Is your member’s information secure?
To have a better understanding of what information security means let’s firstly compare information security to how we look at security around the Credit Unions cash. We don’t want any person being able to view the Credit Unions accounts and we especially we don’t want unauthorised persons being abl…Read more >
To have a better understanding of what information security means let’s firstly compare information security to how we look at security around the Credit Unions cash. We don’t want any person being able to view the Credit Unions accounts and we especially we don’t want unauthorised persons being able move cash from one account to another.
Firstly, we put in place many secure steps before cash can be moved from the Credit Union and rightly so. Secondly, we want immediate access to the Credit Unions cash as do our members. So with cash, we value keeping it out of the hands of others, we want access to the credit unions cash when necessary. When considering the Credit Union information security we must have a similar culture of security to cash, highly controlled access by certain persons in the Credit Union and no access others.
The Credit Unions information is spread across many areas, i.e. hard drives, cloud storage, desks tops and laptops. We immediately see that having robust information security is vital especially when we view its security as we do cash. It’s vital that Credit Unions take a thorough approach to information security and have in place policies and procedures around where it is held, who has access to it and vitally those whom we don’t want to have access are restricted from doing so. Also importantly when there has been unauthorised access to the credit unions information we need a solid business continuity plan with the next steps to reduce or reduce the damaged caused.
Why a Strategic Plan is less important than Strategic Planning
Guest Writer: Bobby Gould At this time of year, many Credit Unions are reviewing and updating their business plans and considering the challenges and opportunities that the next financial year is likely to bring. Filene Research Institute recently published a paper that looks far beyond the usual 3-…Read more >
Guest Writer: Bobby Gould
At this time of year, many Credit Unions are reviewing and updating their business plans and considering the challenges and opportunities that the next financial year is likely to bring.
Filene Research Institute recently published a paper that looks far beyond the usual 3-5 year business plan, by asking what Credit Unions in 2025 will look like.
It’s no surprise that technological disruption, increased regulation and changing member needs all feature prominently.
So how do businesses prepare for the long-term, whilst maintaining services and serving the needs of members today?
Strategic planning is about looking at those longer-term challenges and opportunities and positioning the Credit Union to deal with them.
Research across the Credit Union sectors worldwide suggests that there are 5 common challenges;
- Regulation – Constant, Complex, Costly
- Technology – Changing the way people do things. (Over 80% of the UK has a smartphone)
- Member Growth – Demographics (in 2025, 75% of UK workforce born after 1980)
- Sustainability – Human and Financial resources (future board members, increased capital)
- Competition – Expanding, Innovating, Disrupting
These challenges will be familiar to Credit Unions, but how do we anticipate their impact over the long term?
There is no “right” or singular way for businesses to approach strategic planning, but the main components can include;
- Determine where you are now – Competitive environment, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.
- Identify what is important – Where you want the organisation to go and what are the priorities (those issues so significant to the overall well-being of the CU). The plan should focus on these issues.
- What you need to achieve – What objectives must be achieved to address the priority issues.
- Who is accountable – how you will allocate time, human resources and money to address the priority issues by achieving the objectives.
- Review, review review! – Once a quarter at least, visit the issues and objectives to refine if necessary.
Some questions that can help a strategic discussion include;
- How did we get to where we are at the moment? What were the key reasons for growth? Have the external competition and regulatory conditions changed? How will these factors impact on our future growth?
- How do we measure success over the long-term? Member growth, balance sheet growth, capital growth, economic value provided to members, service delivery?
- What do our existing members believe the Credit Union stands for? Are they engaged participants in a cooperative, or do they see themselves as “banking customers”
- Are we known for convenience, for excellent service, or for better-than-market pricing of services? Has the focus been on personal service/member relationships or on product and service innovation? What do we want to be known for?
- What are the distinct profiles that constitute our membership and what are their differing needs?
- Where will new members come from in the future? How will they hear about us?
- How do the needs of members change as they move through different life-stages?
- How are new technologies changing consumer needs and wants? How do we respond?
- Does the Credit Union have the resources and capacity to meet these changing needs?
- Is the structure of the Credit Union the right shape to deal with future opportunities and challenges?
- Do we have, or can we get, the skills necessary to pursue the plan?
Great strategic planning can provide energy and direction in the day-to-day operation of the Credit Union. It provides a filtering mechanism for the evaluation of new ideas or challenges, and it will provide the framework for decision-making by ensuring the long-term goals of the Credit Union are considered at each decision-point.
Finally, when Filene looked at the characteristics of successful, thriving Credit Unions, they found 6 areas that they shared in common. They;
- Concentrate at being “great” lenders.
- Invest surplus capital in growth strategies.
- Strive for scale.
- Manage expenses aggressively.
- Stand out from the crowd – Brave differentiation.
- Are important and well-known in their community or employer-groups.
It can be difficult to find the time to talk about these long-term issues, but when Credit Unions do, great things happen!
Insurance Renewal: Are you ready?
As quickly as the year comes around we are approaching the renewal period for insurances for the Credit Union Industry. Last year, at CUNA Mutual, we launched our Commercial Insurance program (Property and Liabilities Cover) in the UK, during the establishment of this new program we reviewed the Ins…Read more >
As quickly as the year comes around we are approaching the renewal period for insurances for the Credit Union Industry. Last year, at CUNA Mutual, we launched our Commercial Insurance program (Property and Liabilities Cover) in the UK, during the establishment of this new program we reviewed the Insurances of the many CUs who applied for a quote, an “Insurance MOT”.
There were several things that stood out as concerning:
- insurances that didn’t take into account that the CU is operating as a Financial Institution,
- policies lacking in Liability Cover (Employers and Public Liability),
- cover not extending to additional branches/collection points,
- underinsured property and contents,
We encourage you to conduct a full review of all of the CUs insurances:
- Do we have all the insurances legally required? (Fidelity Bond and EL/PL)
- Are the insurances we currently have adequate and at the right level of cover?
- Are there any potential risk that haven’t been fully considered?
Of course we would like to have all Credit Unions insured via CUNA Mutual, but much more important to us is making sure Credit Unions are adequately protected, irrespective of the provider they choose.
If you would like us to review any aspect of your insurances, just get in touch.
Contact us at email@example.com
5 reasons to consider Cyber ERM Insurance for your Credit Union
With cyber security widely recognised as a key threat to financial institutions, Credit Unions are increasingly focussed on data governance and Cyber Risk management. Royal Bank of Scotland now spends upwards of £150 million per year on data security; therefore how Credit Unions respond to the incre…Read more >
With cyber security widely recognised as a key threat to financial institutions, Credit Unions are increasingly focussed on data governance and Cyber Risk management. Royal Bank of Scotland now spends upwards of £150 million per year on data security; therefore how Credit Unions respond to the increasing threat of cyber-crime is of critical importance.
- Hackers are increasingly targeting smaller, more vulnerable companies – and financial institutions are a primary target due to the amount of personal information held.
- As technical controls and protections get better, bad guys are looking for the easiest way to compromise an organization. They look at the human factor. How do you deal with that? It is tough in a member-focused culture; your people want to be helpful, but that’s exactly what can make them vulnerable to a cyber-attack.
- Just applying for Cyber ERM Insurance actually increases your readiness to deal with an attack. Why? Underwriters conduct a thorough assessment of your defences and highlight any gaps before providing a quotation. For example, do you have breach intrusion software in place?
- Cyber ERM Insurance arranged by CUNA Mutual protects Credit Unions from costs and damages arising from;
- Loss, breach or theft of members personal information, legal costs and reputation management,
- Breach of privacy damages and expenses,
- Network security damages and expenses – Malware, Hacking, Denial of Service, Unauthorised Use or Access. Data corruption or destruction,
- Cyber extortion expenses,
And it provides you with 24/7 access to a Cyber Incident Response Team to help you manage the incident through to resolution.
- If you would value legal, regulatory, forensic investigation, data recovery and restoration, public relations, crisis communications, fraud consultation, identity theft monitoring and credit monitoring solutions in the event of a data breach – CUNA Mutual can help.
Bottom line: breaches are becoming part of everyday life in financial institutions. Defending against them is of course vital. But – in the event they occur despite your best defences – getting help cleaning up the mess just may be crucial. That’s where Cyber ERM Insurance provided by CUNA Mutual comes in.