:
• 35% considering buying a home
said they would prefer to fi-
nance through a credit union,
compared with 41% through a
bank and 14% from Quicken-
Loans, LendingTree and other
• 73% said down payment requirements were important
when deciding on a specific
• 59% said knowing about Private
Mortgage Insurance coverage
would impact their decision to
choose a specific lender. n
CFPB Agrees to Comment
PenFed Retools First-Time