February 11, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 03 Archived Issues
MnCUN announces restructure
The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) announced today an internal reorganization in an effort to better serve its member credit unions as a more focused, strategic trade association. The most significant change comes in the separation of the Network’s not-for-profit and for-profit operations, allowing individual focus on both important areas. In addition, governmental affairs continues to be one of MnCUN’s core functions.
On the new executive team, Vice President – Communications Kristina Wright has been named the Vice President – Association Services, and John Ferstl will join MnCUN as the Vice President – Network Service Corporation. Mara Humphrey will continue her leadership as the Vice President – Governmental Affairs.
Since 2000 Wright has led MnCUN’s communications department, focused on writing, public relations and media relations. Ferstl brings a wealth of financial and leadership experience to the new NSC position, including nine years with a metro area credit union where he directed sales and consumer lending. Humphrey joined MnCUN as its chief lobbyist in 2006.
"It is an exciting time for credit unions, and this new internal structure will allow your Network staff to contribute more resources to areas of major importance, including governmental affairs and public relations,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. "In addition, we look forward to strengthening the Network Service Corporation to offer additional value and increased products and services to credit unions.”
MnCUN’s restructuring has also resulted in the elimination of two positions. The Vice President – Communications position previously held by Wright will not be filled. In addition, Vice President – Education & Credit Union Development Neil Christy will depart the Network. Christy spent much of his career with MnCUN (and the former Minnesota Association of Credit Unions), overseeing the education department and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. His last day will be Friday, Feb. 11, and the Network wishes Christy the best in his future endeavors.
Network hires new compliance officer
The Minnesota Credit Union Network welcomed its newest staff member on Feb. 7. John Teske is the Network’s Associate General Counsel.
He most recently worked as a Compliance Attorney at U.S. Bank in Minneapolis where he researched regulatory issues, tracked and monitored regulatory changes and developments, and communicated compliance solutions to the bank’s business lines. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Cloud State University and earned his law degree from Loyola Marymount University in California.
Teske assumes the position that was previously held by John Wendland. Wendland was promoted to General Counsel last fall.
Minnesota officials recognize importance of CUs at annual advocacy event
Praising credit unions for being part of the economic solution, Minnesota officials acknowledged the movement's efforts to help consumers during speeches at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN's) Credit Union Day at the Capitol on Feb. 3. The event, which welcomed more than 150 credit union professionals and volunteers, reminded veteran and freshmen elected officials that Minnesota credit unions are local and trusted financial institutions.
This year's advocacy event focused on establishing relationships with the state’s 60 newly-elected officials and nurturing connections with the legislature's new Republican majority. It featured political insight from several Minnesota legislators, including Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove), House Commerce & Regulatory Reform Committee Chair Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska), and freshman Sen. Theodore J. Daley (R-Eagan).
Keynoting the event was Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, who was recently appointed to the position. Rothman outlined the Department of Commerce's current priorities and stressed credit union's role in helping the agency meet these initiatives.
"Credit unions are critical to the economy. Your success is the success of our families, small businesses, and the local economy," Rothman said.
Echoing these sentiments, Speaker Zellers applauded credit unions for the financial assistance they provide to their members.
"Your work with small businesses and consumers helps them to make good financial decisions," Zellers said. This assistance forms a solid fiscal foundation that leads to the development of innovative products that move the state forward, he added.
With the theme "Local and Trusted," this year's Credit Union Day at the Capitol reminded elected officials that credit unions are locally-based financial institutions dedicated to meeting the needs of their members and communities. Throughout the day, professionals and volunteers met with their elected officials to discuss how credit unions help Minnesota consumers improve their financial health and well-being.
"Today's legislators are looking to community leaders to do their part to help improve the state's economy," said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "Credit Union Day at the Capitol gave credit unions the opportunity to share with legislators how they are using innovative products and services to meet their members' needs and help move the state forward."
Network provides industry overviews to state officials
In early February, the Network attended two meetings with state government officials to deepen their knowledge of the credit union movement. MnCUN staff recently met with newly-appointed Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and members of State Senate Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee to discuss the issues currently facing Minnesota credit unions.
On Feb. 8, MnCUN’s President & CEO Mark D. Cummins, Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey, and General Counsel John Wendland held an introductory meeting with Commissioner Rothman. During the visit, Network staff discussed the importance of having a strong state credit union charter and the benefits this charter option offers to Minnesota credit unions. They also outlined the issues credit unions are monitoring at the federal level, including member business lending, supplemental capital, and the Federal Reserve’s proposed change to debit card interchange fees.
On Feb. 2, Cummins and Humphrey spoke at an informational hearing for the State Senate Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee. During the meeting, they overviewed the credit union difference, regulatory structure and current economic trends. The duo also talked about the National Credit Union Administration and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Zeroing in on the audience, Network staff spoke about a number of specific state issues, future challenges for the industry, and the current regulatory environment.
"The future success and viability of the credit union movement is very much in the hands of government officials,” Cummins said. "The more education, information and feedback we can provide to state leaders,
the more impact we can have in the long-term.”
NCUA to host free small credit union workshop
To help small credit unions work through current challenges and opportunities, the NCUA will host a free workshopon May 12 at the Marriott Hotel in Bloomington. This event will provide tools and information to help credit unions tackle current issues facing the movement.
Geared toward professionals and volunteers of small credit unions, this workshop will discuss examination issues, payment system service provider due diligence, financial literacy, the NCUA consumer protection office and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend a session that fulfills the key requirements of the new director financial literacy rule. Upon completion of the session, participants will receive a certificate of attendance.
NCUA is offering travel reimbursements for eligible credit unions attending the workshop. To qualify, credit unions must meet one of the following requirements: be under $10 million in assets, have been chartered for less than 10 years, or have a low-income designation. Credit unions may apply for the travel reimbursement when they register for the workshop.
For more information and to register for the workshop, visit the Event Calendarpage of the Network web site. Registration is available on a first-come basis.
National mortgage loan originator registry now available
Credit unions can now access the upgraded Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry that enables financial institutions to register their mortgage loan originators (MLO) online. The Secure & Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) requires credit union MLOs and their employing institutions to register with the NMLS. MLOs will have until July 29 to complete the initial round of NMLS registrations.
The SAFE Act requires credit unions to ensure that their MLO are properly registered and to prohibit any employees who are not registered from performing any residential mortgage loan origination duties. Residential mortgage loans, including home equity loans, are covered by the regulation’s registration rules. However, MLOs that have originated five or fewer mortgage loans during the previous year are not required to complete the federal registration process.
The NMLS Resource Center is holding a series of workshops to assist financial institutions in complying with the SAFE Act. For more information about the workshops and to register, visit the NMLS Resource Centerweb site. With questions about the SAFE Act, contact MnCUN General Counsel John Wendland by e-mail or at (651) 288-5519.
Professional and Volunteer nominations due next week
Credit unions have one week to submit nominations for MnCUN’s Outstanding Professional or Volunteer of the Year Awards. Presented at the Network Annual Meeting, these awards recognize those who have made a difference in the credit union movement.
The Professional of the Year is awarded to an individual who lives out the ideals of the movement, not only at their credit union but also in the community. The Volunteer of the Year recognizes someone who has selflessly donated time and resources to further the development of the credit union movement.
Nominations for both awards must be sent to the Network office by Friday, Feb. 18. Complete information and nomination forms can be found on the Professional and Volunteer Awardspage of the Network web site.
Join the state of Minnesota in preventing fraud
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is urging credit unions to join it in identifying and combating fraud in Minnesota. By reporting scams they or their members encounter, credit unions can play a vital role in helping the agency put an end to these crimes.
Each year Minnesotans lose at least $8 million due to lottery and sweepstakes scams. In most cases a potential victim is asked to send money to claim a prize or be entered into a drawing. The most common types of scams include foreign lottery schemes, travel offers, advance fee loans, phone prize promotions, and unnecessary credit card or mortgage "protection.”
If a credit union encounters these or any other types of scams, they should report them to the Department of Public Safety using one of the three methods below.
1. Call (866) 347-0911 and leave a message with your name, number, and a description of the type of fraud.
2. Visit www.mnscams.org and fill out the fraud complaint form.
3. Forward scammer e-mails the credit union or members receive to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credits unions should report the fraud anytime they see or hear of a scam. By working together with law enforcement officials, credit unions can help minimize the amount of money members lose to scammers. With questions about scams, call (866) 347-0911 or visit the Minnesota Scamsweb site.
Credit union notes…
- Lake State Federal Credit Union welcomed Tim Smith as its new President/CEO on Jan. 31. Smith has more than 30 years of financial services industry experience and most recently worked as the Senior Vice President of Lending with the National Bank of Commerce in Wisconsin.
Meet your members' travel needs with CU Money
As your members travel this winter to escape Minnesota’s cold weather, equip them with the tools to keep their money safe. With the prepaid Visa TravelMoney debit card, your members can securely spend their money – and earn your credit union additional income.
TravelMoney works just like any ATM/debit card, with one distinct difference – it is pre-loaded with value before members travel. TravelMoney cards are accepted anywhere the Visa logo is displayed, including in-store, online and by the phone. If members become short on funds while traveling, the cards are easily reloadable. Also, unlike cash, if a lost or stolen TravelMoney card is reported to the credit union, the remaining unused balance can be transferred to a new card.
In addition, TravelMoney debit cards provide credit unions the opportunity to earn additional revenue. Credit unions receive a retail fee for each card issued, along with ongoing revenue for each active card. In addition, offering this product provides a competitive advantage and cross-selling opportunities. This turnkey program makes activation and administration simple and convenient.
Explore the benefits TravelMoney has to offer your credit union and its members. For more information about this or other products offered by ICUL Card Services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Protect your credit union with fraud detection and compliance software
Is your credit union protected from potential fraud? With Verafin, a CUNA Strategic Servicespartner, your credit union will have access to the leading Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance and fraud detection software. Plus these products are available at a 10 percent discount offered through CUNA Strategic Services.
Verafin’s compliance and fraud solutions combine four main elements to create the most comprehensive solution in the marketplace:
- BSA/AML Compliance – Provides automated Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR) and Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) as well as automated BSA record keeping
- Fraud Detection – Detects fraudulent activity (debit, check and account fraud) and reduces losses
- FACTA Red Flags – Facilitates creation of red flags and configuration by type, assigns investigation/expiration to flagged accounts, verifies SSN, checks against internal watch lists, and mines for suspicious personal ID information
- Watch List & 314(a) Checking – Checks people, vendors and businesses against the OFAC SDN list; performs 314(a) searches; checks incoming and outgoing wires and flags positive matches; alerts compliance officer; accommodates fraud lists and internal watch lists; and maintains exemption lists
Protect your credit union today and take advantage of the compliance and fraud detection solutions offered by Verafin. For more information about the products and services offered by Verafin, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out the roundtables, telecourses, and webcasts available in February. To register for these and other events, visit the online Event Calendar.
- Feb. 15 (2 p.m.): Webinar – What Directors Should Know
- Feb. 16 (2 p.m.): CUNA Mutual Webinar – ATM Fraud: A Growing Threat
- Feb. 16 (2 p.m.): Webinar – BSA Training for Frontline Staff
- Feb. 17 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Disaster Recovery
- Feb. 17 (1 p.m.): NCUA Virtual Town Hall Meeting
- Feb. 17 (2 p.m.): Webinar – SAFE Mortgage Act Registration & Compliance
- Feb. 23 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Dormant Accounts & Unclaimed Property Issues
- Feb. 24 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Mentoring Tips & Tactics
- Feb. 27: CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference
- March 2 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Regulation Z
- March 2 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Death of a Member
- March 3 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Ratios, Concentrations & Investment Valuations