June 29, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 26
View 06-29-12 issue of The Pulse
Credit Union News
Promote your CU as the better banking alternative
Consumers nationwide are continuing to express their desire for a more affordable and personal banking experience as many prominent banks continue to raise fees on popular products. Recently, banking giant Wells Fargo added a $2 monthly fee to one of its checking account options, increasing the total monthly fee to $7. This presents Minnesota credit unions with yet another opportunity to promote their mission to be consumers' premiere financial alternative by offering fairly-priced products and services and unmatched customer service.
Now is the time to tell consumers that credit unions are the better banking choice! The Network has created a Credit Union Alternative web page to help your credit union promote the advantages of making the switch. This page includes a sample press release that highlights rising banking costs and the value of belonging to a credit union. This release can be personalized with your credit union's information and may be distributed to local media outlets.
With questions, please contact MnCUN Communications Specialist Kelli Baxter by email or call (651) 288-5503.
Applications available for state lending programs
The Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) is reminding credit unions that they have the opportunity to participate in several Minnesota State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) programs. These programs aim to stimulate private-sector lending, and DEED is accepting applications from lenders that would like to take advantage of these funds.
These federally-funded programs will provide funding and guarantees to lenders that offer financing to eligible small businesses. The initiative allocates up to $15.4 million into four state programs:
- The Capital Access Program;
- Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund;
- Small Business Loan Guarantees; and
- Early Stage Fund.
Over the past year, the Minnesota Credit Union Network has been working together with DEED to promote the availability of these programs. In October of last year, the Network held a Small Business Lending Seminar that educated credit unions about these lending programs. An archive of the webinar is available on the Small Business Lending page of the Network website.
To download a program application, visit the DEED website. With questions, contact Bart Bevins by email or at (651) 259-7424.
CUNA committee releases board succession planning paper
A free white paper from CUNA reveals that most credit unions do not have a reliable system for attracting the next generation of board members. The paper, "Effective Credit Union Board Succession Planning," was commissioned by CUNA's Community Credit Union Committee and examines the demographics of community credit union board members, the issues that arise from the findings and strategies for successful board succession and retention.
The research on credit union boards 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. Specific topics covered in the paper include:
- Creation of an associate director program;
- (Re)consideration of term limits;
- Development of an "evergreen" list; and
- Continuing education requirements.
To download the free research paper, visit the Credit Union National Association website.
NCUA releases economic update focused on future of CUs, corporates
As part of its monthly video series, NCUA recently released its June economic update. This video is the latest in a series of YouTube videos that inform the public and credit unions about general economic and credit union specific developments.
This month's video examines how economic trends are likely to affect credit unions and provides an update about the status of the corporate credit union system. It features NCUA Chief Economist John Worth, who reviews recent economic indicators and events. The video also explains what these developments might mean for credit unions, including the effects of changes in housing markets, employment rates, new construction starts and consumer purchases.
The June economic update video also features a 10-minute interview with David Shetler, the Deputy Director in NCUA's Office of Corporate Credit Unions. The conversation highlights recent developments in the corporate credit union sector, provides a general outlook about where the sector is headed and explains what these developments will mean for consumer credit unions.
To view the June economic update and others in the monthly series, visit the NCUA's official YouTube channel.