Saturday, April 30, 2016

NCUA"s new video module provides best practices for merging

The three-part video module provided by NCUA, available online here, examines current trends in mergers, when a credit union board should consider a merger and how to negotiate a merger agreement that best serves the credit union’s interests.
Every credit union should discuss the possibilities of a future merger in their strategic planning.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Geoff Bacino added to our line up of great speakers!

Lets welcome, to our line up of speakers,  Geoff Bacino a partner at Bacino & Associates, a national government relations, strategic planning and business solutions firm. Previously, Geoff served on the Board of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) as a appointee of President Bill Clinton. He was also nominated to serve on the Federal Housing Finance Board by President George W. Bush at the recommendation of Senator Harry Reid.

Geoff will provide some insights on the upcoming election. Elections are one of the necessary evils (or glorious benefits) of a democratic system. The upcoming 2016 election includes a presidential race as well as the full House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate. These races can have an impact on credit unions for years to come. With more and more financial services issues coming before Congress, which candidates are more “credit union-friendly”? And with the chance to nominate three new NCUA Board members over the next four years, the direction of the agency will be determined by the which candidate wins the Presidential election.

Check out our complete lineup at: http://www.ncofcu.org/2016-Denver-Conference
Early Bird Registration Ends July 1st

Friday, April 15, 2016

FedComp, who is presently serving 17 firefighter credit unions, 2016 Conference Gold Sponsor

Fairfax, VA: FedComp, who is currently serving 17 firefighter credit unions and is the leading provider of Core Data Solutions for “small entity” credit unions* for over 30 years, is pleased to announce a partnership of three industry leaders to provide digital financial services for “small entity” Credit Unions.

The combined forces of FedComp, Ongoing Operations, a CUSO dedicated to providing affordable technology solutions and MoadBus, a US based international provider of mobile and internet banking to both large and small financial institutions, provides FedComp the ability to bring a full range of digital financial services at an affordable cost to the “small entity” Credit Unions. FedComp is able to provide these services by leveraging the extensive experiences of MoadBus in serving unbanked and underbanked consumer segments worldwide. This represents an exciting breakthrough in the ability of small asset credit unions to provide increased banking functionality, a leveling of the playing field with the billion asset credit unions in technology, security, and most importantly – member services.

Many of the smaller asset Credit Unions do not currently have the capabilities or resources to offer their member’s financial services now considered basic banking functions.  The team of FedComp, Ongoing Operations, and MoadBus can now provide “small entity” Credit Unions with direct access to digital solutions to increase their commercial viability. As a group, the “small entity” Credit Unions represent over 50% of all US credit unions.  By moving the “small entity” Credit Unions into the 21st Century digital world, FedComp is providing the opportunity for growth in a sector of the industry that many considered to be headed for extinction. 

The Credit Union industry was built on the backs of small, local institutions, and FedComp and its partners intend to reignite growth within the “small entity” Credit Unions*.

*(those under $100,000,000 in assets)

Public Relations
FedComp, Inc.
Learn more about FedComp’s Platinum Data Processor @ www.fedcomp.com
Toll Free: 855-640-3312

About Moadbus: MoadBus Inc. is an innovative technology company, dedicated to providing scalable, advanced and cost effective business solutions to financial institutions worldwide. Founded in 2005, MoadBus is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with offices in Canada, Latin America and Asia. MoadBus believes in building a solid portfolio of products with a large sustainable customer base through quality solutions, unparalleled service and affordable pricing models. Learn more at www.moadbus.com.


About Ongoing Operations: Ongoing Operations, LLC is a multi-owned CUSO committed to providing technology solutions to credit unions nationwide.  Beyond offering a full-range of disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, Ongoing Operations provides solutions for managed security, managed telecom, and a complete cloud platform featuring redundancy, security, accessibility, and great operational flexibility. Learn more at www.ongoingoperations.com.

Cyber Security in Today's Credit Unions

"Credit unions and CUSOs that are quick to point to the strength of their firewalls are correct, said Stickley—those firewalls are excellent at keeping outsiders outside. The problem is the cybercrime is taking place due to insiders opening the door and letting scammers do their damage from the inside.

 “If you look at every single breach today--Anthem, Home Depot, Target–I guarantee you every one started with an email, and that started the ball rolling to get the breach to happen. Email is the bane of your existence. Email is extremely dangerous to you, your organization and all your members.”

So why email?

 “Attacking a network via the Internet is hard,” said Stickley. “And employees have access to everything.  If I can gain access to an employee’s desktop or credentials, breaking in becomes much easier.”"

Read complete article at:

LinkedIn? Should be 'Let Them In' / THE boost / CUToday.info - CU Today:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How is your State doing? Firefighter Cancer bills being passed in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky

OHIO
After years of waiting, Ohio's firefighters are one step closer to getting better protection against cancer.

Senate bill 27 passed the insurance committee Tuesday morning. It's the fourth time legislation has been introduced but the first time it has ever gotten traction. It would recognize a link between firefighting and cancer.

"A day like today is really the first step in helping those firefighters," Doug Stern with the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters said. "They kind of go unrecognized for the sacrifice they make when they get these occupational cancers. This is one way that we can honor the sacrifice that those members have made."

FRANKFORT, Ky.
A bill that reclassifies a Kentucky firefighter’s cancer death as ‘work-related’ becomes official Tuesday.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says Tuesday she will formally receive and file Senate Bill 195. The General Assembly passed the bill unanimously. It became law without the Governor’s signature last week.


LANSING, MI
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday signed legislation designed to benefit firefighters who develop cancer when putting their lives — and lungs — on the line.

“Firefighters who suffer workplace injuries, including cancer, are entitled to all of the benefits offered by our workers compensation system,” “ Given the dangerous work our firefighters do I think a workplace cancer presumption is reasonable.”

Monday, April 11, 2016

NCOFCU in Denver, CO. Update

Early Bird registration expires July 1st, 2016

Don't miss this great opportunity to visit Denver, CO. "the gateway to the Rockies", and attend the "Go To" conference for credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families.
"NCOFCU 2016 Annual Educational Conference" 


September 28th - October 1st, 2016 
Grand Hyatt Downtown.
For information and registration click: 
HERE
Early Bird registration expires July 1st, 2016


Friday, April 8, 2016

Ransomware: 'It's A Growing Issue'

MADISON, Wis.—Ransomware attacks, already a quiet concern that has been growing among credit unions, are expected to dramatically increase this year—with one analyst saying there is “no silver bullet” to prevent the threat.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or PC until a sum of money is paid. In the case of a financial institution, crooks first use the malware to encrypt the contents of the FI’s data and then extract a ransom in exchange for decrypting the information and allowing the victim to regain access.

It’s an issue, according to one regulator source who asked for anonymity that has been growing within credit unions, many of which have paid ransoms to regain access to their data and have chosen not to speaking publicly about the crime.
“This has become a huge problem,” said Ken Otsuka, senior consultant in CUNA Mutual Group’s risk management department, adding that CUNA Mutual Group’s cyber liability coverage data does not break down the type of cyber-attack that leads to a claim. “The FBI statistics are unnerving.”
According to the FBI, between April 2014 and June 2015 the agency received 992 ransomware complaints, with victims reporting losses of more than $18 million. Overall, reports indicate that losses from ransomware to date range from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Experts are predicting the threat will spread in 2016 due to inexpensive, do-it-yourself ransomware kits that are beginning to become available in underground markets.
“Analysts are concerned that cyber criminals are on the verge of widening the scope of their attacks,” reported ThirdCertainty’s Jaikumar Vijayan. “Researchers at security vendor Emsisoft analyzed a malware tool dubbed Ransom32 that many believe is a harbinger of things to come on the ransomware front.”
Portabile Platform
Ransom32 is the first ransomware tool written entirely in Javascript. That makes it easily portable to other platforms such as Linux and Mac OS X, Vijayan reported.
While reports indicate that ransomware costs can reach as high as $5,000 per user on an infected system, the bigger costs, sources say, come from staff downtime and from the credit union’s damaged reputation among its members.
According to a survey conducted by cloud IT services company Intermedia, many firms do not have a business continuity plan that would help them continue working while under a ransomware attack. Instead, they suffer costly downtime, with 72% not being able to access their files for two days, and 32% for five days or more.
Otsuka confirmed that a business continuity plan to address a ransomware attack is necessary today. He also outlined several steps credit unions should take to defend against ransomware, none more important that backing up data regularly.
“The big item is making sure the credit union has an effective data backup strategy in place so that if the credit union is hit with a ransomware attack and files are unreadable, it can go back to the most recent backup media tape and restore the data and not have to pay the ransom,” said Otsuka.
Otsuka said credit unions should periodically conduct “restore tests,” where they test to see if the data they would use to restore compromised files is usable.
“The time to find out your backup data is not usable is not during the middle of a ransomware attack,” he said.
Steps to Take
Noting there is no “silver bullet,” Otsuka outlined other important steps to guard against ransomware:
·         Securely configure systems and services.
·         Protect against unauthorized access.
·         Perform security monitoring, prevention and risk mitigation.
·         Update information security awareness and training programs to include cyber-attacks involving extortion.
·         Implement and regularly test controls around critical systems.
·         Review, update and test incident response and business continuity plans periodically.
·         Ensure antivirus programs are kept up-to-date.
·         Confirm operating systems and software are kept up-to-date with the latest patches.
·         Block access to personal email accounts.
·         Deploy spam and web filters.
·         Enable pop-up blockers.
As if often the case, in many successful cyber-attacks, staff are often the weak link, said Otsuka. He emphasized that credit unions should regularly test employees to make sure they understand how to prevent against phishing attacks and other email scams that can infect the system.
“I would test employees by sending them phishing-like emails to see how susceptible they are,” said Otsuka, explaining that cyber security companies can provide these “test” emails.
Otsuka said another key guiding principle is to network on risks, such as in industry information-sharing forums, and share information regarding threat intelligence.
“Credit unions with a CUNA Mutual Group cyber liability insurance policy may be eligible for a discounted membership fee for the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC),” said Otsuka.

To learn more, visit www.cunamutual.com/fs-isac

CHARLOTTE, NC "He's fighting a fight he and his family never expected"


Jeffrey McGill has been a Charlotte firefighter for 16 years and he's locked in a battle with cancer. 

He's a father, a husband and a hero, but lately he's been fighting a battle for his own life.

They have such strong faith and they're so optimistic, you know, in the midst of all this," said Lisa Sexton, Executive Director of All Things Possible
McGill has been with the Charlotte Fire Department for 16 years but hasn't been able to work lately. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer and has been going through treatment. 
He's had chemotherapy, they've done surgery, they went in to do surgery to remove the tumor after they had shrunk it and found that there were 10 more behind it,
Want to help Jeffrey McGill? CLICK HERE! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Widow of 9/11 firefighter wins $3M pension payout | New York Post

"The widow of an FDNY lieutenant has scored an estimated $3 million payday after a judge ruled that “shocking and unconscionable” actions by the city denied her his rightful pension.

Jackie Kaht Fernandez spent nine years fighting the Fire Department’s pension board and its doctors to prove that the sudden death of her husband, Lt. Cruz Fernandez, in 2006 at age 52 was related to his time spent at Ground Zero.

 “The word ‘no’ is not in my vocabulary,” Jackie Fernandez, 53, told The Post. In an unusually harsh ruling March 2, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Daniel Velasquez ripped the city for not siding with her sooner and said it operated in “bad faith” with her.

Fernandez said her husband — known as “Bombero” (Spanish for “firefighter”) — competed in nine New York City Marathons before his work at the World Trade Center site.

He retired in November 2002 after 24 years of service, feeling run down and having trouble catching his breath, she said."

Read Complete Story HERE



'via Blog this'

Credit Unions- Best in Checking Do Not Do It on Fees

Your key financial service is Checking. Who’s the Best at Checking in the Credit Union Movement? Moebs Services, an economic research firm, conducted a study of 6,284 Credit Unions from 2 nd Quarter 2015 call reports to find out who is the best at providing Checking.

Results are based on who has the most profitable checking portfolio, who has the highest checking penetration, and who does the best job of crossselling other services. Moebs Services designed the Best in Checking Study to reflect the transaction account of the future. “We wanted to identify those CUs who are currently operating at the year 2020” says Mike Moebs.

HOW THE STUDY WAS DONE
“In talking with Regulators, Legislators, Credit Union CEOs, Vendors in IT, and members themselves, it became clear that Financial Institutions needed to be good at 3 things in checking to be winners in 2020,” notes Moebs. The study shows the 3 major criteria to be: Checking was no longer the “milk’n eggs” of financial services or a loss leader – checking must be profitable. Selling was an important criterion. Credit Unions needed to have a large number of members with checking accounts, checking penetration. Third, it is important the credit union crosssell other services to develop relationships once the checking account was secured.

Read Complete Report HERE

Friday, April 1, 2016

NCUA Unlikely to Charge Stabilization Fund Assessments

By J. Daniel Young CU Times

"The NCUA said it does not foresee stabilization fund assessments following the regulator’s Thursday posting of updated information on the costs of the Corporate Resolution Program and performance of the NCUA Guaranteed Notes Program.

According to the data, both the upper and lower ends of the projected assessment range for the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund remained negative, at -$1.6 billion to -$3.2 billion.

 As long as both ends of the range remain negative, the agency said it is unlikely it will charge credit unions future stabilization fund assessments.

 “Six years ago, projections of possible stabilization fund assessments to credit unions ran as high as $9.2 billion,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “However,