Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Are You a Retirement Plan Sponsor? Connect With A New Retirement Toolkit for National Retirement Security Week!

It’s National Retirement Security Week* (Oct. 15 to 21), and we have something new for credit unions who offer any of our plans to employees.

In time for this national observance, you can leverage a new toolkit that can help educate and inform retirement plan participants who are saving for retirement.

The online kit includes three on-demand learning modules. These address savings opportunities and obstacles, experienced by people in different generations. More specifically, plan participants can use the information and interactive learning sessions to explore topics designed for Millennials, mid-career employees and those approaching retirement (50 years+) in ten minutes or less.

As a plan sponsor, you can find links to these modules and additional retirement week messages on the Participant Homepage, the Financial Education Page and the Sponsor Information Center Page of You can also find promotional materials to help you connect with participants this week including a poster and a “select and send” employee message – are also available on the Sponsor Information Center Page of

To provide a layer of promotional support to any of the plan sponsors we work with, we’re issuing promotional emails for this week’s focus to plan participants (who have opted in for email alerts). These go out on Oct. 19, 24 and 26.

Have you watched our RetireOnTarget® eLearning Series this year? If not, take a look and see the value we’re bringing to our clients.

*National Retirement Security Week is sponsored by NAGDCA, The Voice of the Public Sector Defined Contribution Plans, and focuses on helping employees take control of their financial future.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ask A Risk Consultant: Indirect Lending

By Casey Hunt
In a recent risk and compliance webinar we call “Office Hours," we met with several hundred credit unions to discuss the questions they have with the lending landscape today. 

The vice president of a $765-million-dollar credit union had a great question regarding auto dealerships: What should credit unions be doing to manage due diligence and indirect lending in our dealer relationships? 
Ongoing due diligence for automobile dealerships in indirect lending programs is critical to your program’s success. In fact, in situations where relationships were loosely managed and monitored, credit unions have seen some of the largest losses caused by unscrupulous dealerships and their employees or practices.  

To minimize the risks, be sure to: 
  • Understand how the dealership fits into your member demographics, loan growth and risk appetite strategies. 
  • Have a clear understanding of the dealership’s operational structure, and conduct reviews regularly including on-site visits and sales staff interviews. 
  • Establish appropriate growth goals, concentration limits and minimum standards for creditworthiness. This can include credit score and debt-to-income requirements and loan-to-value limitations 
  • Maintain quality control on the vendor’s program administration, underwriting and contract expectations. 
  • Manage your incentive structure effectively to ensure dealers and staff are focused on loan quality, not just loan volume. 
  • Take early action to revise the dealer relationship if you find that one of your lending relationships shows red flags or adverse performance trends.
This question was asked during our October 5, 2017 Office Hours. For more questions from your peers, watch the full recording. Topics included loan fraud, indirect lending, and compliance issues related to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Military Lending Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  

To learn even more about lending risk, or submit your own questions, contact the Risk & Protection Response Center at or 800.637.2676. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Top Threats to Teen Drivers May Surprise You

According to youth.govOctober 14-20 is National Teen Driver Safety Weeka week dedicated to raising awareness of the serious risks today's teens confront on the roads. 

The Federal Highway Administration reports that there were nearly 10 million licensed drivers aged 19 and younger in the U.S. as of July 2016. And, according to AAA, teen drivers are 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash and 6 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

Statistics like this are sobering for any parent, any teen and anyone who shares the road with these young drivers. Understanding the risks and finding ways to help neutralize them are good first steps in striving for a safer, better driving experience for everyone.

Understand the Threats
The top threat to teens’ driving safety may surprise you. It's not their smartphones. According to the CDC, the No. 1 threat is driving or riding in a car with another teen driver. And, the main cause of fatal teen auto crashes is driver inexperience.

And, as we all heed warnings about distracted driving, a 2017 study by Liberty Mutual shows that getting older may not help younger drivers. It reports older teen drivers are more likely to use a phone while driving than younger teens: In fact, 67 percent of high school seniors, 58 percent of juniors and 49 percent of sophomores admit to using apps while driving. While other dangerous behaviors include having 3 or more passengers, speeding and driving when drowsy.

Find Safety Solutions and Tools
To support awareness and safety for teen drivers, you can leverage a number of resources that are available for free. For example:
  • The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers resources to help people of all ages avoid distracted driving. It reminds us that teens, parents, educators and employers can all take action to help enhance safety for teen drivers. 
  • Some of the solutions make a lot of sense. Graduated Driver Licensing systems can reduce crashes involving teen drivers by as much as 40 percent, according to the National Safety Council
  • If you have an iPhone, you know the latest iOS update includes a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that can disable notifications, calls and texts while you're driving. And, there are several smartphone apps and other tech tools that can help support safe driving for anyone of any age.
  • For parents with teens, the CDC suggests having regular conversations about safety, practicing driving together, and leading by example. It can go a long way in ensuring your teen makes smart decisions when they get behind the wheel.

No matter how old you are, we remind you that your safety always comes first -- whether you're seventeen or seventy -- especially when you're driving.

For more information supporting National Teen Driver Safety Week, see the tools, links and resources available through here, or search #TeenDriver this week through your social media channels.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Safeguard Your Members’ Confidentiality

By Bob Bouvier
Data breaches, hacked, stolen data and identity theft are all terms weve become accustomed to hearing
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to repair the damage these can cause to your reputation -- especially if data compromises occur with social security numbers, birthdates, addresses or account numbers.

Credit unions can 
perform a review of daily practices to help minimize the risks and protect member information from fraudsters. Unfortunately, member information can be easily compromised, and it often happens inadvertently. It can leak during business-hour conversations in public areas, through after-hours access to information. And, sometimes, it's even leaked right in front of members. 

To help keep your members’ confidentiality secure, consider these tips
  • Keep member information confidential. Don’t leave member loan files, account cards or deposit slips on your desk or at your teller stations.
  • Keep private conversations about members private. Avoid discussing members business in front of other members or use the other members names.
  • Maintain detaileddocumented procedures for identifying members over the phone and online.
  • Enforce a clean-desk policy to help prevent after hour compromises, and be aware of who has access to the credit union after hours (for example, cleaning and maintenance crews, tech consultants, etc.). Be sure loan files and account information is always secured whenever not in use.
  • Place documents for shredding in a locked, shred bin at the end of the day, not a small container under your desk. When the shredding company comes to unload the bins, they should do the shredding onsite while a credit union employee observes to ensure all the documents are destroyed.
  • What happens at the credit union stays at the credit union. Reinforce with staff that they should always maintain member confidentiality when off the premises.
  • Develop and provide policies regarding what staff can and can’t share on social media. An innocent picture or comment posted to social networks can unintentionally share confidential information. 
Member confidentiality is a critical component to maintaining your members’ trust. Be sure you are continuously protecting your members and your credit union’s data: Enforce policies and train staff to carefully handle information and keep it confidential.  

We're a Company With Strong Traditions and a Commitment to Innovation

We were honored today as a recipient of the Distinguished Performer Award for Innovation as part of the Deloitte Wisconsin 75 program, an annual list that recognizes the state’s largest private companies and showcases their impact on Wisconsin’s economy and communities.  

According to our president and CEO, Robert N. Trunzo, to be recognized for innovation and a part of the Deloitte Wisconsin 75 is a true honor:  “We’re a company with strong traditions," he said. "But we always challenge ourselves to explore, innovate and invest in new ideas, technology and platforms to help credit unions thrive and help consumers build financial security.”

At CUNA Mutual Group, we're innovating around new business models, investing in start-up companies that deliver emerging technology platforms. We're designing new solutions to strengthen credit union relationships. And, we're building a digital experience that makes it easy for consumers to research, purchase and service their policies—each helping to serve changing trends and needs in the marketplace. 

Click here to read the full announcement.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Altra Federal Credit Union Signs with AdvantEdge Analytics

Our data and analytics company, CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics announced that Altra Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Onalaska, Wis., will implement AdvantEdge Analytics’ data analytics solution to better serve its members. 

With assets exceeding $1.3 billion, Altra serves more than 96,000 members with 19 branch locations throughout eight states.

Altra signed on as an AdvantEdge Analytics charter member and will partner with AdvantEdge to further collaborate and build out the company’s future product development roadmap. The credit union will help guide future data analytics capabilities and shape the digital and analytics space within the credit union community.

“To continue helping our members live better lives through superior products and services, we must improve our ability to use data for greater member insights,” said Jack Peplinski, CEO, Altra Federal Credit Union. “It is critical to remain a credit union of choice for the future. AdvantEdge Analytics’ data solution brings the most comprehensive and flexible technologies that will help us build our strategy and scale quickly.”

Click here to see the full press release.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Deliver a Convenient Employee Experience

By Karim Habib, Director, Sales & Marketing Lender Development Program

Consumers’ lives are moving faster than ever, and their demand for convenience puts increasing pressure on credit unions to improve the experience they deliver. While this convenience economy is evolving outside your credit union, have you ever stopped to think about its impact on the inside, specifically on your employees?

As you add convenient channels and services, it’s important to consider how you’re preparing your staff to engage with members through these new opportunities. But how you train can be just as important as the topics your cover. Remember, your employees are also consumers, and they bring this same convenience mindset to work each and every day.

Compounding the challenge is today’s multi-generational workforce, with five generations in the workplace for the first time. Given this incredible diversity, both in terms of experience and expectations, it’s easy to see that the standard approach to training is no longer the answer.

When you make training stimulating, personal, fun, and convenient, your workforce is more engaged and more attuned to your business objectives. Engaged employees ultimately perform better, eager to help your members find the right solution as they pursue financial security.

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, once said “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” While delivering convenience to your members is vital, it’s also critical to meet your employees’ needs and expectations as well.

Learn more about delivering a convenient employee experience, including four keys to upskilling your staff and improving performance. Read the full article here.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hurricane Relief for Credit Unions, People and Families Continues, and You Can Help

By Beth Cutler, Community Relations and Foundation Leader

Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the recent hurricanes across the U.S. mainland and Caribbean. So are our people, who care about helping those in need.

To support recovery efforts for credit unions, our disaster response team members have been in the regions affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma in recent days. And, since Saturday, they've been in Puerto Rico, where we have both staff and customers.
We're relieved to confirm that all 12 of our San Juan-based employees are accounted for, despite the island's devastating conditions. We're flying them critical emergency supplies, including satellite phones, solar chargers, ready-to-eat emergency meals, drinking water filtration systems, first aid kits, flashlights and batteries.