Whether you are energized or completely exhausted from the 2016 presidential primaries, the candidates and the associated drama have dominated the news. While the credit union industry, including FORUM, does not provide our opinions on the candidates, we are active with representatives in Congress.
In March, FORUM representatives traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Sen. Joe Donnelly and Reps. Susan Brooks and Luke Messer. Donnelly, a life-long credit union member, has championed many credit union issues in the Senate. He recently authored a bill that would no longer require FORUM to send members annual privacy notices if there are no changes from the prior year. This saves FORUM money, that, as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we return to our members. Additionally, this reduces waste as a majority of our members simply dispose of the notice. One of the top issues that was discussed with Brooks and Messer referred to the growing problem of data breaches and holding retailers accountable if one takes place. This includes notifying the customers and being fiscally responsible for losses that stem from the breach on their system. Both representatives support proposed legislation to achieve this, as does Donnelly. They understand the hardship breaches create for their constituency. If you have experienced a compromised debit or credit card, you know we have to reissue you a new card and refund any fraudulent charges from the breach. It is not only time consuming for you, but it is also expensive for FORUM as the full expense of the fraud falls on us instead of the retailer. This total cost was more than $166,000 in February, which doesn’t include the costs of reissuing the cards. We are hopeful that we can get this consumer-friendly legislation passed that will also hold retailers responsible. If you are interested in voicing your support for such legislation, the specific bill numbers are H.R. 2205 and S. 961. For more information please check out this website.
We appreciate the time Donnelly, Brooks, and Messer devoted to meeting with us. They also understand the importance in working together to improve the financial lives of Indiana residents as each of them have been advocates for FORUM and our members.
As mentioned, we know the political environment can be frustrating. However, we remain positive and feel fortunate to live in a country where we can regularly meet with our representatives and work on improving laws and regulations that benefit our membership. FORUM is local – we employ 330 central Indiana residents to serve more than 125,000 members, and we care about the communities we serve and Indiana as a whole. You have our commitment that we will continue to advocate on both a state and federal level to improve what we do and how we deliver it to you – our members and owners.