June 3, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 11 Archived Issues
Network hires new Communications Specialist
The Minnesota Credit Union Network welcomed its newest staff member on May 31. Kelli Baxter is the Network’s Communications Specialist.
Baxter most recently worked as a copy editor at an internet broadcasting company where she edited stories for TV news stations nationwide, trained news editors, and managed website content for multiple stations. During a portion of her eight years of professional experience, she also worked as a county government reporter. Baxter has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and comes to MnCUN with a strong background in journalism, writing, editing and design.
Baxter fills a vacancy in the communications department that was created during MnCUN’s internal restructure.
Corporate assessment resources available online
On May 20, NCUA released a proposal that would allow most credit unions to voluntarily prepay a portion of their future Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund assessments. To assist credit unions in sorting through information about this proposal, MnCUN has created an online resource on this issue. The NCUA Corporate Assessment Prepayment Proposal page of the Network website contains a summary of the proposal and a variety of other resources to assist credit unions.
On the web page, credit unions will find an outline of the prepayment program and an overview of the potential impact the proposal will have on future corporate assessments. In addition, those who missed the May 26 NCUA webinar on this issue can view an archive of the session. The page also contains answers to frequently-asked questions and information about the comment letters NCUA is seeking on this issue.
To access these resources and more, visit the NCUA Corporate Assessment Prepayment Proposal page of the Network website. With questions about the proposal, contact the Network office.
MnCUN reps. share insight during international exchange in Paraguay
Focusing on the issues of share insurance, political advocacy, and the cooperative difference, representatives from MnCUN visited Paraguay May 22-28 as part of the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU’s) International Partnerships Program. The travelers met with the Paraguayan credit union association, Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional (CENCOPAN), to learn about the country's credit unions and share their knowledge and experience. MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins, SouthPoint Federal Credit Union CEO Dick Nesvold, and Hiway Federal Credit Union President & CEO Jeff Schwalen participated in this international exchange, featuring credit union visits, lobbying activities, and an educational seminar.
| During an international exchange in Paraguay, MnCUN representatives received a tour of a "multi-purpose” credit union, which in addition to providing financial services also constructed an ethanol factory to serve the city’s farmers. |
The visit was part of a series of collaborative activities between MnCUN and CENCOPAN, which began in 2004 when the trade associations were partnered together through WOCCU’s program. Through visits to both countries, the organizations help each other demonstrate the cooperative philosophy of "people helping people.”
This year Cummins, Nesvold and Schwalen were invited to attend CENCOPAN’s 9th Annual International Seminar, which coincided with the organization’s 17th anniversary. At the conference, Schwalen and Nesvold co-presented a session on "The History of Deposit Insurance in the United States,” and Cummins provided the trade association perspective during his "Building Non-Dues Revenue” presentation.
In addition to presenting at the international seminar, the Minnesota delegation visited four credit unions that serve as "multi-purpose” cooperatives, which are credit unions that provide financial assistance and a variety of other services to their members. One of these organizations was Cooperativa Coronel Oviedo, Ltda., which is a credit union that has expanded to provide members with low-cost medical services. In addition, the credit union serves members by running a pharmacy that offers the lowest prices in the city and has built an ethanol factory to serve the city’s farmers.
The third, and arguably most important, component of the trip was the group’s lobbying activities with some of the country’s influential politicians. The goal of these visits was to demonstrate the international support behind CENCOPAN’s efforts to expand their services to members. The Minnesota delegation stressed the influential role cooperatives play in building and strengthening nations. In addition, they emphasized the importance of deposit insurance and its role in stabilizing the credit union system and building confidence among members.
"Both in the United States and abroad, the importance of political advocacy cannot be stressed enough,” Cummins said. "Through our visits with Paraguay’s prominent elected officials, we were able to fortify the international credit union movement as we assisted CENCOPAN in its efforts to strengthen and protect the cooperative law.”
The Minnesota Credit Union Network and CENCOPAN plan to continue their international exchange activities in November when Paraguayan representatives will visit Minnesota credit unions.
Cameroon Cooperative CU League rep. visits Minnesota CU Network
Providing insight into the operations of a U.S. credit union league, the Minnesota Credit Union Network welcomed Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League representative Prasedes Banseka to its office on May 24. Banseka’s visit was part of her 30-day credit union internship at US Federal Credit Union during which she is learning about the credit union’s approach to internal control and member services.
|During a visit to MnCUN, Cameroon Credit Union League Representative Prasedes Banseka provided staff an overview of the country’s credit union industry.|
During her visit with MnCUN, Banseka gained insight into the resources the Network provides to the state’s credit unions through its dues supported services and for-profit operations. Through one-on-one meetings, Network staff members overviewed each department’s basic functions and discussed with Banseka ways that she could implement new ideas at the Cameroon league.
Along with learning about MnCUN’s operations, Banseka used pictures and stories to illustrate the characteristics of her country’s credit union movement. Cameroon has approximately 200 credit unions that serve 336,000 members throughout the country. The Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League has a unique structure and approach to service, meeting regularly with each credit union to oversee the management of the organization, train staff and volunteers, coordinate board elections, and more.
"The Network’s meeting with Prasedes opened our eyes to the true diversity of the international credit union movement,” said Kristina Wright, MnCUN Vice President – Association Services. "While the products and services offered by our countries may differ, we discovered that the fundamental credit union philosophy of people helping people remains strong.”
MemberTree Consultancy joins MnCUN Vendor Involvement Program
MemberTree Consultancy recently enrolled in the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s Vendor Involvement Program (V.I.P.), becoming the twenty-eighth organization to sign on in 2011.
MemberTree Consultancy is a full service agency that provides a wide variety of marketing services to credit unions. They offer resources and marketing knowledge to help credit unions reach their current market more efficiently and to assist them with expanding into new territories. Through market research, data management, plan development and creative concepting, MemberTree provides overall marketing consultation, development and support.
The V.I.P., created in 2005, provides committed service organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase visibility among Minnesota credit unions. VIP participants agree to offer professional service, quality product lines and competitive pricing to Minnesota credit unions. To learn more about these companies, visit the Vendor Involvement Program section of the Network website. Participation in the Vendor Involvement Program does not constitute an endorsement by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.
Take advantage of summer golf opportunities
Over the next couple of months, credit union professionals and volunteers have the opportunity to participate in golf outings hosted by the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee and the Twin Cities Chapter. For additional information and printable registration forms, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
- The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee will hold its 16th Annual Golf Tournament on Wednesday, June 22, at the Refuge Golf Club in Oak Grove. The event will begin at noon with lunch, and the tournament will start at 1 p.m. The tournament will conclude with a social hour and awards dinner. The proceeds for the golf tournament will benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. The registration deadline for this event is Friday, June 10.
- The 23rd Annual Twin Cities Chapter Golf Tournament will be held Monday, July 11, at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Forest Lake. The event will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a dinner buffet at 5:30 p.m. Registrations for the tournament must be received by Thursday, June 30.
Filene seeks candidates for i3 team
Filene Research Institute is seeking new members for its i3 – ideas, innovation and implementation – team. This work group is geared toward creative professionals who are not yet at the CEO level but currently serve in a position with substantial responsibility.
Members of Filene i3 strive to lead and build the future of credit unions by creating new, innovative ideas and implementing them to benefit the credit union industry. Candidates should be passionate about the credit union system and believe that credit unions are poised to help members along the road to financial recovery.
Individuals who are innovative, insightful and energetic are encouraged to apply to be part of Filene i3 team. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, June 19. For more information about the group and to submit an application, visit the Filene Research Institute website.
Grow professionally with CUNA Management School
Credit union professionals aspiring to management and leadership positions in the credit union movement are invited to enroll in CUNA Management School. This three-year program uses a rigorous blend of university classes and experimental learning activities to build dynamic leaders dedicated to the movement.
CUNA Management School students receive advanced academic training with practical, real-world applications that can be directly applied back at the credit union. The school consists of two-week terms held over three consecutive summers and provides instruction on a variety of credit union topics. In addition, CUNA Management School now provides credit union managers with the opportunity to earn their Certified Credit Union Executive designation (CCUE).
The first session of CUNA Management School will take place July 10-22 in Madison, Wis. For more information and online registration, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
Prevent wire transfer losses with CUNA Mutual Group
Credit unions are continuing to see severe losses from unauthorized wire transfers. In the first quarter of this year, credit unions reported to CUNA Mutual Group $1.2 million in losses from wire transfers.
The rise in wire transfer fraud means credit unions need to review and change their loss control policies and procedures, especially for large wire transfer requests. Below are a few ways credit unions can reduce losses related to fraudulent wire transfers:
- Do not rely on notarized signatures on faxed requests because notary seals and signatures are easily forged.
- Encourage members to put a password on their account.
- Do not allow advances on members’ home equity lines of credit based on phone requests.
- Review members’ accounts to ensure the wire transfer request is reasonable based on the member’s history.
- When using callback verification, check the member’s account to see if the phone number was changed recently and be aware of audible clues that suggest the caller in not the account holder.
- Be wary of transfers of large amounts, especially to institutions in Korea, China and Japan.
To help prevent losses from unauthorized wire transfers, credit unions should frequently conduct employee training on loss control procedures. For more information about how CUNA Mutual Group can help your credit union prevent loss, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
FIS web series presents challenges, solutions for patient collections
FIS is offering a free Healthcare Transformation webinar series focused on accelerating the exchange of information and money between patients, payers, providers and financial institutions. The next webinar is set for Tuesday, June 21, at 1 p.m. and will focus on the future of patient collections.
Due to rising deductibles and the increase in the number of uninsured individuals, the amount of healthcare costs that patients are required to pay is rising. As a result, health care providers are being pressured to improve patient billing, collections, and revenue cycle management. Join FIS as they discuss challenges and opportunities involving health care services and payment. The webinar will offer an overview of revenue cycle management solutions and how financial institutions can be part of the solution.
To learn more about the FIS healthcare webinar series and to register for the upcoming session, visit the FIS Healthcare Payment Solutions website. For more information about FIS and the products and services it has to offer, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
IFS launches new web, mobile banking option
Intuit Financial Services (IFS), the banking services division of Intuit Inc., has launched a new web and mobile banking experience that transforms the way consumers and their credit unions interact. The new experience makes it easy to manage critical banking tasks using fully-integrated mobile solutions.
The new tool allows members to use a secure login to see account information and recent transaction history online from any source in the U.S. It enables members to more effectively manage their money with resources to transfer funds, manage and pay bills, and gain control over spending using an online personal financial management solution. In addition, members can save money on products and services by activating targeted merchant discounts. At tax time, the tool saves members time on tax returns by allowing them to pre-populate account data using a TurboTax tool for online banking.
Nearly three million customers are using this new banking experience through their bank or credit union. Make your members part of this group that has access to this money management tool. For more information about Intuit Financial Services, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by 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.
- June 7 (8:30 a.m.): Small Business Administration (SBA) Workshop
- June 7 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Online Account Opening & Lending
- June 8 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Warning Signs of Problem Loans
- June 8 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Operations BSA Training
- June 9 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Board Secretary Responsibilities
- June 10 (11 a.m.): Central Chapter Golf Outing
- June 14 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – RESPA
- June 15 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Notary Precautions
- June 16 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Teller Skills
- June 21 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Corporation & Corporation S Tax Returns
- June 22 (12 p.m.): MnCU4Kids Golf Tournament
- June 22 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Resolving Debit Card Errors
- June 23 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Credit Union Telephone Skills
- June 23 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Reg Z Update & Rule Changes