The Point: April 8, 2013

Lending School attracts CU professionals from NY, Virgin Islands

More than 30 credit union professionals gathered in Albany last week for the Credit Union Association of New York's 2013 Lending School. Notably, three attendees travelled from the U.S. Virgin Islands' Mid Island FCU and Frederiksted FCU to participate in the event. Both credit unions are associate members of the Association, and they are also-along with other credit unions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico-partners with the Association in WOCCU's International Partnerships Program.

Led by popular instructor Brett Christensen and presenters Jim Holt (CU Student Choice) and Bob Nealon (CU Direct), the attendees focused on numerous aspects of credit union lending.

Holt highlighted opportunities in private student lending, and Nealon shared insights on auto lending trends and best practices. During his sessions, Christensen covered the macro-economic lending environment, loan interview and sales skills, FICO credit scores and loan decision-making.

"I really enjoyed Brett Christensen," said Karen Swanson, Inner Lakes FCU. "He's been informative, down-to-earth and very straightforward. I've gotten a lot of ideas for our credit union's loan department-incentives for staff, incentives for members, some considerations for our policies and application process."

Attendees also shared sample loans from their credit unions, allowing the group to apply new insights to their everyday tasks.

"This session has opened my eyes a little on lower-credit loans, and it will help me a lot when I get back to the credit union," said George Muller, CFCU Community CU. "I think every lender should come to this session."

For Mid-Island FCU's Barbara McIntosh and Kerri Bess, the Lending School was well worth the trip. "The information was presented in very understandable, simple language, and it's given me an entirely new perspective," said McIntosh. "While we may not be able to sell or access all the products in the Virgin Islands, it's nice to hear from other people how they do what they do. It's also nice to see that we are not different. Folks here are doing things basically the same way we are, even though we are so far away. Members have the same needs, no matter where you live."

Bess agreed, adding, "In the Virgin Islands, we don't have this kind of formal training. This session reassured me that we're going in the right direction, but there are also better ways we can approach things. When we go back, we'll be able to go above and beyond to make sure our members get the loans they deserve."

The 2013 Lending School was held April 2-3 at Association headquarters in Albany, N.Y. A photo album from the event is available on the Association's Facebook page.

For information on future educational opportunities, visit the Association's Events & Education calendar.

Reminder: Feedback needed for Association's taxation survey

As the Credit Union Association of New York advocates for the passage of priority credit union legislation in Albany, banks continue to claim that credit unions don't pay taxes. To discredit these claims, the Association is conducting a survey on statewide credit union taxation.

The survey collects information on credit union payment of 14 NYS taxes for the 2012 tax year. The survey link was e-mailed to the CEO/main contact at each member credit union last month, and the deadline for responses is April 10.

To request the survey link, contact Association SVP/General Counsel Mike Lanotte at or (800) 342-9835, ext. 8236.

Fifteen NY CUs participating in Youth Saving Challenge; enrollment still open

Credit unions can still participate in CUNA's National Youth Saving Challenge, which will run during the entire month of April. The Challenge promotes youth saving by rewarding 10 young savers with $100 cash prizes.

Fifteen New York credit unions have already enrolled in the Challenge, including:
• Buffalo Community FCU;
• Buffalo Metropolitan FCU;
• Entertainment Industries FCU;
• First Heritage FCU;
• First New York FCU;
• Greater Chautauqua FCU;
• Hudson River Community CU;
• Hudson Valley FCU;
• Lower East Side Peoples FCU;
• Nassau Financial FCU;
• Saratoga's Community FCU;
• School Systems FCU;
• St Pius X Church FCU; and
• Utica Gas and Electric EFCU.

To enroll, visit CUNA's website. Participating credit unions must report their totals by noon on May 15 to ensure their savers are entered in the drawing.

Credit unions are also encouraged to participate in CUNA's National Credit Union Youth Week, held April 21-27. National Credit Union Youth Week promotes the benefits of youth saving and goal-setting by inviting youth to open savings accounts at their credit union and make deposits throughout the year. This year's theme is "Savings Sleuth: Solve the Mystery," and details are available on CUNA's website.

Helpful Links

CUNA News Now 

CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report  (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)

CUNA Legislative Update (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)

Events & Education Calendar 

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