September 24, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 19 Archived Issues
Survey provides credit unions insight into candidates
As the 2010 elections near, it can be difficult at times to cut through the clutter of the political talk. For that reason, MnCUN sent out a survey this summer to investigate what candidates think about credit unions and the issues important to them.
The survey had a 40 percent response rate, including 100 percent of the state's gubernatorial candidates and more than half of the congressional candidates. All respondents conveyed strong support for the credit union movement and agreed that protecting consumers’ choice of financial institutions and keeping credit unions’ not-for-profit tax status were important.
Credit unions can view the 2010 Credit Union Voter Guide in the Governmental Affairs section of the Network web site. In addition, a sample newsletter article is available for credit union use to inform members about the level of support expressed by particular candidates. The article can also be edited to generally promote voting in the November elections.
With questions about the Voter Guide, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey or MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber.
NCUA schedules Sept. 27 virtual town hall
The NCUA will be holding a virtual town hall meeting on Monday, Sept. 27, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. to discuss its new rule regulating corporate credit unions and its plan for legacy assets. Credit unions are invited to participate in this meeting focused on the agency's initiatives to strengthen the corporate credit union system.
This session will take place one business day after the NCUA's special meeting on Friday, Sept. 24, at which it intends to announce its plans for dealing with the current corporate problems. For more information about the town hall and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Register today for the Small Credit Union Conference
Credit unions with less than $25 million in assets have until Thursday, Oct. 7, to register for MnCUN’s Small Credit Union Conference. Set for Oct. 15-16, this conference will feature a variety of educational and networking opportunities.
The conference sessions will focus on ways for small credit unions to grow, thrive, and offer service that stands above the rest. Learn how to be a competitive cooperative, investigate ways to leverage your credit union, and sharpen your collections skills. Attendees will also participate in a panel discussion featuring Carl Schwartz, Program Director at the Minnesota Department of Commerce; Crane Bennett, Supervisory Examiner at the National Credit Union Administration; and Greg Schwartz, Principal at LarsonAllen, LLP.
Detailed information, a printable brochure and online registration are available on the Small Credit Union Conference page of the Network web site. With questions, contact MnCUN Vice President – Education & Credit Union Development Neil Christy.
FEMA offers free Flood Insurance Compliance Training
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting a free Flood Insurance Compliance Seminar on Oct. 26 in Moorhead. Geared toward staff new to the industry and/or to the area of flood compliance, this half-day session will introduce the National Flood Insurance Program.
During the session, attendees will investigate the compliance history of the flood insurance program. Learn the basics of the mandatory purchase requirements established by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 and discover how to meet these provisions. This session can be taken as a prerequisite to more advanced training on this topic.
More detailed information and online registration for this event is available in the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Register today for the MnCU4Kids Bowl-O-Rama
It’s time to lace up your bowling shoes and join the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee for its 3rd Annual Bowl-O-Rama on Wednesday, Oct. 27. This event will provide credit union professionals and volunteers the opportunity to raise money for Gillette Children’s Specialty hospital and have fun doing it.
To be held at Stars & Strikes Bowling Alley in Wyoming, this mid-day event includes lunch, three games of bowling and prize drawings. New this year, teams that register five people will be able to compete against others in the event's first lazer tag tournament.
The proceeds from this fundraiser go toward assisting children at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, which helps kids with disabilities and chronic conditions. Gillette is based in St. Paul, with numerous clinics throughout the state.
Registrations for the Bowl-O-Rama must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 13. More information and a printable registration form are available in the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
MnCUN Marketing Conference set for Nov. 18-19
In the midst of negative income and regulatory changes, many credit unions’ marketing plans have been altered, budgets have been cut, and goals have been redefined. This year’s MnCUN Marketing Conference will provide marketers and CEOs new ways to look at these challenges and to capitalize on new opportunities.
Scheduled for Nov. 18-19 at the Prom Center in Oakdale, this conference will energize attendees and equip them to face the "new norm” in today’s economy. The sessions will discuss how to pitch ideas to management and use hard data to quantify results. Learn ways to engage staff in marketing campaigns and how to develop a social media policy for your credit union. The conference will also investigate the public’s perception of credit unions and how these attitudes can be used to attract new members.
More detailed information, a printable brochure and online registration are available on the Marketing Conference page of the Network web site. Those that submit their registration and payment by Friday, Oct. 29, will receive a $30 discount. All registrations must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Stay up-to-date with MnCUN’s online news feed
Through the Network’s online news feed, professionals and volunteers can monitor the news surrounding Minnesota’s credit unions. Updated daily, the web feature allows individuals to access up-to-date credit union news at any time. The news feed contains a variety of press coverage featuring Minnesota credit unions. Readers can peruse the article summaries and follow the links to read more.
To access newspapers’ coverage of Minnesota credit unions, visit the Network News section of the Network web site. If you credit union has been featured in recent newspaper or television and is not included in MnCUN’s online newsfeed, please e-mail the article link or a PDF of the story to MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Kuenzel.
CUNA Mutual warns credit unions of the increase in HELOC wire fraud
A Risk Alert from CUNA Mutual Group is warning credit unions of a recent increase in wire/Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) fraud. To assist credit unions in dealing with this problem, CUNA Mutual offers several tips on how to mitigate this risk.
In most cases, the fraudsters are "hijacking" members' home phone numbers by impersonating the member and requesting that their telephone carrier forward all calls to the fraudster's untraceable cell phone. Perpetrators have targeted members with large lines of credit via HELOC loans, said CUNA Mutual Director of Insurance Compliance & Risk Management Gary Pate.
"What's making these scams even more insidious is that the credit union's caller ID indicates the call is going to the member's number of record," Pate said. "Additionally, the fraudsters have detailed member information, which is enabling them to answer additional challenge questions from credit union staff."
Credit unions should consider requiring members to request large dollar wire transfers in-person at a branch office, which is a common practice in the financial services industry. CUNA Mutual Group supports this position.
CUNA Mutual’s other risk mitigation recommendations include:
- Establish a monetary threshold for requiring wire transfer requests to be made in-person;
- Encourage members to add a password to their account;
- Review member account details to determine if large dollar wire transfers are "reasonable" for the member. If not, require the member to make the wire transfer request in-person;
- For large-dollar wire transfer requests, check the member's account to determine if there was a recent advance against the member's HELOC to fund the wire. If a HELOC advance was made to fund the wire, require the member to make the request in-person;
- Employees who perform callback verifications should always check the member's account to ensure the phone number has not been changed in the past 30 days prior to performing the callback. This step should be added to the callback verification section of the credit union's wire transfer form or other forms used to document callbacks made;
- Adopt a series of strong out-of-wallet questions to be used during the callback verification; and
- Consider adding a fraud detection tool that is capable of monitoring transactions in real-time across all payment channels like checks, automated clearinghouse, wires, payment cards, as well as transactions initiated through the online banking system.
With questions about the HELOC fraud, contact your credit union’s CUNA Mutual representative. For more information about CUNA Mutual Group’s products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Drive auto loan growth with Invest in America
Minnesota credit unions have the opportunity to increase their auto loans through a new, private GM discount program coordinated by Invest in America. Members of credit unions who participate in this program will receive a discount of up to $750 on select 2010/2011 GM vehicles. This program is slated to run from Nov. 2, 2010-Jan. 3, 2011.
Invest in America was created in 2008 with the mission of developing and promoting exclusive credit union member discounts on products and services offered by American-owned corporations. The program began with discounts on American-made cars and has expanded to include discounts on products and services offered by nearly a dozen companies.
To offer Invest in America discounts to members, credit unions must enroll in the program. (Credit unions wishing to sign up can visit the Invest in America web site.) Credit unions that want to promote the private GM discount to members must agree to send out direct mail/e-mail pieces to targeted individuals at their credit unions. Members will then use the program code provided in the communication to receive the discount.
To assist credit unions in promoting this program, Invest in America provides credit unions with downloadable mail/e-mail templates, other creative elements, a marketing timeline, and tips on how to increase member participation in the program. Minnesota credit unions interested in learning about the program should download the GM Private Offer Flyer. To sign up for the discount program, complete the Participation Form and return it to Invest in America Senior National Business Consultant Colleen Meek. Questions about the program should also be directed to Meek.
Shred-N-Go – A strong, local company
Like credit unions, Shred-N-Go is a locally-owned and operated business dedicated to providing exemplary service to its clients. Based in Minnesota, they strive to deliver fast and friendly service that people expect from a smaller company.
Shred-N-Go serves clients of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to residents throughout the state. They are the only on-site shredding service operating in the state of Minnesota that exclusively uses high-speed 5,000 pounds per hour Hammermill shredding systems, which finely shred important papers to protect the private information of both credit unions and members.
Investigate Shred-N-Go’s services today and discover how they can meet your shredding needs. For more information about Shred-N-Go’s services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out the roundtables, telecourses, and webcasts available throughout the fall. MnCUN's conferences and schools include IRA Training: Essentials & Advanced, Small Credit Union Conference and the Marketing Conference. To register for these and other events, visit the online Event Calendar.
- Friday, Sept. 24 (10 a.m.): WebCast - SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act
- Wednesday, Sept. 29 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Rethinking Business Development Tactics
- Wednesday, Sept. 29 (10 a.m.): Business Development Interactive Forum - Rethinking Tactics
- Wednesday, Sept. 29 (1 p.m.): Agility Recovery Solutions WebCast – Businesses Who Survived Disasters
- Wednesday, Sept. 29 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Managing Employee Absenteeism & Tardiness
- Tuesday, Oct. 5 (2 p.m.): WebCast - GLBA: New Policy Form
- Wednesday, Oct. 6 (8 a.m.): MnCUN IRA Training: Essentials & Advanced
- Wednesday, Oct. 6 (10 a.m.): Head Teller Interactive Forum - BSA for the Front Line
- Wednesday, Oct. 6 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - BSA for the Front Line
- Thursday, Oct. 7 (1 p.m.): MnCUN Political Involvement Committee Meeting
- Thursday, Oct. 7 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Advertising Compliance
- Thursday, Oct. 7 (2 p.m.): Marketing Interactive Forum - Advertising Compliance
- Wednesday, Oct. 13 (2 p.m.): WebCast - ACH Audit
- Thursday, Oct. 14 (10 a.m.): Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Board Meeting
- Thursday, Oct. 14 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Telephone Collection Tips
- Thursday, Oct. 14 (2 p.m.): WebCast - What Do CEOs Need From Their Boards?
- Friday, Oct. 15 (5:30 p.m.): MnCUN Small Credit Union Conference