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|03-30-12 CU News|
The Pulse (03-30-12)
March 30, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 13
Credit Union News
New MBL bill introduced, now is the time to show our strength
I am excited to report that the member business lending (MBL) legislation that credit unions have been pushing for six years significantly moved forward last week. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) repackaged and reintroduced the bill that would raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5 percent of assets. While this advancement is significant for the movement, our work on this legislation is only beginning.
The newly-introduced MBL legislation has a new name, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill (S. 2231), but it contains the same language as the previous bill. Thanks to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the bill was introduced under different Senate rules. Therefore, the legislation was able to bypass the committee process and has the potential to be voted on immediately.
This legislative development is very important for credit unions for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the passage of MBL legislation would open new opportunities for credit unions and enable them to provide economic relief to small businesses. More importantly, the passage of this bill would truly demonstrate the power of credit unions' grassroots network. If we are not able to pass this legislation, the strength, reputation and credibility of the movement's grassroots power will be significantly undermined.
I am asking your credit union to put 110 percent into supporting this advocacy effort. Your credit union must push this action alert to its employees and members – even if increasing member business lending capacity isn't your credit union's top priority right now. The successful passage of this MBL legislation will truly demonstrate the power of credit unions and distinguish us as a force to be respected – and even feared – on Capitol Hill. Banks are fighting against this bill, so we must fight even harder to pass it.
It is anticipated that the Senate will vote on S. 2231 when they return from the Easter recess in mid-April. Between now and the vote, our state's credit unions need to kick their advocacy efforts into high gear. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) currently is a co-sponsor of the bill, and we are asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to do the same. Every credit union employee and all board members must respond to the GREAT action alert on the MBL legislation. Even if you've already contacted Minnesota's senators, do so again! In addition we are asking individuals to sign an online petition coordinated by Sen. Udall that voices their support of the member business lending legislation.
Now is the time for Minnesota credit unions to show Congress what they are capable of. Let's make an impact on Capitol Hill!
Mark D. Cummins
Credit union professionals and volunteers unable to attend the MnCUN Annual Meeting in person are invited to be virtual participants of the Business Meeting. To be held Friday, April 13, from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m., this meeting reflects the achievements of 2011 and discusses the initiatives for the upcoming year.
Credit unions are encouraged to take advantage of this free video stream technology by coordinating a full staff meeting centered on this live event. During the Business Meeting, participants will discover ways they can be involved in the Network's activities and learn about current initiatives. The meeting will also feature CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney, MnCUN Board Chairman Kyle Markland, and MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. In addition, it will reveal the results of the MnCUN Board of Director elections and feature reports from various committees and organizations.
Attend the MnCUN Business Meeting via live video stream and be part of this important event! To register to be a virtual participant, visit the Annual Meeting section of the Network website.
Credit union professionals with an interest in credit union financials are invited to attend the Network's Financial Principles & Business Planning School (formerly known as Financial Management School). This session blends theory with practical application to provide professionals with a thorough understanding of the fiscal aspects of the credit union.
This training will develop a foundation of the basic financial principles and guide attendees on how to take that knowledge to the next level. Using their own credit union's financials, attendees will calculate, examine and discuss key ratios. The ratios will then serve as a basis for an analysis on the strategic issues and financial challenges facing their credit unions today and into the future.
Register today for this informative school. More information, reviews from previous attendees and online registration are available on the Financial Principles & Business Planning School page of the Network website. Registrations received by Thursday, April 26, will receive $50 off the registration price.
MnCUN Board Chairman and Affinity Plus President & CEO Kyle Markland was honored last week with the Credit Union Times Trailblazers CEO of the Year Award. This award recognizes credit union leaders who have made a significant impact on the industry.
Markland has worked in the credit union movement for more than 30 years, serving for the past 15 years as Affinity Plus FCU's President & CEO. At Affinity Plus FCU, Markland has grown the credit union from $357 million to more than $2.8 billion in assets and doubled the number of members. He has also served on a number of boards and committees for Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union, CUNA, Member Gateways, and the Filene Research Institute.
"Kyle is an astute, business-savvy individual who has a passion for serving members and strengthening the credit union movement.” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. "Through his leadership, he has made a positive, lasting impact on his credit union and the industry as a whole. He is more than deserving of this prestigious award, and I offer him my congratulations.”