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February 2022

    A Note from Chris

    Now that 2022 is in full swing, we are focused on ways to bring credit union leaders together to learn and exchange valuable information that will help credit unions prosper. Providing our members with educational opportunities and easy access to industry expertise is a high priority at Corporate Central. We welcome your recommendations for educational topics and your credit union’s specific needs. We strive to provide quality educational offerings surrounding relevant topics and aim to deliver engaging events. Visit the events page on our website to learn more and register for upcoming events.

    As you work toward your goals and strategic initiatives, please remember that Corporate Central and our family of CUSOs are here to help. We have a diverse group of credit union experts here at Corporate Central and can deliver presentations based on asset/liability management, digital transformation, risk management, economic and financial trends, employee benefit strategies, and more. We are your credit union, and we value your support and your partnership.


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    Chris Felton

    Corporate Central’s Virtual Digital Marketing Forum 2022

    Save your seat by registering today!

    Corporate Central's Digital Marketing Forum will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9. The two-day forum will feature session topics including SEO, digital advertising, and social media marketing. New this year, CPE credits are available for eligible attendees.

    Who should attend?

    • Marketing professionals
    • Business development professionals
    • C-level executives or any other positions involved with marketing decisions

    After attending this virtual forum, attendees will be able to:

    • Discover platforms that will best help you reach your members
    • Discern what types of content best support your member throughout the buying journey
    • Discuss the role that paid social can play in a social media mix
    • Determine the mix that best helps you achieve business results, and learn an approach to goal-setting
    • Optimize web pages and grow organic search engine leads
    • Utilize machine learning tools to drive meaningful results for your credit union
    • Explain why TikTok makes sense for brands and small businesses

    Learn More and Register

    What’s Trending?

    NCUA supervisory and examination priorities for 2022.

    Keith Schostag, Regulatory Compliance Counsel at NAFCU, recently published a compliance blog outlining NCUA’s supervisory and examination priorities for 2022.

    Read the Blog

    Technology Solutions

    Move past post-it notes and secure your passwords online.

    Keeper is the leading cybersecurity platform for preventing password-related data breaches and cyberthreats.

    • Zero-Trust and Zero-Knowledge Security Architecture – Keeper Enterprise utilizes best-in-class security with a zero-trust framework and zero-knowledge security architecture to safeguard your information and mitigate the risk of a data breach.
    • Record-Level Encryption – Data is encrypted at the member-device level using layered, record-level encryption to provide world-class protection for credentials, metadata, and files.
    • Role-Based Access – Employee permissions can be fully customized through fine-grained access controls based on the role and responsibilities of team members.
    • Admin Console – Distributes, manages, and monitors Keeper across your entire organization and enforces password security, 2FA, and other data security policies.

    If you would like to schedule a demo, please contact us.

    Employee Benefit Resources

    I-Care: Your navigational GPS for employee benefits.

    Author David Ulrich says, “People are our greatest asset.” We couldn’t agree more. Does your credit union have a Three-Year Strategic People Plan to ensure your employees are engaged, successful, and happy? Does your People Plan lay out initiatives and deadlines to achieve your company goals? As the saying goes, “a goal without a deadline is just a dream.” 

    Many employers create an inspiring list of goals for their benefit year, only to realize ten months later their benefit plan renews in six weeks and they have barely scratched the surface of making those goals a reality. At I-Care, our strategic planning and GPS approach helps credit unions not only develop a long-term strategic plan for their employees but reinforces the plan through quarterly meetings with key leaders to address progress and challenges, while making adjustments to ensure your benefits strategy (aka People Plan) is on track and achieving desired objectives.

    We encourage credit union leaders to contact us for a high-level conversation to help set goals for your next benefit plan renewal. Call us today at (414) 433-0174 or visit InterLutionsCUSO.com.

    Financial Services Consulting

    The question these days has changed from “will rates rise?” to “how much will rates rise?”

    All signs point up as analysts and market participants look for interest rates to push higher in 2022. The Fed’s acknowledgement that the rapid inflation growth can no longer be described as “transitory” paved the way. Their expressed determination to address inflation has elevated market’s anticipation of higher rates ahead. The Fed themselves have revised their rate forecasts from no rate hikes in 2022 to three hikes before year end. Their plan to taper their $120 billion monthly purchases was accelerated by three months to end in March. They are also thinking of beginning the process to reduce the size of their $8.8 trillion dollar balance sheet. Essentially, we are looking at an economy that will have the liquidity spigots turned off and the plug pulled to drain the waters.

    In addition to the Fed, most Wall Street analysts are calling for rates to rise. Over 90% of our Crystal Ball Challenge prediction participants are looking for rates to rise. My cashier at Walmart was warning me that inflation is real and interest rates are going higher. The contrarian in me wants to point to the abysmal track record of anyone trying to predict rates, including the Fed, who has an inside track. Instead, let’s take a step back and look at this from a different angle.

    No bond portfolio manager gets excited about a rising rate environment. The basic math calculation is inescapable, rates go up and market value comes down. The unrealized gains that have accumulated in the portfolio quickly diminish and turn red. On the investment portfolio’s island, rising rates can be painful.

    Fortunately, we know that the investment portfolio is not an island. It is an integral part of the balance sheet. Its role is to provide support for the balance sheet where it’s needed. One of its chief purposes is to provide income in scenarios that see loan volume fall and margins squeezed – exactly the environment we have been experiencing the past several years. At the same time, the investment portfolio’s role shifts to one of helping provide liquidity and mitigate risk when rates rise, and loan demand begins to climb again.

    It is hard not to have a “gut reaction” that a 100-basis point increase in rates is scary. We understand the negative effect for the investment portfolio. However, taking a step back, we can see that our balance sheets become more profitable in this scenario. Our margins will increase and normally we will see increased demand for our best asset – loans. Look at your ALM analysis and see if you are with the majority of credit unions that actually benefit from this scenario.

    For those of you who have benchmarked your balance sheet, the analysis has already been done for you. The benchmark for the investment portfolio measures the upside for the rest of the balance sheet and established downside parameters for investments that will keep it from getting in the way of improved profitability. Measure, monitor, and manage the portfolio to remain in line with the benchmark in the rising rate scenarios and you can sleep comfortably despite the noise of the market pundits screaming about higher rates ahead. Don’t have a benchmark yet? We can help. Talk with your financial strategist today and we can get started.

    Contact Us

    Did You Know?

    Corporate Central has an ECCHO Resources webpage to assist with all your check needs.

    ECCHO was created in 1990 as a cooperative venture to facilitate the electronification of the check payment system. The ECCHO Rules were developed to provide for fair, private sector image exchange among financial institutions of all types and sizes. Now, thousands of institutions utilize ECCHO Rules for exchanging electronic checks. ECCHO’s unique membership includes credit unions, commercial banks, savings banks, and banker’s banks.

    ECCHO was also integral to the development and implementation of Check 21. ECCHO continues to advocate for the optimal legal environment for checks and liaises across the payments industry with the Federal Reserve, ASC X9 standards and various payments industry groups. Additionally, ECCHO provides check education and manages the National Check Professional (NCP) certification program.

    ECCHO is a business-line of The Clearing House, having been acquired in 2018, and is well-positioned to promote the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the check payment system now and in the future through its strategic priorities.

    Visit our ECCHO Resources webpage for more information.

    Credit Unions Connect

    Stories that exemplify the movement

    Helping neighbors keep warm.

    Hopewell Federal Credit Union

    Hopewell Federal Credit Union donated winter accessories to help neighbors in need keep warm. The credit union raised funds through employee casual-dress days and was able to donate blankets, gloves, hats, and scarves to the Salvation Army in Newark, Ohio.

    Feeding those in need.

    TrueCore Federal Credit Union

    TrueCore Federal Credit Union’s foundation, TrueCore Foundation, presented a check for $11,000 to support the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. The food pantry’s mission is to, “assure that no one in Licking County goes hungry.”

    Read More Credit Union Stories

    What’s New and Who’s Who

    Corporate Central welcomes Chris Allen as Director after Tom Young retired.

    Tom Young

    After 25 years of dedicated volunteer service, including Chair from 2004 to 2006, Tom Young, President/CEO of Capital Credit Union in Green Bay, WI, has retired from the Corporate Central Board of Directors. We are grateful for the significant contributions Tom has made and for his outstanding leadership. We wish him well in retirement. Congrats, Tom!

    Chris Allen

    To fill the vacant position, the Corporate Central Board unanimously appointed Chris Allen, President/CEO of Fox Communities Credit Union, based in Appleton, WI. Chris began his career at Fox Communities Credit Union in 2013 as Vice President of Business Services where he managed all business lending at the credit union, and subsequently became the Chief Lending Officer where he was responsible for all the credit union’s lending programs. In 2020, Chris took over as CEO, succeeding 40-year credit union veteran Greg Hilbert to take over the now $2.4 billion credit union. Welcome Chris!

    Learn more about Corporate Central’s Board of Directors.

    Mark Volz, CUDE, CCM accepts position at National Account Manager.

    Mark Volz

    We are very pleased to announce that Mark Volz, CUDE, CCM has accepted a new position as a National Account Manager. In his new role, Mark will proactively assess the financial climate and needs of member and future member credit unions in his assigned territory while recommending financial products and services accordingly. He will advise and schedule training, educational, and informational opportunities for member and future member credit unions, and he will assist leadership in development of marketing strategies, business plans, and sales objectives by leveraging data/analytics, business intelligence, and automation. Mark began his career at Corporate Central in April 2018 as a Relationship Development Officer. In May 2021, he was promoted to Relationship Development Manager. We look forward to watching Mark grow in this position. Congrats, Mark!

    Learn More About Our Team

Upcoming Events

Monthly Market Monitor

7/13/2022 3:30 PM - 7/13/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Altered Checks and Regulation CC Presumption of Alteration

7/19/2022 10:00 AM - 7/19/2022 11:00 AM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join Corporate Central and ECCHO for this 60-minute webinar where we will discuss the UCC presentment warranty and Regulation CC’s Presumption of Alteration, what they mean, and how the presumption of alteration affects a depositary FI when it receives a claim from a paying FI that it was presented an altered check.

Crystal Ball Challenge Update

7/20/2022 2:00 PM - 7/20/2022 2:30 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join QuantyPhi for our 30-minute webinar to see how our contestants are doing in our Crystal Ball Challenge. This is the second of four quarter-end competitions.

Credit Union Day at the Ballpark 2022

7/24/2022 10:30 AM - 7/24/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Milwaukee, WI

Save the date for Credit Union Day at the Ballpark, Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Milwaukee, WI.

Monthly Market Monitor

8/10/2022 3:30 PM - 8/10/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Monthly Market Monitor

9/14/2022 3:30 PM - 9/14/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Economic Outlook Conference 2022

10/12/2022 9:00 AM - 10/12/2022 3:00 PM Central Time (CST) | TBD

Save the date for Corporate Central's Economic Outlook Conference, October 12, 2022.

Remotely Created Checks

10/18/2022 10:00 AM - 10/18/2022 11:00 AM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join Corporate Central and ECCHO for this 60-minute webinar where we will discuss the Remotely Created Check as defined in Regulation CC and the warranty a presenting FI makes that a Remotely Created Check is authorized by your account holder.

Our Family of CUSOs

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