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CUNA applauds Obama's exec order for greater data security

WASHINGTON (10/20/14)--As the number of data breaches and the accompanying costs for financial institutions and consumers continue to rise, President Barack Obama issued an executive order Friday aimed at improving the security of consumer financial transactions.

"While the U.S. government's credit, debit, and other payment card programs already include protections against fraud, the Government must further strengthen the security of consumer data and encourage the adoption of enhanced safeguards nationwide in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality while maintaining an efficient and innovative financial system," the order reads.

Eric Richard, Credit Union National Association general counsel, commended the president for calling on Congress to enact cybersecurity legislation. CUNA previously wrote to Obama to request the formation of a cybersecurity council, as well as legislation to protect American consumers.

"As a member of the Payments Security Task Force, CUNA has been actively engaged with payment networks, financial institutions, retailers and manufacturers to ensure chip cards and readers are accessible and enabled by the end of 2015," Richard said. "Credit unions have been and will continue to be involved in this important conversation, and we look forward to working with the administration on this vital issue."

Obama's executive order lays out a timeline for increased cybersecurity measures to be taken by the government, as well as increased resources to consumers. This includes:
  • Government, executive departments and agencies to transition payment-processing terminals and credit and debit cards to employ enhanced security features, including chip-and-PIN technology, with a plan to be developed by the U.S. Treasury by Jan. 1:

  • Credit and debit cards provided through General Services Administration (GSA) contracts will be replaced by cards with enhanced security features no later than Jan. 1;

  • The Attorney General, with the Secretary of Homeland Security, will issue guidance to promote regular submissions of compromised credentials to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance's Internet Fraud Alert System by Feb. 15;

  • The U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce and the Social Security Administration will begin to identify publicly available agency resources for victims of identity theft and provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that information no later than March 15;

  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and GSA will assist the FTC in enhancing the website, including coordination with the credit bureaus to streamline the reporting and remediation process by May 15; and

  • Within 90 days of the date of this order, the National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and OMB shall present to the president a plan, consistent with the guidance set forth in the 2011 National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, to ensure that all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process, as appropriate. Within 18 months of the date of this order, relevant agencies shall complete any required implementation steps set forth in the plan prepared pursuant to this section.
FTC Chair Edith Ramirez said in a statement following the order that she welcomes the opportunity to participate in the new initiative.

Use the resource link below to access the full text of the order.

CUNA Attorneys Conference kicks off today

DANA POINT, Calif. (10/20/14)--More than 120 credit union attorneys will be present at this year's Credit Union National Association Attorneys Conference, which is going on through Wednesday.

The conference aims to cover the most timely credit union-specific topics, as well as general legal and financial subjects that attorneys who represent credit unions and credit union organizations can use while representing their clients.

Eric Richard, CUNA's general counsel, will be speaking today about the most significant legal and regulatory trends affecting credit unions. He will be addressing topics such as the National Credit Union Administration's risk-based capital proposal, data breaches and the difference between guidance and regulations under the Administrative Procedures Act.

The session "The New Integrated Mortgage Disclosures" will feature Janet Bonnefin, principal at Aldrich and Bonnefin PLC, and Jared Ihrig, CUNA's associate general counsel for regulatory advocacy. Information on the new mortgage integrated disclosure rules was the most pre-requested by the conference's attendees.

Other highlights of the conference include:
  • Today: A presentation from NCUA Senior Associate General Counsel John Ianno and staff attorneys Sarah Chung and Pamela Yu;

  • Tuesday: "Social Media: Compliance Challenges and Opportunities for Credit Unions," presented by CUNA Mutual Group's Ross Hansen, associate general counsel, and Jennifer Kraus, lead attorney;

  • Tuesday: "New Developments in Bank Secrecy Act," presented by T. Wayne Hood, senior vice president/general counsel, ORNL FCU, Oak Ridge, Tenn., with $1.5 billion in assets; and

  • Wednesday: "ID Theft Response--How to Do It Right," presented by Christopher Gerety, general counsel, APCO Employees CU, Birmingham, Ala., with $2.4 billion in assets.
Stay tuned to News Now throughout the week for more coverage of the CUNA Attorneys Conference.

Use the resource link below for more information.

Rendell Jones to succeed Woodson as CFO at NCUA

WASHINGTON (10/20/14)--Rendell Jones has been named the new chief financial officer of the National Credit Union Administration, the agency announced Friday. Jones, who begins his duties today, is replacing MaryAnn Woodson, who served as CFO since January 2008.

"I am pleased to welcome Rendell to NCUA and look forward to working with him," said NCUA Chair Debbie Matz. "The breadth of his experience and the overall excellence he has displayed in his career should serve NCUA and credit unions very well."

The chief financial officer's responsibilities include preparation and management of the agency's budget, finance and accounting functions; administration of credit union operating fees and capitalization deposits; and daily operations of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Jones is coming from his position as associate director for management with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He also served as that agency's acting deputy director from December 2013 to July 2014. Prior to that appointment, Jones served as USCIS's chief financial officer.

He previously served as deputy budget director at the Department of Homeland Security. His career in federal service began in 1996 at the Department of Justice.

Matz credited Woodson for being an integral part of the management team that went through "the most difficult period in the system's history, a challenging time for the agency, and her judgment and management skills have been important to all of us as we steered through the storm."

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Half of merchant terminals EMV-ready by end of 2015, says PST

WASHINGTON (10/20/14)--At least 47% of merchant terminals in the United States will be enabled with EMV chip technology by the end of 2015, according to the Payments Security Task Force (PST).

According to the PST, the estimate is based on forecasts from entities representing approximately 80% of all U.S. purchase volume, including First Data, Bank of America Merchant Services, Citi, Chase Paymentech, Vantiv, Elavon, Wells Fargo and Global Payments.

The Credit Union National Association is a member of the PST, and CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said it was encouraging to see the collaborative efforts. However, she also said that it must be a high priority for the PST to focus on a long-term strategy to secure payments across all entities.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order Friday directing both payment terminals and payment cards to employ chip-and-PIN technology like EMV. Starting Jan. 1, all cards issued through the General Services Administration are mandated to contain additional security features.

In August, card issuers estimated more than 575 million EMV chip-enabled cards, which are more secure than the current magnetic strips on most credit and debit cards, would be issued by the end of 2015.

According to the PST, card and terminal forecasts will be updated on a quarterly basis.

Other Resources

OFAC consolidates all non-SDN sanctions lists

WASHINGTON (10/20/14)--With the goal of making is easier to comply with its regulations, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is offering all of its non-Specialty Designated Nationals (SDN) lists in one consolidated data list. Known as the Consolidated Sanctions List, the files comply with all of OFAC's existing data standards.

According to OFAC, the effort is designed to reduce the number of list-related files that must be downloaded in order to maintain an automated sanctions screening program. If OFAC creates a new sanctions list where the action required of a U.S. person does not necessarily entail blocking, the office will add the new data associated with that list to the files if appropriate.

The lists include:
  • Non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council List (NS-PLC);
  • Part 561 List;
  • Non-SDN Iran Sanctions Action List (NS-ISA);
  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders List (FSE); and
  • Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List (SSI).
In approximately six months, OFAC will cease issuing independent data files for the FSE, the SSI and the NS-PLC lists. OFAC will continue to provide and update PDF and TXT versions of the FSE, SSI, NS-ISA, NS-PLC and Part 561 lists and their respective archive of changes. These file formats will continue to be available after the transition period.

OFAC has also upgraded its Sanctions List Search tool, which provides users the ability to search for a name on the SDN lists and the consolidated list. All lists are available in Sanctions List Search.

Use the resource links below for more information.

Inside Washington (10/20/14)

  • WASHINGTON (10/20/14)--Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), along with 33 Republican representatives, wrote to the U.S Department of Justice Inspector General to request an "immediate investigation" into Operation Choke Point. Citing a House Oversight and Government Reform report and a DOJ memorandum, the legislators question the legal authority of the initiative, as well as its effect on financial institutions that offer services to the non-deposit lending industry , as well as several others. The letter also says that DOJ memoranda say that staff informed the Attorney General that Operation Choke Point was causing financial institutions to "exit entire lines of business." Luetkemeyer and five representatives previously offered an amendment to a bill that denies funds to Operation Choke Point ...

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