April 22, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 08 Archived Issues
Network launches member interchange campaign
Launching the next phase of the interchange battle, MnCUN has equipped credit unions with materials to engage members in this important legislative fight. Members across the country are joining credit union professionals, volunteers and supporters in the grassroots effort to delay the implementation of the federal interchange rule, which has the potential to drastically reduce credit unions’ interchange income.
To assist credit unions in involving members in this advocacy campaign, MnCUN has assembled a variety of downloadable materials, including:
- Sample message to members: This sample text informs members about the impact of the interchange issue and encourages them to join their credit union in taking action.
- Web stickers: Place web stickers on your credit union’s home page and link them to the Interchange Call to Action page of the Network website;
- Teller Cards: The Network and CUNA have developed cards to hand out at the teller line that encourage members to participate in the Call on Congress. Credit unions can download and print the cards themselves, or they can order printed cards from MnCUN.
- Sample Teller Letter: Download a sample letter that explains to frontline staff the interchange initiative and the teller cards.
Join credit unions around the state and nation in fighting this important battle. Visit the Interchange Resources page of the Network website to download the available resources and use them to engage members in this fight. In order to fight drastic reductions in interchange fees, credit unions must give 110 percent to this grassroots advocacy campaign. With questions about the interchange initiative, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey by email or at (651) 288-5523.
MnCUN Annual Meeting features Commissioner, elects directors
The Minnesota Credit Union Network held its Annual Meeting & Convention on April 8-9 at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington. More than 460 credit union professionals and volunteers were in attendance, representing 75 credit unions. Additionally, the meeting welcomed more than 140 individuals from 50 service organizations.
One of the meeting’s featured guest speakers was Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman who stressed the importance of maintaining strong relationships between credit unions and the state’s regulatory agency. He commended credit unions for the value they bring to Minnesota consumers and encouraged them to continue their exemplary service.
"On behalf of the Governor and the Department of Commerce, thank you for the quality, professional service you provide to the people of Minnesota,” Commissioner Rothman said. "Value is important to the state, and you bring that virtue to communities through what you do every day.”
Commissioner Rothman also announced his financial literacy roundtable initiative, which includes more than 40 business leaders, nonprofits, legislators and government representatives. This group of leaders examines current financial literacy initiatives and facilitates new ideas and collaboration in this important area. He encouraged credit unions to continue their efforts to teach members and communities the important principles of financial literacy.
Also at MnCUN’s annual business meeting, three incumbent and two new representatives were elected to three-year terms on the MnCUN Board of Directors:
- Daniel Stoltz of SPIRE Federal Credit Union in Falcon Heights was elected to represent credit unions in Minnesota’s seven-county metro area.
- Tammy Heikkinen of Members Cooperative Credit Union in Cloquet was reelected and will continue to represent credit unions outside of Minnesota’s seven-county metro area.
- Paul Knorr of Accentra Credit Union in Austin was elected to represent credit unions outside of Minnesota’s seven-county metro area.
- Karen Fleming of HBI Employees Credit Union in St. Paul was reelected and will continue to represent credit unions with 2,000 or fewer members.
- Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul was reelected and will continue to represent credit unions with more than 10,000 members.
MnCUN also reelected its table officers for 2011:
- Chairman Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul;
- Vice Chairman Patrick Pierce of City & County Credit Union in St. Paul; and
- Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Albrecht of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union in Brainerd.
In addition to Board elections and the MnCUN business meeting, the conference was filled with many other activities. Nearly 15 educational workshops were held throughout the two days, as well as a tradeshow, receptions and fundraisers. For a full recap of the conference and to download presentations from the weekend, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website.
MnCUN membership votes in favor of bylaw amendment
Credit unions that are members of the Minnesota Credit Union Network voted in favor of a bylaw amendment that modified the qualification requirement for an individual to be elected to the Network Board of Directors. Individuals are now required to be a director or Chief Executive Officer (which includes the positions of president, manager or treasurer/manager) of a Network member credit union in good standing.
Going forward individuals must meet these requirements to run for a position on the MnCUN Board of Directors. The amendment passed on a 76-11.
Foundation grant funds partnership with University of Minnesota Extension
In an effort to improve the financial management skills of Minnesota youth, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MnCUF)recently announced a new partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension (UMES) to improve the financial literacy levels of Minnesota educators.
Through this grant funding, UMES will produce a series of two-hour webinars to teach educators about personal finance using the National Endowment for Financial Education’s (NEFE’s) High School Financial Planning Program curriculum. The project, to be completed by the end of the year, will be available free of charge to anyone who works to improve the financial literacy levels of students – including educators and credit union professionals. This project signifies a shift in MnCUF’s overall objectives, honing in on financial education as part of its core mission.
"Credit unions have told us that financial literacy is a subject of tremendous importance to them, and the Foundation is excited to fund projects that support this objective.” said MnCUF Chair Pat Brekken. "These webinars will help teachers increase their knowledge and competency of financial topics, making them better-equipped to teach these subjects and improve the financial management skills of young adults.”
NCUA offers financial literacy grants to low-income credit unions
The NCUA has $200,000 in Financial Education & Financial Literacy Grants available to credit unions with a low-income designation. These grants support the efforts of low-income credit unions to improve financial literacy in their communities, particularly among students.
Under the Financial Education & Financial Literacy Initiative, eligible credit unions may apply for up to $5,000 to create, enhance or expand financial education efforts. The grant program assists credit unions in collaborating with schools, community organizations, and other financial institutions to provide financial training within the communities they serve. NCUA encourages credit unions to use the grants to support financial literacy projects aimed at students, but the funding received through the initiative may support other community financial education efforts.
Examples of projects that potentially would be funded under the initiative include:
- Partnerships with schools, teacher associations, and parent groups to educate children in schools;
- Partnerships with credit counseling organizations to offer training to help members improve credit scores and access to credit;
- Addition of or enhancements to online financial education modules;
- Partnerships with city and state housing agencies to provide first-time homebuyers with counseling and foreclosure prevention counseling; and
- Development of or work with a coalition of development organizations to offer ongoing financial literacy and education events.
The application deadline for these grants is Friday, May 20. For more information about the Financial Education & Financial Literacy Initiative, visit the Loans/Grants page of the NCUA website.
Last chance to register for MnCUN’s Bankruptcy Conference
Credit union professionals have less than a week to register for the Network’s Bankruptcy Roundtable & Workshop on Wednesday, May 4, at the Holiday Inn in St. Paul. These sessions will provide attendees access to bankruptcy knowledge.
This one-day conference will consist of two parts – a roundtable and workshop. The roundtable portion will provide participants an opportunity to network and discuss bankruptcy topics of their choice. Bring ideas, questions and knowledge to share. During the workshop, the focus will be on the collection claim process – from starting the judgment to post-judgment. Examine bankruptcy case studies and learn more about bankruptcy law and state and federal exemptions.
The Network has several registration choices available for this conference, including roundtable only, workshop only, and all day pricing options. For more information about the conference and to register, visit the Bankruptcy Roundtable & Workshop page of the Network website. All registrations must be submitted by Thursday, April 28.
Southern Minnesota Credit Union Open set for May 23
Credit unions around the state are invited to attend the Southern Minnesota Credit Union Open on Monday, May 23, at the Somerby Golf Club in Byron. The tournament will start at 11:30 a.m., and the event will conclude with dinner at 5:30 p.m.
Attend this event for an afternoon of networking and fun. In addition, organizations can participate in the tournament by sponsoring a hole and donating prizes for drawings. Registrations for the tournament and for sponsorships must be received by Friday, May 6.
For more information about the tournament and a printable registration form, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
CUNA Mutual Group provides insight into the legal impact of NCUA’s proposed rules
Due to the NCUA’s new financial literacy requirements and other rules on fiduciary requirements for directors, CUNA Mutual Group advises credit unions to review their protections against legal action on board of directors. In general, fiduciary duties of board members are changing. As a result, credit unions may need to adjust or augment their Directors & Officers (D&O) liability policy.
Below are some questions to ask the liability policy provider about the credit union’s D&O coverage:
- Does the policy have an insured-versus-insured exclusion, and what does that mean?
Most D&O policies basically exclude coverage for claims involving one insured suing another insured. Examples include a director suing another director, or an officer suing an employee for breach of fiduciary duty. Insurers added the exclusions after seeing the moral hazard in this type of claim. In the mid-1980s, Bank of America executives sued their own loan officers for making bad loans, and the loan officers were covered by the bank’s D&O policies.
If your policy has such an exclusion, find out whether it applies to situations in which a bankruptcy trustee or examiner – who may be considered an insured under the policy – sues your board. Often, the exclusion specifies that it doesn’t apply to these situations. Without that limitation, the exclusion would amount to an exclusion against claims resulting from the action of regulators.
- What happens to the D&O policy if the credit union goes into conservatorship?
Each policy is different, but when a credit union goes into bankruptcy or conservatorship, many D&O policies either cancel or switch to a "run-off” policy that may cover different wrongful acts only prior to the conservatorship. (The Management & Professional Liability coverage underwritten by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc., is an exception.) In short, a credit union's coverage dwindles when it’s needed the most.
- How does the credit union know that its directors’ indemnification agreement provides the best protection allowable if it should be sued?
Consult a qualified attorney to help you construct your board’s indemnification agreements to create the broadest indemnification.
- What can credit unions do to protect board members with these new rules from the NCUA being adopted and other potential changes on the horizon?
- Boards will face additional legal exposures, so consider additional D&O coverage. The policy’s coverage limits can simply be increased. In addition, consider a Management Umbrella or Side A (Difference In Conditions) DIC. A Management Umbrella provides broader indemnification when other insurance does not apply.
- Have an attorney review the indemnification provisions to ensure they align with the new rules. The attorney should also update the board about its fiduciary requirements.
- Start documenting the board's attendance at financial-based courses to support the new financial literacy requirements.
- Consider broader corporate governance standards.
With questions about CUNA Mutual Group and its products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
CUDL unveils 'Sell your Ride' for its AutoSMART program
CUDL has unveiled a new feature on its AutoSMART vehicle shopping website to assist credit unions members in selling their cars. The Sell Your Ride Member Program enables individuals to post information about vehicles that are for sale.
In the new program, members can post information, data and photos about their personal vehicles they want to sell, including automobiles, motorcycles, boats, personal watercrafts, and recreational vehicles. In return, the program provides credit unions with a tool that helps drive members to their site and increases member lending opportunities.
The posting is in the site’s "Private Party” vehicles section and will be seen locally by other members through their credit union's AutoSMART site, as well as nationally by members at the more than 930 credit unions on the program. These credit unions combined have 27.5 million members.
The Sell Your Ride Member Program service is free for credit unions participating in the CUDL AutoSMART program and their members. With questions about CUDL’s products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
ICUL Service Corporation: Your single source for credit, debit, and pre-paid services
There’s no reason for credit unions to have different processors for credit and debit cards, ATM networks, or pre-paid cards. With ICUL Service Corporation, credit unions have access to a one-stop shop that will save them money and time.
ICUL Service Corporation has the most recognized credit, debit and pre-paid card brands, and they are the only credit union service provider issuing the Discover Brand Card. Its access to all the major ATM networks gives more withdrawal, deposit and surcharge free network options. In addition, they’ll customize their products to meet the specific needs of the credit union and its members. Plus, customer service and implementations are handled in-house, not outsourced to a third-party provider.
Investigate ICUL Service Corporation today and discover the credit, debit, and pre-paid card services it has to offer your credit union. For more information about the organization, 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 webinars available. Professionals and volunteers are also invited to attend MnCUN's Bankruptcy Roundtable & Workshop and its Financial Management School: Parts I & II. To register for this and other events, visit the online Event Calendar.
- April 26 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Increasing Loan Growth
- April 26 (4 p.m.): MN Jump$tart Seminar – The Task of Developing Financially Capable People
- April 27 (10 a.m.): Business Development/Marketing Interactive Forum - Capturing the Mom Market
- April 27 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Capturing the Mom Market
- April 27 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Supervisory Committee Roles & Responsibilities
- April 28 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Retention of Image Documents
- May 3 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Regulation E
- May 4: MnCUN Bankruptcy Roundtable & Workshop
- May 4 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Credit Scores for Lenders
- May 5 (10:30 a.m.): Roundtable – Administrative Assistants
- May 5 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Managing Electronic Options
- May 9 (11:30 a.m.): Roundtable – Trainers
- May 10 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Improving Delinquency Numbers
- May 11 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Improving Website Compliance
- May 11 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Loan Review
- May 12 (8 a.m.): NCUA Small Credit Union Workshop
- May 12 (5:30 p.m.): Central Minnesota Chapter Meeting