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Online Early peek around the GAC site locale

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WASHINGTON (11/26/07)—Credit unions preparing to attend the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2008 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) can watch an advance video preview of the meeting’s new locale. The 2008 GAC happens March 2-6 at the Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C.
Click to access GAC videos
In the 2-1/2 minute online video, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica provides a glimpse of the Gallery Place and Chinatown neighborhoods near the new site. He points out different area attractions and eateries while walking along historic 7th Street Northwest, which is adjacent to the convention center. The International Spy Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Shakespeare Theater and DC's Chinatown are among the sites Mica highlights on the quick tour. Wrapping up back on the convention center steps, he also reminds credit unions that political action is what the GAC is all about: "Make your presence known here at this facility and at Capitol Hill right down the street." Mark Wolff, CUNA senior vice president of communications, said the video is meant to generate excitement about our new GAC venue and help attendees become more familiar with the surroundings. Last month, CUNA released a video featuring CUNA Board Chairman Allan Kemp McMorris. He invites his credit union peers to join the event, and urges them to travel via any possible mode , "bike, car, train or plane. What matters is that you're here!" McMorris prefers his Harley Davidson motorcycle. "We need you in Washington," says McMorris. A large turnout, he adds, makes a bold statement. "So when you come to the GAC, bring a friend." Use the resource link below to view the videos and see a map of Washington, D.C.

Options exist to meet CUs ID theft requirements

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WASHINGTON (11/26/07)--New interagency “red flag” regulations and guidelines have credit unions asking if they must start from scratch or can they incorporate current fraud prevention procedures into ID theft prevention programs? According to CUNA’s monthly Compliance Challenge, when appropriate to address identity theft, a credit union may incorporate existing fraud prevention policies and procedures into its ID Theft Prevention Program. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the federal banking agencies issued final guidelines and regulations to implement Section 114 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA). Section 114 defines the identity theft “red flags,” and in this case:
* NCUA’s regulations will apply to federal credit unions; * FTC’s regulations will apply to state chartered credit unions.
The rules are substantially similar and have a mandatory compliance date of Nov. 1, 2008, reports Compliance Challenge. The interagency “red flag” regulations require institutions to develop and implement a written “Identity Theft Prevention Program,” which is designed to “detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of a covered account or any existing covered account.” The regulation defines “covered accounts” as those:
* Offered or maintained primarily for personal, family, or household purposes that involve or are designed to permit multiple payments or transactions such as a credit card account, mortgage, loan, automobile loan, checking account or share account; and * Any other account the credit union offers or maintains for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk to members or to the safety and soundness of the federal credit union from ID theft, including financial, operational, compliance, reputation, or litigation risks.
The regulations’ accompanying guidelines make clear that “a credit union may incorporate existing fraud prevention policies and procedures into the ID Theft Prevention Program, as appropriate,” says the Challenge. According to the supplemental information, “this will avoid duplication and allow covered entities to benefit from existing policies and procedures.” However, the credit union may only incorporate existing policies, procedures, and arrangements “that control reasonable foreseeable risks to members or to the safety and soundness of the credit union from identity theft,” it concludes. Use the resource link below to learn more in this month’s Compliance Challenge.

Inside Washington (11/21/2007)

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* WASHINGTON (11/26/07)--California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday announced his plan to stop foreclosures in California. The governor said he has made an agreement with lenders, including Countrywide Financial Corp., GMAC, Litton and HomeEq to “fast track” loan modifications. His proposal is based on a suggestion made by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair that financial institutions should lock borrowers’ interest rates (American Banker Nov. 21). Meanwhile, Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Director John Reich suggested that loan servicers and thrifts should extend starter interest rates for periods of up to three years to help subprime hybrid mortgage borrowers. Unlike Schwarzenegger’s broader approach, Reich advocated for modifying loans case-by-case and then limiting modifications to hybrid mortgages only. As an incentive, OTS would also provide $500 per loan to servicers who modify mortgages … * WASHINGTON (11/26/07)--Weakness in the housing and credit markets caused earnings in the thrift industry to drop 84% from one year ago to $704 million during the third quarter, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) reported Tuesday. Net income also is down 82% from $3.83 billion in the last quarter. Despite the drop, OTS Director John Reich said he is encouraged that managers of OTS-regulated institutions are taking the right steps “to provide a cushion for the future” …