CUNA Mutual Group
CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name of CUNA Mutual Holding Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries. CUNA Mutual Group's insurance, retirement and investment products provide financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide. With more than 75 years of true market commitment, CUNA Mutual Group's vision is unwavering: To be a trusted business partner that delivers service excellence through customer-focused products and market-driven insight.
To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group and the products and services it has to offer your credit union and its members, contact Vickie Ganrude, MnCUN Director of Business Development, by email or at (651) 288-5515.
New! CUNA Mutual Credit Union Trends Report
Each month, CUNA Mutual Group publishes a Credit Union Trends Report, a general overview of the health of credit unions in the U.S. This publication is a monthly "pulse check” on the state of the credit union marketplace, often placed in a historical context. To access the most recent Credit Union Trends Report, visit the CUNA Mutual website.
CUNA Mutual Group offers advice on successful retirement planning
At least one infour employees choose not to participate in their organization's retirement plan, and most who do participate aren't investing enough to achieve the plan's main goal: guiding each employee to a financially secure retirement. CUNA Mutual Group, which provides the RetireOnTarget system, offers adviceto help credit union employees set up successful 401(k) plans and achieve their retirement goals.
To help employees get started on a retirement plan and stay on track, follow these four steps in partnership with your retirement plan sponsor:
- Establishget-started program: When new employees are eligible to join a retirement plan, require them to complete a worksheet or software program that helps them determine specific goals, contribution amounts and investment mixes. Set aside time just for this.
- Performannual employee review: As part of management's annual employee review of personal development goals, include the employee's progress on retirement savings goals.
- Offer regular education: Insist on a provider that offers quality education focusing on how to implement an effective retirement savings plan. Hold regular, mandatory educational meetings.
- Get employees up to tech speed: If your provider offers self-service planning software, schedule 15 minutes per year for your employees to use it, and be sure the provider offers personal service for anyone who has questions while using the software.
Following these steps makes retirement planning almost unavoidable for employees. For more information on CUNA Mutual Group and its RetireOnTarget system, contact Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or call (651) 288-5505.
6 steps to prepare for cyber attacks
Cyber attacks against U.S. financial institutions are nothing new. In 2012, cyber criminals claiming to be politically motivated conducted several well-publicized, large-scale attacks on national banks – and two credit unions were victims of the attacks. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the scale and speed of these attacks was unprecedented.
While these cyber attacks were designed to disrupt online service at financial institutions, CUNA Mutual Group has six steps credit unions can take to prepare for cyber attacks.
- Don't underestimate the threat of cyber attacks.
It's true that most credit unions don't face the same risk as national banks from attacks by high-profile cyber criminal groups. However, the first thing to understand about cyber attacks is that we can't predict the next type of attack to come along. Don't assume that your credit union isn't big enough to be a target.
- Mitigate the risk of service interruptions caused by "distributed denial of services” (DDoS).
You may not be able to prevent DDoS attacks, but you can establish a process to identify them. For example, you can monitor bandwidth usage, use firewall logs to determine what is being attacked, and use an intrusion detection system to identify the type of traffic.
- Perform due diligence on third-party service providers.
Ensure that third parties such as internet service providers and web-hosting vendors address website problems caused by DDoS attacks. Confirm that the providers have a contingency plan for these types of attacks.
- Be prepared to provide timely and accurate information to members.
Have you ever run a drill at your credit union to simulate how you would communicate to members that your website has been disabled or compromised? Have a plan in place to get the word out. The faster you do so, the better you can control the message and counter any rumors or misconceptions about what's going on. Prepare your staff to monitor social media and search engine results to find out what's being said in cyberspace about any interruption to your online services.
- Check transfers initiated via online banking when an attack occurs.
When a DDoS attack occurs, the financial institution's employees may be busy answering calls from customers who cannot access the institution's website, as well as performing other damage control steps. During the chaos, the institution may fail to notice fraudulent transactions initiated through online banking. When a DDoS occurs, be sure to review transactions initiated through online banking to identify suspicious transfers. If necessary, delay executing the transfers until you verify their legitimacy with the members.
- Have a strong multi-factor authentication method in place for online banking systems.
Be sure your authentication process complies with the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council's (FFIEC's) updated authentication guidance issued in 2011. The FFIEC expects all financial institutions to have a fraud monitoring system in place to detect anomalies related to the initial login and authentication of members requesting access to the online banking system, and initiating fund transfers to other parties.
To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUNA Mutual Group unveils TruStage™: A new brand, a new resource
For more than 75 years, CUNA Mutual Group has worked with America's credit unions to serve members from coast to coast.This relationship is built on trust, collaboration and a common focus to help members achieve their highest potential and do more with what they have.
Not surprisingly, over the past eight decades, credit union members have changed and evolved. Their lives are intertwined with technology and the need for information. This realization, along with the original credit union mission, inspired CUNA Mutual to create TruStage insurance products and programs exclusively for credit union members. TruStage insurance products are made available to members through CUNA Mutual Group's MemberCONNECT® program.
As part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment, the new TruStage brand aspires to grow the consumer business and create deeper, stronger member relationships. Across a variety of channels and media, TruStage helps members get the information they need, make intelligent choices and be empowered to protect those who matter most. The experience is co-branded with credit unions and backed by decades of trust and strength.
A key part of CUNA Mutual's new consumer focus is learning more about the stories, journeys and emotions of credit union members. What are their mindsets? What are they thinking about? What really matters to them? With primary research, CUNA Mutual is able to answer these questions and provide credit union partners with important data about their members. Just as important, they find ways to engage credit union members that reinforce the benefits and advantage of credit union membership.
During the last part of 2012, CUNA Mutual conducted research on credit union members and how they celebrate the holidays. The results of the survey are depicted in an infographic posted on the CUNA Mutual Group website. Credit unions are encouraged to access the survey results and share them in their publications or online.
To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group's other products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUNA Mutual Council puts the focus on small, mid-sized CUs
Dedicated to supporting and strengthening small and mid-sized credit unions, CUNA Mutual Group developed the Select Credit Union Council in 2007. This team of individuals is dedicated to helping small and mid-sized credit unions address the unique challenges and opportunities they face.
This group of 10 leaders regularly meets to share ideas and solutions. As part of the Council's most recent meeting in October, the group spoke to CUNA Mutual CEO Jeff Post and other company leaders. During their conversations, the Council discussed CUNA Mutual's commitment to serving small and mid-sized credit unions through innovative products and services and ongoing lobby efforts on their behalf.
Additionally, the group discussed the topics and issues facing credit unions, including economic trends impacting loan performance and consumer lending, CUNA Mutual's new TruStage™ consumer brand, and the economic recovery.
To learn more about the Select Credit Union Council and review the October meeting summary and discussion items, visit CUNA Mutual's website. To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group's other products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Avoiding the disaster within a disaster
With Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast this week, credit unions were reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness. Year after year, disaster after disaster, CUNA Mutual Group's claims specialists help credit unions recover from catastrophic losses. After years of helping credit unions handle disasters better than others, CUNA Mutual Group has developed three tips for success:
- Review and update your insurance coverage – including extra expense coverage
Understand what your insurance does and doesn't cover. If your policy doesn't provide 100 percent replacement value for property, be sure that the credit union is prepared for the co-pay. Also, take into account any property improvements made since the last time you updated your policy limits.
Look closely at your coverage limits for extra expenses involved in providing member service during disaster recovery. It's difficult to over-estimate what it will cost to run a credit union when a branch or main office has been damaged or destroyed.
Adequate "Extra Expense” and other coverage limits for buildings, business personal property, and data processing can be the major factor in how quickly and completely you can recover from severe damage and the indirect losses.
- Practice your disaster response plan
The NCUA requires credit unions to have a written plan for disaster recovery. However, if credit union employees have never seen and practiced implementing the plan, chances are it won't work when disaster strikes.
Having all employees read through and practice the plan helps you find bugs and work them out. And it's important for all employees to be aware of the plan because, in an emergency, any one of them may end up having to make quick, important decisions.
- Set up an emergency communication procedure
When disaster strikes and your insurance provider has been informed, your top priority should be communicating with employees to see who's available, who needs help, and to share the plan for restoring service.
This means that before disaster strikes, employees must have an idea of how to get in touch with the credit union in these situations. Every employee should have a "cheat sheet” with them or at home that details the first steps to take. For example, the cheat sheet should provide alternate locations designated for temporary branch service.
CUNA Mutual Group is dedicated to helping and protecting credit unions. To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group's other products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Learn for free at CUNA Mutual's Online Discovery Conference
Credit union professionals are invited to attend CUNA Mutual Group's free Online Discovery Conferenceon Tuesday, Oct. 9. This third-annual conference enables employees to attend credit union-focused sessions from the convenience of their own desks.
The Online Discovery is the web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office. This year's agenda features networking opportunities – including chat rooms and message boards – an exhibit hall and prizes. The conference sessions will focus on a number of topics including advance sales techniques, how to build a credit union brand, tips for preparing for the next real estate exam, community development strategies, social media and more. Each session will be streamed online with video and audio technology. Plus registered attendees will have guaranteed access to conference materials after the event is over.
Register today for this value-filled event. For more information and to register, visit the Online Discovery Conferencewebsite.
CUNA Mutual Group's Loanliner mobile platform – from kitchen to success
Last week CUNA Mutual Group announced that it had garnered 40 new credit unions as Loanliner platform customers since it launched its smartphone loan application last year. In addition, this new service has drawn the attention of InformationWeek, a publication for technology experts.
The app, which got its start at a kitchen table, has resulted in CUNA Mutual processing roughly 35,000 loan applications and generating more than $335 million in loan application volume, said InformationWeek in its Sept. 11 issue. To date, more than 550 credit unions have implemented the smartphone loan app, and CUNA Mutual has partnered with Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology, to make the app available to an additional 350 credit unions. The app could be a key element for credit unions trying to attract younger members because the average smartphone loan application user is 32, the publication said.
To learn more about Loanliner and CUNA Mutual Group's other products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUNA Mutual Group launches TruStage insurance products and programs
Credit unions have long helped families protect their financial future. This mission inspired the companies of CUNA Mutual Group to create TruStage™ insurance products and programs– a new brand designed especially for credit union members. The TruStage brand brings a relevant, consistent approach across a variety of products and marketing channels, enhancing the member experience.
TruStage insurance products are made available through CUNA Mutual Group's MemberCONNECT® Program, a co-branded marketing solution helping credit unions make insurance coverage available to members. Currently, more than 13 million members are protected by the Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), Life and Auto & Home insurance products and programs that will now bear the TruStage name.
Extensive testing and research with credit unions and members was conducted in developing the brand. Consumer insights revealed that people find insurance confusing and seek an insurance partner that is genuine, straightforward and provides real value. When tested with consumers, the TruStage brand resonated with credit union members and compared favorably to major insurance brands.
A commitment to support credit unions in serving their members underlies the company's decision to bring the TruStage brand to the market. As trusted advisors, credit unions are in a unique position to make a difference in members' lives during challenging times by making the right insurance protection available. The MemberCONNECT Program and TruStage brand represent a valuable opportunity for credit unions to provide an exceptional member experience, deepen member relationships and add non-interest income to their bottom line.
More information about TruStage can be found on the CUNA Mutual Groupwebsite. For more information about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstlby email or at (651) 288-5505.
CUNA Mutual provides Health Care Reform Law resources
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of almost all provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) directly affects credit unions. The Health Care Reform Law will continue to be implemented as planned and provisions that are already in effect will continue. Now is the time for credit unions to determine next steps and explore potential opportunities as a result of the changes that will be required.
To assist credit unions with this important task, CUNA Mutual Group has developed a Health Care Reformwebsite. This online tool offers many resources and helpful guidelines to assist credit unions in fulfilling compliance requirements. Credit unions can access the Health Care Reform 2012 Compliance Checklist and the Health Care Reform Timeline to receive guidance on the compliance obligations. In addition, the website also highlights a video featuring CUNA Mutual Group Human Resources Process Leader Brad Pricerdiscussing the benefits of the health care reform law.
Access this online resource today and discover the health care reform materials available to help you navigate this complex issue. For more information about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Vice President – Association Services John Ferstlby email or at (651) 288-5505.
CUNA Mutual Group outlines risks of mobile devices
In a recent article, CUNA Mutual Group provided an overview of the security risks that mobile devices in the workplace introduce to credit unions. The article outlines steps credit unions can take to minimize this risk without hindering employees' ability to use a cell phone at work.
Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, accessible, user friendly and easy to transport. However, all of these advantages come at a price to credit unions. Cell phones can be tools used in insider theft and can expose the credit union's network to computer viruses transported via mobile devices. However, these risks can be managed through the following steps:
- Security Policy – First and foremost, credit unions should develop and maintain a comprehensive IT security policy that addresses mobile devices. This policy should be approved at the board level and reviewed and signed off on by employees annually.
- Encryption – Encrypt sensitive data stored on mobile devices or when these devices are used to transmit sensitive data over the internet or in emails.
- Control and Protect Devices – Require that mobile devices are password-protected, locked at all times and can be wiped clean remotely. Enforce time-out features and install anti-virus protection on all mobile devices used for credit union business
- Secure Network Connections – A Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Network should be established for employees to connect to the network using mobile devices. This protects data transmitted between the network and mobile devices.
Even with the best security, the worst can happen. Cyber Risk Hub, offered at no additional cost to CUNA Mutual Group policyholders, provides the services of a data breach coach and other key resources in the event of a breach. Cyber Risk Hub and other data breach resources are available at the Protection Resource Center.
For more information about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Vice President – Association Services John Ferstlby email or at (651) 288-5505.
Fiserv and CUNA Mutual Group agreement advances CUs' mobile lending reach
CUNA Mutual Group recently announced an agreement with Fiserv, which will make mobile lending technology available to approximately 350 credit unions and potentially more than 2.5 million members. This arrangement enables credit unions to meet the ever-growing demand for mobile banking technology.
The agreement between CUNA Mutual Group and Fiserv will create a pilot program that enables users of the Portico® account processing solution to integrate CUNA Mutual Group's Smartphone Loan technology with Fiserv's account processing and loan origination solutions. Members of credit unions participating in the pilot program will have access to enhanced mobile lending capabilities, including pre-fill of their member data and faster decision making. When members of participating credit unions log on to the loan applications from their smartphones, they can connect to CUNA Mutual Group's loanliner.com mobile technology.
The two organizations' software will interface with Fiserv's Access Advantage services to obtain member data, pull the desired credit bureau report, and evaluate the collected data against credit union-defined underwriting rules. The loanliner.com smartphone technology can use the underwriting response to return a response to the member/applicant in seconds. From there, the loan application may be sent to Fiserv's Loancierge™ system for finalization, loan document preparation, booking and funding.
To learn more about this new technology and the other innovative products and services offered by CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrudeby email or at (651) 288-5515.
Free Discovery Webinars tackle mobile lending, compliance
This month, credit unions have the opportunity to attend two free and informative CUNA Mutual Group Discovery Webinars. These sessions will provide current information on mobile lending and regulatory updates.
On April 11 at 12:15 p.m., John Putman, CUNA Mutual's Lending Business Systems Director, will present "Mobile Lending: The Trends and Issues Impacting Your Credit Union." The presentation will explore mobile technologies and discuss what's driving their rapid pace of adoption with credit unions and members. Putman will also examine the demographic shift in credit union membership, why members are embracing smartphones for their mobile banking and new mobile-lending needs, and social media's emerging role in how credit unions communicate with members.
On April 18 at 12:15 p.m., Bill Klewin, CUNA Mutual Product Compliance Leader, and Lauren Calhoun, Compliance Manager, will present "Regulatory Compliance Update." Klewin and Calhoun will discuss the direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Credit Union Administration and explain how changes in the regulatory and enforcement structure may affect credit unions.
Both Discovery Webinars are free, 60-minute events that include live question-and-answer sessions. To register for the webinars, visit the CUNA Mutual Groupwebsite.
CUNA Mutual Releases February 2012 CU Trends Report
CUNA Mutual Grouprecently released its February 2012 Credit Union Trends Report. Published monthly, this report provides a general overview of the health of credit unions in the U.S.
In its report, CUNA Mutual states that early estimates show that total loan growth, vehicle loan growth and real estate secured loan growth ended the year in positive territory, a feat not seen since October 2009. In addition, they reported that credit unions grew assets, capital and membership at rates well above recent trends. While modest economic improvements are forecasted for 2012, additional shocks are likely. The report discusses these risks and highlights statistics on savings and assets, capital, membership growth and surplus funds.
To view the full report, visit the CUNA Mutual Groupwebsite. For more information about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrudeby email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUNA Mutual’s new holding company makes debut
On Jan. 31, CUNA Mutual Insurance Society reorganized to a mutual insurance holding company structure. As a mutual insurance holding company, CMIS is changing its legal name to CMFG Life Insurance Co. This action comes after the organization received approval from 90 percent of policyholders and the Iowa Insurance Commissioner.
The conversion to a mutual holding company structure will maintain policyholders’ rights while enhancing CUNA Mutual Group’s ability to compete and serve its customers. In particular, the structure enhances the company’s ability to access capital and provide much greater flexibility around acquisitions. This is a natural and positive next step in CUNA Mutual Group’s continuing commitment to credit unions and to their successful and proven strategy.
Despite the reorganization, the insurance policies and annuity contracts remain the same, policyholder benefits and rights are not reduced or altered in any way, nor will premiums increase as a result of the MHC reorganization. For more information about CUNA Mutual Group, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUNA Mutual Group Discovery webinar to focus on equity markets
Credit unions are invited to attend CUNA Mutual Group’s free Discovery webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 25, titled "Equity Markets: Risk, Safety & Opportunity.” This one-hour webinar will review 2011 and discuss investment opportunities for 2012.
The market swings of 2011 have caused many investors to oscillate between a preference for safety and, upon a break in the economic storm clouds, a quick turn toward accepting risk. During this webinar, the team at Madison Asset Management, LLC will highlight the opportunities that are available in the midst of the turmoil.
CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery webinars are part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to education on issues impacting credit unions. To learn more about this webinar series and to register, visit the CUNA Mutual Group website.