Credit Union News
The Pulse is moving!
Starting March 6, the Network's Pulse newsletter will be published on Wednesdays. While the delivery date is changing, the Network's dedication to delivering relevant and up-to-date news to credit unions through The Pulse will remain the same.
Watch your inboxes on Wednesday, March 6 for the next issue!
Postal CU teams with marketing students to open in-school branch
With help from a group of tenacious high school students and their marketing teacher, Postal Credit Union has achieved its longtime goal of opening an in-school credit union branch.
The Woodbury-based credit union celebrated the grand opening of its student-run office on Feb. 20 at Tartan High School in Oakdale. This in-school branch highlights the credit union's mission of providing avenues for financial education and giving students tools to prepare for life after high school.
Postal Credit Union President Brian Sherrick speaks to the crowd during the grand opening of the credit union's student-run branch Feb. 20 at Tartan High School.
"PCU is proud to partner with Tartan High School on this endeavor that will benefit everyone – students, teachers, and even parents,” said Postal Credit Union President Brian Sherrick. "We have always been a strong supporter of financial literacy and giving back to the community. Implementing a student-operated credit union is the perfect way to merge those two goals into one product that is representative of what we stand for as a financial institution.”
The two high school juniors and a senior who helped get the student credit union off the ground, and who are responsible for the branch's day-to-day operations, are part of Tartan's DECA program, a high school marketing and business group. All three said they welcome the opportunity to learn more about how a financial institution operates and to help educate their peers on the importance of saving, budgeting and developing a strong credit history.
"Being able to combine work and school, and working with friends, has been remarkable,” said student worker Marc Buchmayer. "It's great to be able to teach other students that financial literacy is important. Learning about how to save is important, especially with going to college.”
The student workers' marketing teacher and DECA adviser, Craig Spreiter, is a Postal Credit Union member and has a longtime partnership with the credit union in bringing financial education opportunities to Tartan High School. He said the new in-school credit union branch, and accompanying ATM, are great ways for the students to get firsthand experience of what money is all about.
"We try to do a lot to prepare students for life beyond high school. This student branch will help us teach them how to use an ATM and use a debit card, without overdraft fees. We can teach them that saving money can be just as fun as spending money.”
Two products the credit union has developed for students to help them begin to learn about finances and develop good credit is a Student Savers CD and a Credit Builder Loan. The Savers CD pays an above-market rate of 2 percent and matures on the member's 18th birthday. The Credit Builder Loan is given in amounts up to $2,500 and placed on hold in the student's savings account until the loan is paid in full.
FIC launches YouTube contest
The Family Involvement Council (FIC) is providing credit union members the chance to show off their creativity through a video contest. This competitive program enables members to share their insight with credit unions and brings awareness to the committee's YouTube channel.
To participate in the contest, Minnesota credit union members must submit a one-minute video answering the following question: "How can your credit union use social media for you?” Applicants are encouraged to use creativity and have fun with the contest. The videos submitted to the FIC's YouTube channel will be shared with credit unions and used to help them gather new social media ideas.
To be eligible, applicants must be a member of a credit union headquartered in Minnesota that is affiliated with the Minnesota Credit Union Network. The applicant must be a credit union member in good standing (as determined by their credit union). The contest's grand-prize winner will receive $100 and two runners-up will be awarded $50 each.
For details about the video contest and how members can enter, visit the Family Involvement Council website. Videos must be submitted by Friday, March 29.
Honor noteworthy staff members, volunteers with Foundation's CU Builder award
As credit unions across the state are in the thick of annual meeting season, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation offers a way to recognize significant contributions made by longtime employees or volunteers. The Credit Union Builder award is a recognition program that allows credit unions to pay tribute to an individual who has been instrumental in their success. Contributions are typically made at a special time of significance – i.e. upon retirement or upon the individual's passing – to celebrate their value to your credit union and the greater credit union community.
The name of the recipient and the donating credit union will be permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby as a tribute to those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement.
The honorees (or their families, in the case of a memoriam contribution) receive acknowledgement from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report. A minimum $1,000 contribution is required for the Credit Union Builder Award. The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For tax purposes, contributions may be tax-deductible.
Visit the Credit Union Builder page of the Foundation website to for additional information and to see the 14 people who have already been honored with this distinction. Contributions can be made online or using the printable form. Proclaim a staff member, CEO or volunteer as a Credit Union Builder today!
Feeling overburdened by compliance regulations? Turn to MnCUN
Over the past month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released approximately 3,500 pages of information on regulations that financial institutions must follow. With the ever-increasing compliance requirements, many credit unions need assistance. To help credit unions tackle these compliance challenges, MnCUN has developed its Compliance & Audit Services Program. Through this program, your credit union has the opportunity to work with MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Lewis, who will help you fulfill your compliance obligations.
Lewis is a credit union expert who has 25 years of hands-on financial institution experience and fully understands the intricacies of credit union operations. Her areas of expertise include risk management, internal audit, training, compliance and operations. Lewis has been a certified compliance officer since 1997 and has been designated a Certified Financial Services Auditor since 1998.
Through Lewis' expertise, MnCUN is able to offer credit unions services on a variety of compliance topics, some of which include:
- Bank Secrecy Act;
- Compliance Training;
- Consumer Lending;
- Credit/Debit Card Administration;
- Deposit Products/Overdraft Protection Programs;
- FACT Act;
- Real Estate Lending;
- Reconciliations/Accounts Payable/Expense Reports;
- SAFE Act;
- Vendor Management; and
Through the Compliance Services Program, your credit union can take advantage of two outsourcing options.
- Ongoing Assistance: The first option allows credit unions to contract for ongoing assistance in managing their internal compliance programs. Through this option, Lewis works onsite at the credit union for a specific number of hours on a quarterly basis.
- One-Time Assistance: The second option focuses on providing credit unions assistance in completing specific compliance tasks.
The Compliance & Audit Services Program is a cost-effective way for credit unions to gain in-house compliance expertise. To learn more about the program and compliance services available, contact MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Armstrong Lewis by email or at (651) 288-5509.
Credit union notes...
· MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson’s last day with the Network will be Friday, March 1. During her five-year tenure with the Network, Anderson helped to further MnCUN’s public relations, social media, internal communications and website initiatives. As the Network seeks Anderson’s replacement, please direct communications matters to MnCUN Communications Specialist Kelli Sandhurst by email or at (651) 288-5503.
Network seeks grassroots coordinators to enhance advocacy efforts