Posted by Ms. Cheryl Ehmann, AVP Staff Analyst, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 12/15/2014

Unclaimed Property

In 2012 Texas changed the abandonment period for share accounts and in 2013 the determination date was changed – therefore this is a good time to review escheatment rules for unclaimed property.  We could use a refresher on the rules for all three of our states – Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

In Texas, the date of determination is now March 31.  Funds that are abandoned (that is uncashed checks or accounts with no activity whose owners cannot be contacted) should be forwarded to the State by July 1 (the remittance date).  The period for both uncashed checks and dormant accounts is three years.  Uncashed payroll checks is one year.  Money orders is seven years.  Travelers checks is 15 years.  So if a check has been outstanding for more than three years as of March 31, it should be remitted to the state of Texas by July 1.

In Oklahoma, the date of determination is June 30 and the remittance date is November 1.  Both uncashed checks and dormant accounts are five years.  Payroll checks is one year.  Pension checks and money orders are seven years.  Travelers checks is 15 years.

In Arkansas, the date of determination is June 30 and the remittance date is October 31.  Both uncashed checks and dormant accounts are five years.  Payroll checks is one year.  Retirement accounts is three years.  Money orders is seven years and travelers checks is 15 years.

Please remember – just because statements are not being returned to you does not mean you have been in contact with the member!  You must actually have spoken to the member on the phone (and this conversation must be documented) or have correspondence that has been returned to you by the member or the member must have another active account with your credit union in order to avoid remitting the dormant account balance to the state.  An active account is defined as an account with transactions other than dividends. 

Abandoned property is an easy area to let slide – escheatment rolls around once a year and everyone tends to put it off.  But if you keep it at the forefront and assign someone to work inactive account reports on a regular basis you can minimize the amount of money you send to the State and keep your members (and regulators) happy.

 

Categories: Compliance, Financial & Auditing
Posted by Brian McCue, VP Remote Transaction Resources, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 12/12/2014

There is a vast amount of information available to credit unions about their members. The challenge is that it might not be in one place plus you need to know what you’re looking for. If you are just using generic reporting tools, you’re missing key data. 

“Good use of data can increase member satisfaction and help credit unions reach their marketing goals” says Dean Nolan, vice president of products and marketing at Saylent Technologies (From a Credit Union Magazine article by Patrick Totty: Unearth Hidden Treasure with Data Analytics).

For any business, you need to dig deep into the data to make strategic decisions for marketing, operations and client satisfaction. But sometimes the data can be overwhelming or confusing. It’s time to move beyond spreadsheets, graphs and generic reports to learn more about your members and how you can be a better value to them.

The term “Big Data” has been a trend for several years now. Credit Unions are seeing the value of Data Analytics beyond marketing. By analyzing your member data, you will get a better understanding of their behaviors. This would allow you to personalize product & services specifically for them across multiple delivery channels. SAS created a very helpful White Paper:  Data Visualization: Making Big Data Approachable and Valuable

Your core provider would be the best place to start. Don’t overlook some of your other vendors. CO-OP for instance has a very robust reporting tool for their ATM Processing clients: Total Revelation. It’s a portfolio management tool that helps you boost profitability by gaining unprecedented clarity.

Technology has given your members more options to transact outside the branch, but technology will also allow you to give them more personalized experiences to bolster your relationships with them. 

Some useful information:

Categories: Business Partners, Remote Transaction, Research, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting
Posted by Kimberly Jones, HR Consultant, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 12/10/2014

 

From time to time, even the finest organizations make mistakes in dealing with their employees. They squander opportunities to create effective, successful, positive employee relations.

Some employers treat employees like children and then ask why employees fail to live up to their expectations.  Managers apply different rules to different employees and wonder why workplace negativity is so high, and morale is so low. Most employees are hard workers and rarely receive positive feedback, but as soon as they make one mistake, they never hear the end of it.

Despite what many employers want or say they want for effective employee relations - they often fail to:

  • retain valued employees;
  • develop empowered people working together to serve the best interests of the organization; and
  • create an environment in which every employee contributes all of their talents and skills toward the accomplishment of the organization’s goals.

 

Listed below are 20 of the most common mistakes employers make that ruin their relationship with their employees.  So, the next time you are confronted with any of the following situations, ask yourself this question. Is the action likely to create an outcome that motivates and cultivates successful employee relations, or are you setting your employees up for failure?

  • Add another level of hierarchy because people aren't doing what you want them to do.
  • Appraise the performance of individuals and provide bonuses for the performance of individuals and complain that you cannot get your staff working as a team.
  • Add inspectors or multiple audits because you don’t trust people’s work to meet standards.  If there’s a performance issue, address that.  If not, let them do their job.
  • Fail to create standards and give people clear expectations so they know what they are supposed to do, and wonder why they fail.
  • Create hierarchical, permission steps and other roadblocks that teach people quickly that their ideas are subject to veto or being ignored and wonder why no one has any suggestions for improvement.
  • Ask people for their opinions, ideas, and continuous improvement suggestions, and fail to implement their suggestions or empower them to do so. Or, don’t even provide feedback about whether the idea was considered or why it was rejected.
  • Make a decision and then ask people for their input as if their feedback mattered.
  • Find a few people breaking rules and company policies and reprimand everybody rather than dealing directly with the rule breakers. Or, make up another policy to punish every employee.
  • Make up new rules for everyone to follow as a means to address the failings of a few.
  • Provide recognition in expected patterns so that what started as a great idea quickly becomes entitlement. (For example, pay out a set incentive amount when production goals are met. And, find employees meeting only the production goal that will merit the prize - and not one bit more.)
  • Treat people as if they are untrustworthy - watch them, track them, admonish them for every slight failing - because a few people are untrustworthy.
  • Fail to address behavior and actions of people that are inconsistent with stated and published organizational expectations and policies. (Better yet, let non-conformance go on until you are out of patience; then ambush the next offender, no matter how significant, with a disciplinary action.)
  • When managers complain that they cannot get to all of their reviews because they have too many reporting staff members, and performance development planning takes too much time, eliminate PDPs.  (Fail to recognize that an hour per quarter per person invested in employee development is the manager's most important job.)
  • Create policies for every contingency; thus allowing very little management latitude in addressing individual employee needs.
  • Conversely, have so few policies, that employees feel as if they reside in a free-for-all environment of favoritism and unfair treatment.
  • Make every task a priority. People will soon believe there are no priorities. More importantly, they will never feel as if they have accomplished a complete task or goal.
  • Schedule daily emergencies that prove to be false. This will ensure employees don't know what to do, or are, minimally, jaded about responding when you have a true customer emergency.
  • Ask employees to change the way they are doing something without providing a picture of what you are attempting to accomplish with the change. Label them "resisters" and send them to change management training when they don't immediately hop on the train.
  • Expect that people learn by doing everything perfectly the first time rather than recognizing that learning occurs most frequently in failure.
  • Letting a person fail when you had information that he did not, which he might have used to make a different decision.

You can avoid these employee relations nightmares. The mistakes listed above can only lead to disaster.  Make yourself the employer of choice, now and for years to come…set your employees up to succeed.  In the grand scheme of things, you’re only doing your part; the rest is up to them!  

Categories: Human Resources
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