Home » News » Letting agents face £30k on-the-spot fines previous nextLetting agents face £30k on-the-spot finesLondon Borough of Hackney says errant agents and landlords now face much stiffer fines and could be forced to repay rent to tenants if minimum standards are not met.Nigel Lewis27th October 20170962 Views Letting agents in one of London’s poorest boroughs face on-the-spot fines of up to £30,000 and will be forced to repay rents to tenants if they fail to manage properties to the required standards, it has been announced.The London Borough of Hackney, which is the 11th most deprived borough in England but famed for its Hackney Empire theatre and hipster areas such as Stoke Newington, says it will fine agents and landlords who fail to comply with council instructions to make improvements to properties, let overcrowded properties or fail to meet licensing conditions.The borough says it has introduced the civil penalties so that it can take “immediate action” against agents rather than engaging in lengthy court proceedings.Some 34,000 properties are rented privately in Hackney, a third of all households, and rents have increased by 20% over the past five years – a two bedroom apartment in the borough can cost £2,000 a month to rent.“While we’ll still prosecute the most serious offenders, these new fines will give us the powers we need to quickly punish the minority of rogue landlords out to exploit tenants where it hurts – in their pocket,” says Councillor Sem Moema (pictured left).Despite the high prices, two thirds of renters canvassed during research into the local private rented sector by the borough said repairs were not being done when needed, and that one in five HMOs contained serious hazards or were in disrepair.The new fines are part of the boroughs ongoing Better Renting Campaign, which may soon include a borough-wide mandatory licensing system for all HMOs, and a blanket selective licensing scheme within its three poorest wards, following a consultation on the measures due to end in December.The borough recently also introduced a voluntary lettings fees ban across the borough, although so far only two agents have signed up – Margo & Co and Julian Reid.London Borough of Hackney sem moema estate agent fines October 27, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021
Home » News » Agents asked to comment on portal ‘material information’ ahead of guidelines previous nextRegulation & LawAgents asked to comment on portal ‘material information’ ahead of guidelinesTrading Standards wants to know industry’s views as it prepares to bolt down minimum information agents must upload to portals.Nigel Lewis20th April 20211 Comment1,810 Views Estate agents are being asked to tell National Trading Standards what information should be ‘minimum basic’ when uploading property for sale and to rent onto portals.Its property industry arm NTSEAT has launched its consultation on the basic ‘material information’ that agents should be uploading to Rightmove, Zoopla, OTM, Boomin and the many other challenger portals ahead of new guidance due to be issued later this year.Agents are already required by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 not to hide key material information from house hunters when uploading property details, but NTSEA says current practices around disclosure are not consistent across the industry.The new guidance, once published, will for once and all settle what the minimum material information agents must include within the listings they upload to portals.NTSEAT says this will have benefits for the industry including fewer sales fall-throughs and lower levels of complaints by members of the public about agents.Estate agents wishing to have their say have until Monday 17th May to fill in the online survey, which asks them about their opinions on issues such as cladding, broadband speeds, and property tenure.James Munro (pictured), Senior Manager of the NTSEA, says: “We want to make it easier for agents to provide basic material information to consumers by ensuring more of this information is published on property listings.“By participating in the survey, agents will help us provide clarity to the industry and ensure consumers can access relevant, essential information when they start their property search.”Rightmove’s Legal & Compliance Director David Cox (pictured) says: “The information that agents need to find out before marketing a property varies so much depending on the type of home, and so we support the drive to provide clear industry-wide guidance on basic material information.“Unlike price and number of bedrooms which is already available on all listings, there are some features that aren’t displayed in every case, such as tenure, and so we’d like to hear from agents about what challenges they face in collecting this type of information.”Organisations involved in the initiative, which is backed by 90% of consumers, include Propertymark, all three main portals, PropertyPal, TLIC, PRS, TPO, RICS and UKALA.Read NTSEAT’s reasoning behind the consultation and initiative. NTSEAT James Munro National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team (NTSELA). Rightmove David Cox April 20, 2021Nigel LewisOne commentjeremy clarke, Belvoir Christchurch Belvoir Christchurch 21st April 2021 at 9:12 amIs it just me, or have people lost the ability to find out anything for themselves?It seems that unless everything is available on a tiny screen in front of them, people feel that they have been poorly treated and deserve more?Years ago, viewers would drive past a property and, if they didn’t like something about it e.g. the pylon in the back garden, they didn’t view. Nowadays they don’t drive past, they make an appointment and expect the agent to have told them everything.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
The Seren Network, an organization set up and funded by the Welsh government to help promising students gain entry to top universities, held an event with the University of Oxford to celebrate the impact of their partnership. The event was held in Cardiff last week, and was attended by current undergraduates from Wales. College principal Sir Nigel Shadbolt said: “Since its inception in 2017, the programme has been successful in attracting Welsh applicants from state schools to Oxford, with a higher than usual percentage being awarded a place. “Through this continued partnership we hope to make a positive and sustainable change in the lives of young people in Wales”. Jesus College, known as informally the ‘Welsh’ college and had 24 Welsh heads of college from 1571 to 1915, runs a Seren Summer School which is now in it’s second year. Earlier this year, a former student gave the college a £625,000 donation to support the summer school program, which secures its continued existence for the foreseeable future. Dr Samina Khan, University Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, said: “I’m very excited to be here today promoting the expansion of the Seren Network. “Our donor has chosen to endow a number of places at the summer school in perpetuity. This is a hugely successful way of widening access and we hope others might consider helping”.
Dear Friends:Last evening, the administration reviewed our recommended 2015 operating budget with the City Council. The discussion included a review of our solid fund balance position as well as both the revenue and expenditure side of the budget. The information discussed can be viewed HERE.I would like to advise our second homeowners, if you have not already done so, please try and have someone check on your property to make certain you have not experienced any broken pipes or water leaks during this record cold spell. Unfortunately many homes have experienced problems.I appreciate everyone keeping an eye on their friend’s and neighbor’s properties and encourage you make certain everyone is OK, especially our senior citizens.Have a great weekend!Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayor The following is Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian’s weekly update to citizens posted on Friday, Feb. 20.
The aroma of coffee permeates homes around the world as millions of employees log on to their computers to start their workdays. Although working from home is something many are still getting used to, a cup of morning joe or a favorite tea and a “hey, how’s it going” from caring colleagues is what gets them through this massive change in their traditional work style.In many instances, remote working was rapidly implemented by companies in response to COVID-19, but there are many indications that ‘working from anywhere’ in some form is here to stay. In a 2020 Dell Technologies customer survey:Roughly 20% of workforces were working remote before 2020During the pandemic, this number has grown exponentially to 80%~40% of the workforce will continue to work from home, even after a vaccine is widely availableHow do companies implement a more productive digital workplace?Many organizations have turned to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to make remote working more seamless. Traditionally, workstations or PCs operate in an isolated fashion. However, when VDI is used, all desktops and apps are virtualized in a data center. Known for its ability to rapidly deliver secure and easily accessible digital workspaces, VDI has powered a number of different industry applications from colleges supporting thousands of students attending classes from their dorm rooms to retail customer service agents working remotely around the world.As an example, pairing Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP) and VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail with VMware Horizon makes it easier for companies to rapidly deploy virtual workspaces for their employees. This winning hybrid cloud combination allows IT to configure, update and deploy virtual desktops through a centralized location. The best part: VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP) can be deployed quickly – with some of the largest companies implementing VDI workspaces in a matter of weeks.What else makes VDI on DTCP an attractive solution? We highlight the top 5 reasons below.1. But first, secure ITThere’s one thing we can say about COVID-19 – it has caused a lot of us to look much closer at our business continuity plans. However, beyond ‘business as usual,’ there has been a lot more emphasis around cybersecurity.What we’re finding is it’s best to limit the keys to the IT castle. With VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP), desktops and apps are managed virtually by IT rather than on individual bring-your-own (BYO) and corporate devices with varying levels of security protections. It also means centralized deployment of all applications, security updates, and virus controls for employee use.We’re committed to helping our customers #BeCyberSmart in the age of sophisticated hackers. Giving IT the ability to centralize and manage VDI employee workspaces is a great example of better safeguarding against company threats.2. A hybrid mentalityThe future of cloud looks bright. Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report states that IT professionals plan to increase cloud spend by almost 50% this year. It’s also clear that enterprises will operate in a multi-cloud environment. From the same study, 93% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy and use 2.2 public clouds and 2.2 private clouds, on average. Edge computing adds yet another form of cloud computing to the mix. Why? With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and autonomous vehicles that can’t afford to fail, ultra-low latency data processing at edge locations becomes extremely attractive to the cloud market.VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform enables you to set up hybrid cloud environments so you can deploy and scale workloads like VDI quickly. Also, through one user interface, you can manage your on-premises and public cloud environments and burst into the cloud for seasonal demand spikes, if needed.Automated lifecycle management is also a game-changing feature. Deep integration between VMware SDDC (software-defined data center) and VxRail Manager allows you to deploy patches and updates as they happen to ensure you are operating in the most up-to-date hybrid cloud environment.3. The fan favoriteHow many times have you logged on to your laptop and watched an application load for what seems like eternity? We stare at it willing it to go faster, as if the information is being pulled from outer space. We can’t let that happen in the workplace or employees will work around what they are provided by IT.A VDI environment that ensures the best user experience is critical to business continuity and employee satisfaction. Factors like slow logon and excessive application load times have been found to greatly cut into employee productivity. The good news is, VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform is a best-in-class VDI solution.In a recent independent VDI testing study, VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform user experience was up to 2.5x better than Amazon WorkSpaces™.¹ That means employees get work done faster so your company is one step closer to meeting its business objectives.4. Regulations that keep you up at nightData governance and customer privacy have become huge topics in board rooms around the world. As country-specific data privacy laws carry hefty fines, IT professionals are looking a lot closer at where data is housed and how it is processed. Centralization and control of IT environments are critical so businesses can reduce their risk.Using a VDI environment such as VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, IT professionals can centralize user identity and access management, process mission-critical and sensitive data in the data center and monitor information usage. All of these features help to reduce corporate security concerns.5. Preparing for tomorrowExciting technological advances such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and 5G promise to digitally transform the world as we know it and unleash a range of different use case possibilities across industries. The great advantage of implementing VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform is that compute resources can be re-allocated to power new and innovative use cases during off-hours.For example, resources can be allocated to perform regular employee tasks using VDI by day, and at night when those resources remain virtually unused, companies can try out new use cases leveraging machine learning or a number of other forward-looking technologies.Wrap-UpVDI is a great way to transform your digital workplace. Once you implement a VDI solution like VMware Horizon on Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, you’ll be able to:Take a flexible, hybrid approach to cloudProvide the best VDI experience for your employeesSecure your data and comply with regulationsInnovate for the future to remain one step ahead of your competitionWhat else are you doing to digitally transform your workforce?¹ Based on a Cloud Evolutions report commissioned by Dell Technologies, “Virtual Desktop Performance and User Experience Comparison: A Comparison of Horizon on DTCP, Amazon WorkSpaces on AWS, and Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure,” based on sessions reporting a 90% or greater user experience ranking using Lakeside SysTrack to simulate remote end user experience; using SysTrack to evaluate the productivity impact of remote worker sessions; and using SysTrack to simulate Zoom collaborative applications, November 2020. Actual results may vary.
Robert H. and Mary Ellen Harris have made a gift of $5.5 million to the University for the construction of the Harris Family Track and Field Stadium, a Sept. 17 press release announced.Robert Harris graduated from the University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is the president and chief executive officer of Harris FRC Corp.“We are grateful to Bob and Mary Ellen Harris for this generous gift that will enable us to make a major advancement in facilities for Notre Dame student-athletes in track and field,” Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said in the release. “The creation of locker rooms and other team space surrounding the outdoor track will provide a first-class home for our men’s and women’s squads.“In addition, we hope the future improvements to this facility will make it another wonderful resource for the greater South Bend community, much as the Compton Family Ice Arena has become.”The new building will house a number of “team support areas,” the release stated, including “student-athlete and coach locker rooms, team meeting and event operations space, a nutrition station and a satellite athletic training area.”The facility will be built on the west side of the nine-lane outdoor track and field facility in the southeast corner of campus, and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.Alan Turner, the Irish track and field head coach, said in the release the new building will contribute to the success of the track and field teams.“For so many years, we haven’t had any outdoor meets, and we really don’t have great space for locker rooms and team meeting areas, so just having added space and a place to call our own is going to make a world of difference for our program,” Turner said.Tags: Harris Track and Field Stadium
From Wayne Hanna and Brian Schwartz, UGA Tifton Campus turfgrass breeding program plant scientists, TifTuf is for homeowners who are serious about maintaining carpet-type coverage, which does not come cheap. Like all premium Bermuda lawn grasses, it must be established by sodding and is much more expensive than what one would pay to seed common Bermuda grass.While other Bermuda grasses survive drought conditions by going dormant and then greening up at the first exposure to moisture, TifTuf stays green because it doesn’t go dormant under drought stress. In UGA tests TifTuf uses 38 percent less water than Tifway Bermuda grass while maintaining better turf quality. Optimum water management, as with any grass, is dependent on the soil’s physical characteristics and climate. While the rule of thumb for watering most grass types is to provide 1 inch of water per week, TifTuf — in our area —simply doesn’t need to be irrigated once its roots are established in good soil, except in cases of extreme drought.Other than drought, the most common problem seen with Bermuda grass lawns is stress brought on by too much shade. TifTuf thrives in light ranging from full sun to partial shade. While it certainly won’t grow in full shade, it is more shade tolerant than any of the other Bermuda grass varieties that have been used in our area.A well maintained, vigorous TifTuf Bermuda grass lawn with good turf density will inhibit weed establishment. To be sure weeds are controlled, use of a pre-emergent herbicide is recommended in the spring and fall. When or if weeds become a problem, there are many choices of herbicide for specific weeds. Herbicide variety and availability for hybrid Bermuda grasses is enhanced by the fact that most athletic fields use this type of grass.For more information on growing turfgrasses in Georgia, go to GeorgiaTurf.com. The newest University of Georgia turfgrass release, TifTuf™ Bermuda grass, is now available to homeowners. TifTuf’s drought tolerance and shade tolerance make it one of the best choices for establishing a new lawn.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York I grew up in Levittown in the 1960s and 1970s. Like most gray-haired baby boomers, I remember the “air-raid drill.”It entailed being escorted out of my classroom, lined up against the cold brick hallway walls, and told to put my hands atop my head so when that nuclear fireball erupted, incinerating anything and everything for miles around us, we’d be okay. I also remember seeing those little yellow signs posted on the exterior of public buildings: FALLOUT SHELTER.I wasn’t sure what Khrushchev and Brezhnev had against Levittown. But it seemed as if we were a target. Was it our shopping centers? Was it Mr. Gateson, my fourth-grade teacher? Or was my father really not a “sales rep” and instead, an agent of the CIA?As alarming as those drills were, I remember goofing off in those hallways. Even at a young age, something told us not to worry. Thirty thousand nuclear missiles pointed right at us seemed a distant threat.Compare that to the threats our children must constantly process: the very clear and present danger of a shooting in their school. So grave that the president of the United States has endorsed training old Mr. Gateson to carry a weapon into a fourth-grade classroom.Gun lobbyists chant that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. Whether that applies to gym teachers I’ve had is debatable. What is not debatable is that the best way to reduce gun violence is to make it harder for people with mental illnesses, criminals and terrorists to get guns.Facts are facts. This is irrefutable: In the U.S. and around the world, where there are sane gun security rules, far fewer children are murdered in their schools. It’s the exception to the rule, not the weekly “Breaking News.”Please don’t tell me that’s fake news or alternative facts. People throw out that canard when they have no intellectual leg to stand on.Why doesn’t Congress stand up to the gun lobby? More than 80 percent of Americans support universal background checks and “No Fly, No Buy.” Republicans and Democrats alike. Even most NRA members.Here’s why: After votes on gun security measures in Congress were defeated, a moderate Republican who voted against each measure confessed to me how embarrassed he was.“So, why’d you vote that way?” I asked. His answer: “Going back home with a bad vote on guns is politically nuts.”When members of Congress are more concerned with nuts with guns, our children and grandchildren will be safer.Steve Israel’s next novel “Big Guns” may be ordered at repsteveisrael.com or directly from your local bookstore.
Well, here we are another year older and (hopefully!) another year wiser. Everyone is preparing to tackle 2020 with growth goals, projections and new ideas, but I want to take a quick minute and challenge you with a back-to-the-basics question.Is it easy for members to do business with you?I ask this question incessantly to our clients. And if you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference, it’s often a discussion topic. I’m not questioning if you offer products and services that members want. I’m asking…is it EASY for members to do business with you?In this age of emerging technology that allows members to directly access and manage their accounts, are we losing sight of basic member service?I often evaluate my own company. We strive to make it easy for credit unions to do business with us. We don’t have a contract. We don’t require a retainer. Credit unions work with us in a way that is (hopefully) easy for them. I never wanted a client to be contractually obligated to do business with me. In 18+ years, I’ve never had a contract with any credit union. Because it’s easy for them. We don’t require a retainer. Credit unions use us as they need us. They could have several projects this month, and we won’t hear from them for three months. That’s fine, because it’s easy for them. We’re flexible with meetings and presentations. I’ve worked with credit unions after regular business hours, on Saturdays, on federal holidays, and I’ve facilitated a Sunday afternoon planning session. Because it was easy for them.So, here are a few questions to determine if it’s easy for members to do business with your credit union. Do you call people back in a timely manner?We moved our office last summer, and we got a new phone/internet provider. After a few bills, I realized I was paying $3.99 per month for a paper bill. I called to ask about paperless billing. I enrolled and was told I would get a monthly email with my invoice. First month, no email and no invoice, but I did get a late charge. I paid the bill, called them, and they were kind enough to waive the late charge. I explained that I never got the email, and he said he would look into it and have someone call me back in the next day or two. No one called. The next month, I proactively logged in to my account and paid my bill. Still didn’t get the email. So I called a second time, explained the situation, and I was promised that they would look into it and call me back. No one called. The third month……you guessed it. No email. I called a third time. And again, I was told they would research it and get back to me. Again, no call. In the fourth month, I realized I didn’t get an email. I called. For the FOURTH time. I shared my story about never getting the email with the monthly invoice. Jeannette was very sympathetic to my situation, apologized profusely, assured me that she personally would look into this and call me back with a resolution. When I asked for her extension, I was told she couldn’t give that to me. But she assured me that she would indeed call me back. Annnnnnnnnnd…….she never called. That’s FOUR people from one company that all said they would resolve my issue and call me back, and not one single person did. To this day (early January 2020) I have never gotten an email with the invoice, and I have never gotten a phone call from anyone.I wonder how many members are waiting for a call back from someone at their credit union. Is your staff cross-trained? I belong to a health club, and once a year they allow you to freeze your membership if you won’t be using the facility. Before the holidays, as I have in the past, I stopped in to freeze my membership. I had to complete the proverbial “Membership Freeze Form” in person. I knew from past experience that you could not do this by phone or email – you had to physically visit the facility to sign the magical “Membership Freeze Form.” So, I stopped in. And the one, single, particular, individual, solitary person in the WHOLE ENTIRE organization that could present this form to me for signature……was……at lunch. Using my best powers of persuasion, I tried to get the front desk staff to help me. I was unsuccessful. I asked if a manager was available? Nope – she, too, was at lunch. The result? I had to leave and return later. This form is literally a sheet of paper where they write the dates, and I sign it. But apparently, of the 12 or so people I actually saw on my first visit, not one of them was able (or empowered) to hand me that piece of paper and write in the dates.I wonder how many members are waiting for a simple solution from someone at their credit union. Are you available when it’s convenient for members? Years ago, I lived in southern California for a year. What always amazed me was that the salons were open on Sundays. And they were packed. Full of customers who would rather get a cut and color and mani/pedi on a Sunday afternoon. I remember talking to the owner one day and she said Sunday was their busiest day of the week, even with shorter hours. We work with a few credit unions that could benefit from some unconventional hours. We actually have a client that isn’t open on Saturday. Their one location is on the main street through town but closed on Saturday. Every year, I try to get the CEO to consider Saturday hours. Haven’t been successful, but I persist.I wonder how much loan activity would take place on a Saturday if they were open. Do your products and services meet your member needs? We worked with a credit union in need of deposits. But their minimum deposit for a Share Certificate was $1,000. We suggested reducing that to $250. Then we tiered their Certificate rates based on terms and balances. They saw an immediate increase in deposits, because the products were now more manageable for the member. It wasn’t millions of dollars, but we definitely saw an uptick in Certificate activity.I wonder how many members started saving regularly because the minimum deposit for a Share Certificate was more affordable to them. Does your location deter member usage?My best friend belongs to several credit unions. When I was writing this article, I asked if she had any thoughts. She mentioned that her credit union had a walk-up ATM, but for a long time, the parking lot lights were out, and it was very dark. So dark, in fact, that she refused to use the ATM after dusk for safety reasons. On two separate occasions, she told the Tellers about the “after hours” lighting issue outside, and they acknowledged it, but apparently, it took several months to resolve. It may not seem like a big deal, but is your physical location hindering member usage? Is your facility inviting to members? Is the sidewalk shoveled and salted? Is it in a safe part of town? Is it convenient? Do you have ample parking? Consider these issues and think if they might be a deterrent to your members?I wonder how many members avoided that ATM until the lighting issue was resolved.The end game is the member experience. It’s not about greeting the member by name or asking how their vacation was. It’s about how easy we make it to be their financial institution of choice.For more information about Jayni or how her company might help your credit union, visit their website at www.marketingsolutionsunltd.com or email her directly at [email protected] 40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jayni Sech Jayni founded Marketing Solutions Unlimited, a credit union marketing company, in 2001 to offer creative solutions to marketing challenges in the credit union industry. Her vision was to build a … Web: www.marketingsolutionsunltd.com Details
38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Victoria Weber Victoria Weber is a marketing specialist at CRMNEXT, a leading CRM solution for credit unions. She’s recognized for her proven ability to build strong relationships with customers, partners and … Details This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of of overwhelming obstacles” – SupermanThere’s nothing quite like the optimism you feel when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve – a new year, a clean slate, and in 2020, a new decade. Looking back, it seems like a lifetime ago – before we caught a glimpse of the devastating effects the Corona-villain would have on our communities, our economy, our country, and the world.Superman was right, though. Heroes are ordinary individuals who rise up in the face of unprecedented challenges. This is why we created the Right on the Money Championship.To say that we were absolutely blown away by the nearly 50 submissions was an understatement. There is an incredible amount of work that the financial services industry is doing to keep the economy afloat locally, domestically, and globally. The mainstream media isn’t really discussing the effect of these efforts, so we are stepping up to provide a channel for credit unions and community banks to be seen and heard, while also sharing best practices.Our finalists executed on initiatives, virtually overnight, serving both their communities and employees. These activities ran the gamut from providing members and employees with toilet paper to PPP loans and payment deferrals. Many institutions focused on community education around mortgage rates, wellness, and leveraging technology for personal, socially distant service.Our esteemed panel of judges, including CUInsight CEO, Lauren Culp, had their work cut out for them when picking our top three winners.Third place was awarded to Infinity Federal Credit Union. Among their achievements was their ‘We Will Rise’ community impact program, aimed at bringing joy and positivity to the community through random acts of kindness. Virtually, Infinity hosted Zoom sessions to assist members in refinancing their mortgages due to historically low interest rates. Onsite, they had curbside tellers to ensure that members were taken care of in a timely, safe manner. For employees, they instituted monthly awareness days, providing education around a variety of health causes – and themed dress-up days. Next up is our second place winner, InRoads Credit Union. Their launch of the InRoads LIVE experience, onsite and virtually, is commendable. Members are able to talk face-to-face with financial advisors at drive-thru teller machines and through their app. It is a winning combination, bringing both the human experience, and digital experience, together. They’re a smaller credit union with big credit union thinking – even emphasizing their commercial relationships with local businesses.Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for … our Grand Prize winner was State Employees Credit Union of New Mexico. COVID-19 continues to have an enormous impact on working parents, especially with most schools transitioning to remote learning. SECU is an exemplary model of an institution putting their employees first, preserving member experience along the way. Their crowning achievement was the creation of ‘learning labs’ at each of their branches, along with providing equipment and tutors for the students. This helped ease the worries of parents regarding childcare and education as well as preventing them from having to make tough choices around their careers. When the judges had the opportunity to share remarks on the winner announcement webinar, Lauren highlighted how COVID-19 had a disproportionate impact on women, as childcare falls more heavily on women in the household. Although it was not specifically highlighted as a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, the learning labs were just that. They ensured that all their employees, especially women, were able to bring their whole selves into work because they could bring their kids with them.The Right on the Money Championship hosted by CRMNEXT was designed as an annual event, and this is just the beginning of our saga. We will continue to recognize credit unions and community banks and give them a platform to tell their incredible stories. We can’t wait to see what you all accomplish next year!