Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

15 Ratios Every Board Member Should Know

"Key metrics to evaluate your credit union and bridge the gap between macro trends and micro performance." *** 15 Ratios Every Board Member Should Know:

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Firefighter's Credit Union Newsroom

"A few recent NCUA Letters to Credit Unions have included information regarding member education. Below are a few areas where credit unions have been encouraged to educate members - in addition to the required regulatory disclosures already provided."  Read complete article at; Firefighter's Credit Union Newsroom:

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Risk Assessments & Documentation Keys to FFIEC Guidance

With the compliance date for the FFIEC’s Internet Banking Authentication right around the corner, several credit unions have expressed their concerns as to the compliance impact their credit union will face if the guidelines for authentication are not fully implemented by January, 2012.

The core principles of the FFIEC guidance include ongoing risk assessments and strategies, layered security controls, and improved customer awareness of online banking risks. The Supplement stresses that the risk assessment(s) involved in the institution’s efforts to comply with the guidelines is not a one-time project. Instead, it’s ongoing:

“Financial institutions should review and update their existing risk assessments as new information becomes available, prior to implementing new electronic financial services, or at least every twelve months.”

The risk assessment(s) aids in determining which online transactions are higher risk than others. And although the guidance applies to all internet banking, it recognizes the fact that financial institutions will have more robust controls as the risk level of the transaction increases. The guidance uses consumer and business banking as an example. Although both would require security controls, the Guidance recognizes that the risk level differs:

“Since the frequency and dollar amounts of these [consumer] transactions are generally lower than commercial transactions, they pose a comparatively lower level of risk. Financial institutions should implement layered security, as described herein, consistent with the risk for covered consumer transactions."

The Guidance goes on to state:

“Since the frequency and dollar amounts of these [business] transactions are generally higher than consumer transactions, they pose a comparatively increased level of risk to the institution and its customer. Financial institutions should implement layered security, as described herein, utilizing controls consistent with the increased level of risk for covered business transactions. Additionally, the Agencies recommend that institutions offer multifactor authentication to their business customers.”

NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 11-CU-09 states:

Risk Assessments & Documentation Keys to FFIEC Guidance:

By JiJi Bahhur, Regulatory Compliance Counsel NAFCU


“Federally insured credit unions will be expected to adapt appropriate strategies from the supplement to strengthen and enhance controls by January 2012. Beginning in 2012, at credit unions offering electronic services, NCUA examiners will evaluate these controls under the enhanced expectations outlined in the supplement.”


Documentation is Key. As credit unions strive towards following the updated guidance, they should be sure to document their progress to show examiners. Highlight the steps the credit union has taken to implement additional security controls as indicated by the risk assessment. Show examiners your plan for continued risk assessments and new controls. If your vendors will be slowly rolling out security enhancements in 2012, document your communications with these vendors so that examiners know you are working on mitigating these risks.


For additional information on the FFIEC Authentication Guidance, check out our June 29th blog post.



The U.S. Central “Wind Down” - Why It Happened, What It Means

"That decision by the regulator triggered the big question: how did this happen? A source with significant familiarity with the U.S. Central operations told Credit Union Times: “What U.S. Central had was not economically viable. Its services were priced out of the market.”" The U.S. Central “Wind Down” - Why It Happened, What It Means:

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EXPLOSIVE DEVICE AT EMS CALL - ALWAYS BE AWARE

"A quick background check via the internet revealed the owner of the residence was a satan worshiper. Based on revealed information it was discovered that December 23rd is a significant holiday for satan worshipers. It is theorized the occupants had intended to take the EMS crew hostage and then to ambush the remaining responders who would attempt a rescue. " EXPLOSIVE DEVICE AT EMS CALL - ALWAYS BE AWARE:

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Florida credit unions boom in 2011 - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

"Florida credit unions are growing at a torrid pace, fueled by a backlash against banks and Wall Street and by marketing campaigns focusing on their differences from banks as not-for-profit cooperatives. These financial groups tend to charge lower fees and score higher on customer satisfaction surveys than commercial banks do, independent studies show.   Read Complete Story; "Florida credit unions boom in 2011 - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com:

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shared Branching: The Epitome of the Credit Union Philosophy

 If you are a credit union member, there's a good chance you've heard the term “shared branching.” If you are considering membership, then this special member-friendly service, unique to credit unions and not seen in virtually any other ... Shared Branching: The Epitome of the <b>Credit Union</b> Philosophy: by Cyndi Cohen
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S&P/Case-Shiller shows home prices down again in October

S&P/Case-Shiller shows home prices down again in October: Home prices in October declined in 19 American cities, as the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price index showed drops in both the 10-city and 20-city composites.
According to the latest S&P report, home prices declined 1.1% and 1.2% for the 10- and 20-city composite indexes.

"There was weakness in the monthly statistics, as 19 [...]

FinCEN Extends Deadline for New CTR and SAR Forms

Written by Bernadette Clair, Regulatory Compliance Counsel NAFCU
In the spirit of holiday giving, here’s one more present for you…FinCEN has extended its originally proposed deadline for using the new CTR and SAR from June 30, 2012 to March 31, 2013. The extension is intended to give institutions more time to make the transition to the new reports, and make any necessary internal processing or system changes.
But wait…we’re not out of the woods just yet. Remember that proposal FinCEN issued to mandate electronic CTR and SAR filing? That’s still on the table and the proposed deadline remains June 30, 2012. We blogged about this proposal on September 19th.
Although there will be a short reprieve from mandatory use of the new reports, don’t expect the same for e-filing. Here’s what FinCEN had to say about e-filing in this latest announcement:
“FinCEN expects that the clear benefits associated with the transition to a fully electronic reporting system will support mandating electronic filings of BSA reports as of the proposed date of June 30, 2012. FinCEN will continue to consider the comments received on its proposal, and will follow the normal procedures for concluding the notice process. As reflected in the notice, for those financial institutions unable to meet the proposed electronic filing deadline, FinCEN will consider, based upon certain limited hardship exceptions, specific requests to file the most current paper forms for up to one year past the mandatory electronic filing deadline. Further information on how financial institutions can make such requests will be provided in a future notice.”
Thus, if you’re not yet e-filing your CTRs and SARs, now is the time to start thinking about it. Also, keep an eye out for more information on the new forms, which FinCEN says it will be making available soon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Can Lower Interest Rate Policies Resolve The Crises? - Forbes

Can Lower Interest Rate Policies Resolve The Crises? - Forbes: "Of course, looser monetary policies of the central bank often do produce bull markets. However, that’s when the shift from tight to loose money comes. This year, we haven’t had tight money. So they are going from loose to looser money. That’s not the same thing."

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Turning Your Cellphone Into Your Home Phone - Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD

 "Anyone with a cellphone is familiar with this scenario: You come home, take your jacket off, and set your purse or briefcase down near the door. A few hours later, you get your cellphone out of your bag to use it, only to find that you’ve missed three calls because you weren’t close enough to hear your phone ringing."  Turning Your Cellphone Into Your Home Phone - Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD:


Some New Little Treasures for the iPhone - NYTimes.com

Some New Little Treasures for the iPhone - NYTimes.com: "For iPhone owners, 2011 brought a flood of new apps, but in many cases they struggled to outshine last year’s best. So rather than present a top 10 list that includes names from 2010, I’m including only apps that had their debuts this year. "

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Holiday season marked by record low interest rates

Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows with the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage setting a new record with an interest rate of 3.91%, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's down from 3.94% a week ago.
Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM remained at 3.21%, and the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.85% this week, down from 2.86% last week.
Freddie Mac [...] Holiday season marked by record low interest rates:



Missed Opportunities are a Crying Shame

Missed Opportunities are a Crying Shame: Credit unions are designed to be an alternative and it is high time that they started to act like one. Developed and support the concept that proper mortgage lending to members for primary residences should be adjustable and tied to the cost of funds ...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Road Ahead: Cloud and IT Predictions For 2012

The Road Ahead: Cloud and IT Predictions For 2012: Guest post written by Carl Eberling Carl Eberling is chief technology officer for Quest Software. Here?s a look at ahead at what 2012 holds for cloud computing and the IT sector. Google and Microsoft will strongly challenge Apple?s lead in the IT mobile market. When deciding which platforms to support, IT administrators are challenged with ...

Is it a tablet app or a digital magazine? Yes. - Forbes

Is it a tablet app or a digital magazine? Yes. - Forbes: "011 was a great year for tablets iPad, but with the rise of Amazon’s Kindle Fire as well as competitors like Nook and Kobo Vox, it will be very hard for Apple to maintain its leadership (even with an overpriced iPad3). But the hardware’s issue should not blind you with the reel ongoing war: Content. "

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The difference between coaching and mentoring

The difference between coaching and mentoring: ? As a coach within a large company, I have often noticed that conversations with team leaders and their members end in a way that neither the leader nor the team members are happy. This only makes things worse. Many reasons can be listed, but the lack of listening and the inability to control one's ...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Argument For Doubling Down On Deposits

The Argument For Doubling Down On Deposits: "As of 3Q 2011, credit union checking accounts grew at 3.6% annually, or five times the 0.7% growth rate of credit union membership. Why is this significant? Because checking accounts are viewed as a proxy fo"

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Does Your Business Model Still Work?

I can not agree more with the writer!! His quote is right on!
"As a former credit union CEO, I have seen firsthand the industry’s love of the status quo. Innovation as a concept is difficult, but credit union leaders are changing and becoming more agile. They are warming to the idea that we must all look at the credit union business model differently – and not only because the financial habits and preferences of constituents are changing, but because the players are changing. This creates constantly oscillating rules of engagement."      To Read more follow this link;   Does Your Business Model Still Work?:

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Stern Advice: Financial predictions for 2012 | Reuters

Stern Advice: Financial predictions for 2012 | Reuters: " A lot of people are predicting more of the same for 2012: Another year of stock market volatility, high unemployment, banking industry upheaval, weak housing and more talk about Facebook, mobile commerce, 401(k) plans and taxes.

But maybe that's just because it's hard to envision change."

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Meet Members’ Governance Expectations | 2011-12-16 | Credit Union Magazine

Meet Members’ Governance Expectations | 2011-12-16 | Credit Union Magazine: "All directors need to be heard. While the board chairman may call board meetings to order, ask for votes, and adjourn proceedings, all directors should take a dynamic role in meetings. The board chair should query quiet board members about their thoughts and opinions, and keep all directors focused on strategy."

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Member Databases a ‘Gold Mine’ | 2011-12-01 | Credit Union Magazine

Member Databases a ‘Gold Mine’ | 2011-12-01 | Credit Union Magazine: "Credit unions don’t fully appreciate that their member databases are gold mines that can generate new sales, help acquire new members, and boost the bottom line.”"

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A League Apart

A League Apart: Whether credit unions are in the planning phase of disaster recovery or have actually been hit, regional leagues offer resources and support for members, employees, and institutions....[Read Article]

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: A look at stories across HousingWire's weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:
House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he opposed a bill passed by the Senate to extend the payroll tax cut through February, and would likely propose another version of the extension Monday.
The [...]

Exercise called leading factor in firefighter strains, sprains

Exercise called leading factor in firefighter strains, sprains: "Being in top shape is a priority for firefighters, but exercise is also the main reason for on-the-job injuries within"

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Florida banks still teetering, compared with rest of nation

Florida banks still teetering, compared with rest of nation: By John Hielscher The nation's financial system is continuing to mend from the wounds of the Great Recession, with nearly two-thirds of US banks and credit unions now earning top ratings from analyst BauerFinancial Inc. But Florida's battered banking ...
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Small banks rate well, but does anyone notice?

Small banks rate well, but does anyone notice?: Bank bashing may be a national sport but it is the credit unions and mutual banks that have the real image problem – consumers seem to be oblivious to their existence. Choice recently surveyed 2500 of its members on their satisfaction and found while ...
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Deposit Rates Expected to Remain Near Historic Lows in 2012

Deposit Rates Expected to Remain Near Historic Lows in 2012: Falling deposit rates may chip away at savings gains, CMG report shows.

Deposit Rates Expected to Remain Near Historic Lows in 2012

Deposit Rates Expected to Remain Near Historic Lows in 2012: By Michelle A. Samaad Falling rates on deposits at credit unions may continue to chip away at savings growth gains within the industry. According to CUNA Mutual Group's December Credit Union Trends Report, low rates have discouraged large deposit ...
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Don't Be Passive About Passwords

Don't Be Passive About Passwords: Multiple methods exist for increasing security, but password protection is a good place to start.

Mortgage rates fall to record lows

Mortgage rates fall to record lows: Mortgage rates sunk to record lows again this week.

Gadgetwise Blog: Facebook's New Timeline: What Do You Want to Know?

Gadgetwise Blog: Facebook's New Timeline: What Do You Want to Know?: Some questions about Facebook's new Timeline profile pages are answered.



Local Credit Union Great Source for Small Business Loans ...

Local <b>Credit Union</b> Great Source for Small Business Loans <b>...</b>: Is your small business running on fumes? Credit unions are eager to make the small business loans that large banks aren't interested in.
AllBusiness.com - Home Page Top Stories

W2W: Meeting Members' Expectations Is Key for Kerry Parker

W2W: Meeting Members' Expectations Is Key for Kerry Parker:
“With what's been going on now is that people across the economic grid are looking at credit unions as a financial alternative. Now is the time to take advantage of that and show consumers we can be sophisticated while retaining that warm welcome. ...
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Credit Union Times

Onsite Coverage: NCUSIF Income Up, Equity Ratio Unchanged

Onsite Coverage: NCUSIF Income Up, Equity Ratio Unchanged: NCUA says $374.9 million this year, compared with $512.3 million loss predicted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bits Blog: F.A.A. Approves iPads in Cockpits, but Not for Passengers

Bits Blog: F.A.A. Approves iPads in Cockpits, but Not for Passengers: On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said that pilots on American Airlines flights would be officially allowed to use iPads instead of paper flight manuals in the cockpit, just a few feet from the most critical aviation equipment on a plane, even during takeoff and landing. You, back in Seat 32B: turn off that Kindle.

Improve Your Credit Card Program In 3 Key Ways

Improve Your Credit Card Program In 3 Key Ways: Foster growth and protect your returns by focusing on marketing, product development and underwriting approaches....[Read Article]

The Market Today Vining Sparks

The Market Today : "What to Watch:
Today is a fairly quiet day for economic data. Mortgage applications for the week ending December 9 rose another 4.1% on 9.3% more applications for refinance. Purchase applications fell 8.2% on the week. The four-week moving average for refinances is up to 3,255 which is almost identical to where the index was at this time last year. "

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CFPB's Latest on Closing Disclosures

CFPB's Latest on Closing Disclosures:

Written by Steve Van Beek

Yesterday, the CFPB blogged on its latest efforts to combine the RESPA and TILA closing documents. The CFPB is soliciting additional feedback from consumers and those in the mortgage industry on their latest set of two disclosure options.

From the blog post:

"We’re giving a close-up to closing costs this month by trying to figure out which of two different designs communicates both the closing costs and transaction details clearly. One is similar to the existing HUD-1 settlement statement that consumers now receive when they close a mortgage loan. The other is based on our prototype for the disclosure you get when you first apply.

****

Now we also want to keep working hard to make things clearer for consumers, so we are testing an entirely new design for disclosing closing cost details. We’re curious to see if something different may work even better. This new design provides the same information as the other prototype, but it uses a format for the closing costs that is based on our application disclosure prototype. It has sections that correspond to the application disclosure and a little more plain language. We’re wondering if this design will make the disclosure even clearer and easier for consumers. Also, what improvements could we make to both designs?"

Similar to past "Know Before You Owe" stages, the CFPB has both forms available for review and comment. You can provide your feedback by going to CFPB's website and switching to the "Industry Tool."

Mortgage Lending In Credit Unions $20M-$50M

Mortgage Lending In <b>Credit Unions</b> $20M-$50M: A peer group comparison evaluating whether credit unions that grant first mortgages perform differently than other credit unions.
www.creditunions.com/article.aspx?articleid=4789

Existing home sales to be revised lower

Existing home sales to be revised lower: If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn't get much worse, think again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Credit Unions to the Rescue with Home Equity Loans

<b>Credit Unions</b> to the Rescue with Home Equity Loans: Are you looking for a simple, smart way to consolidate high interest credit card debt? If you answered 'yes' to these questions, you're not alone. Are you a credit union member? Do you own a home? If you also answered 'yes' to these questions, ...
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The "E-Mail Effect" - And Its Impact - Forbes

The "E-Mail Effect" - And Its Impact - Forbes: "The subject is old, but this is possibly a new — or at least a different — perspective on it. The issue is what I call the “e-mail effect.” It relates to the words you use or the reaction you elicit when e-mailing on a sensitive (or even a not-so-sensitive) subject. "

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Retirement Planning In A Changing World

Retirement Planning In A Changing World: Retiring at the age of 65 is quickly becoming a thing of the past. So, what is happening to make this change?


Five New Management Metrics You Need To Know

Five New Management Metrics You Need To Know: After years of leading teams and watching some of the best startup CEOs in the world, I've learned that the most important metrics are often ones you never read about on the income statement or in the financial press.

The Market Today Vining Sparks

The Market Today: "What to Watch:
The NFIB’s small business optimism index rose from 90.2 to 92.0 in November, its third monthly increase in a row. While the overall index levels remain low historically, there are some rather bright spots in the report. Small businesses expecting sales to improve over the next three months rose from -4% to +4%."

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Filene Home : Filene Research Institute

Filene Home : Filene Research Institute: "Four board profiles emerge, from the weakest (“rubber stamp”), to the middling (“scout” on one hand, “watchdog” on the other), to the strongest (“challenger” boards). Challengers are rare, but they combine the best inclinations of helpful advisers and tough overseers."

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More Payday, Less Payday Lender

More Payday, Less Payday Lender: "According to Callahan & Associates’ Peer- to-Peer software, 560 credit unions offer alternatives to payday loans as of 3Q11, up from 517 the year before. These loan solutions frequently include better rates and terms for repayment."

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NAFCU announces Cost of Funds Report | NAFCU

NAFCU announces Cost of Funds Report | NAFCU: " NAFCU is now offering members a quarterly cost of funds report that will help credit unions manage their expenses and make comparisons with peers according to asset-size.

NAFCU’s Cost of Funds Report aggregates data from NCUA’s quarterly call report and breaks down the numbers according to state, region and peer group. The report will be available every quarter following the release of NCUA’s call report."

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CFO Focus: Financial Understanding for Directors

CFO Focus: Financial Understanding for Directors: "CEOs and CFOs play key roles in helping boards understand a credit union’s financial picture. Last week in San Diego, John Oliver presented “Fundamentals of Financial Understanding for Credit Union Directors.” This summary of that presentation might help you think about your own directors’ current financial knowledge and future learning needs."

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Aite: Retirees Are Redefining Traditional Priorities

Aite: Retirees Are Redefining Traditional Priorities: As a retiring population’s wealth management goals shift from accumulation to decumulation, the wealth management industry is struggling to catch up, according to a new Aite Group report.

Exec Comp: IRS May Resolve 457 Plan Questions

Exec Comp: IRS May Resolve 457 Plan Questions: The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it plans to issue proposed regulations to clarify how 457 Plans are used.

NCUA: Employee Used Agency Email to Send Porn to 'Minor'

NCUA: Employee Used Agency Email to Send Porn to 'Minor': Report to Congress says NCUA OIG proposes "removing the employe from federal service."

Changes have already boosted credit unions

Changes have already boosted <b>credit unions</b>: BELFAST BRIEFING: CREDIT UNION members in the North are celebrating an early Christmas present this week – one they hope they will never have to use. Although not valid until next March, the “gift” has already delivered a confidence boost to 177 local ...
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Customer satisfaction dips for banks, soars for credit unions

Customer satisfaction dips for banks, soars for <b>credit unions</b>: By Jeff Harrington, Times Staff Writer In a year in which big banks got hammered over new fees, customer satisfaction among their rival credit unions jumped to a record high, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released ...
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New Score Identifies Likelihood of Business Failure

New Score Identifies Likelihood of Business Failure: Experian says its Financial Stability Risk Score enables users to segment businesses into risk categories.