Saturday, April 28, 2012

Updated Search Bar on the NAFCU Compliance Blog

Updated Search Bar on the NAFCU Compliance Blog:
Written by Steve Van Beek
Given the fast paced-nature of the regulatory changes, we thought it would be a good idea to slow down on Friday and introduce a revamped tool to help find those past blog posts or regulatory changes that you need to now implement.
Updated Search Function.  We've made a slight change to the NAFCU Compliance Blog webpage that allows for much greater search capabilities.  The search bar now provides a more robust way to find past blog posts on the "Equal Housing Lender" poster or "adverse action notices."  
How to Use.  Below is a quick tutorial on using the search function.
  • Go to the blog's main page - www.nafcucomplianceblog.com - and look to the left-hand side for the new search bar.      
  • Type in your search (using quotation marks provides more specific results - such as "fair lending").
  • View your results directly in the NAFCU Compliance Blog.
  • The search results default to showing the Best Match.  If you want to sort by date, click the link for "Most Recent" just below the main heading.  
If you have a few minutes, try out a couple of sample searches to learn how it works.  If you have other tips, be sure to share as well.  For additional tips on using the NAFCU Compliance Blog as a resource tool, check out this blog post.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Preventing the Loss of Key Talent

Should companies return to their pre-recession approach to talent management or significantly change the way they manage talent? It is definitely not time to go back to business as usual.....Preventing the Loss of Key Talent:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

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%....No Action for Fed Rate This Quarter: ..

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Short Sales Get Shorter- New Deadlines to go into Effect


As part of a settlement with state attorneys general, the five largest mortgage servicers are adopting new requirements for short sales, which is expected to speed-up what has been known as a lengthy process.
Here are some of the new requirements for servicers under the settlement:
  • Servicers must provide borrowers with a decision within 30 days after receiving a short sale package request.
  • Servicers will be required to notify a borrower, also within 30 days, if any necessary documents are missing to process the short sale request.
  • Servicers must notify a borrower immediately if a deficiency payment is needed to approve the short sale. They also must provide an estimated amount for the deficiency payment needed for the short sale.
  • Servicers are also required to form an internal group to review all short sale requests.
  • Banks will be considered in violation of the settlement requirements if they take longer than 30 days on more than 10 percent of the short sale requests. Violations can carry fines of up to $1 million and $5 million for repeat offenses.
“If a real estate broker can get a checklist from the bank detailing what documentation is needed, everything can be provided up front, and the bank will be required to give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down within 30 days,” short sale specialist Chris Hanson with the Hanson Law Firm told HousingWire. “That’s not a bad deal.”
For more on this story click here.

Credit Unions Redefining the Art of Business Development

Credit union business development used to be all about developing relationships with and acquiring new members from Select Employee Groups. That isn’t the case anymore.......Credit Unions Redefining the Art of Business Development:

Income Or Expense Management?

Mid-sized credit unions report significant variation in both the operating expense and efficiency ratios for several reasons....[Read Article]

Credit Union Short-Term Loans a Payday Lending Role Model: CUNA

The credit union short-term lending model is consistent with CFPB objectives to protect consumers from predatory payday lending, CUNA told the regulator....Credit Union Short-Term Loans a Payday Lending Role Model: CUNA:

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Search for Cheap Gas


Yes, yes, times are tough. We get it. But how much money do you really save on that detour to the cheap gas station across town? Well, it turns out it’s complicated. Which is why we’re here to break it …The Search for Cheap Gas:

Communication, Preparation Vital to Shorter Charter Time

Streamlining the charter origination process, improving communication among interested parties and preparing credit union organizers better for the challenge of launching a credit union are all part of what the NCUA and outside groups say will be needed to shorten the amount of time it takes to charter a new,...Communication, Preparation Vital to Shorter Charter Time:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Five Tips From the Billionaires’ Club

Here we’ve rounded up some of the best business practices from the Billionaires' Club of credit unions to share with our readers.....Five Tips From the Billionaires’ Club:

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.
Keep only 50% to 60% in equities -- on the higher end if you have a pension or plan to work past 65, suggests Scott Thoma of Edward Jones. That way you'll get growth from stocks but just as much stability from bonds.....Best investments at ages 55-plus:

Best investments at ages 35 to 44

When it comes to putting together a retirement portfolio between 35 to 44, you need to think like an athlete running a marathon..The race isn't always easy. No doubt you'll experience periods in which the market puts you to the test, whether in the form of raging bears like those of 2000 and 2008 or the jolting volatility that's come with the climb back from the financial crisis.
What you need is a long-term strategy that will help you stay the course and finish strong....Best investments at ages 35 to 44:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Police & Fire Adds Mobile App

The $3.9 billion Police & Fire Federal Credit Union in Philadelphia is now offering its 198,000 members a banking app for their iPhones and Androids......Police & Fire Adds Mobile App: .

No Free Drinks or Meals for NCUA Examiners at Training Confab

No Free Drinks or Meals for NCUA Examiners at Training Confab: The NCUA on Tuesday confirmed reports it canceled a reception for examiners and support staff attending a training conference this week and next in Orlando, Fla.

ATM Disclosure Suits Target of New Bill in House

ATM Disclosure Suits Target of New Bill in House: Credit union trade groups praise measure that would block lawsuits filed over missing disclosures on ATMs.

Investment Portfolio Increases, Components Shift

Low interest rates have credit unions searching for new strategies for their money,The portfolio is increasing, and credit unions are shifting not only where they are investing but also the duration of those investments in order to boost their rate of return.....[Read Article]

Monday, April 16, 2012

Member-Benefits

Now through NCOFCU you can offer your membership, memberships and discounts regardless of the size of your credit union through Affinity Marketing Group.
WHY OFFER MEMBER BENEFITS?
Member Benefit programs are vital to attracting new members and retaining existing members in order to ensure a reliable source of revenue from membership dues. However, Member Benefit programs also represent a source of non-dues revenue to supplement your operating budget.
.........Check your NCOFCU ...Member-Benefits

Friday, April 13, 2012

Auto Loans Maintain Top Spot in Credit Union Portfolios

Auto loans largest part of CU loan portfolilo. At the end of 2011, the loans represented 29% of the average credit union portfolio. ....Auto Loans Maintain Top Spot in Credit Union Portfolios:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Consistency Training for NCUA Examiners Begins Next Week in Orlando

Is this some kind of joke??  A weeks vacation on taxpayers expense!! 

NCUA field examiners and support staff will gather in Orlando to attend a one-week training conference the agency hopes will improve the examination process, said Executive Director David Marquis. Nearly 1,200 employees will attend the conference, with half attending next week, and the balance attending the week of April 23.Agency hopes training will lead to better exam p.....Consistency Training for NCUA Examiners Begins Next Week in Orlando:

The Short Shelf Life Of Compliance

With the increased attention that is now placed on regulatory requirements, how credit unions handle the issue of compliance has changed drastically – and with good reason. Credit unions simply cannot operate the way they did as little as five years ago. With the proliferation of new and changing regulations, credit unions must raise their standards, and their operations, to new levels. Credit unions need to stay on top of compliance challenges to maintain their competitive positioning....[Read Article]

An iPhone Case Ready for a Dunking - NYTimes.com

Many waterproof iPhone cases turn the sleek device into a oversized lump with all the elegance of a 1950s diving bell.
Not so with the LifeProof iPhone case, which claims to be the slimmest waterproof case for the iPhone, adding just a sixteenth of an inch in thickness.....An iPhone Case Ready for a Dunking - NYTimes.com

25 Best Places to Retire - Marquette, Mich. (1) - CNNMoney

Each of these towns offers amenities galore for the post-work crowd -- plus a cost of living that's pretty darn sweet.....25 Best Places to Retire - Marquette, Mich. (1) - CNNMoney

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SF Fire Credit Union : 10th Annual Bachelor Firefighter Auction - Apr 27th

Help raise funds for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) by bidding on a Berkeley Firefighter!.....SF Fire Credit Union : 10th Annual Bachelor Firefighter Auction - Apr 27th

Data Breach Preparation and Response (Podcast and Presentation) | Affinion Group | NAFCU

Has your credit union considered how member relations, legal compliance and brand reputation might be affected during a data breach? In this 2012 NAFCU Technology & Security Conference session recording you will learn about the risks of data breaches and how they could impact your credit union. You’ll also learn solutions and best practices for responding to members, partners and stakeholders during and after a breach. Data Breach Preparation and Response (Podcast and Presentation) | Affinion Group | NAFCU

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conduct an Effective Meeting


No one enjoys a long, pointless gathering, yet that is what most meetings are. You can be the talk of the office by accomplishing the near impossible: conducting a productive and short meeting. Follow these simple steps and do a little planning to accomplish everything you want during a meeting.      

You will accomplish everything on your agenda at your next meeting with these tips****Read More Conduct an Effective Meeting:

Consumer Compliance Outlook: Common Compliance Violations


Consumer Compliance Outlook: Common Compliance Violations:
Written by Steve Van Beek
Hope everyone had a great weekend - below is a great resource that might be useful.
Consumer Compliance Outlook.  The Philadelphia Federal Reserve publishes a Quarterly Consumer Compliance Outlook that is usually a valuable resource.  This month's material is especially useful as they walk through common compliance issues seen during examinations.  The PDF of the 1st Quarter 2012 Issue is here and includes:
The Commonly Cited Compliance Violations include:
  • Regulation B's requirement for joint intent for joint credit (spousal signatures);
  • Regulation B's adverse action notices (lacking content and specificity);
  • RESPA's Tolerance Cures;
  • Reg C/HMDA Rate Spread, Loan Purpose Definitions and Type of Action Taken; and
  • Reg Z Account Opening Disclosures for Open-end Credit. 
We'll look at some of these violations in more detail later this week.
For now, I'm just glad the Philadelphia Federal Reserve has continued this publication even though authority for the consumer regulations passed to the CFPB.  In the future, I'm hoping the CFPB (and NCUA) realize how useful an informal publication like the Consumer Compliance Outlook can be in highlighting common issues and explaining the requirements to increase compliance among financial institutions.  

Citing 'Unsatisfactory Risk Management,' NCUA Asks Credit Unions to Evaluate Relationship With FIS

The NCUA has asked credit unions which process their debit and credit card transactions with FIS to evaluate their relationship with the card processor in light of an information technology supervisory letter the company has received from the FDIC.
FIS processes credit and debit card transactions for the majority of card-issuing credit unions and has roughly 5,400 client credit unions.****READ More Citing 'Unsatisfactory Risk Management,' NCUA Asks Credit Unions to Evaluate Relationship With FIS:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New SAR and CTR Reports Available for E-Filing – Part 2

New SAR and CTR Reports Available for E-Filing – Part 2:
Written by Bernadette Clair, Regulatory Compliance Counsel
Yesterday, we mentioned that the new Currency Transaction Report (CTR) and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) contain expanded data fields for the collection of additional data elements.  When the new reports were proposed, there were quite a few questions as to whether the changes created new obligations for filing institutions.  FinCEN’s guidance addresses some of these concerns.
Regulatory Expectations.  It should be noted that FinCEN’s guidance states, more than once, that issuance of the new reports is not intended to create new obligations for filing institutions, or change existing requirements or expectations.  FinCEN also says it will continue to work “with supervisory regulatory authorities as part of its ongoing efforts to promote consistent examination of these filing requirements.”
So in theory these new reports should not create additional reporting obligations (besides figuring out how to fill them out).  Maybe that makes compliance folks feel a little better…and maybe not.
Expanded Data Fields.  Some of the changes to the reports include fairly straightforward data.  For example, optional fields for email address, website address, and IP address have been added.  Often this information is included in the narrative; having a specific field just makes it easier for law enforcement to search.
Here are some of the more interesting changes that caught my eye.
  • Gender:  Gender has been added to the report because it can be an important characteristic for query purposes.  The field is not mandatory and credit unions are not expected to collect gender information – however, credit unions are expected to complete those fields for which they have relevant information.
  • Characterization of Suspicious Activity:  FinCEN has added additional data elements for characterizing the suspicious activity and types of financial services involved.  Aside from critical fields (that must be completed) these additional fields are designed to efficiently bring information about suspicious activity to FinCEN’s and law enforcement’s attention.  The expanded choices do not require the credit union to determine whether any and/or all of the choices apply to the activity being reported. FinCEN reiterates that institutions are not responsible for investigating the underlying suspected crime, but for reporting the information they know at the time they conclude that suspicious activity is present.  Investigations remain the responsibility of law enforcement.
  • Spreadsheet attachment:  How many times have we been told not to include attachments when filing SARs?  Well, the tune is changing just a bit.  Now, credit unions can include a single, comma separated value (CSV) attachment as part of the report. The purpose is to include tabular data which is more readable and usable in this format than it would be if otherwise included in the narrative. The attachment would be considered part of the narrative. 
See FinCEN’s guidance for further information on filing the new reports and the expanded data fields.
Well, I think that’s enough for one day.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Importance of Generational Marketing

Credit union members span the range of generations from children to seniors and everything in between. Each demographic represents a different opportunity for the credit union ─ from grooming tomorrow’s most loyal members to the careful handling of current high-value, long-term members. Practicing generational marketing will allow diverse institutions to maximize the value of each of their demographic segments.  Discover the generational makeup of members to understand what makes them tick and better market to their priorities....[Read Article] The Importance of Generational Marketing