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Efficiency paper first of CUNA Community CU Committee series

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MADISON, Wis. (5/17/10)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Community Credit Union Committee has released the first of four complimentary white papers, the committee announced Friday. "Best Practices in Credit Union Efficiency," the first paper, details cost-structure benchmarks and current best practices for community credit unions operating in an environment filled with anxiety, guarded optimism and pure exhaustion from the tolls of the "Great Recession," the committee said. The white paper comes at a critical time. The mandate for improved efficiencies in community credit unions is clearly supported by industry data, the committee said. Roughly 2,000 of the 8,000 credit unions nationwide have community powers, and there are noticeable differences in the expense and revenue structures of these institutions. For community credit unions, improving profitability and protecting net worth in the years ahead will require a laser focus on ongoing tenacity around efficiency improvement. "Best Practices in Credit Union Efficiency" serves as a guide for credit unions looking to improve operating efficiencies. It focuses on how community credit unions can generate adequate returns by:
* Setting high]level objectives as part of the strategic planning process; * Using benchmarking data to assess efficiency across all areas of the credit union and reporting these measurements regularly; * Setting accountabilities and incentives around efficiency improvement at all levels of the credit union; * Establishing a culture of continuous process improvement to drive new efficiencies with disciplined project management; * Leveraging growing self-service channels (phone, Web, mobile, cards) to deliver financial services in a less labor]intensive manner and actively manage channel delivery costs; * Using sophisticated data mining and contextual marketing strategies to lower the cost of member acquisition, cross selling and retention; and * Developing stronger profitability reporting information at the branch, product and member level, and driving management decisions around this profitability information.
The CUNA Community Credit Union Committee was formed in 2006 to provide support for the growing group of community credit unions. Its purpose is to support and service community credit unions, and those considering a community charter, through representation of their unique: legal, legislative and regulatory needs, and education, resources and information. To download a complimentary copy, visit the link.

Eight-part IRA audio series starts June 1

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MADISON, Wis. (5/17/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is offering an eight-part audio series on individual retirement accounts (IRAs) starting June 1 at 1 p.m. CT and continuing through July 27. Participants will learn about traditional and Roth IRAs and health savings accounts (HSA). New accounts personnel will be taught how to open an IRA, understand beneficiary concerns, complete the required documentation for an IRA, and identify the ages, penalties and requirements for IRAs, CUNA said. Member contact employees will examine the building blocks or foundation that is most critical with IRAs, learn how to answer member questions about IRAs and discover how to refer a member from the teller line to the new accounts desk. The services can be purchased as individual sessions or a group of sessions. Sessions offered include:
* Types of IRAs, Traditional vs. Roth, June 1; * IRA: Documentation Requirements, June 15; * IRA: Contribution and Distribution Rules, June 22; * IRA: Rollovers and Transfers, June 29; * Penalties Associated with IRAs, July 6; * How to Give Advice on IRAs Without Giving Advice, July 13; * How to Promote IRAs and HSAs to Build Member Relations, July 20; and * How to Apply Your IRA Knowledge, July 27.
John Baptisa Jr. will teach the sessions. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial industry, 29 years in management and more than 35 years of customer relations experience. For more information, use the link.