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CUNA launches 5 job-specific BSA training programs

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is offering five new job-specific Training on Demand programs to help credit unions meet Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) training challenges. The programs aim to address compliance requirements of credit unions through specific staff positions. CUNA is offering the program in response to high demand for the training. The programs address the requirements for these staff positions:
* Operations Staff--This program addresses how to spot circumstances in daily activities that prompt the filing of a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) and a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). Participants also will learn what information must be gathered when members request wire transfers and will understand what information must ¡§travel¡¨ with that wire. * Consumer Lending Staff--Lending is an area that money launderers have successfully used to get money gained from illegal activity into the system and clean money back out of it. During the program, participants will learn the red flags of potential money laundering, specific to the credit union loan process. * Member Business Loans--Business lending offers many opportunities and challenges for credit unions, so specialized knowledge of business organizations, transactions and underwriting is essential for credit union staff in this area, says CUNA. During this program, staff will learn the importance of performing a thorough check of new business loan members using Member Identification Policy and Customer Due Diligence programs. * Tellers--A credit union's tellers have daily contact with members and are the frontline defense against BSA violations. This training program will provide them with the knowledge of when to file a CTR and SAR and what information must be included in those reports. * New Accounts Staff--While it's a pleasure being able to shake the hand of a new member, the steps leading up to that moment require specific BSA actions. Participants of this program will learn the importance of conducting a thorough due-diligence review with new members so the account activity can be monitored for possible illegal activity.
Each downloadable package has a 30-minute to 45-minute video-like presentation with workbooks and five online exams. The presentations can be saved to a computer, DVD, or USB drive. For more information, use the links.

Fight Cyber Threats webinar Jan. 27

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--Last year was “a banner year” for information security news, and as 2010 approaches, more regulations, fines and lawsuits are occurring because of information security, according to Perimeter eSecurity. CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) is offering a free webinar Jan. 27 on how to prevent security problems. CSS will offer “Detect and Protect: Resolve to Fight Cyber Threats in 2010” at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar is 90 minutes. Perimeter will be one of three security experts on the panels. “Data security breaches are nasty business and should be avoided at all costs,” said Kevin Prince, Perimeter eSecurity chief technology officer. Prince will provide information and advice on:
* Anti-money laundering and fraud deterrence; * Network and information security; and * Identity theft protection.
Other webinar speakers include Andrew King, vice president of operations at Verafin, and Lynn Sheck, senior vice president of business development at Intersections. Verafin and Intersections are CSS providers. According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center, a nonprofit coalition of financial services companies committed to protecting members from identity theft, financial institutions and consumers need to be aware of:
* Expanded identity management; * Effects of “Red Flag” rules; * Potential regulations for consumer breaches.
Nearly 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2008, and 1.6 million households experienced fraud related to compromised bank accounts or debit cards. A data breach costs a business an average of $6.65 million a year and it takes a victim roughly 44 hours to recover from identity theft, said CSS. For more information, use the link.

CUs lose big--and win--in paper postage costs

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HERNDON, Va. (1/19/10)--DigitalMailer named its “Biggest Losers” for 2009--credit unions that have developed successful eStatement enrollment programs. About 21 credit unions helped more than 17,000 members switch to online statements from paper, which collectively realized $102,474 in savings. “It these credit unions’ members stay with them for five years, that’s a half-million dollars--and a lot of trees saved,” said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. Gulf Coast FCU, Corpus Christi, Texas, earned first place. The credit union saw a 720% increase in statement enrollments--saving $14,000 per year. ABCO FCU, Willingboro, N.J., won second place. The credit union saw its eStatements enrollment jump by 224%. Hudson River Community CU, Corinth, N.Y., won third, with 39%. An honorable mention went to Town of Hempstead Employees FCU, North Baldwin, N.Y., which brought in hundreds of new users. DigitalMailer provides digital communication services to the financial industry.

Net worth scenario planning tool enhanced

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WASHINGTON (1/19/10)--Record share growth and uncertain earnings are putting a greater focus on credit unions’ bottom lines. The Net Worth Scenario Dashboard, which provides a visual picture of credit unions’ projected net-worth levels, has been updated to help credit unions with the planning process. The dashboard, by Callahan and Associates, shows what might happen at credit unions in various rate environments. The tool allows credit unions to adjust net worth ratios, monthly net income, return on assets and return on equity. The dashboard is part of CUAnalyzer, a Web-based analytical tool with ratio definitions and analytical summaries. The dashboard can:
* Explain to board members what happens to credit unions as trends in growth and earnings change; * Help employees understand the effect on the net worth ratio of exceeding or falling short of a credit union’s monthly earning goals; and * Address members’ anxiety over safety and soundness by showing where the credit union is in terms of equity and how the credit union projects based on budget plans.
Callahan and Associates, a research firm, is based in Washington, D.C.

oFlows launches origination platform for community CUs

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SAN FRANCISCO (1/19/10)--oFlows Inc., a software-as-a-service technology company for credit unions and community banks, announced its launch last week. The paperless system reduces costs and allows financial institutions to compete with larger national banks. oFlows can be implemented in a few days, the company said. USA FCU, San Diego, deployed the oFlows software. A credit union member overseas went online, was pre-approved for a loan, authenticated his identity, e-signed the required forms and uploaded supporting documents in less than 10 minutes, said the credit union. The loan file was delivered to the credit union, where it was underwritten and processed. The funds were disbursed electronically the next day. “In the past, that transaction would have taken weeks,” said Carolyn James, USA FCU chief information officer. oFlows said it believes in community-based financial institutions and sees an opportunity for them to thrive because consumer attitudes toward big, corporate banks are shifting. “We think of credit unions and community banks as the good guys of financial services,” said Scott Pitts, oFlows CEO. “The oFlows platform effectively allows them to leapfrog most of the biggest national banks.” oFlows is headquartered in San Francisco.

Statement stuffer addresses Mom whats a CU

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MADISON, Wis. (1/19/10)--A new handout from the Credit Union National
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Association (CUNA) answers the question, “Mom, what’s a credit union?” Parents can use the handout, “What’s a credit union?” to educate children about credit unions. The handout has six panels, with tips for preschoolers, elementary, middle school and high school students. It includes actions to take and how-to tips. “There is plenty of financial education information available to teach kids how to earn and save their money,” said Lin Standke, CUNA Center for Personal Finance manager of product training. “Our goal is to have them choose the credit union as the place to keep it.” Credit unions participating in CUNA’s National Youth Saving Challenge last year reported receiving $26 million in deposits. About 140,000 members nationwide started or maintained a saving habit by opening accounts and depositing money in April.