Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 PowerPoint Tips of 2012

Over the past year we’ve published a host of PowerPoint tips for creating more effective and professional-looking presentations. With January just around the corner, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the most popular PowerPoint posts from 2012.
Browse the list below to find tips and ideas on working with PowerPoint animations, fonts, graphics and more.
#1. How to Create a PowerPoint Template
Top 10 PowerPoint Tips of 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath

5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath: Experts discuss lessons from MCU’s issues. MCU President/CEO Kam Wong discusses what his credit union has learned not to do next time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Ways to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot as a Public Speaker

5 Ways to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot as a Public Speaker:
I let the doctor talk me into a flu shot during my annual physical this week, and I’ve had a bit of a reaction to it.  I bled, my arm swelled up, and now I’ve got the mini-flu.  So, needing a laugh, I am thankful to friend and great speaker Micah Solomon, guru of customer service in the digital era, for sending me a link to the Onion TED-talk spoof.  It’s fun, you’ll get a laugh or two, and it’s not even 20 minutes long.
It got me thinking about the serious faux pas underlying this spoof – what to avoid (besides flu shots) when you’re speaking in public so that you don’t end up spoofing yourself.
1.  Kill the clichés.  There are some things speakers just shouldn’t say.  “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”  “This is a paradigm-shifting idea.”  “We’ll get synergy.”  The Onion talk starts with killing two birds with one stone and then runs with it brilliantly.
2.  Block the extended metaphor.   For some reason, speakers find it hard to resist, once they’ve begun with a metaphor, especially a sports metaphor, keeping it going long beyond what decency and sanity dictates.  Metaphors are moments, not arguments.  Don’t hang your rhetorical structure on them.
3.  Take a humility pill.   Audiences care more about themselves and their own problems than you, the speaker.  So don’t make the talk about how you’re feeling, or the fascinating process by which you arrived at your current state of grace.   Of course, to set against that, audiences do love it when the speaker shares a little of her life story – a relevant bit – because that humanizes her.  The trick is knowing how much to share and when to stop.  Tip:  connect it to a concern the audience has.
4.  Don’t abuse the slides.   I’ve ranted against the misuse of Power Point and other slide software many times, but the Onion spoof shows that slides can be dumb even when they’re well-designed and avoid the obvious pitfalls like using them as speaker notes.  In this case, they go wrong 2 ways.  First, they illustrate things that don’t need to be illustrated.  Everyone knows what a traffic jam looks like; we don’t need a picture.  Second, they illustrate with generic pictures, not real ones.  We don’t need a picture of just any car, we need a picture of the car.
5.  Share the limelight.  You have temporary charge of that roomful of people as a speaker; you are the authority.  The greatest gift you can give that audience, then, is to share the limelight with them.  Far too many speakers don’t leave room in their speeches for the audience, beyond the lame and obvious “Show of hands; how many people here are givers, not takers?”  Find ways to make your speech genuinely and usefully interactive.  It’s not about you; it’s about the audience, always.   
Here's the Onion 'TED' talk.  Enjoy!

Will The Estate Tax Boomerang As We Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

Will The Estate Tax Boomerang As We Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?: Get ready for Congress to whittle away at most of the cute tax tricks that are currently part of the estate planner's toolbox.

Obama Wins: What Happens Next?

Obama Wins: What Happens Next?: How will the economy perform and what effect could a second Obama term have on the financial markets? Will the fiscal cliff come to fruition and, if so, what affect could it have on the economy? Read this article, the first in a series of three to learn more!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SWOT! | Achieving Skills


Swot isn’t just the sound when going after a fly (that sound is actually spelled swat). A SWOT analysis is a helpful tool to assess your organization, department or even you as an individual. It’s a good exercise to start the planning process for the short term or long term. Go through the following exercise for your business or yourself – you might be surprised what you come up with.

Instructions: prepare the following analysis. You may want to discuss this with others on your team. Once you identify five areas under each element of the SWOT analysis, rank order the areas in terms of which has the biggest impact on the organization or if you’re doing this for yourself, order them in terms of the biggest impact on your life. During your brainstorming session, you may come up with many more than five areas. Prioritize these as to their impact and identify the top five.
Element 1 – Strengths – identify five areas the organization, or you, has as a strength. These can be internal or external. Examples: Internal – highly trained/seasoned staff, robust technology system; External – business location, relationship with community.
Element 2 – Weaknesses – identify five areas the organization has as a weakness. Examples: Internal – inexperienced staff, legacy technology system; External – business location, relationship with community.
Element 3 – Opportunities – identify five areas the organization has as an opportunity. Opportunities are areas you have yet to take advantage of. Examples: Internal – technology system that has capabilities that will streamline organizational processes; External – involvement with local chamber of commerce for exposure, community news – radio, online and print.
Element 4 – Threats – identify three to five areas the organization has as a threat. Threats are areas that may or may not affect the organization – areas to monitor. Examples: Internal – no cross training, no disaster recovery plan; External – weak local economy, slow market.
Now that you’ve completed the SWOT analysis your plan should fall into place. Your answers to the following questions will help you formulate your priorities. Think about your plan covering the next 12 to 18 months.
Do you need to do anything to maintain the strengths that you’ve identified? What impact does each weakness have on the organization and what can you do to compensate for that weakness? What are the costs and benefits for taking advantage of each opportunity? How will you take advantage of the opportunities you’ve identified? How likely is the threat to happen? What can you do now to prepare for that threat should it happen?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Proposed CFPB Mortgage Regs Include Change to APR Calculation

Along with new mortgage disclosures, agency also aims to redefine APR in the 1,000-some pages of proposed new regulations released this week....Proposed CFPB Mortgage Regs Include Change to APR Calculation:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FFIEC Releases Position Paper on Cloud Computing Outsourcing

Security Concerns for Financial Institutions and Cloud Services

Jason Ray is a senior director in the Technology Practice of FTI Consulting. This column first appeared at, a sister site of Credit Union Times.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council released a statement Tuesday highlighting key elements that financial institutions need to address before deciding whether to outsource cloud computing services.
In its summary statement, the FFIEC said financial institutions have to consider the “fundamentals of risk and risk management defined in the FFIEC Information Technology Examination Handbook (IT Handbook), especially the Outsourcing Technology Services Booklet (Outsourcing Booklet).”
The outsourcing booklet reviews specific issues of cloud computing such as data classification, data segregation and recoverability. The booklet also addresses vendor management, information security, legal, regulatory and reputational considerations, business continuity planning and auditing.
“The FFIEC statement is quite timely because there has been a lot of buzz about cloud computing and how cloud computing can help financial services,” said David Albertazzi, a senior IT analyst with the Aite Group in Boston.
“There are a lot of compelling benefits in cloud computing, but there are a lot of considerations as well. Up until now, there hasn’t been much from regulatory agencies which specifically addresses cloud computing, so the statement is very welcome,” Albertazzi said.
The statement revealed no surprises about FFIEC’s outsourcing guidelines, he said.
“The fundamentals of risk and risk management defined in the IT Handbook apply to cloud computing as they do to other forms of outsourcing. Cloud computing may require more robust controls due to the nature of the service,” the FFIEC position paper reads in part.
“When evaluating the feasibility of outsourcing to a cloud-computing service provider, it is important to look beyond potential benefits and to perform a thorough due diligence and risk assessment of elements specific to that service. As with other service provider offers, cloud computing may not be appropriate for all financial institutions,” the paper said.

Companies are quick to incorporate cloud computing into their business functions, and with all the benefits the cloud offers, it's easy to understand why.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms, like, allow employees to conduct their work more efficiently and at a reduced cost to the company. Meanwhile, personal cloud-computing networks, such as LinkedIn, have become important marketing and recruiting tools.
Yet, despite all the good that cloud computing has to offer, the potential risk exposure it presents is enough to keep in-house counsel up at night.
Legal departments are just beginning to understand how cloud computing may impact e-discovery, and the initial reaction of many corporate counsel is to exert extensive control over the flow of electronic information. However, as the landscape of cloud-based apps and social media changes on a daily basis, attempting to control the actions of employees is becoming an impossible task.
The key then is not to control information in the cloud, but to concentrate on risk mitigation and defensibility. The way to do this is to understand the technology, develop proactive policies and establish management and audit procedures.

Understanding the tech

No one expects in-house counsel to become tech experts. However, corporate lawyers should at least have an awareness of the technology that exists. Without a basic understanding of the spectrum of solutions available, it is impossible for legal to develop effective policies.
Attending tech-oriented CLE events and seminars is a good way to stay in the know about developments in business and personal technology that may affect your company. You also should have an open dialogue with your IT department to understand the type of cloud-based applications that your company uses. In addition, IT can help you determine what information lives where, whether on the corporate network or one held by a third-party provider.

Developing the policies

Once you know the technology your employees use and the types of data stored, you can begin to develop proactive policies around application usage that will help mitigate your risk should a matter arise. The purpose of these policies is to minimize the scope of potential e-discovery collection efforts in advance of litigation by establishing a list of company-approved applications. What should remain off this list is any technology that does not provide some means of oversight.
For example, regardless of what tactics a company employs, it is nearly impossible to prevent employees from sending personal emails while at work. Thus, the key is not to quash the behavior, but rather to set some guidelines. One way to do this is to implement a policy that states your corporate email system is the only email system employees can use, whether for work-related or personal emails.
The point is that you can't stop employees from acting. There is a high likelihood that they will not consistently adhere to policy. Instead, in-house counsel should enact policies that limit the scope of company-approved technology, thereby minimizing data collection efforts in the event of a discovery request.

Managing, auditing and updating

Of course, no policy is worth the paper it is written on if you cannot adequately manage and audit it. To ensure the defensibility of your directives, you will need to establish a procedure that informs and reminds employees of your technology policies, especially if it is discovered that an employee has run afoul of them.
You will also need to develop a means to audit this process. By maintaining records that reflect your continual commitment to your policies, you can increase defensibility should your opponent raise any objections. For example, if opposing counsel makes a broad request for all information that may be potentially relevant to a case, you can argue that you only need to search the data stores identified on your company-approved list, granted you have the audit trail to prove proper policy management.
Finally, technology is rapidly evolving. Each day, dozens of new mobile applications go public while companies like Facebook and LinkedIn are constantly tweaking their social media platform. It is important to keep abreast of the market and to regularly update your policies and procedures to reflect any new technology.

Best practices for the cloud

The following are some best practices that you should consider incorporating into your cloud-computing policies and procedures. Understand that the purpose is not to curb behavior but to proactively limit the scope of your collection efforts by identifying approved cloud-based platforms.
  • Before investing in a SaaS application, do your due diligence. Understand what information is accessible and what reporting functions are included. Many of these applications were not intended for e-discovery, so you will need to know if the technology has the functionality to comply with a discovery request. Include your IT department in the conversation with your prospective vendor.
  • After a matter arises, determine the relevant custodians and question them to understand what technology they use and what data they store where. Doing so will increase the defensibility of your actions.
  • Don't automatically assume you need to search social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn for potentially responsive information. Social media relevance is case-specific —just because information is available there does not mean it is relevant. Concerns about IP theft? Social media may be critical. Patent infringement? Not so much. Question your custodians first to determine how they use such sites, verify if the case requires expanding to these sources, and then determine if collection is necessary.
  • If you must exert some control over your employees, consider logging their Internet activity to keep records of what cloud-based technology they use. In addition, you may want to instruct IT to put a hold on a custodian's Internet cache once litigation arises.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 Steps To Building A Successful Investment Program

A successful investment program requires a comprehensive plan of action and support to achieve the credit union’s defined goals....[Read Article]

If RIM goes under, what happens to its hometown of Waterloo? - Jul. 10, 2012

WATERLOO, Ontario (CNNMoney) -- Research in Motion executives will face angry shareholders at their annual meeting on Tuesday, following a dismal year that underscored the BlackBerry's decline.
But if RIM goes under, it's not only shareholders who will suffer. RIM's small hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, may feel the brunt of the fall.
Waterloo's burgeoning tech scene may have to survive without the influence -- and the funding -- of the company that spawned it....Read More At....If RIM goes under, what happens to its hometown of Waterloo? - Jul. 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gap on Your Resume: Tips to Explain

Gap on Your Resume: Tips to Explain:
In a tough economy, where competition for jobs is fierce and the number of job prospects is dwindling, candidates generally invest extra effort in preparing their job application, resume and cover letter. Candidates must be proactive in writing their...

Health Insurance Terms to Know

Health Insurance Terms to Know:
Shopping for health insurance will be a lot easier if you familiarize yourself with a few key terms. Learn about health insurance terms to know with help from a health and insurance professional in this free video clip.

Develop a LinkedIn Relationship

Develop a LinkedIn Relationship:
Developing a LinkedIn relationship relies on a few different things, including your professionalism. Develop a LinkedIn relationship with help from the principal change agent at Vince Rogers & Associates in this free video clip.

How to Conduct Oneself in a Phone Interview |

How to Conduct Oneself in a Phone Interview |

Keys to a Successful Cover Letter |

Keys to a Successful Cover Letter |

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Right Compensation Plan To Ignite A Business

The Right Compensation Plan To Ignite A Business: How can you prepare your company to scale? An excellent product and the right initial talent is key. But when those are in place, here's a novel idea???how about designing a compensation strategy that empowers and motivates everybody in your business to help the company grow? The structure I'm about to describe has been instrumental ...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reach for the Stars – Who are your credit union’s best members? | NAFCU Services Blog

Unless you know who your best members are and why, it is impossible to develop a winning marketing and business strategy for your credit union. I thought it might be helpful to provide a structural framework in light of the veritable explosion in membership since Bank Transfer Day.
We’re going to have to define some terms before we get started. By ‘best members’ I don’t mean the ones who spend the most time in your branch or lobby, the ones who show up at your annual business meeting, the ones who send thank you notes all the time, the ones who bring brownies and cookies at the holidays to your tellers, or even the ones who have been with the credit union since before you were born.Reach for the Stars – Who are your credit union’s best members? | NAFCU Services Blog

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why Do Boards Not See Non-Productive CEO's?

I’ve certainly seen this situation again and again over the years: the person leading, who may have been effective in the past, stops being effective. And not for just a few months: for years and years. And the board doesn’t step in to make a change. And I’ve thought – why does this happen? Do they not see it? Do they not care?

It comes down to three (3) unfortunate truths about boards, as far as I can tell:

- Like protects like: People on boards are, often, Department Directors, CEOs or ex-CEOs or in positions of management themselves.    Board members want to support and protect  CEOs because 1) they wouldn’t want their boards/bosses to fire them if they were in a similar situation, and 2) they like to think that their peers and buddies are doing a good job – even when they’re not.

- Hope Springs Eternal: When somebody used to be doing a good job, it’s easy for board members to convince themselves that he’ll start doing a good job againjust wait and see. After all they possibly interviewed him and selected him so how can they not be successfully.

- Stick to the Tried and True:  They’ve been board  members for 20 or 30 years, and they believe that the things they did successfully in 1970 or 1980 are still the right things to do. They watch their CEOs doing stuff that worked a decade or two ago, and they think, “Well, it will work eventually; he’s doing the things that work.” It’s simply not true. The game has changed, permanently – and will keep changing. Most industries are undergoing massive, disruptive, continuous change: consumer behavior and expectations; how the product delivery channel works; what drives pricing; how and where competitive threats arise – even employee expectations and response. If a CEO isn’t willing to get curious and give up some of their old ways and try truly fresh approaches…well, you know what happens. You will wither on the vine and die!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Computer User’s Guide to Cloud Storage

Cloud storage, now offered by a number of companies in different price ranges, offers a substitute for physical storage, with the additional ability to synchronize across multiple devices......A Computer User’s Guide to Cloud Storage:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to Handle Q and A

How to Handle Q and A:
How do you handle Q and A?  The traditional way is to take the first 45 minutes of an hour to talk, and then stop, saying, "I'd be happy to answer your questions now."
What happens?  You handle a few good questions, and then the session starts to run out of gas.  Finally, there's one dumb or irrelevant last question, and the hour is mercifully over.
Think about it -- the last thing the audience remembers hearing is therefore not your brilliant words, but that last dumb question.
Instead, take questions at 20 minutes, and 40 minutes.  (Those timings happen to coincide with our natural attention span, which is about 20 minutes, give or take.)  Then, take one last question at 55 minutes and wrap up with the stirring words (on message) that you've been saving for the end.  Result?  Your listeners come away with your brilliant final thoughts echoing in their ears.
Much more effective.  But how do you handle those questions at 20 minutes and 40?  What if somebody in the 3rd row raises a hand and asks a question that, you're afraid, will take you a little off subject and put finishing on time in jeopardy.  What do you do?
Start by remembering why you're there to give a speech.  Not to hear yourself talk.  You could give a speech in the privacy of your own bathroom for that.  The point of public speaking is to communicate with a group of people.  So you haven't succeeded in that endeavor unless someone has heard and understood you.
The audience is all-important.  And when you think of it like that, why wouldn't you take the time to answer the question?
So don't worrytoo much about your agenda.  Do worry about how the speech is coming across, and what the audience is getting out of it.  If someone asks a question, answer it.  You should know your speech and your content so thoroughly that you can easily adjust on the fly to take into account your audience's feedback.
That said, you do have the right to sort through the questions and pass on the rude, the irrelevant, and the idiotic.  But never let on that you think a question is idiotic.  Just deal with it quickly and painlessly and move on.
Back in my teaching days at Princeton University, I was showing a videotape of Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech as an example of great rhetoric, brilliantly delivered.  The discussion moved on to Patrick Henry's Give me liberty or give me death speech.  A student raised his hand and asked, "Do you have any videotape of Patrick Henry?"
For a split second, I honestly didn't know what to say.  The guffaws of fellow students quickly tipped the hapless junior off, and he blushed bright red as he realized his error.  We moved on.  That student probably got a lifetime's education in a couple of seconds right then and there.
There are stupid questions, and you don't have to answer them all.  But you are there for the audience, and mostly it's your job to respect their reactions to your talk and respond accordingly.

How to Create a Short Speech

How to Create a Short Speech:
I tweeted recently that every speaker needs a 3-minute and a 20-minute version of her speech.  To that I would add that every speaker needs to know how to give a minute-long response, in answer to a question, for example, or for responding to the media. 

So how do you all of these well?  What are the pitfalls to avoid?  It can be surprisingly hard to say something interesting in a very short time, and to avoid running on at the mouth and saying too much.  What's the happy medium, and how do you think about it?

The minute speech is best handled as follows.  Decide what you're going to say, take a deep breath, and then give the headline.  "I don't think that mice should be allowed in the Vatican."  Then go on to give up to 3 supporting reasons, depending on your thinking and the time allowed.  Hygiene, worry about the destruction of precious manuscripts, and the eek factor during prayers.  Finally, finish off with a repetition of the headline:  "So that's why I think that mice should be banned from the Vatican."

When you've got more than 3 but less than 7 minutes, think in terms of problem-solution.  If you have a great story to begin the problem section, then do so, but don't allow it to take over the problem section entirely.  You need to spend half of your allotted time discussing the problem in as much detail as you can (which is not much).  Heretical mice are running amok throughout the Vatican.  This deplorable plague has led to illness, destruction of some of the Vatican's most precious artifacts, and the discomfort of many visitors and residents....About half way through your total time, switch to the solution and buttress that with as much logic and passion as you can muster.  I recommend beginning with an excommunication, followed by mice traps, poison, and the playing of Barry Manilow recordings in the basement....

That's really all there is to it.  Keep it simple.  If you want to conclude by describing the benefits of your solution, then go ahead, in a sentence or two.
Repetition and simplicity will help you keep your remarks organized and under control, and will help your listeners follow you.

The same advice holds for the 20-minute version.  You basically have to remove half of the detail that makes for a solid hour-long speech.  And watch your stories, because they will loom much larger in a 20-minute précis of your speech than in the full version.  You’ll need to shorten those too, without cutting the essential detail that enables your audience to make sense of the story. 

A good way to prepare a 20-minute speech is to create the logical ‘spine’ of your full speech – the step-by-step logic of the speech that explains the thought structure, shorn of the detail.  It should take the form of a series of declarative sentences.  Then, once you’ve  worked out the logic, add back in just enough detail to fill the allotted time.
You'll want to have these versions of your presentation on hand, ready to go, for times when your full speech is too long.   If you're a professional speaker, it's part of the pro's arsenal to be ready to give the shorter versions in order to be ready for any occasion. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

So What's the Right Way to Use PowerPoint?

So What's the Right Way to Use PowerPoint?:
Readers of this blog will know that I often take on PowerPoint (and its cousins) as detrimental to speech giving.  It’s probably time for a corrective blog, especially after my “Imagine there’s no PowerPoint” spoof of last week. 

Let’s be clear.  Slides, done right, can greatly strengthen a presentation. 

So what’s the right way to use PowerPoint and the other slide software programs?  Think of musicals.  A character breaks into song when the emotions are too strong for mere words.  Songs in a musical mark the high points of the story – when the characters fall in love, or discover the truth about themselves, or decide to leave home. 

Slides in a speech should cover the same ground.   If you’re talking about a person, a picture of that person will bring him or her into the room in a way that mere words won’t.  If you’re discussing some part of the world with enormous visual impact, then go for the visual impact.  A client we’re particularly fond of has climbed Mount Everest, and I was the first person in line demanding pictures.  Those pictures are most likely the closest I’ll ever get to that mountain, and they had to be in the speech. 

More subtly, if you’re talking about a situation that invokes human emotion – one of great happiness or sadness – then pictures can bring that emotion immediately into play in a way that words do not.  Ask any fundraiser about the importance of pictures of children to various charitable appeals! 

More prosaically, use slides when you’re illustrating complex numbers or numerical relationships – a chart or graph can show in a glance a relationship that’s much harder to describe in words.  But don’t fall into the trap of putting all your data on the screen.  Just as a presentation should tell us what’s important, not tell us everything there is to be said on a subject, a good slide should show us the one or two important numbers, not the entire data set just because you have it. 

It’s the speaker’s job to tell a convincing story, one with a single clear point, to the audience.  Use slides to help reinforce that single point and that story.  Don’t use slides as agenda place-holders, speaker notes, or bulleted lists of things you couldn’t be bothered to narrow down to the important one.  Don’t make the audience work harder than you.  Your job is to make a persuasive case for a point of view, not to drown your audience in data, and that goes for the speech and the slides.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Action for Fed Rate This Quarter

No Action for Fed Rate This Quarter: The Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday maintained the federal funds rate at a range of zero to 0.25%.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best investments at ages 55-plus

Welcome to the homestretch! You still need momentum, but with retirement in sight, your mix of stocks and bonds should begin to balance out....Best investments at ages 55-plus:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From Financials to the NCUA, Schumacher Takes What Comes to Him

You would have thought that they were at one of our conferences. I am sure our conference this year will cover many of the topics that they discussed and more. Can't wait!!!!!
What was billed as a presentation on essentials in credit union board financial education essentials evolved into discussion of topics ranging from the NCUA’s director education requirements to peer comparisons. *** Read More; From Financials to the NCUA, Schumacher Takes What Comes to Him: MAUI —

A New Accounting Model For Loan Loss Allowances

What’s going on? Well, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the U.S. is based on the “incurred loss” model. This framework requires that before an allowance for loan loss is established, it must be probable, based on events that have already occurred, that a lender will not be able to collect principal and interest payments that are required under the contractual terms of the loan. If the impairment event has not already occurred, or if it is less than probable that a loss will be incurred, then at least in theory, no allowance is established.

A New Accounting Model For Loan Loss Allowances

Friday, January 13, 2012

Updated Reg B Adverse Action Address

Updated Reg B Adverse Action Address:

Written by Steve Van Beek

As part of their Regulation B adverse action notices, credit unions are required to provide the name and address of the Federal agency which administers compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) for the credit union. Until recently, FCUs needed to include the appropriate NCUA Regional Office. NCUA's creation of its Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) resulted in the OCP taking over the requirements from each Regional Office.

The Problem? While NCUA send out a few generic notices regarding updating the address to the Office of Consumer Protection, the language in Regulation B - specifically Appendix A - was not updated.

Thus, credit unions looking at the language of Regulation B were being provided with different information than the informal notices sent by NCUA.

The Clarification? The CFPB's republishing of Regulation B into 12 CFR 1002 also included an update of Appendix A to reflect the new address for NCUA's OCP that should be used for adverse action notices.

The underlying requirement for including the agency address on adverse action notices comes from 12 CFR 1002.9(a)(2) and (b)(1).

The CFPB's Appendix A now includes this information (for FCUs under $10 billion on assets):

"d. Federal Credit Unions: National Credit Union Administration, Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), Division of Consumer Compliance and Outreach (DCCO), 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314."

Note: Credit unions over $10 billion need to include the CFPB's name and address.

The Timing? The CFPB's republishing indicates that institutions have until January 1, 2013 to make the change. Here is from 12 CFR 1002.9(b)(1) of Regulation B:

"(b) Form of ECOA notice and statement of specific reasons. (1) ECOA notice. To satisfy the disclosure requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section regarding section 701(a) of the Act, the creditor shall provide a notice that is substantially similar to the following: The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is [name and address as specified by the appropriate agency or agencies listed in Appendix A of this part]. Until January 1, 2013, a creditor may comply with this paragraph (b)(1) and paragraph (a)(2) of this section by including in the notice the name and address as specified by the appropriate agency in Appendix A to 12 CFR Part 202, as in effect on October 1, 2011."

Appendix A to the Federal Reserve's Regulation B (12 CFR 202) is located here and reflects the Regional Offices.

My understanding is state-chartered credit unions would continue to include the FTC information on their adverse action notices. See Item 9 under Appendix A for "All Other Creditors Not Listed Above."


The CFPB discussed the January 1, 2013 timeframe in more detail in the preamble to the republished Regulation B. I know quite a few FCUs have already made the address changes to their adverse action notices, but those who haven't should begin the process now.

A potential benefit of the CFPB's January 1, 2013 timeframe is it clarifies that notices that were not updated previously were still in compliance with Regulation B. If an examiner or auditor indicates your credit union should have updated your notice earlier, I'd show them the language in 12 CFR 1002.9(b)(1) and then work towards getting the notice updated.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the January 2010 advisory on Interest Rate Risk

"The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council today released answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the January 2010 advisory on Interest Rate Risk Management. These FAQs are being adopted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, and the State Liaison Committee (collectively, the “financial regulators”). "
 Interagency Advisory on Interest Rate Risk Management Frequently Asked Questions. Click here to view the FAQs. ​

'via Blog this'

Bucks Blog: Big Banks Struggle to Help Customers on Twitter

Customers like the speed of sending a question to their bank by Twitter, but big banks find this form of customer service to be challenging. Bucks Blog: Big Banks Struggle to Help Customers on Twitter:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why did you leave your last job?

Why did you leave your last job?” The question can strike fear in even the most confident candidate. Whether your answer is simple or complex, being asked to talk about it puts you on the spot, and it can be tricky to balance the truth while still painting yourself in the best possible light to your hopefully-soon-to-be employer. **** The Secret to Answering "Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?" - Forbes

How to Track Profit and Loss

"Credit cards have long been a high profit product for credit unions, which historically have been able to count on average Return on Assets of 3-6% on their card programs. A recent combination of economic forces and regulatory changes, however, has seriously impaired profitability. With 1-in-8 card portfolios losing money," How to Track Profit and Loss:

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending January 7, 2012

"The New Year didn't start off good for savers. Several banks and credit unions lowered their savings and checking account rates. The rate cut that we learned about in December took effect at Alliant Credit Union this week. " **** Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending January 7, 2012:

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CUs Reminded on Overdraft Consistency

Northwest Credit Union Association bulletin stresses transparency, cites new class action suit against bank. CUs Reminded on Overdraft Consistency:

NCUA Conserves Philadelphia CDCU

NCUA ends first week of 2012 with first conservatorship of year: Philadelphia's People for People CDCU. **** NCUA Conserves Philadelphia CDCU:

Bernanke Claims Fed Has No Intention of Bailing Out Europe But Actions Speak Otherwise

Fed swaps a stunning $100 billion with ECB in three weeks ended December 29. **** Bernanke Claims Fed Has No Intention of Bailing Out Europe But Actions Speak Otherwise:

How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps) - Forbes

1.Go exploring.
Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where are all the boring people hang out." ****How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps) - Forbes: "

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Five Overused Resume Phrases

When it comes to resumes, recruiters have seen it all. Some are clever and creative, and some contain outright blatant untruths. What hiring managers see most, however, is a parade of the same old tired words and phrases that don't tell them anything useful about the candidates. These words have become standard fare and ... Five Overused Resume Phrases: By Angie Mohr

Thursday, January 5, 2012


"Credit Union 24 is a credit union-owned, full-service EFT network that brings nationwide ATM and point-of-sale (POS) access to credit unions. Founded as a credit union alternative more than 30 years ago, Credit Union 24 offers a flexible, cooperative EFT environment designed to empower credit unions to " *** Firefighter - National Coalition of Firefighter's Credit Unions NCOFCU:

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10 Startup Survival Tips in the Age of the Platform - Forbes

10 Startup Survival Tips in the Age of the Platform - Forbes: "Every startup, as well as mature business, needs to learn as much as possible from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, who have set the standards for fast growth and success in today’s business world. These companies, designated the “gang of four” by "*** 10 Startup Survival Tips in the Age of the Platform - Forbes: *

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Personal Board of Directors

Our society emphasizes friends, family and co-workers as essential parts of our emotional and professional support system. Friends can offer distraction and encouragement, family members give unconditional love and co-workers may provide a sense of camaraderie and even professional advice. However, there are times when we need a fourth type of support in the form ... Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Personal Board of Directors:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Four Tips for Conflict-Busting Conversations | 2012-01-01 | Credit Union Magazine

"Disagreements, disputes, and differences are normal in any workplace. The hard part is moving past conflict into honest, open discussion.

These tips from “The Exchange: A Bold and Proven Approach to Resolving Workplace Conflict,” can help managers turn meetings with conflicting employees into productive conversations:" **** Four Tips for Conflict-Busting Conversations | 2012-01-01 | Credit Union Magazine:

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Improve Your Credit Card Program In 3 Key Ways

"Let’s state the obvious. Every credit union would love to find more loans. The U.S. economy is not generating enough loan demand to fill supply. And, therefore, competition for new loans is intense in all ways, including marketing, pricing, and up-front incentives." Improve Your Credit Card Program In 3 Key Ways:

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Readers Choice: Top 10 Most Popular Stories of 2011

The list of low-hanging fruit might read like a list of “duhs,” but many banks and credit unions make excuses and bury their heads in the sand. SEE MORE. What is a brand's personality and why is it important? This how-to article provides seven ... Readers Choice: Top 10 Most Popular Stories of 2011:

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives

If you exhibit several of these traits, now is the time to stamp them out from your repertoire. If your boss or several senior executives at your company exhibit several of these traits, now is the time to start looking for a new job. *** The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives: