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For Better or Worse: A Rise in Canadian Interest Rates Possible Harbinger of Global Changes

This week The Central Bank of Canada raised its overnight interest rates for the first time in seven years from 0.50% to 0.75%. This announcement comes just a month after the US Federal Reserve raised rates from 0.75% to 1.25%. The overnight rate determines how frequently banks lend money to other banks.  More cooperation between larger financial institutions has the potential to entice investors and bring new capital into the country. For average consumers, the increase will likely mean paying more for certain types of borrowing such as variable-rate mortgages, lines of credit, and student loans. Although this will surely be burdensome for some on an individual level, such increases generally signal a confident, strong economy. The Central Bank released a statement regarding the increase calling the economy “robust” and the update “long expected.”

The Canadian economy is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth for the first time since the 2008 recession, so the financial sector is considering the decision a possible omen of things to come globally.

 

By: Christine Belusko

3 Steps to Motivate Learners to Take Compliance Training

June 26, 2017 - Do you have a hard time motivating your employees? The auditor could psychically be in the building, yet users still cannot find the time to finish their compliance training? When compliance training feels more like a chore than the adventure of learning and growth it should be, take a step back. Let go of feelings of frustration and resentment, and examine the root cause. The real problem is a communication breakdown between your coworkers, who you anxiously pull completion reports about on a daily basis, and you, the person in charge of compliance training. Do not worry, there are a few easy steps you can follow to bring everyone back on track.

1. Communicate why the compliance training is important.

Make sure everyone is on the same page. Do your employees actually know why taking compliance training is important? Because the auditor makes us. That is a valid reason why employees finish their training, but not the most meaningful reason. Ask yourself, why does training matter in the long run? Connect your reasoning back to your bank’s or credit union’s values. Then communicate this value to the team.

Companies that thrive are ones where all employees share the same vision. They are there to service the customer to the best of their capabilities. To serve your customer, that means staying on top of regulation changes that protect your client’s interests. It means being vigilant to ensure elders are not being financial abused and veterans are not turned away from housing opportunities. It means staying knowledgeable and compliant. To me that rational is more motivating and meaningful that another item off my check-list of tasks to complete.

2. Develop clear and realistic expectations.

When it comes to training an administrator needs to set clear and realistic expectations. Give your employees a hard deadline of when their training is due. This way you do not find yourself at December 31st with more learners in started mode than completed status. Curriculums can be due on a regular monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. At this point, it is an industry standard that Learning Management Systems give you to freedom to apply due dates. Make sure you take advantage of this feature.

It is also necessary to have realistic expectations. For example, if someone is a Platform Professional, they are in charge of both Teller customer service tasks and sales-oriented tasks. It may be a little too optimistic to assume that an employee who wears so many hats can successfully complete 10 curriculums in the same month. Make sure to space out your training schedule. This will help to make sure learners do not feel overburdened and give them the time they need to train at their own pace and plan ahead.

3. Send out Email Notifications.

Now that you have defined why training is important and set realistic goals and due dates, it is time to communicate your expectations through emails. At Edcomm Banker’s Academy, we offer a robust Automated Email Notification feature. This feature allows you to schedule email notifications in advance to correspond to the due dates you have chosen. When email notifications are pre-determined, it lessens the burden on your shoulders. You will not have to worry about tracking down users who are incomplete in their training. The LMS will only sent reminder emails out to learners who still have outstanding training.

Our Automated Email Notification feature provides unlimited, direct customization. You know how to best motivate your staff, so flex your creative muscles. Make the correspondence personal and purposeful by communicating why training is not just a responsibility, but an important part of the narrative that makes your company unique, dedicated, and successful.

 

By:Madelyn Fagan

 

Elder Financial Abuse: It is not just a family matter, it is a community concern.

May 25, 2017. A phone rings in the middle of the day. An 800 number. The elderly woman is pretty sure she does not know the caller, but it cannot hurt to pick it up to make sure. Can it? Sure enough, an unfamiliar voice tells her that there is a problem with a computer, and she must do exactly what he says in order to fix it. He is insistent, with a great sense of urgency. He does not let her get a word in. The woman listens intently for a few moments, before politely telling him she does not own a computer. He curses at her and hangs up.

It is a half-truth. She does not have a computer, she has a laptop. But she also knows that the man’s intentions are far from honorable. This brave woman is my grandmother, and she watches enough crime shows and late night news to know there are plenty of unsavory characters out there who are waiting at a chance to abuse people who are too trusting. There are predators who pretend computers are at risk for hacking. Who convince the unsuspecting that out of state grandchildren are locked up in jail, and need bail wired to make it home. Who convince your law-abiding and trusting elderly neighbor that he made an error on tax forms, and must call the IRS back immediately or the police will come to his home to arrest him.

The truth is, if there is something wrong with the tax forms, the IRS will never directly call to threaten you. That is not and never will be their policy. The same theory applies to cybersecurity for the elderly. If this happens to you, where an unknown caller pretends to have intimate knowledge of your computer’s safety, hang up the phone. Encourage the elderly around you to do the same. If a stranger calls, claiming they have a family member who needs money wired to them, check the facts. Ask, oh you mean my grandson Will? (Insert for Will the name of someone who is not your family member.) That way if the caller agrees, they know something is not right. Even if they get it right, call your local police to verify the legitimacy of the claim. Chances are it is a scam.

Only 1 in 25 cases of Elder Financial Abuse are estimated to be reported. Yet in America there are over 2 million elders victimized every day. Elder Abuse is not just the behavior of a nameless, faceless person on the other line of the telephone. Nor, contrary to popular belief, is it a private, family matter you should not get involved in. Financial abuse can be committed by family members who exploit the power of attorney granted to them to take money without asking, or who take an ATM card and withdraw money without permission.


It is a sad state of affairs if our elderly community cannot feel safe in the comfort of their own home. Not everyone would be as quick to recognize potential scammers like my grandmother can. We owe it to the people we love—aging mothers, fathers, and grandparents to stay informed and vigilant against Elder Financial Abuse.
Luckily, there is a growing acknowledgement of this form of financial abuse. The Older Americans Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. This act provides additional assistance, safe havens, and support to elders who are at risk. It funded special programs to support the communities where financial abuse flies under the radar, like rural, minority, and Native American seniors. The Older Americans Act also paved the way to improve the ease of access to information on abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as funded research on potential preventive measures.

Whether that comes in the form of a seemingly harmless phone call, or out in public, it is not something you should ignore. It is not somebody else’s business. Make it your business to ensure the people around you are not being taken advantage of. Stay informed, and report it when you notice suspicious activity.

by:Madelyn Fagan

How to Be a Great Leader

April 28, 2017 - Being a leader can be tough. Some people are natural born leaders. However, most of us are not born with the natural ability to lead. Yet even if that is the case, anyone can grow and learn to be a good leader. Being a good leader means projecting confidence from yourself onto your subordinates. At Edcomm Banker's Academy, we offer a vast selection of videos that describe the best practices to develop your leadership skills.

When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? A political leader, pursuing a passionate, personal cause. An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow. An executive, developing her company's strategy to beat the competition. These are examples of leaders. Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to win as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way.

One of the best ways to be a good leader is to listen to everyone who you are leading. Be respectful of everyone’s concerns and make a concerted effort to listen to everybody. Make sure to positively reinforce the behaviors that you want to see.  In a business setting this could mean going out of your way to praise your employee for showing up promptly for work As a result, the employee may make an effort to be at work on time more often because the employee likes to be praised. In this example, praise acts as the stimulus and is a positive reinforcer for this employee because the employee arrives at work on time more frequently after being praised for showing up to work on time. You will get the results you want more effectively through praise, rather than scolding or disciplining the employee for being late.

Tips for Being a Great Leader

  • Project confidence

  • Listen to your employees

  • Be respectful

  • Use praise often

  • Positively reinforce desired behaviors

Be a positive influence for your team. Doing so boosts not only your team’s motivation, but your own as well. Take your leadership skills to the next level by signing up for Edcomm LMS and ask for the Video Library Series.

By: Matt Cohen

Social Media - Not Just For Millennials

March 17, 2017 - Social Media is a wonderful way to reach out to new customers and stay in touch with current customers. Millennials, Gen Xers, and even some Baby Boomers use Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat as a part of their everyday lives. People spend hours using social media to keep in touch with old friends and to find out the latest news. Why not use this emerging platform as a way to share important information on new products and services what your bank has to offer? I can tell you from personal experience, social media campaigns are worth investing your time in. I found my bank via Facebook. They had an advertisement for a $150.00 bonus if you sign up with them and remain a customer for 90 days, and I learned that they have no minimum balance requirements. Facebook reaches a large young audience, so it a wonderful way to attract new customers. Consider using Facebook to promote new products and offers that your organization is offering.

 

Remember to be careful when using social media. Anything you post online will be available to all to see. If you oversee social media at your organization, make sure to never post any confidential or sensitive materials. The social media account represents your organization, not you, so be wary of posting any political or insensitive material. Unlike traditional print media, social networking sites and blogs have no external checks or balances. Be sure to always know who is using your company’s social media account. You do not want any angry or disgruntled employees to have an audience of potentially millions of readers. Be sure to have another employee check your social media site as a check against any inappropriate posts. No one wants an employee to posts disparaging comments about your company, defame your company’s image, harass other employees, or leak your company’s trade secrets and other sensitive information.

 

Social Media

 

If your company decides to implement a workplace social media policy, you should consider the following tips to keep social media effective. Limit blogging that interferes with work commitments, or prohibit blogging during work time (unless blogging is work related). Prohibit employees from disclosing any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or any third party that has disclosed information to the company, including concepts or developments that the employees produce related to the company’s business. Inform employees that the company may request that they temporarily confine their website or blog commentary to topics unrelated to the company if you believe that it’s advisable or necessary to comply with securities regulations or other laws.

 

Interested in learning more about best practices when it comes to boosting your social media platform? Check out our training. We offer curriculums that are devoted to Sales & Marketing, which discuss how to use social media as a business development tool. We are also excited to announce the release of video training! Edcomm Banker’s Academy now offers video assets that educate in Social Media Analytics, Social Media Etiquette, Social Media in Crisis, Social Media Privacy, Social Media Security, Social Media Techniques. We are confident that our video training can teach you everything you need to know to feel comfortable about sharing your organization’s narrative online.

 

By: Matt Cohen

  • We switched to Banker’s Academy over a year ago from a different online training program. The cost savings was tremendous - which has been very helpful in this time of budget cuts. We found that the training content is precise, to the point, and always current. It doesn't have a lot Read More
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