For credit unions that must deal with the constantly changing landscape of financial services, knowledge can be a powerful tool. Whether staying in compliance with dynamic federal or state regulations, dealing with changing membership demographics, or expanding their own services and loan programs, credit unions are more capable of remaining successful and serving their members when they have an understanding of current best practices and hot topics. The MCUL uses educational events to keep credit unions informed.
Over the past year, Michigan credit unions were faced with a declining housing market, brand new federal and state legislation that directly effected the credit union industry, and identity theft prevention provisions known as “red flag rules” that accompanied the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. In addition to the annual events hosted by the MCUL such as the Marketing Conference, Fall Leadership Development Conference and HR and Trainers’ Conference, a number of other educational events directly addressed important and timely topics through a variety of ways.
In July, the MCUL hosted a free audio conference that discussed the counseling of credit union members facing mortgage problems, as well as terminology contained within mortgage documents and the differences between types of mortgages.
In late July and early August, MCUL/CUcorp General Counsel Veronica Madsen traveled to several locations across Michigan to meet with credit unions in person regarding compliance for the red flag rules.
As the MCUL learned more about the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, information was communicated with credit unions regarding how they would be affected, including a November audio conference that explained how credit unions could utilize programs implemented by the federal government to assist homeowners.
MCUL Education has increased their ability to reach credit unions by taking advantage of new technology, and there are a number of ways to participate without setting foot outside the credit union through cost-effective and convenient methods. The options allow education to fit into the schedule of the busiest credit union staff member. In addition to audio conferences, the MCUL offers live-streamed video Webcasts and slide-based Internet sessions. Webcasts allow participants to view the live broadcast of a speaker presenting the session from their computer screen. Participants can also send in questions and have them answered during the event.
Internet sessions are similar to Webinars, where participants listed to a presenter over a line and watch slides on their computer. Internet sessions also allow questions to be asked over the phone or by submitting them online. For credit unions that want the information included in a basic audio session, but have staff with time conflicts who can’t attend, the MCUL is now offering an online, archived version of the audio conference that will be available for 14 days following the original session.
2009 will hold further audio conferences, Internet sessions and in-person events covering relevant topics from business lending to working with the youth market. Visit the Education homepage linked at www.mcul.org for events and registration instructions. Credit unions can also receive advance notice of upcoming Education events through e-mail. Click “Receive MCUL Education Notices by E-mail” under the “Education” tab on the MCUL homepage.
The MCUL has also created an opportunity for credit union industry product/service providers to receive preferred booth placement at MCUL conferences while supporting credit union cooperative advertising by participating in a program called FOCUS (Friends of Credit Unions). FOCUS companies contribute annually to the CU Difference campaign and receive recognition in MCUL publications and on the MCUL Web site, as well as opportunities for early registration to events and preferred booth placement along with numerous other benefits. Visit the “Educational Events” section of the MCUL homepage for further information.