The Point: March 4, 2013

Calling all CUs: Complete MORE survey by March 15

To gather vital outreach statistics for the 2012 MORE Report, the Credit Union Association of New York is conducting an online, statewide survey  through March 15.

By completing the MORE Survey, credit unionists can help the Association collect and publish statistical information regarding New York credit unions' community outreach, financial education initiatives and customized products and services. The statistics will be featured in the 2012 MORE Report, along with the information and stories submitted by credit unions.

The MORE Report and survey results will be shared with legislators, the media and the public.


Lanotte testifies at NYS Senate hearing on post-Sandy insurance payouts

Last Thursday, Credit Union Association of New York SVP/General Counsel Mike Lanotte testified at a NYS Senate Banks Committee hearing focused on expediting the release of insurance funds from Superstorm Sandy to homeowners. During his remarks, Lanotte provided several examples of how New York credit unions and Association affiliate CUC Mortgage Corporation have worked to meet members' insurance needs quickly and effectively.

A recent NYS Department of Financial Services investigation revealed that $200 million in insurance funds from Superstorm Sandy is being held by banks and has not yet been sent to homeowners who need the money to pay for necessary repairs. The Cuomo Administration has since sent letters to banks and mortgage servicers asking that they use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of funds. The Department has also sent letters to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seeking emergency reforms of their rules and policies involving the release of insurance funds by banks and servicers. (Details are provided in the DFS' related press release.)

During his testimony, Lanotte noted that CUC Mortgage Corporation already implements the best practices set forth by the Department of Financial Services. He added, "Credit unions' long tradition of working with and for their members allows them to be flexible in meeting their needs, especially in a time of crisis. And because credit unions know their members, they can do so without compromising safety or soundness."


Project Zip Code an important tool in CU advocacy

Legislators need to know how many credit unions and credit union members are in their districts, and Project Zip Code (PZC) enables the Credit Union Association of New York and other advocates to provide this information. To make sure their members are counted, credit unions are asked to download and run the program by visiting CUNA's website.

PZC securely counts credit union members and matches them by state legislative district, congressional district and county. The counts are then uploaded to CUNA's PZC website and combined with data from other credit unions nationwide to enhance advocacy efforts.

Credit unions that utilize PZC are also able to view their membership totals by geographic area, which can help guide strategic planning, ATM placement and branch strategies.

A new version of PZC, 13.0, was recently released. When downloaded, the new version will automatically uninstall prior versions of Project Zip Code from the user's computer.

For assistance, contact Leona Haberstro, the Association's advocacy specialist, at (800) 342-9835, ext. 8128 or leona.haberstro@cuany.org.


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