Just when you start to think that things are settling down in credit union land – talk of recession is vanishing, inflation seems to be getting tamed, most experts expect a healthy uptick in mortgages come Spring and even new car sales are growing – here is Henry Meier, onetime general counsel of the New York Credit Union Association with what he believes are big threats to credit unions that many executives just are overlooking.
Spoiler alert: Meier is right.
He outlined his concerns in a 10-point manifesto in Credit Union Times – link in the show notes – but in this show, we will drill into what I see as the really worrisome four. What are they?
- Lawyers have their eyes on your website and although there have been some suits, brace yourself for more – and more that are better crafted which means they just may win favor from judges. The industry pays out big time to settle ADA suits with respect to ATMs. Could we be in for a replay with websites? Meier offers thoughtful comments, some that will worry you and some that may reassure. By the way, know reasonably easy fixes are already on hand.
- Members are howling about what they view as fraudulent losses incurred by transactions run through their Zelle, or maybe Venmo, account. This already is getting some press notice. Expect more because often these are not nickel and dime losses; big bucks frequently are involved. Your institution better get ready, now, to cope with this. Problems probably are coming at you.
- Do you know where your data are – and who is profiting from them? Another recent Credit Union Times story – link in the show notes – documents how a Navy Federal employee employee apparently pilfered member PII and sold it on the dark web. Kudos to Navy Fed – it looks to have handled the investigation itself. But how many other credit unions can match Navy’s brains, muscle and money? In this show Meier relates how credit unions have to own and protect their data – but the job gets ever harder. Is it become too hard for most credit unions to handle?
- Loan participation is a massively hot topic in 2023. And now NCUA is indicating it wants to help steer these activities. Good idea or bad? Necessary or a waste of time? Meier has nuanced thoughts on this. He definitely sees loan participation as important, especially for small and mid-sized credit unions. But do they need a steering hand of the NCUA?