Insurer urges credit unions to adopt antifraud best practices

CUNA Mutual will offer ‘competitive rates’ to those that do

MARCH 15, 2006 (COMPUTERWORLD) - CUNA Mutual Group is urging the 5,500 credit unions it insures to immediately adopt a newly released set of security best practices to curb growing losses from credit and debit card fraud.

Madison, Wis.-based CUNA Mutual is not making adoption of the security practices a requirement for its credit-union customers. But it will factor in what each credit union does to fight fraud when underwriting insurance polices in the future, said Chris Ryan, director of credit union protection at CUNA Mutual.

“What’s driving this is the significant increase in fraud losses that we have seen across the credit union marketplace in 2005 and over the last 18 months,” Ryan said.

The losses have affected both the credit unions themselves and CUNA Mutual as their insurer, he said. In 2005, the credit-union industry suffered $100 million in credit and debit card losses, Ryan said -- a 15% increase in losses from 2004 and a 50% jump over those in 2003.

“The key takeaway here is that there are best practices and fairly common tools that can help financial institutions better manage” their exposure to losses, Ryan said. “At this point, these are very strong recommendations,” he said. “Obviously, the relative risk that each credit union chooses to take will certainly influence their insurability [in the future]. If a credit union chooses to pursue these measures, [it is] going to be exposed to much less risk and [is] going to be able to get more competitive rates.”

CUNA Mutual on Monday released a nine-page document detailing 13 broad security measures and more than 70 specific recommendations for card-issuing credit unions....for more of the story from ComputerWorld