July 20, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 29
View 07-20-12 issue of The Pulse
Credit Union News
Fall Conference offers discounts for small credit unions
Does your credit union have less than $25 million in assets? If so, you are invited to attend Fall Conference at a discounted price by taking advantage of MnCUN's Small Credit Union Discount and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Grant.
With MnCUN's Small Credit Union Discount, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets can send one registrant at half price for every full price individual who registers for the conference. In addition, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets and less than $35,000 in net income in 2011 may qualify for additional assistance from the Foundation. Small credit unions are eligible to receive up to $500 in Foundation grants each year.
Take advantage of these discounts and join the Network for its Fall Conference. This year's event will feature sessions on the economic outlook, risk management, non-interest revenue, board performance, responsibilities of the supervisory committee and succession plans. In addition, attendees will have several opportunities for networking and recreation.
For more information, a printable brochure and online registration, visit the Fall Conference page of the Network website. When registering, be sure to check the small credit union discount box.
Credit card interchange settlement could impact CUs
Credit unions around the nation could lose a total of $50 million in credit card interchange fees due to a mandate determined during an historic lawsuit settlement between merchants and credit card companies.
On July 13, Visa, MasterCard and several large banks agreed to pay billions to merchants to settle a long-standing credit card interchange fee class action lawsuit. Specifically, a $6.05 billion fund (a record amount for a class action settlement) has been created to repay retailers for past fees charged. In addition, the settlement requires a temporary reduction in credit card interchange rate fees of 10 basis points for an eight-month period, likely beginning in mid-2013. This rate reduction applies to all card issuers, including credit unions. The agreement between the parties also permits retailers to assess "check out" fees or surcharges on credit card purchases, which has previously been prohibited by Visa and MasterCard rules.
While credit unions were not directly involved in this class action lawsuit, they and their members will experience the ramifications of the decision. This lawsuit aimed at lowering consumer prices will likely not benefit individuals and only strengthen retailers' bottom line. However, the settlement does help prevent retailers from bringing this issue to Congress, as the courts have addressed and found a solution to the debate of credit card interchange fees.
Strategic Planning School scheduled for Sept. 24-26
A credit union's strategic plan is its map of future goals, initiatives and opportunities. During MnCUN's Building Relevancy through Strategic Planning School, professionals will gain insight into how to develop and implement a strategic plan for their credit union.
Set for Sept. 24-26 at the Network office, this school will feature credit union expert Jim Aho providing attendees a new perspective on strategic planning. Attendees will examine the need for a vision statement and member promise and discuss ways to put new life into uninspiring visions. The school will also discuss membership goals, growth charts, loan relationships, member loyalty and more. Geared toward those who directly or indirectly work to strengthen the credit union's bottom line, this training investigates how to apply the fiscal aspects of the credit union to the organization's overall mission and purpose.
Register today for this informative school. For more information, reviews from previous attendees and online registration, visit the Building Relevancy through Strategic Planning School page of the Network website. Those who register by Thursday, Aug. 30 will receive $50 off their registration price!
MnCUN's international partnership supports
Paraguay's initiative to build new regulatory framework
Thanks, in part, to the Network's international partnership with Central de Cooperativas del Área Nacional Ltda. (CENCOPAN), the government of Paraguay is moving forward on an initiative to update the country's cooperative law and overall legal framework. Officials have selected the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to assist them in this effort. WOCCU will work with the Instituto Nacional de Cooperativismo (INCOOP), Paraguay's regulator for cooperatives, over a five-month period to design a framework that will further protect credit union member savings and allow credit unions to better compete with other financial institutions.
Since 2004, the Network has participated in an international exchange with CENCOPAN that facilitates the exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between the two countries. Through exchange programs in Minnesota and Paraguay, the partnership has provided Paraguayan credit unions insight into industry technology, legislative efforts and regulations. The insight CENCOPAN received from conversations with MnCUN, NCUA and the Minnesota Department of Commerce has played a role in advancing their current initiative.
Established in 1994, Paraguay's cooperative law currently governs all cooperatives, regardless of their primary purpose. WOCCU will thoroughly review the 18-year-old law and INCOOP's application of it as it relates to the activity, management and operation of cooperatives. WOCCU will also draw from its credit union publications, including Model Law for Credit Unions, which provides a sample legislative framework; Guide to International Credit Union Legislation, a compendium of credit union legislative and regulatory summaries for more than 100 countries and political provinces; and Model Regulations for Credit Unions, a matrix of regulations from 18 credit union sectors worldwide.
To learn more about Minnesota's partnership with Paraguay, visit the CENCOPAN page of the Network website.
NCUF releases free resource guide
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) through its REAL Solutions program has issued a resource guide for its free online report entitled "Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation," which was released earlier this year. The new resource guide is designed to provide credit unions and others interested in financial education access to resources, information and curriculum focused on financial literacy programs.
The report and guide are the result of a nearly yearlong data collection effort by NCUF and state credit union leagues to illustrate how the credit union movement is making a difference through financial education and counseling. Released in early 2012, NCUF's initial report quantifies the depth and breadth of opportunities credit unions offer members/consumers to help them gain financial decision-making skills. The newest report builds off this publication and provides examples and additional information for each method of financial counseling/education. It also features tips to help credit unions expand their current education programs or introduce new ones.
To download the guide and the full report at no cost, visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website.