NY News Roundup: Credit Union Achievements and Community Engagement

This edition of the NY Credit Union Roundup brings into focus the significant developments and community contributions of New York’s credit unions. From important updates in cybersecurity regulations to celebrating exceptional achievements and heartwarming community outreach during the holiday season, explore the inspiring stories shaping our credit union landscape.

Cybersecurity Regulation: Key Updates and Reminders

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently amended its Cybersecurity Regulation for financial service businesses. Upon announcing the amended regulation, DFS also shared that it would provide regular updates and assistance throughout the roll-out of the regulation.

Here are three key cybersecurity updates to know this month:

More Businesses Now Qualify for Exemptions

Effective November 1, 2023, the DFS Cybersecurity Regulation will accommodate a broader range of businesses. Entities are classified into three categories: Large (“Class A”), Small (“Exempt”), and “Standard”, each with tailored requirements. Entities qualifying for exemptions should submit a Notice of Exemption via the DFS Portal within 30 days. Instructions on applying for or amending a Notice of Exemption are available on DFS’s Cybersecurity Resource Center: Part 500 Exemptions.

Additional Cyber Incidents Reportable Effective December 1

Beginning December 1, 2023, Covered Entities are required to report additional types of cybersecurity incidents within 72 hours to DFS. This includes ransomware impacts on information systems and any ransom payments made. Reporting procedures remain unchanged and are detailed on the DFS Portal. See detailed instructions on reporting a cybersecurity incident or extortion payment.

Cybersecurity Resources Available

DFS’s Cybersecurity Resource Center provides extensive tools and information for businesses, featuring regulation texts, FAQs, and training resources. The Center is also the hub for the latest cybersecurity industry guidance and alerts, including recent advisories like the Citrix system vulnerability alert.

Spotlighting Success: Celebrating Credit Union Achievements

TruNorthern Federal Credit Union Named Business of the Year

TruNorthern Federal Credit Union was recognized as Business of the Year by the Malone Chamber of Commerce, receiving accolades from Assemblyman Billy Jones. This award celebrates TruNorthern’s commitment to community enrichment and its investment in the local Veteran’s Field Fund, an initiative that not only brought semi-professional baseball to the area but also boosted local economic growth. Congratulations to TruNorthern FCU!

Joseph Tedesco of Ocean Financial Federal Credit Union Honored in LIBN 2023 Business & Finance Awards

Joseph Tedesco, President and CEO of Ocean Financial Federal Credit Union (OFFCU), has been named an honoree in the Long Island Business News’ (LIBN) Business & Finance Awards Class of 2023. With a distinguished career that includes leadership roles in several financial institutions and active community involvement, including a record-breaking fundraising achievement for Catholic Charities of Long Island, Tedesco has made a significant impact in the region. The LIBN Business & Finance Awards celebrate outstanding professionals in the banking and finance sectors for their business excellence and community service. Learn more about the accolade on CUInsight.

Community Impact: Credit Unions Making a Difference

AmeriCU Credit Union Joins Forces with Syracuse Crunch for Mental Health Awareness

AmeriCU Credit Union has partnered with the Syracuse Crunch for their season-long mental health awareness initiative. The collaborative effort includes personal stories from players, mental health tips during games, and a dedicated Mental Health Awareness Night in the 2023-24 season. Kudos to AmeriCU for supporting this vital cause!

Broadview Teams Up for ‘Stuff the Trucks’ Winter Coat Drive for Children

Broadview Federal Credit Union is set to launch its ‘Stuff the Trucks’ campaign, teaming up with Toys for Tots to deliver over $10,000 worth of winter coats to children in need along the Toys for Tots train route in New York. This initiative will see more than 500 coats collected and distributed, starting with a public event on November 30 at Lodge’s Department Store in Albany. The coats will accompany toys on the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Train, spreading holiday warmth and cheer to various communities from Schenectady to Binghamton. See the Toys for Tots Train stops here.

Reliant Credit Union Spearheads Community Giving This Holiday Season

Reliant Credit Union is embracing the holiday spirit by supporting various local nonprofits across New York. Each branch will engage in community service, from collecting goods and gifts to making donations and volunteering. The initiatives include food drives, sponsoring families, and providing winter essentials like coats and gloves. Members and the public are invited to join in at their local branches to contribute to these meaningful causes. Learn more about the initiative on CUInsight.

Share your credit union’s recent achievements with us at publications@nycua.org for a chance to be featured in upcoming NYCUA and New York Minute communications!

Last Call: 2023 Annual Membership Survey Closing December 1st!

Your input is crucial! Take a moment to complete the 2023 Annual Membership Survey by December 1st and help shape the future of our community.

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NY Credit Union Roundup: Announcing New Board Members

Stay informed with this week’s NY Credit Union roundup! This week, we’re announcing new NYCUA board member additions, key changes in cybersecurity regulations, and the vital 2023 Membership Survey. Keep reading for essential news every New York credit union leader needs to know.

NYCUA Welcomes Four New Directors to its Board

Welcome to the New NYCUA Board of Directors

(Pictured from left to right: Jonathan Roberts, Kevin Mietlicki, Brian May, and Brad Calhoun)

The New York Credit Union Association is pleased to welcome new executives to its board of directors. In recent months, there have been a total of four new credit union leaders joining the board. Please join us in welcoming Jonathan Roberts, President & CEO of Hudson Valley Credit Union, Kevin Mietlicki, President & CEO of Alternatives FCU, Brian May, President & CEO of ACMG FCU, and Brad Calhoun, President & CEO of Teachers FCU.

“I’m thrilled to have Jonathan, Kevin, Brian, and Brad join our board,” said NYCUA President & CEO William J. Mellin. “Their recent addition to our already dynamic and influential board of directors is going to further aid in our ability to help strengthen the credit union movement in New York State. I look forward to personally working alongside each of them,” Mellin stated.

For a full listing of our current board members, please visit the Board of Directors page on our website.

Shape the Future of NY Credit Unions: Participate in the 2023 Membership Survey

We are pleased to share that our 2023 membership survey is now live, giving you the opportunity to provide thoughts and comments on the effectiveness of the New York Credit Union Association during 2023.

As your trade association, our mission is to foster an environment where your credit union can succeed and deliver on its mission of ‘People Helping People.’ We do this by providing you with four core services: advocacy, education, support, and unity.

Help support our work in the industry by taking our Association’s Annual Membership Survey, which is live through Friday, December 1. All comments and feedback from the survey are carefully reviewed and act as a guide in developing plans and evaluating current services. We appreciate your feedback and support!

Cybersecurity Amendment Update: What You Need to Know

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has recently updated its cybersecurity regulations, releasing the final version of the 23 NYCRR 500 amendment on November 1, 2023. This change is significant for credit unions in New York, as it brings new requirements and deadlines for compliance.

Extended Deadlines and Compliance Requirements

One of the key aspects of this amendment is the extension of compliance deadlines, a move advocated for by the New York Credit Union Association. The majority of credit unions now have until April 29, 2024, to align with the new regulations. It’s important to note that different sections of the amendment may have varying deadlines.

Understanding Who is Affected

The amended rules broadly apply to entities operating under New York’s Banking, Insurance, or Financial Services laws. This definition includes institutions licensed by other government agencies. If your credit union falls under these categories, you are required to comply with the updated cybersecurity regulations.

Exceptions and Encouragements

The amendment makes a distinction for certain types of entities, such as exempt Mortgage Loan Servicers, which may not be directly covered unless they hold specific licenses. Despite these exceptions, given the rising tide of cyber threats, DFS is advocating for all financial institutions to adopt robust cybersecurity measures in line with the new regulations.

Clarifications on Program Requirements

Credit unions are expected to maintain cybersecurity programs to safeguard their systems and the private information they contain. These programs must be capable of combating malicious software and educating staff about cybersecurity, including risks like social engineering.

Documentation and Specific Company Requirements

There’s an emphasis on documentation for credit unions that adopt cybersecurity programs from their affiliates. In such cases, they must provide detailed records of these programs when requested. Additionally, the amendment introduces specific and more stringent requirements for Class A Companies.

For a more in-depth analysis from a legal standpoint, please view this article written by Mitchell B. Pollack, Attorney at Law.

Event Recap: NYCUA’s CEO Roundtable

In the recent video recap of the NYCUA’s CEO Roundtable event, the enthusiasm and value of the gathering were clear. Highlighting the event as an invaluable networking platform, especially for those new to the CEO role, participants praised the opportunity to connect with a diverse range of peers from across the state. Attendees emphasized the immediate accessibility to answers for pressing questions, a benefit of the open and collaborative environment. The consensus among the CEOs was clear: whether a seasoned leader or a newcomer, the NYCUA CEO Roundtable is an unmissable event, offering a unique blend of networking, learning, and collaborative discussion.

See our calendar for the latest industry events!

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NY Credit Union Roundup: Credit Card Legislation Insights

This edition of the NY Credit Union Weekly Roundup navigates through critical legislative changes affecting credit card rewards, underlines the importance of collective membership engagement for the coming year, revisits the highlights from our impactful marketing conference, and more. Join us as we consolidate essential takeaways and opportunities that empower credit unions and their members.

Credit Card Rewards Points Legislation: FAQs with Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

Written by Mitchell B. Pollack, Attorney at Law, Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

Section 520-e of New York’s General Business Law will go into effect on December 10, 2023, and will now require a forty-five (45) day grace period before a credit card issuer can modify, cancel, close, or terminate a credit card account or its related rewards program.

As stated in the legislative history, the purpose of this statute “is to protect credit card holders from the unmerited cancellation of their reward points…after the closing of a credit card account.”

Unfortunately, the statute contains some ambiguities, which raise questions as to its application, including:

Does the grace period apply when the Member closes the card?
The statute does not differentiate between closure by the card issuer and closure by the credit card holder, so it likely applies in both instances.

What happens if the Credit Union closes a card due to fraud?
The statute does not apply in cases of “fraud” or “misuse.” These terms, however, are not defined in the statute.

What happens if the credit card holder does not redeem their points after the forty-five (45) day notice is provided?
The statute requires that the credit card issuer provide forty-five (45) days’ notice before the change goes into effect, and, then, further provide the credit card holder with ninety (90) days to redeem the points. Once the ninety (90) day period passes, the Credit Union has no further obligation other than to comply with the terms of the underlying rewards points and credit card agreements.

Does the legislation also apply to business accounts?
Yes. While the intent of the legislation was designed to protect the consumer, the statute, by its language, does not limit its application only to consumers.

Can a Member waive their statutory protections, in the credit card or rewards points agreement, if the agreement provided a points bonus for doing so?
No, the statute specifically provides that any agreement to waive or limit its application is void. There are no exceptions to this provision.

As the new law goes into effect, more questions will emerge about the statute and its application. Credit Unions should undertake a review of their credit card and reward points agreements to ensure compliance with New York’s General Business Law Section 520-e.

View the original installment of this series to learn more about the updated legislation.

Strengthening Our Collective Voice: 2024 NYCUA and CUNA Membership

The New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA, soon to be America’s Credit Unions) are unwavering in our commitment to advancing the credit union movement through advocating, educating, supporting, and uniting the interests of all credit unions. We recognize that our achievements are made possible because of your support and active engagement. Your continued support is essential as we approach the new year in which we’ll be competing for the time and attention of policymakers. We need to bring them together on common-sense, bipartisan policies to allow credit unions to do more.

As such, please be on the lookout for your membership dues invoices for 2024 which have recently been mailed out. NYCUA and America’s Credit Unions look forward to building on our strong partnership with New York credit unions in 2024 and beyond.

Recap: NYCUA’s 2023 Marketing Conference

NYCUA’s 2023 Marketing Conference was a success, sparking innovation and connecting peers across the NY credit union community. The event provided a rich learning ground, from marketing fundamentals to emerging trends and the pivotal role of employee engagement in driving member satisfaction. This year’s gathering was more than a marketing meeting—it was an essential convergence for thought leaders in the credit union space.

Watch our recap video to learn more about this event. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for EXCEL 24—June 13-16 in Saratoga Springs!

Apply Now to Crash the GAC!

Dive into the heart of credit union advocacy by joining us for Crash the GAC from March 2nd to March 7th, 2024. This transformative experience is an incredible opportunity for emerging leaders to amplify their impact and connect deeply with the credit union mission.

At the Governmental Affairs Conference, you’ll engage with top-tier keynote speakers, participate in critical discussions with lawmakers, explore innovations in the industry’s most extensive exhibit hall, and expand your network among peers and thought leaders. Make sure to apply soon–the application deadline is November 20th.

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NY Credit Union Weekly Roundup: A New Era of Advocacy

The New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) is excited to bring you the latest from the world of credit unions. We kick things off with our enhanced advocacy alliance with Ostroff Associates and welcome back Amy Kramer in a pivotal role. Dive deeper to learn about Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter’s credit union tour, our empowering Scholarship Program, and the upcoming United in Sustainability Summit.

NYCUA Announces New Governmental Affairs Alliance

The New York Credit Union Association is pleased to announce that we have established a new contractual relationship with Ostroff Associates. Ostroff Associates is a leading governmental affairs relationship firm with a proven record of success for its clients. It enjoys strong working relationships with both our state and federal lawmakers, and regulators.

We are also pleased to announce that, as part of our new relationship with Ostroff Associates, Amy Kramer will fulfill the role of the Association’s Chief Advocacy Officer. In this key role, Amy will work closely with our member credit unions, Association management, our Governmental Affairs Committee, FOCUS NY Trustees and the Association Board. She will be supported by the full depth of knowledge and resources of Ostroff Associates, where she will continue to serve as a Senior Vice President.

Many of our members will remember Amy from her previous role as the Association’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs, a position she held for more than ten years. “Having Amy Kramer back on our advocacy team is excellent, and the fact that she now has the full support of the entire Ostroff team makes it even better,” remarked William Mellin, President and CEO of the Association. Amy shares a deep passion for credit unions, is well-versed with our issues, and has an established and very positive relationship with many of our lawmakers.

Please join us in welcoming Amy Kramer back to our team. Amy may be reached at Amy.Kramer@nycua.org.

Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter Tours Local Credit Unions

As Chair of the New York Assembly Banks Committee, Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter recently embarked on a tour of several local credit unions to hear more about the tremendous work credit unions are doing for their members and in their communities. We’d like to thank Municipal Credit Union, Hudson Valley Credit Union, Sunmark Credit Union, and Mountain Valley FCU for hosting these important meetings along with several other credit unions who were in attendance. At the New York Credit Union Association, we recognize the importance of ongoing dialogues with policymakers to further the mission of credit unions.

In a social media post reflecting on her visits, Assemblywoman Hunter expressed her eagerness to collaborate with banking leaders to uphold New York’s esteemed position as a global hub for financial services. She also emphasized her commitment to pioneering community initiatives that would enhance the lives of everyday New Yorkers.

The Assemblywoman will be continuing her tour visiting with credit unions early next month.

2023 Scholarship Program: Amplify Your Credit Union’s Commitment to Education

Calling all New York credit unions! NYCUA’s 2024 Scholarship Program is here and we’re looking for your participation. Amidst the rising costs of higher education, our scholarship program offers a unique platform for credit unions to demonstrate their commitment to the dreams of young members.

Each year, scholarships are granted to deserving college-bound seniors who are members of a participating credit union. At NYCUA, we manage every facet of the initiative, so all you have to do is spread the word. By partnering with us for the Scholarship Program, you’re not only solidifying your members’ trust but also playing a pivotal role in shaping brighter futures. Register today to become a part of our powerful initiative!

United in Sustainability: 6th Annual Summit for the Credit Union Industry

United Nations FCU invites credit unions to join them on Thursday, November 30th at the historic Organization of American States (OAS) Building in Washington, DC for the United in Sustainability 6th Annual Summit. Whether attending virtually or in person, immerse yourself in transformative discussions led by keynote Dr. Pushpam Kumar of the UN Environment Programme. Credit unions are at the forefront of combating climate change and addressing socio-economic disparities. Dive deep into strategies that merge operational efficiency with societal impact. Make sure to RSVP by November 21st to be part of the movement shaping a sustainable future.

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NY Credit Union Weekly Roundup: Conference Highlights and Legislation Updates

From impactful conferences to vital legislative updates and economic forecasts, it’s been an eventful week for NY credit unions. Read this week’s roundup for insights into the events shaping our industry and a preview of what’s coming up on the horizon.

2023 CEO Roundtable: Navigating the Future of Credit Unions Together

Currently underway is our annual CEO Roundtable for Credit Unions, specifically tailored for those with assets up to $100 million. This gathering presents a unique platform for New York credit union leaders to exchange ideas and drive the movement forward. Highlights include Kwame Smith from TruStage discussing the significance of “internal mobility” for cultivating leadership excellence. Shawn Temple also led an insightful session on whether credit unions are aptly positioned for the future. Between strategic discussions, TruStage updates, and roundtable dialogues, the event promises a dynamic mix of information sharing and collaborative strategizing.

We’re in full swing of industry events this year! See our event calendar for more credit union conferences, webinars, and more.

Another Successful Volunteer Leadership Conference

The 2023 Volunteer Leadership Conference was a meaningful gathering for all who attended. Held at the scenic Turning Stone Resort Casino, credit union board members and volunteers from across New York came together to share and learn. One participant noted, “I really got a sense of the volunteerism and how everybody’s enthusiastic about helping their community.”

We’re grateful for everyone who joined, from those well-acquainted with the credit union movement to those new to it. Thank you for making it memorable. We look forward to seeing everyone in Saratoga this June 13-16 for EXCEL 24!

Credit Card Rewards Points Legislation Effective Dec 10

By: Mitchell B. Pollack, Attorney at Law
Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

New York General Business Law § 520-e will go into effect as of December 10, 2023, requiring advance notice of changes to credit card accounts and related rewards programs. Any modification, cancellation, closing, or termination of a credit card account or rewards program requires a minimum of 45 days’ notice, to the holder. The holder will then have 90 days from the issuance of the notification to redeem, exchange, or otherwise use the credit card points or rewards.

The term “points” is broadly defined as “denominated units that can be accumulated in an account with a credit card rewards, loyalty or another incentive program…or for certain travel-related rewards as miles…” and likely applies not only to the credit card but also to the rewards program associated with the credit card, such as those tied to hotels and airlines. The statute defines “modified” or “modification” as (i) a change that results in the elimination of points; (ii) a reduction of value in points; (iii) manipulating the ability of a holder to gain points on the account; (iv) reducing any availability of rewards; (v) limiting the use of said points or credit card account; (vi) diminishing the holder’s value of the rewards program or credit card account; or (vii) amending the obligations of the holder in relation to the rewards program or credit card account. While the new law exempts cases of “fraud” or “misuse,” these terms are not defined by the statute.

In the second installment of this article, we will answer some commonly asked questions regarding the statute’s application.

TruStage’s Economic and Credit Union Forecast Highlights

Earlier this month, we shared key takeaways from the latest credit union trends report. For this week’s roundup, we’re diving even deeper into TruStage’s economic forecast to help credit unions plan for the year ahead and anticipate what their members will need. Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. economy is projected to grow by 2.0% this year, an upward revision from the initial 1.0% prediction, primarily driven by a robust labor market that has displayed resilience amidst aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes. Inflation has also shown significant improvement, with the June Consumer Price Index at 3.1%, a stark decrease from its 8.9% peak in June 2022. A continued decline is expected, with CPI projected at 2.5% for 2024.

For credit unions, recent data presents opportunities for supporting members. Savings growth is expected to stagnate in 2023 before rising slightly to 3.0% in 2024. Loan growth is forecasted to drop from 7.0% in 2023 to 4.0% in 2024. Delinquency rates will likely rise from 0.61% in 2022 to 1.00% by 2024. Additionally, ROA is projected to decline from 0.88% in 2022 to 0.65% in the next two years.

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