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November 2023

    A Note from Chris

    Your input matters: let your voice be heard in our member survey.
    Corporate Central is excited to announce the kickoff of the 2023 Member Survey. Your active participation in this survey is of immense importance as it guides our commitment to provide outstanding service, ensure trust, deliver innovation, and leverage technology for our members. Knowing how we are doing and what services our members desire helps drive our improvements and future initiatives.

    We've designed the survey to be efficient, taking just five to ten minutes of your valuable time. I want to emphasize the significance of your feedback and participation in our upcoming Member Survey.

    • Your input is invaluable to us, and your opinions play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Corporate Central. By taking a few moments to complete the survey, you are directly contributing to the growth and improvement of your credit union.
    • Your feedback empowers us to gain deeper understanding of your unique needs, preferences, and expectations. This knowledge enables us to customize our offerings to match what matters most to you.
    • We are committed to constantly enhancing our offerings and delivering optimal value to our members. Your input provides us with the insights needed to identify areas for improvement and implement positive changes.
    • At Corporate Central, we consider ourselves a community, and your voice helps strengthen that community. By participating in the survey, you join a crucial conversation, influence decisions, and ensure that your perspective is heard.
    • We value transparency and accountability. Your survey responses contribute to a transparent evaluation of our performance, reinforcing our commitment to openness and responsiveness.

    In the coming days, you will receive an email containing a link to the 2023 Member Survey. The email will come from CorporateCentral@express.medallia.com and the subject line will be Corporate Central Credit Union requests your feedback. The email is a different domain (express.medallia.com) so it may end up in your junk folder.

    Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to Corporate Central. We genuinely appreciate your involvement and look forward to your valuable contributions through the survey.


    Chris Felton

    Did You Know?

    We can deliver presentations based on a variety of topics to meet your credit union’s specific needs.
    Providing our members with educational opportunities and easy access to industry expertise is a high priority at Corporate Central. As we plan for 2024, we want your recommendations on educational topics that meet your credit union’s specific needs. We strive to provide quality educational offerings surrounding relevant topics and aim to deliver engaging events. We have a diverse group of credit union experts here at Corporate Central and we can deliver presentations based on a variety of topics. For a full listing of topics, view our Speakers Guide on our website.

    Employee Benefit Resources

    Three strategies we employ to help credit unions find a better path.
    Health plan rate increases for January plan renewals are coming in and credit unions are evaluating options to deliver quality and affordable benefits to their employees. It’s not too late to explore the collaborative health plans delivered exclusively for credit unions from Corporate Central’s wholly-owned CUSO, InterLutions. The power of collaboration among credit unions continues to be a core reason for our success as a movement. InterLutions developed customized solutions for both large and small credit unions to pool their resources together, lower their medical insurance costs, and enhance their employee benefit plans. Here are three strategies we employ to help credit unions find a better path:

    1. Collaboration
      When it comes to purchasing health insurance for your employees, size and scale matter. The more employees on the plan, the more predictable the outcomes will be for insurance underwriters – equating to lower costs. When multiple credit unions collaborate to purchase insurance together, the risk of high-cost claims is further spread out – equating to lower costs.

      Tip #1
      Work with your trusted system of credit union providers to join a collaborative healthcare model for credit unions. These solutions exist, and they have proven to save credit unions hundreds of thousands of dollars through volume-based negotiated medical insurance premiums. Insurance captives, for example, allow credit unions to collaboratively purchase insurance more efficiently and at lower costs through their unique funding models. Transitioning to a self-insured funded health plan model is more viable through an insurance captive. Plus, captives are more flexible when it comes to carrier options and plan designs.
    2. Data
      Credit unions need better access to healthcare claims data to prove to the insurance carriers that we are a healthy population and an attractive risk for underwriters.

      Tip #2
      23%. Our CUSO’s medical claims analytics show per-employee-per-year (PEPY) medical claims costs for credit unions are 23% lower than other industries we evaluated. Are we as credit unions really 23% healthier than other industries? Our data says YES. When we compare our credit union employee claims against other industries, our employees perform 23% “better” than the average employee across other industries. Even when compared to other financial services employees, credit union employees still outperform their peers when it comes to gross PEPY medical claim costs. Let’s leverage this data to negotiate lower medical insurance premiums.
    3. Enhanced Underwriting
      Most credit unions fall under a community-rated underwriting strategy through their insurance carrier. Community-rated underwriting calculates premiums based on the average risk of an entire community of employers, rather than individual risk factors. A community-rated underwriting strategy does not provide the employer with data to understand why premiums are increasing, offering minimal assistance to help them improve their employees’ health.

      Tip #3
      Ask your broker to evaluate different underwriting strategies that will provide your credit union with enhanced data to understand your true health care costs. Better data = more options. And more options can lead to lower costs, better plan designs, and improved health.

    Let InterLutions help your credit union evaluate your best options for improved employee health plans. To learn why so many credit unions are choosing I-Care for their employee health plans, contact InterLutions.

    Financial Services Consulting

    What does the higher for longer rate path mean for your credit union?
    Market sentiment spent most of October adopting the Fed’s “higher for longer” rate path projection. Economic releases reflected unexpected strength in employment and consumer spending, while inflation data remained elevated. Non-farm payroll data was reported up 336,000, double analyst projections. Retail sales also doubled forecasts, rising 0.7% for the month. The advance 3Q GDP data climbed 4.9% while personal consumption registered a 4.0% growth rate for the quarter. Personal income was reported slightly below projections, but personal spending climbed higher than expected at +0.7%. On the inflation front, the producer and consumer price indexes provided upside surprises coming in at 2.7% and 4.1% annual growth rates. The Fed’s favored inflation index, the core personal consumption deflator, rose above forecasts to a 3.7% annual pace.

    The Fed continued to point to the strength in employment and resilient consumer spending in their speeches and comments. They maintained their belief that they will likely have to keep rates higher for a longer period to bring inflation down to its 2.0% target. Market pricing reflected a stronger belief that the Fed might be right. For the month, the one-year Treasury yield fell a couple basis points while the five-year yield climbed 23 basis points and the ten-year 34 basis points. This continues the trend since the inverted curve peaked in May. Since May, the one-year yield has climbed 24 basis points, while the five-year has risen 108 basis points and the ten-year 126 basis points.

    This movement in the yield curve indicates that the anticipated Fed pivot in 2024 accompanied by aggressive easing is being replaced by a “higher for longer” rate path. Even as market sentiment is beginning to line up closely with the Fed’s anticipated rate path, we continue to caution that no one knows what the future will bring us. History has proven that neither have been strong indicators of the actual rate path. Throw in the developments in the Middle East, along with a presidential campaign about to crank up, and certainly anything can happen.

    Where does that leave you? The same place you started. Let your balance sheet dictate your strategy and manage across the rate spectrum. The underlying theme of the higher for longer rate path is one of liquidity. It would likely translate to liquidity getting worse before it gets better. Maintain a focus on liquidity strategy to ensure the loan machine can remain fueled. Need some help? We are here to do just that. As your corporate we understand what credit unions need to drive success. Let’s talk.

    Contact Us

    Technology Solutions

    Squeeze a few more IT wins into 2023.
    Is your strategic IT plan locked and loaded for 2024? Not yet? No worries. At Think|Stack, we do so much more than Managed Services, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Consulting. We offer year-end strategic IT planning for credit unions. Now through December 15, we're offering our strategic IT planning services as an added bonus when you purchase a discounted block of hours for 2024. (Note: You don’t have to decide which projects now – get your technology roadmap done now to help with 2024 planning, and you can choose your most important projects later. If it helps with budgeting, you can pay half with your 2023 budget and half with 2024 when the work is completed.)

    What’s included in your free 2024 technology roadmap session?

    1. Top level review and documentation of your current state: network, cybersecurity stance, cloud readiness, and NCUA compliance.
    2. Creation of a 3-year technology roadmap prioritizing immediate threats/opportunities, and highlighting areas for long-term investment.
    3. Collaborative creation of a 2024 IT budget planner that combines your business objectives, available resources, and your technology roadmap to create an actionable plan you can share internally and use as a guide in the year ahead.

    Advisory Services:

    • Disaster recovery planning: creating, testing, and training key employees
    • Creating alignment: getting your board, C-suite, and IT department on the same page
    • Silo busting IT: how to create a well-oiled machine when it comes to IT
    • Budget planning: the 3 IT budgets you need for 2024 (business support; IT excellence; innovation)
    • Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO)

    Strategic Projects:

    • Application review. What are you using? Are you using the apps full potential? How much overlap do you have?
    • Resource review. Aligning needs, projects, support, and maintenance with technical resources.
    • Organization chart review and creation to deal with modern needs of IT, cyber risk, and strategy.
    • Cyber policy review and update.

    We're here to help! Give us a call at (410) 560-5601 and let's have a conversation about your end-of-year IT goals and how we can help your credit union grow.

    Learn More

    What’s Trending?

    Apple has reached a new milestone in digital banking.
    In September, Apple launched the iPhone Wallet app integration with users' current account balances and transaction history. The Apple Wallet app's integration with the Open Banking API allows users to get their checking account balance directly from their bank.

    Total digitalization has brought changes to the banking industry. Fintechs give users the right to choose an alternative, and Big Tech joined the club. User experience (UX) provided with open banking solutions will disrupt the banking industry. It will open market barriers, completely changing the game's rules through massive competition.

    Read the Article

    Our Community

    Everyone should have access to nutritious and affordable food.
    In October, Heather Ristow, Senior Vice President/Chief Experience Officer, volunteered alongside other credit union professionals separating and preparing food to be distributed at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. According to their website, Second Harvest has provided nearly 241 million meals to the communities they support since 1986. Thank you, volunteers!

    Credit Unions Connect

    Stories that exemplify the movement

    Celebrating CU Kind Day.

    Team members from Gas & Electric Credit Union split up and volunteered at a handful of different organizations on CU Kind Day, an initiative that encourages credit unions to give back to the community and live the “people helping people” philosophy. GECU sent employees to the Quad City Animal Welfare Center, Quad City Botanical Center, River Bend Food Bank, and more!

    Another successful Hack N’ Giveback Outing.

    Ascentra Credit Union celebrated another successful year continuing their Paul & Dale Hack N' Give Back Golf Outing. Each year, this golf outing raises thousands of dollars for the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation and that money goes right back into the community in the form of grants and donations.

    Read More Credit Union Stories

    What’s New and Who’s Who

    InterLutions has welcomed Emily Turnbull as Employee Benefits Consultant.

    InterLutions is excited to welcome Emily Turnbull to the team as an Employee Benefits Consultant. Emily plays a critical role in driving new business growth by delivering competitive, mutually beneficial health plans to credit unions and their business accounts. Her role requires a deep understanding of employee benefits programs, sales and advisory acumen, and excellent communication skills. Emily collaborates with credit unions to identify their gaps and needs to provide tailored solutions that help employees while driving down insurance costs. She has vast experience in several consultancy roles including recruiting and staffing, employee benefits, technology, and insurance. She also has several years of credit union experience and recently returned to the insurance industry as a group health insurance broker.

    She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Idaho and her master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Emily, and her husband of 11 years, currently reside in Nevada. They enjoy traveling, hiking, fishing, attending concerts, and spending time with friends and family as much as possible. She grew up in Alaska where she returns every summer to sport fish with her family. She loves dogs and is heavily involved with a local rescue organization. She currently has two retriever rescues from Korea. Welcome, Emily!

    Read more about Corporate Central's team.

    Read the Press Release

Upcoming Events

NASCUS – WI Executive Forum

3/12/2024 9:00 AM - 3/12/2024 3:00 PM Central Time (CST) | TruStage 5810 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53705

NASCUS, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Office of Credit Unions, and the Wisconsin Credit Union League are hosting this full-day collaborative meeting to bring industry leaders and directors across our state system together to discuss the most pressing issues facing our industry today.

Monthly Market Monitor

3/13/2024 3:30 PM - 3/13/2024 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Debunking Health Plan Renewal Myths | Webinar

3/19/2024 11:00 AM - 3/19/2024 11:30 AM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join InterLutions, the industry’s premier employee benefits CUSO, as they debunk three common myths relating to health plan renewals

Making Your Email Marketing More Effective: A Guide for Credit Unions

3/19/2024 2:00 PM - 3/19/2024 3:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join us for our “Making Your Email Marketing More Effective: A Guide for Credit Unions" webinar and in just one hour you will learn beyond the basics and understand how to really amplify the email marketing messages you send.

Investments 201 Webinar Series

3/21/2024 2:00 PM - 3/21/2024 2:45 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join QuantyPhi for the Investments 201 Webinar Series, a monthly deep dive into the world of balance sheet and investment portfolio management.

Why 45 Small Credit Unions Chose a CUSO’s Health Plan | Webinar

5/21/2024 1:00 PM - 5/21/2024 1:30 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join InterLutions for a complimentary 30-minute webinar to learn how our customized solutions are helping small credit unions offer affordable and quality employee health plans.

Credit Union Day at the Ballpark 2024

8/11/2024 1:10 PM Central Time (CST) | American Family Field 1 Brewers Way Milwaukee, WI 53214

Credit Union Day at the Ballpark 2024

2024 Economic Outlook Conference

Thursday, September 12, 2024, All Day Central Time (CST) | The Ingleside Hotel 2810 Golf Road Pewaukee, WI 53072

Save the date for Corporate Central's 2024 Economic Outlook Conference.

Our Family of CUSOs

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