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CU News (04-13-12)









The Pulse (04-13-12)

April 13, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 15

View 04-13-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


MnCUN launches consumer awareness campaign

This week the Network launched the first component of its consumer awareness campaign. Centered on increasing consumers' awareness of credit unions, this campaign uses online channels to engage people in conversations about their financial stresses or discontent.

To effectively communicate these feelings of financial frustration, MnCUN has coined and trademarked a new word – Bankziety. This word is the foundation of the campaign and gets people thinking about credit unions as a smarter financial alternative in a fun, compelling and engaging way. The Bankziety campaign is geared toward consumers age 21-35 and uses a variety of online channels.

This week MnCUN launched the Bankziety website, which is housed at www.SeeYouLaterBank.com. This site will be the "home base” of the campaign and will house the majority of the campaign's elements. The site encourages consumers to join the conversation about what makes them wary of their current banking relationship. The site features information about the credit union difference, tools and information on money management, and articles about financial issues facing Generation Y. The site also includes a national credit union locator that uses the search engine database from aSmarterChoice.org.

Credit unions are encouraged to check out the site and promote it to their members. While the campaign is primarily geared toward non-members, current members can help in spreading the word to their family and friends. To assist you in telling your members about the Bankziety campaign, the Network has developed a sample newsletter article and sample website text. These downloadable materials, along with additional information about the campaign, can be found on the Bankziety page of the Network website. Support this statewide campaign and join us in presenting credit unions as the cure to Bankziety!


Minnesota partnership demonstrates commitment to financial literacy

Understanding the importance of teaching members financial literacy skills, the MnCUN's Network Service Corporation recently announced its new partnership with Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling Service (LSS). Through this new relationship, Minnesota credit unions can offer members facing financial difficulties immediate access to trusted, high-quality financial counseling.

LSS financial counselors are certified in both credit and housing counseling and specialize in helping individuals avoid bankruptcy, foreclosure and debt settlement scams. Through LSS, credit unions can offer members education on how to develop positive money management skills, guidance on reading a credit report, budget and debt counseling, debt management planning, and foreclosure prevention counseling. LSS's customized financial wellness plans meet the unique needs of each credit union's field of membership and distinguish the credit union as a trusted financial partner.

The services offered by LSS help to ensure that members choose reputable help, which minimizes write-offs and bankruptcy losses and fosters member loyalty. By offering financial information and resources, credit unions distinguish themselves as financial institutions dedicated to helping members meet and surpass their financial goals.

"The services offered through LSS help to further differentiate credit unions as the smarter financial alternative,” said MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl. "LSS has combined social responsibility with the need to minimize losses in order to develop financial services that are mutually beneficial for both credit unions and members. We are excited about this new partnership and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on Minnesota.”

For more information and to see how your credit union and its members could benefit from this service, visit the Lutheran Social Services page of the Network website. With questions contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.


New investment option available through Minnesota CU Foundation, Alloya Corporate

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is pleased to announce that capitalized members of Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union now have a new Community Investment Fund (CIF) option that supports credit unions and communities throughout Minnesota. This investment vehicle is made possible by a partnership between the Foundation, Alloya Corporate and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).

This new CIF option will provide a unique vehicle to support financial education, professional development, community outreach and emergency assistance, not only in Minnesota, but across the country as well.

"The new Community Investment Fund will provide credit unions a source of support that truly reflects the cooperative movement,” said Alloya CEO Charles Furbee. "This program provides real value for credit unions. Their investment dollars will work to support innovative credit union programs that strengthen education efforts and provide a safety net if an unexpected crisis occurs. I would encourage every credit union to look at participating in this program.”

How does this new CIF work?

  • A low minimum of $1,000 is needed to participate.
  • Credit unions choose the CIF investment amount and term (six-month, 12-month, 18-month, two-year or three-year).
  • Typically, credit unions receive 50 percent of the investment earnings and the remaining 50 percent is split evenly between the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation and the NCUF.
  • Through Premier View, Alloya's online account management system, participating credit unions can securely view their monthly interest payments.

Credit unions that are interested in adding a CIF investment for their portfolios can visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website for additional information. To check rates, purchase a CIF investment or obtain additional details, contact a Balance Sheet Solutions Account Executive at (800) 342-4328 or mgmtmemsvcs@alloyacorp.org.


Jump$tart Coalition to host seminar on financial literacy

In honor of financial literacy month, the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition is hosting an afternoon seminar entitled "Partnerships to Pay it Forward: Working Together to Empower Minnesotans for a Strong Financial Future.” The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, from 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. The afternoon opportunity will offer a keynote speaker, educational tradeshow and networking opportunities.

Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman will keynote the seminar and discuss the governor's new Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy. Commissioner Rothman will address the need for non-profits, financial institutions, educators and local governments to work together to make Minnesota a nation-leading force in financial literacy.

The afternoon will also include an educational tradeshow, featuring organizations that offer a variety of resources focused on financial literacy and personal finance.

The Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition invites all individuals and organizations interested in financial education to attending this educational networking event. Admission is free; however attendees must pre-register by Wednesday, April 18. For additional information and to register, visit the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition website.


CUNA committee releases board succession planning paper

A new white paper from the Credit Union National Association reveals that most credit unions do not have a reliable system for attracting the next generation of board members. CUNA's paper, "Effective Credit Union Board Succession Planning," examines the demographics of community credit union board members, the issues that arise from the findings, and strategies for successful board succession and retention.

Commissioned by CUNA's Community Credit Union Committee, the white paper evaluates the changing demographics of community credit union board members and notes that many boards struggle to reflect the growing diversity of their members, with women and minorities being underrepresented. Through credit union case studies and a list of expert recommendations, the paper shows how successful board succession planning looks in the real world, discusses what credit unions can do to reverse certain negative trends, and provides instructions for how credit unions can prepare for the future.

To view the full free white paper, visit the Credit Union National Association website.