May 6, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 09 Archived Issues
MnCUN discusses interchange during Congress recess
During Congress’ April recess, the Network and credit union professionals met with members of Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to discuss the interchange legislation in the House and Senate. These meetings offered Minnesota credit unions the opportunity to provide insight into the proposed interchange rule and to push for the passage of legislation that would delay the implementation of the rule.
MnCUN has held meetings in the districts of Reps. John Kline (R-2nd District), Erik Paulsen (R-3rd District), Keith Ellison (D-5th District), and Chip Cravaack (R-8th District), along with the staff of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-1st District). During the meetings, credit union attendees outlined the need to stop, study and start over on the interchange provision.
The current Federal Reserve rule proposes to reduce interchange fees by more than 70 percent, which would drastically reduce credit unions’ debit card income. Consequently, Minnesota credit unions are engaged in a grassroots initiative to urge elected officials to support the interchange legislation. If passed, the bills would delay the implementation of the interchange rule for one or two years and give regulatory agencies a chance to study the rule’s implications before proceeding with the legislation. For more information on how to be part of this important grassroots initiative, visit the Interchange Call to Action page of the Network website.
Garnishment rule webinar now available
Is your credit union prepared to handle the requirements of the new garnishment rule? Credit unions seeking additional guidance on how to handle garnishments on accounts receiving federal benefit payments via direct deposit can now purchase a training CD-ROM.
The Network is offering a recorded presentation focused on the new procedures financial institutions must follow under the garnishment rule effective May 1. It overviews the federal benefits that are exempt, restrictions on garnishment fees, and garnishment deadlines. The CD-ROM also includes a model of a notice that must be sent to accountholders.
This CD-ROM training is a cost-effective way to train employees on the new garnishment rules. Through this education option, credit unions may train as many individuals as they’d like for one set price of $200. In addition to the CD-ROM, credit unions will receive an on-demand web link of the presentation that they may distribute to employees at other branches. To purchase this CD-ROM, visit the New Garnishment Rule for Federal Benefit Payments page of the Network website.
Network recognizes Professional & Volunteer of the Year
MnCUN announced the recipients of its two most prestigious awards at its banquet on April 9, held in conjunction with the MnCUN 2011 Annual Meeting & Convention. The Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer of the Year and the Outstanding Credit Union Professional of the Year Awards are honors bestowed on two individuals for demonstrated excellence in the movement.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to recognize the service of one outstanding credit union volunteer who exemplifies the credit union spirit through dedication to, and belief in, the credit union movement. Grounds for nominations include involvement at local and state levels and participation in other activities that further the organized movement.
This year honorees were George and Kay Rossez of St. John’s Credit Union in Little Canada. This unique joint recognition acknowledged the Rossezes’ credit union careers, which have been closely intertwined over the past 50 years. George served as the St. John’s Credit Union manager from 1962-1974 and helped grow the credit union’s assets by more than $1 million. During George’s tenure as manager, Kay volunteered at the credit union in a variety of capacities and took over as CEO after George retired.
Even though they both have retired from the credit union, the Rossezes continue to volunteer and be active members. George has served on the St. John’s Credit Union Board of Directors since 1983, and Kay serves on the supervisory committee. In addition, they are both political advocates for the credit union movement and have regularly attended CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference for the past 20 years.
MnCUN’s Professional of the Year Award is given to recognize the service of one outstanding credit union professional who has selflessly given time, effort and talent to the support and promotion of the credit union ideal and the betterment of credit unions in Minnesota.
This year’s honoree was Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul. Markland has worked in the credit union movement for 30 years, serving for the past 14 years as Affinity Plus FCU’s President & CEO. At Affinity Plus FCU, Markland has grown the credit union from $357 million to more than $1 billion in assets and doubled the number of members.
Markland has also been an integral part of the credit union movement throughout his participation in local, state and national credit union activities. He has served on a number of boards and committees for Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union, CUNA, Member Gateways, and the Filene Institute. In addition, Markland currently services as MnCUN’s Board Chair.
"The Minnesota Credit Union Network is honored to recognize Kyle, George and Kay for the tremendous contributions they have made to their individual credit unions and to the movement,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "Through their service, they have brought the credit union philosophy to life and their passion has inspired others. I offer them my gratitude and congratulate them on receiving Minnesota’s most prestigious awards.”
To view the video tributes for this year's Professional and Volunteers of the Year, visit the Annual Meetingpage of the Network website.
Member testimonials wanted
Are your members raving about your credit union? If so, MnCUN and CUNA want to hear those member testimonials. The Network is working with CUNA to gather Minnesota member testimonials for the new national consumer website, aSmarterChoice.org.
Launched in late February, aSmarterChoice.org is a go-to resource for consumers around the country to learn more about credit unions and find one that they are eligible to join. One of the features of the site is the member testimonial section, which highlights credit union member stories. To build a Minnesota presence on the site, your credit union is being asked to submit member testimonials. Specifically, the short member stories should provide insight into why the member loves their credit union.
If you have member testimonials to share, please send it to MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson. You are also encouraged to check out aSmarterChoice.org, which contains basic information about credit unions, a comprehensive credit union locator, media stories about credit unions and more.
2011 national credit union awards competition quickly approaches
Let the brainstorming begin! Credit unions should begin assembling materials for the 2011 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award, Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action, and Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. Entry forms and program information will be posted on the Network website next week.
The Dora Maxwell Award honors credit unions for external charitable works and the Louis Herring Award praises credit unions that make efforts to internally include the credit union philosophy into their daily operations. The Desjardins Award recognizes credit unions and chapters that are leaders in youth financial education.
Submissions can be made for one or all of these awards programs. The deadline for award submissions is Friday, July 16. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson.
Minnesota CUs attend Commerce Department's financial literacy roundtable
In April the Commerce Department convened a financial literacy roundtable in an effort to bring interested parties – including the financial industry, state agencies, non-profits and others – to the same table to outline ways that various organizations improve the financial knowledge of Minnesotans.
Credit unions had strong representation at this meeting and were specifically recognized by the Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman for their work in the financial education arena. In attendance were Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union President/CEO Kyle Markland and Senior Vice President Sarah Mason; US Federal Credit Union CEO Bill Raker; and Minnesota Credit Union Network representatives Kristina Wright, Vice President – Association Services, and Mara Humphrey, Vice President – Governmental Affairs. The meeting encouraged sharing and collaboration among the various organizations represented.
"Financial literacy is very important to all of us, and there is a strong commitment with this administration to working on financial literacy,” Commissioner Rothman said. "From the Governor on down to the staff, we all share the common goal of wanting to make Minnesota a better place.”
Commissioner Rothman discussed with the group the need for increased coordination of efforts and acknowledged the many barriers that stand in the way of financial education. Among the various initiatives discussed at the meeting was the Ladder Out of Poverty Task Force, which was established in 2010 to focus on asset development, financial education and community support.
Credit union notes…
- On Wednesday, NCUA placed Hmong American Federal Credit Union in St. Paul into conservatorship. The credit union remains open and operating, but its services have moved to a new location in St. Paul. An NCUA official has been appointed as an interim manager of the credit union and will work to resolve the issues affecting the institution's safety and soundness. For more information about the conservatorship and to view a statement from the Network, visit the Minnesota Credit Unions: Safe, Sound & Securepage of the Network website.
- It was recently announced that Ukrainian Credit Union will merge with TruStone Financial Credit Union by mid-summer. The merged credit unions will have $670 million in assets and will serve more than 58,000 members through 10 branches in the Twin Cities metro area.
- In April, Donald Rausch was appointed as President of the Virginia Co-op Credit Union. Rausch has more than 12 years of financial industry experience, most recently working as a branch manager for Wells Fargo. Additionally, his other work experience includes serving as a financial advisor, banker and credit manager.
- As part of the next step of the corporate restructure, Members United Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union recently announced its new name. The new corporate credit union will be named Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, which merges together the words "all,” "alloy” and "loyal.” The next step in the corporate development will be to capitalize the financial institution. In May and June, Members United will be holding a series of town hall webinars to outline the details of the corporate plans, discuss the private placement memorandum, and answer questions.
CO-OP Financial introduces new management product
CO-OP Financial Servicesrecently launched Total Revelation, which is a new version of its Revelation portfolio management product. This updated product helps credit unions identify avenues to maximize their profitability and enables them to understand how legislation and regulatory changes impact their earning potential.
Total Revelation includes the following features:
- Revelation Reports providing pre-built management summaries and custom report templates;
- Revelation Analytics for high-level data analyses, including alerts, benchmarking and profitability modeling; and
- Revelation Consultation to provide outsourced consulting to help credit unions determine cardholder segmentation strategies, profitability analysis, and marketing campaign management.
Through Total Revelation, credit unions receive in-depth insight into members’ ATM and debit transaction behavior and demographics. The product also lowers fraud costs by reducing the time it takes to identify fraud patterns and vulnerabilities. Finally, CO-OP Total Revelation frees up staff from having to create labor-intensive management reports.
CO-OP Financial Servicesoffers the largest credit union-only ATM Network in the country. To learn how you can offer members surcharge-free access to 28,000 ATMs, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrudeby email or at (651) 288-5515.
Activate idle credit card accounts with FastTrack
Is your credit union searching for ways to recuperate idle credit cards? If so, take advantage of the products and services offered by FastTrack. They will guide you on how to use the right marketing mix to encourage members to take advantage of a wider range of products and give dormant accounts a wake-up call.
FastTrack guides credit unions on how to target members with promotions and special offers proven to incentivize inactive accounts with targeted mailings. Take action to stir dormant accounts with monthly mailings proven to encourage first-time usage. Stop paying money to keep those dormant cards active and give members more everyday with FastTrack.
For more information about FastTrack, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrudeby email 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. To register for these events, visit the online Event Calendar.