Disadvantaged applicants less likely to achieve Firsts

first_imgStudents from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to be awarded first class degrees than their peers, Oxford University data has revealed.The statistics show that 22.9 per cent of undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds received a First, compared to 30.3 per cent of their course mates.The figures, obtained by Cherwell via Freedom of Information requests, compare degree classes for flagged and non-flagged students at the university.Flags are given to undergraduates who meet a number of criteria including living in a deprived postcode, coming from a school which sends few pupils to Oxbridge or having lived in care.The investigation also found that flagged students are more likely to withdraw from their studies or take longer to complete their course.Only 76.2 per cent of flagged students had completed their degree by the time statistics were obtained by Cherwell, compared to 82.3 per cent of non-flagged students.The findings, taken from data about undergraduates admitted between 2010 and 2013, mirror the “gender gap” which exists in degree results at the University. However, these statistics are the first to identify an association between degree outcome and socioeconomic background.Eden Bailey, VP for Access and Academic Affairs told Cherwell, “Oxford has a serious problem with attainment gaps. A working group is already well in progress to tackle the gender and race attainment gaps, and at OUSU we’re glad the central University is acknowledging the present situation, which is unacceptable.“It’s really important that ‘access’ work doesn’t just stop at admissions, but the University is doing everything they can be to ensure that all students have access to educational opportunities, and filling their full academic potential, regardless of their background, identity, or circumstance.“I am very conscious that OUSU doesn’t have a liberation campaign relating to class or socioeconomic disadvantage, and would love to hear from students who would be interested in this.”In response to the findings, a university spokesperson commented, “Oxford and its colleges offer highly personalised academic and financial support to students, and students with contextual flags at Oxford still have drop-out rates that are among the lowest in the sector, and do extremely well in achieving top degrees. The university will continue to work to ensure all students are well supported in their studies academically, personally and financially.”The spokesperson added that Oxford was not alone in facing this type of problem and that it may be too early to draw conclusions given the sample size. They highlighted that the distribution of Firsts may also be affected by degree programme choices and other factors.Previous studies have suggested that the comparatively lower success rate of Oxford students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds is not reflected nationally. A report by the student think-tank OxPolicy into the effect of socioeconomic background on degree outcome found that “at no Higher Education Institution did under-represented students perform worse than their peers.”last_img read more

Exclusive: Oxford Union release Trinity term card

first_imgMeanwhile, on the sporting front, American football legend Peyton Manning will speak in eighth week, and joins Welsh rugby union referee Nigel Owens on the term card.Other highlights include human rights activist Bianca Jagger, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, and former Kenyan Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Raila Odinga.The term card also features five events that are open to all Bod card holders, as part of the society’s ‘summer open period’.These include speaker events in first week with Dame Inga Beale (Tuesday, 5.00pm), Lord Norman Fowler (Tuesday, 8pm), and Ben Miller (Wednesday, 8pm), and Thursday night’s Oxbridge debate.The final event open to non-members is the homelessness panel at 5.00pm on 25th May, which features Labour MP Ben Coyle, who is a national policy and campaigns advisor on social care and tackling poverty, the chief executive of Emmaus UK, Simon Grainge, and the chief executive at Oxford Homeless Pathways, Claire Dowan.French economist Thomas Piketty will speak in first weekAcademics:Thomas Piketty (25th April, 1.15pm)Jordan Peterson (16th May, 8.00pm)World Leaders: “This House Fears the Decline of the US as the Global Superpower”Proposition:Radoslaw SikorskiDr. Gideon RoseOpposition:Jane HarmanMatthew Barzun631st May “This House Believes That Austerity has been Europe’s Worst Policy of the Century”Proposition:Dr. Iona PetrescuBill EmmottOpposition:Maria Luis AlbuquerqueRuiari QuinnJoaquin Alumnia77th June Lindsay Lohan, Jordan Peterson, and Peyton Manning are among the speakers of an Oxford Union Trinity term card which features an array of world leaders, sportspeople, and entertainers.Cherwell can exclusively reveal the Oxford Union’s speaker events and debate speakers for the term ahead.The term card features the highest-ever number of BME speakers, and over 60% of guests are international.Union President Gui Cavalcanti told Cherwell: “Since this society was founded by a group of students in 1823, the world has become substantially more interconnected, closing the gaps between us at an unprecedented rate.“It is therefore vital for the Union, as a global platform, to capture the zeitgeist of our time, empowering its members to engage with stories and voices from every corner of the globe. These voices enable us to reflect on the progress and development achieved thus far, but also encourage us to embrace the many challenges that lie ahead.“Beyond defending the principles of free speech, the Union has become a place where systematically oppressed voices can engage with a global audience, advocate important causes, and spark movements.“From women’s rights in India, to Venezuela’s oppressive regime, to Uganda’s rigged elections, our Committee has worked tirelessly to ensure that the [Trinity termcard] reflect[s] upon contemporary issues of importance, and our underlying ethos of interrogating the present for a better future for all.”The Union will host seven Thursday-night debates, which will run from weeks one to seven.Topics range from the benefits of genetic engineering to the decline of the US as a superpower.The final debate of term will also feature the Union’s first ever Presidential Iftar – it falls during Ramadan, and the former Crown Prince of Jordan, HRH Prince Hamzah bin Hussein OSJ, is among the speakers.PrevNext126th April “This House Believes Genetic Engineering Undermines the Nature of Humanity”Proposition:Professor Joyce HarperKathryn LaskyOpposition:Dr. Rodolphe BarrangouDr. Carol Lynn CurchoeProfessor Donna Dickenson310th May “This House Believes Oxbridge is Failing Britain”Proposition:Natalie PereraRussell HobbyOpposition:Chris BlackhurstBill Rammell23rd May “This House Believes Britain should be Ashamed of Churchill”Proposition:Professor John CharmleySonia PurnellOpposition:Sir Nicholas Soames MPGisela Stuart524th May “This House Believes the Western model of Democracy is Unsuitable for the Middle East”Proposition:HRH Prince Hamzah bin Hussein OSJDeborah JonesSir John Jenkins KCMG LVOOpposition:Alberto GonzalesSir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QCVehiel BarNB. this debate will feature the first ever Presidential Iftar in the Oxford Union’s historyPrevNext The Union’s speaker events feature a range of high-profile names, ranging from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie to New York rapper P Diddy.Nigerian economist Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala joins fashion designer Vera Wang as two of the biggest names in business set to speak this term. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (9th May, time TBC)President Viktor Yushchenko (1st June, 8.00pm)The Rt Hon Raila Odinga (18th May, time TBC) Paul Giamatti will speak at the start of MayEntertainment:Paul Giamatti (3rd May, 5.00pm)Lindsay Lohan (Date TBC)Taron Egerton (5th week, TBC)P Diddy (Date TBC)Business:Vera Wang (23rd May, 8.00pm)Dame Inga Beale (24th April, 5.00pm)Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (8th June, 5.00pm)Referee Nigel Owens is among the biggest sporting names in the term cardSport:Peyton Manning (15th June, time TBC)Nigel Owens (5th week, TBC)Kim Clijsters (2nd May, 5.00pm)Activists:Christopher Wylie (End of term – TBC)Bianca Jagger (8th May, 8.00pm)Reverend Al Sharpton (28th May, 8.00pm)Manasi Pradham (6th June, 5.00pm)Eva Schloss (11th June, 8.00pm) “This House Believes Art is the Best Means to a Peaceful Revolution”Proposition:Christine Burns MBEDeepa Mehta OCOpposition:Professor Stephen DuncombeJulian SpaldingNadia Rose417th Maylast_img read more


first_img ×  1 / 2  Members of the Standard-Based Report Card Committee in the Secaucus schools pose for a group picture at the conclusion of their week-long effort to create new, more informative report cards for students in kindergarten through second grade. Pictured from left to right are teachers Dawn Leon, Jessica Hensle, Cindy Viera, Manal Abuhouran, Laurie Valente, and Faith Ann Rennie. The committee of six K-2 teachers consisted of a kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade teacher from both Huber Street and Clarendon schools. They worked with Elementary Supervisor Dr. Danielle Garzon and Clarendon Elementary School Principal Steve Viggiani.  2 / 2  Newly appointed Secaucus Middle School STEM Teacher Marissa Capobianco poses for a picture with her parents, along with Secaucus Middle School Principal Robert Valente and Director of Curriculum Dr. Daniela Riser, after her appointment at the July Board of Education meeting. Capobianco is a graduate of the College of New Jersey where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Integrated Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM) with a Minor in Environmental Sustainability Education with a Specialization in Technology. She had a successful student teaching experience as a teacher of Grade 5 mathematics and science at the Bear Tavern School in Hopewell. ❮ ❯ Summer concert series gains new addition in SecaucusThe Mayor and Town Council have announced the addition of Ameya Dabli to the Summer Concert Series. Dabli will perform on Monday, July 31 at the Meditation Garden (behind the Recreation Center). Enjoy music selections by the Beatles, Bryan Adams, Frank Sinatra and more.Other upcoming acts include: Hunter Hayes, Radio Nashville, and Emil Stucchio and The Classics. For a list of additional acts in the series, visit http://secaucusnj.gov/concerts.Teenagers from France allegedly broke into cars in SecaucusSecaucus police have charged ten teenagers from France in a series of car burglaries allegedly taking place in town earlier this month, according to a press release.On July 21, the Secaucus Police Department received calls of vehicle burglaries in the area around Second Street.Twelve vehicles were reported to have been burglarized after 4 a.m. that morning. Both patrol and detective division personnel worked together to process the vehicles for evidence and canvass the area. They soon located surveillance footage from nearby locations showing what appeared to be juveniles committing the burglaries.Shortly after 3 a.m the following day, Officer Michael Bronowich was patrolling the area when he came across a large group of juveniles walking between cars with flashlights. Bronowich observed that many of the juveniles fit the profile from the surveillance footage. The juveniles, ranging from ages 13 to 17, were taken into custody.The youth are French nationals visiting the U.S. on a summer camp retreat, according to the release. They were staying at the town’s Red Roof Inn with adult guardians. They went out for walks collectively when they allegedly committed the burglaries. Further investigation by police managed to procure some of the stolen itemsAll ten juveniles are charged with twelve counts of burglary and twelve counts of conspiracy to commit burglary. Three of the juveniles are additionally charged with three counts of theft; one juvenile is additionally charged with receiving stolen property. Though ordered released to their guardians, the teens’ passports have been seized. They were set to make their first court appearance July 24.Noting that all the burglarized vehicles were unlocked, Chief Kevin Flaherty urged all residents to “be sure to lock their vehicles to reduce the ability to commit this ‘crime of opportunity.’” National Night Out in SecaucusSecaucus will be participating in the annual National Night Out Aug. 1 at Buchmuller Park, from 5-8 p.m. The free event will feature a game night, food and drinks, and plenty of activities for young children. Contact the town at 201-330-2000 for more information.center_img 1 / 2  Members of the Standard-Based Report Card Committee in the Secaucus schools pose for a group picture at the conclusion of their week-long effort to create new, more informative report cards for students in kindergarten through second grade. Pictured from left to right are teachers Dawn Leon, Jessica Hensle, Cindy Viera, Manal Abuhouran, Laurie Valente, and Faith Ann Rennie. The committee of six K-2 teachers consisted of a kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade teacher from both Huber Street and Clarendon schools. They worked with Elementary Supervisor Dr. Danielle Garzon and Clarendon Elementary School Principal Steve Viggiani.  2 / 2  Newly appointed Secaucus Middle School STEM Teacher Marissa Capobianco poses for a picture with her parents, along with Secaucus Middle School Principal Robert Valente and Director of Curriculum Dr. Daniela Riser, after her appointment at the July Board of Education meeting. Capobianco is a graduate of the College of New Jersey where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Integrated Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM) with a Minor in Environmental Sustainability Education with a Specialization in Technology. She had a successful student teaching experience as a teacher of Grade 5 mathematics and science at the Bear Tavern School in Hopewell. ❮ ❯last_img read more

Goat found roaming outside Secaucus Walmart

first_imgThe goat, now named Wally, is believed to be a Nigerian dwarf, or fainting goat, Barnyard said in the post. He is around three to four months old. The sanctuary needs help paying for Wally’s medical expenses, as he needs a wellness check, treatment for runny nose, mange, lice, and a mouth disease called Orf.For now, Wally will remain quarantined until he is no longer sick,is neutered, and tested for other communicable diseases. It is not currently known how the goat came to the Walmart, but Secaucus Animal Control said it is possible he escaped from somewhere, because he was tagged when found.To donate to the cause, visit https://barnyardsanctuary.org/. SECAUCUS — A lone baby goat was found roaming outside the Secaucus Walmart on Thursday, July 19, according to a Facebook post from The Barnyard Sanctuary. Secaucus Animal Control officer Kevin Kessler responded to a report of the goat running loose in the store’s parking lot. Several people on hand offered to take the goat home as food. But Kessler caught and transported him to Barnyard in Blairstown, NJ, where he currently is. ×last_img read more

Press release: UKAEA to design national thermal hydraulic facility

first_imgPress Release, Wednesday 28 November 2018The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has been appointed by the UK and Welsh Governments to develop the outline design of a proposed £40 million national thermal hydraulic research and testing facility, to be built in north Wales.The facility was announced in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s ‘Nuclear Sector Deal’ and aims to boost the UK’s nuclear new build programme and development of Small Modular Reactors and Advanced Modular Reactors.The proposed centre will focus on thermal hydraulics – the movement of heat and fluids in the reactor system during the conversion of nuclear energy into electricity. Detailed understanding of these processes is vital in designing safe and efficient future power stations, such as those planned for Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey and Hinkley Point C in Somerset, and in ensuring their safe operation throughout the several decades they are expected to generate electricity.The facility could also have wider uses in non-nuclear thermal hydraulic testing.Outline planning permission has been secured at Menai Science Park, Anglesey. The facility itself is expected to create around 30 permanent jobs, with further benefits to the local economy. The testing hardware will be accompanied by a research centre for up to 50 visiting scientists to carry out data analysis, computer modelling and simulation work. Intended to be the most modern of its kind in the world, it is seen as integral to the development of advanced nuclear technologies.UKAEA’s role will be to work with UK companies to identify how their requirements can be met by the thermal hydraulics facility. This information will then be used to produce a design with a detailed costing and operational model, which will enable the UK and Welsh Governments to develop business cases for the funding and decide during 2019 how best to proceed with construction, commissioning and eventual operation.Colin Walters, Project Director at UKAEA, said: Companies interested in participating in the design consultation should contact Amanda Brummitt, Project Manager at UKAEA: [email protected] more information please contact Nick Holloway, UKAEA Media Manager – [email protected] / 01235 466232.Notes to EditorsUK Atomic Energy AuthorityThe UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) researches fusion energy and related technologies, with the aim of positioning the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy. It oversees Britain’s fusion programme, headed by the MAST Upgrade (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment. It also hosts the world’s largest fusion research facility, JET (Joint European Torus), which it operates for European scientists under a contract with the European Commission. Based at Culham Science Centre near Oxford, UKAEA is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.More information: www.gov.uk/ukaea. Twitter: @fusionenergyNuclear Sector DealThe Nuclear Sector Deal, published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in June 2018, builds on the Government’s historical partnership with the UK nuclear sector.It will ensure that the UK’s nuclear sector remains cost competitive with other forms of low-carbon technologies to support the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and Grand Challenge. Through adopting new construction techniques and innovative approaches to manufacturing, the deal will reduce the costs of building new reactors in a way that builds domestic supply chain capability and skills.More information about the Nuclear Sector Deal UKAEA is already working with Government and industry partners on upgrading the UK’s nuclear skills and facilities to compete with the best in the world. This key facility in north Wales will be another part of the UK’s nuclear renaissance and we are glad to have been chosen to lead it. We are now consulting with potential users of the centre so we can incorporate their requirements in the outline design.last_img read more

Helping Families

first_imgPartners like Georgia DFCS will help connect eligible parents and families with project leaders.“The project should provide needed knowledge and skills to help our families bridge the gap to sustainability in healthy relationships and economic habits,” said Mary Havick, Region 5 director for Georgia DFCS. “I feel confident that the model Dr. Futris and his team have proposed will be successful, and I believe in its potential for future statewide replication.” The 13 counties involved are Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Rockdale and Walton counties; collectively they are Georgia DFCS Region 5. The counties will be divided into three clusters based on the number of families receiving home visitation and DFCS services, with one project coordinator and four program facilitators assigned to each cluster.The needs of the region’s highest-risk children will be addressed and services will be provided for new parents, foster parents and reunified families, or biological parents of children 18 and under who were removed from their home and have been reunited. Georgia ranked 42nd in the U.S. in 2014 across various child well-being indicators, according to Kids Count data. Children in rural counties are particularly at risk, Futris noted, due to patterns of income inequality and social stratification. The first step of the project—hiring facilitators and conducting training—will begin immediately and the project will officially launch and begin delivering programs as early as this spring, Futris said. Students from both UGA FCS and the School of Social Work will provide services such as child care, youth engagement and tax preparation. They will also conduct in-home visits and collect needs assessment data. Up to 30 part-time program facilitators and field assessors will also be hired. UGA Extension county agents will also help with the project.“We’ll be working with families that are experiencing a lot of stress on a daily basis,” Futris said. “We want to see as a result of participating in this program that they are able to effectively manage the stress and that they are experiencing less stress over time, and we want to see stability in their relationships.” A team of University of Georgia faculty has received an $8.2 million grant for a project aimed at improving the lives of nearly 1,500 families in a 13-county, mostly rural, region in northeast Georgia.The grant came from the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and will be administered by the Office of Family Assistance. Ted Futris, an associate professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and a UGA Cooperative Extension family life specialist, will direct the five-year project.The program will focus on creating positive and stable homes through education designed to improve healthy marriage and relationship skills and promote economic stability. The Elevate curriculum, a couples education program developed by researchers at UGA and Auburn University, will be taught along with a three-week financial literacy education program that focuses on managing finances and building wealth.Numerous state and local partners are involved in the project including the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Georgia Family Connection, Great Start Georgia, Strengthening Families Georgia and Project Safe. “It’s a huge initiative, and I’m 100 percent confident in our capacity to do it,” he said. “All of our partners are excited, and I think that’s a testament to this team’s commitment.”last_img read more

S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):With oil and gas drillers filing for bankruptcy at a rising clip in 2019, credit rating agencies say the number of companies in distress is marching higher and they are bracing for more credit downgrades and Chapter 11 filings this fall.Exploration and production companies, or E&Ps, are producing more oil and gas in North America than ever before and that production is causing credit worries — the increased demand from Mexico and LNG isn’t enough to sop up gobs of hydrocarbons finding their way to market.Investors as well as lenders appear worried about the sector, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. oil and gas analyst Neal Dingmann. Investors peppered companies with refinancing questions during presentations at The Oil and Gas Conference by EnerCom Inc. in Denver, Dingmann told his clients Aug. 14. “Investors not only questioned what [was the] potential cost of capital … but whether the market was even open to such transactions.”Chapter 11 filings this month by Halcón Resources Corp. and Sanchez Energy Corp. helped drive the number of oil and gas E&P bankruptcy filings to 26 so far in 2019, outpacing the 21 seen in all of 2018, law firm Haynes and Boone LLP said their mid-August Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor.For several of these producers, such as Halcón, the filings follow a previous trip through Chapter 11 during the 2015-2016 oil and gas downturn and marks a capitulation, the firm said. Many firms reorganized three years ago only to discover there were no potential buyers, Buddy Clark, co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s energy practice said. “They’ve been limping along,” Clark said. “The public markets have just shut down and there are no obvious exits. For these producers the game clock has run out of time to keep playing ‘kick the can’ with their creditors and other stakeholders,” the Haynes and Boone’s presentation said.S&P Global Ratings noted in early August that the number of speculative-grade companies’ borrowing at rates 10% or more above what Treasury bills pay continues to grow, indicating that riskier borrowers are paying more for money. According to S&P Global Ratings, 18.4% of less-than-investment grade borrowers are paying 10% or more for loans, while the average spread among speculative oil and gas borrowers has widened to 3.49% above the risk-free T-bill rate, from 2.31% in July 2018. Some borrowers may not be able to find a lender this fall, S&P warned. “A number of issuers with distressed issues will face refinancing risks in the short term if financing conditions do not improve, including Unit Corp., Denbury Resources Inc., California Resources Corp. and Pioneer Energy Services Corp.,” Ratings said in its note.More ($): As oil and gas bankruptcies rise, S&P warns of coming shale producer downgrades S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companieslast_img read more

LIRR Adds Trains for Thanksgiving Weekend

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Rail Road is adding trains to the schedule through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to accommodate those leaving work early Wednesday, parade attendees Thursday and shoppers Saturday and Sunday.Nine extra eastbound trains will leave Penn Station between 2:08 p.m. and 4:06 p.m. to handle to early rush hour on Thanksgiving Eve on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington Far Rockaway and Montauk lines.Alcohol will also be banned on LIRR trains, stations or platforms 8 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday. But train station waiting rooms will remain open overnight through Friday to accommodate riders waiting for trains during the storm.Seventeen trains will be added on Thanksgiving—six westbound from 6:01 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. and 11 eastbound trains from 11:35 a.m. to 1:32 p.m., some with added cars—for those attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade or visiting families.Trains will run on a holiday schedule Thursday and off-peak fares will be in effect Thursday through Sunday. A regular weekday schedule will be in effect on Black Friday.Thanksgiving weekend additionally marks the start of extra weekend trains to and from Manhattan—four westbound and six eastbound—to meet the extra holiday season ridership every Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 5.For more information, call the LIRR at 511 or visit its website at www.mta.info.last_img read more

The making of Greater Texas’ Apple Watch banking app with Malauzai’s Robb Gaynor

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last month we had Greater Texas Federal Credit Union on the show discussing the launch of its new Apple Watch banking app for those members who wanted to manage their finances from their wrist. In this episode, we have the makers of Greater Texas’ Apple Watch banking app Malauzai Software on the show to discuss what it took to create this app before the Apple Watch was even released. A very cool behind the scenes anecdote with Malauzai’s Robb Gaynor, which involved a trip to the Apple campus in Cupertino, CA, for tours and app testing. continue reading »last_img

Five cost effective ways to take compliance seriously

first_imgRegulatory reform is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one really does anything about it. So, even as you rail against the CFPB remember that, unless you think Tinker Bell is going to be elected President, this new hyper-regulatory environment is here to stay. Those credit unions that most successfully integrate compliance into their business structure as opposed to treating it as a costly appendage will be the ones for whom compliance might actually be a source of savings. After all, members are more likely to trust an institution that knows what they are doing and why they are doing it.To be sure, larger credit unions a have a huge advantage when it comes to absorbing compliance costs. I feel your pain, but let’s get over it. There are cost effective steps that even the smallest credit unions can take to improve their compliance with all those nettlesome laws and regulations with minimal impact on their bottom line. I’ve chosen some examples that all credit unions should implement to cost effectively improve their compliance programs.Customize Your Procedures. Just about every aspect of an institution’s consumer banking practices – whether that institution is JP Morgan Chase or a five person CU – can be reduced to procedures that can be applied over and over and over again. For example, as challenging as the new integrated disclosure requirements are, once you figure out how to comply, a well written step-by-step procedure can enable any employee you hire now or in the future to implement TRID in a way that makes the most sense for your credit union. In addition, as regulations change, you can simply tweak the procedures. Procedures codify institutional memory so that not everyone has to be a compliance expert. The only cost is the time and effort it takes to write down the procedures. Considering how much time your credit union has spent complying with the TRID mandate, this is an investment that makes sense.Prioritize Vendor Management. CU CEOs are unabashedly frugal and they should be. A penny saved truly is a penny earned. One of the best ways to save money while improving your compliance is to take vendor management more seriously.(A) Mandate that employees get quotes from multiple vendors regardless of the services for which they are shopping. Credit unions always say they don’t have leverage when negotiating contracts. This will always be true for those institutions that don’t start negotiating contract terms until after they have chosen a vendor.(B) Make employees responsible for periodically checking in on each vendor with whom you contract. With so many regulations being implemented by vendors you must oversee vendor performance if you are going to oversee your CU’s compliance efforts. Many vendors are computer people who specialize in compliance software not compliance people who know software. Someone in your credit union needs to know a regulation well enough that you can double check your vendors.(C) Make sure you know when contracts end. Many contracts have automatic renewal provisions and if your credit union gets sloppy, you will miss a golden opportunity to review the price and performance of your vendors.Pool compliance services. Every credit union, no matter how small, needs a dedicated compliance professional but not everyone can afford one: I get it. The solution is for credit unions to pool resources. For example, New York has joined a growing number of leagues that hire a field level compliance specialist who works with a group of credit unions to provide ongoing compliance on issues unique to those credit unions. They could even draft a couple of those procedures I was talking about.Don’t Do a Volkswagen – Make compliance everyone’s responsibility. The Executive team comes up with a great idea for a new financial product. The Marketing department comes up with a great campaign and the compliance officer is asked to review it for “compliance issues” the day before it is scheduled to be launched. I exaggerate only slightly. Financial institutions of all shapes and sizes have for too long let a culture fester in which compliance is viewed as an enemy to be conquered rather than a partner with whom to work to achieve greater efficacy. It’s time for a reality check: Any person responsible for any part of your credit union’s operations that is impacted by compliance. Given this reality, every single employee and department should have to work with, and not against their compliance person. For example, compliance should have a role in the development of every credit union project and initiative at the earliest stages of the process. Common sense tells you that a system that integrates compliance into a product’s design is more efficient than one that ignores it until the very end of the process. Just ask our good friends at Volkswagen.Love ‘em or hate ‘em you still need a lawyer. . . Sometimes. A good compliance program not only has to be well conceived and consistently implemented but it needs to know where the gray areas are and how to exploit them for the good of the credit union. This is where a lawyer, albeit a lawyer who knows something about consumer banking, comes in. Not every threatened lawsuit should be settled and the plain language of statutes and regulations should be the beginning, not the end, of legal analysis when it comes to the most important legal and compliance issues facing your credit union. Consequently, there are times when the extra cost of an attorney is worth it. My rule of thumb is that the more you are dealing with an issue for which there is not a settled Yes or No answer, or that could expose your credit union to litigation, the more you should consider calling your counsel.Each one of these steps will not only improve your compliance, but will save your credit union money. My point is this; compliance doesn’t have to cost your credit union as much money as you think it does. A well thought out system of checks and balances will lead to better functioning institutions that better present themselves to the public and comply with regulatory demands in the most cost effective manner. 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: www.nycua.org Detailslast_img read more