UPDATED: CUNA Mutual Launches Intuitive New Risk Insight Tool

Learn more about the Risk Insight Dashboard on CUNA Mutual Group’s Protection Resource Center.

Credit unions face a myriad of daily risks that threaten their financial well-being, reputation and membership. To further protect credit unions that hold their fidelity bonds, CUNA Mutual Group recently launched an intuitive new risk management tool to provide executive-level risk insights unique to each credit union. It’s called the Risk Insight Dashboard.

“We see this as a gateway tool,” said Joette Colletts, senior manager of risk management and business protection for CUNA Mutual Group. The Dashboard gives executives a quick, clear picture of key risk areas to help guide their strategic planning. It also points them to targeted resources in CUNA Mutual Group’s comprehensive Protection Resource Center, where they can access applicable papers and webinars or even schedule a custom risk assessment.

“Digging up data and analyzing risk can be a complex and time-consuming process,” said Colletts. “The Risk Insight Dashboard saves executives time by clearly showing which risk areas need the most attention.”

The dashboard, which is a value-added benefit for fidelity bond policyholders, gives credit union executives a clear picture of their credit union’s risk profile in five key areas, which include:

  • Internal Controls (Cash Handling & General Ledger)
  • Lending Oversight
  • Employment Practice
  • Data/Network Security
  • Member Authentication

Credit unions answer a short yes/no and multiple choice assessment to establish a benchmark. CUNA Mutual Group whittled the questions down to 34 targeted queries, which are designed to surface the most important risk areas. They also built in features to make the assessment as easy as possible, like letting executives easily send parts of the assessment to experts on the team — for instance, a couple clicks and they can send the data/network security section to their CTO to fill out. The completed form will then come back for final submission.

These responses feed a dashboard customized to the individual credit union and organized into the five key risk areas. The dashboard’s findings can be exported to a clear, PDF-formatted report with the click of a button and printed for offline use.

Senior Product Manager Linda Lambert said that the results are extremely clear and actionable. “We’ll be able to say, ‘This area results in a low risk, you’re taking the necessary steps,’” said Lambert. “Or, ‘This area results in a high risk, here are steps you can take.’”

The dashboard shows credit unions a custom risk rating of low, moderate, or high in each risk area, with a numerical scale of 0-100 based on the credit union’s completed assessment. It also shows how a credit union’s risk profile compares to peers. The structure of the dashboard helps credit unions prioritize action steps to prevent, mitigate and manage risks.

“The dashboard uses submitted data to analyze and compare a credit union’s unique risk characteristics and risk management practices, and the results help the credit union identify, prioritize and act to manage the most pressing risks,” said Jay Isaacson, CUNA Mutual Group vice president of credit union protection. “It’s not just a checklist of best practices; it arms executives with tangible data to share with their management teams and boards as they set policies and procedures.”

An advisory board of 16 credit unions from across the nation helped shape the dashboard, offering key insights into how credit unions identify and manage risk. “They helped formulate the dashboard,” said Lambert.

CUNA Mutual Group, which leads the fidelity bond market, insuring more than 85% of all credit unions, benefits from the dashboard results as well. “The Risk Insight Dashboard enables us to capture credit union risk management practices relative to peers, provide customized, consultative advice and deliver solutions they need to mitigate those exposures,” said Isaacson.

Users can reassess their risks anytime, but Isaacson suggests credit unions update their Dashboard at least annually, or when they make a significant change to their policies and procedures in one of the key risk areas. In addition, CUNA Mutual Group will regularly update data that defines the credit union’s risk score, for example, NCUA 5300 Call Reports.

“What we’re hoping,” said Lambert, “is that the credit union CEOs and senior managers will sit down with their boards and use this in their strategic planning.”

Policyholders can access the dashboard via a link on the main navigation of CUNA Mutual Group’s Protection Resource Center.

Credit unions can get more information by contacting their CUNA Mutual Group risk manager, or by calling 800.637.2676. 

Questions about this story? Contact John Trull: 503.350.2209, jtrull@nwcua.org.

Posted in CUNA.