August 13, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 16 Archived Issues
Fall Conference registration closes Aug. 17
The final day to register for MnCUN’s Fall Conference is Tuesday, Aug. 17. This year’s conference will feature workshops on a variety of pertinent topics, along with opportunities to network with others in the industry. For complete event information and to register, visit the Fall Conference section of the Network web site.
October designated as GREAT month
The strength of the credit union movement lies in the support of the industry’s professionals, volunteers and, most importantly, its members. For this reason, the MnCUN Political Involvement Committee has designated October as GREAT Month, a time to encourage credit union members to join the GrassRoots Education & Action Team.
This membership drive is intended to coincide with any celebrations your credit union has planned for International Credit Union Day or Co-op Month, which are also slated for October. As members come through your doors for cook-outs, contests, cake or other celebration activities, take that opportunity to enroll them in GREAT.
GREAT provides members the opportunity to do their part to preserve, protect and promote the Minnesota credit union movement. By participating in this program, credit union members will join other supporters from across the state in sharing the credit union story with elected officials.
To assist credit unions in promoting GREAT to members, the Network has created a variety of free promotional materials. A sample newsletter article and three different web graphics are available for download. Credit unions can also order lobby posters and GREAT sign up forms.
For more information about this initiative and to order and download promotional materials, visit the GREAT Membership Drive page of the Network web site.
MnCUN to host Loan Officer School
Credit union professionals looking for tools to transform deposits into loans are invited to attended MnCUN’s Loan Officer School. To be held Sept. 22-23 in Bloomington, this conference will provide an overview of basic loan underwriting skills and discuss the unique lending opportunities that the current economy has made available to credit unions.
Geared toward new loan officers, those aspiring to the position, and veterans looking for a review, the two-day school will cover the lending process from start to finish. Attendees will investigate how to safeguard members’ assets, make sound lending decisions, and provide standout service. Learn not only the technicalities of lending, but also the philosophies and strategies behind the process.
For more information, a printable brochure and online registration, visit the Loan Officer School page of the Network web site. Registrations received by Friday, Sept. 3, will be eligible for an early bird discount. The deadline for regular-priced registrations is Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Federal Reserve publishes article on credit conditions
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recently published an article in the July issue of fedgazette that provides insight on credit conditions in the Ninth District. The article includes the results of a May poll in which the Minneapolis Fed surveyed professionals from credit unions and banks throughout the district to accurately report credit conditions in this multi-state region.
The survey showed that although financial institutions throughout the region have money to lend, credit markets are still struggling. "There’s not a lot of demand for loans and other credit – a situation exacerbated by the fact that creditworthiness continues to sag among businesses and consumers,” the article reads. "Financial institutions also continue to tighten their credit standards, with banks reporting a decline in small business lending, in part, due to concerns about the current and future regulatory environment.”
The article, entitled "Come and get it – please” has been posted on MnCUN’s online news feed. Visit the Network News page for the full story.
Federal Reserve presents Consumer Regulatory Changes web cast
The Federal Reserve is offering credit unions the opportunity to participate in a free Consumer Regulatory Changes WebCast. To be held Aug. 19 at 1 p.m., the webcast will provide up-to-date information on the recent changes to consumer protection laws and regulations and insight into how they affect credit unions.
The session will feature attorneys from the Board of Governors’ Division of Consumer & Community Affairs. Specific topics that they will cover include:
- The status of current regulatory proposals;
- A preview of upcoming final rules; and
- An overview of new rules in the regulatory reform legislation.
Participants will be also be able to ask their own regulatory questions. Questions may be e-mailed prior to the webcast or can be submitted during the session. For more information and to register for the webcast, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Minnesota CUs provide financial education to 6,700+ students
Recent statistics reveal that Minnesota credit unions provided financial education to more than 6,700 students during the 2009-2010 school year, according to statistics compiled by the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB). In total the NYIB reported that U.S. credit unions conducted presentations for more than 413,000 students in the past year.
Minnesota credit unions made 347 financial literacy presentations in the past year. Through these classroom sessions, credit union professionals and volunteers taught students about credit unions and the importance of saving, budgeting, credit and more.
Credit unions involved in financial literacy are encouraged to visit the NYIB web site throughout the year to report their presentations and add to these impressive statistics in 2011. In addition, the Minnesota Family Involvement Council offers credit unions a variety of resources to assist them in their financial literacy efforts. To access free curriculum, links to educational resources and more, visit the Family Involvement Council web site.
Take advantage of MnCUN’s virtual learning opportunities
Through telecourses, webcasts and roundtables, MnCUN provides you the ability to learn about relevant credit union topics without leaving the office. These educational opportunities utilize phone and computer technology, enabling you to attend sessions without travel time and expense.
The Network’s virtual training opportunities allow you to maximize your educational experience. Many roundtables offer conference call participation, allowing you to connect with other credit union professionals in an economical way. In addition, telecourse registrants receive a 30-day online archive of the session. Webcast participants receive a CD-ROM of the session that they can reference at a later date and share with others in their office.
Take advantage of MnCUN’s virtual learning opportunities and save your credit union time and money. To explore the topics covered in MnCUN’s upcoming roundtables, telecourses and webcasts, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Products and service resources available on MnCUN’s web site
Credit unions searching for additional products and services to offer members can turn to the Network web site for information. The Network Service Corporation (NSC) section of the Network web site serves as credit unions’ go-to source to investigate endorsed vendors that are dedicated to serving credit unions.
On the web site, credit unions can peruse information on more than 30 companies that offer credit union products and service. Learn more about each company’s niche in the financial services industry and find web site and contact information. Additionally, visitors can discover the benefits offered through Shared Branching and investigate the member share draft and deposit services provided by the Minnesota Item Processing Corporation (MnIPC).
For a full overview of NSC's products and services, visit the Network Services Corporation section of the Network web site. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Credit union notes…
- Twin Valley Flom Federal Credit Union recently welcomed Lori Eken as its new manager. Previously she worked at Moorhead State University. Eken replaces former manager Kathy Skaurud who retired earlier this year.
CUNA Mutual Group remains strong through challenging economy
In its 2009 Annual Report, CUNA Mutual Group presented data demonstrating that it had persevered through "The Great Recession” of 2008 with excellent financial health. In fact, the ratings agency, A.M. Best, affirmed its "A” (Excellent) financial strength rating for CUNA Mutual in 2009. The "A” rating is the third highest of the agency’s 16 categories.
In affirming this rating, the agency acknowledged the company’s "long-established position as a leader in providing financial solutions through its life, health and retirement products to members and employees of credit unions.” A.M. Best added: "Due to the ongoing implementation of three years of transformation initiatives, CUNA Mutual has improved its overall operating efficiency in its core target market of credit unions.”
As it looks toward the future, CUNA Mutual will continue to modify its operations while keeping an eye out for opportunities to diversify its products and markets. In keeping with these goals, some of the company's recent major acquisitions and divestitures include:
- The June 2009 purchase of CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, a Kansas-based administrator of employee benefit plans. The move doubled CUNA Mutual's stake in the retirement-plan business and was its first full-scale venture beyond the credit union marketplace.
- The July 2009 sale of its IRA Services division to Ascensus, a retirement services firm based in Dresher, Pa.
- The September 2009 purchase of Producers Ag Insurance Group, an Amarillo, Texas-based crop insurer that serves farmers and agricultural producers nationwide.
As CUNA Mutual continues to expand, it will remain dedicated to its mission to be a trusted business partner for credit unions. For more information 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.
Serve your members nearly anywhere with Shared Branching
Give your members the convenience they deserve with Shared Branching. Through this program your credit union can gain thousands of branches instantly.
With Shared Branching, credit unions from all over the country share facilities to give members thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions just as if they were in their home credit union. Through this program, you can offer members a credit union branch near where they live, work, shop or travel. To take advantage of this service, members simply need to provide:
- Their home credit union’s name;
- Their account number; and
- Valid government-issued photo ID.
Service center tellers then access the member’s account and perform the requested transaction in real time. Credit unions receive daily transaction settlement reports and monthly transaction and billing reports.
With Shared Branching, your credit union can be here, there and everywhere. For more information about how your credit union can be part of the Shared Branching network, contact MnCUN Executive Vice President Peter Skaalen by e-mail or at (651) 288-5505.
CSS alliance offers credit unions free preparedness webcasts
September is National Preparedness Month. To assist credit unions in updating their business continuity plans, Agility Recovery Solutions, a CUNA Strategic Services CSS partner, is offering free preparedness webcasts.
Agility Recovery Solutions’ webcasts will focus on how businesses and credit unions can effectively prepare for emergencies. These sessions will be offered at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in September. The webcasts include:
- Sept. 1 – "Business Preparedness: Can You Go Alone for 72 Hours?"
Explore the need for small to mid-sized businesses to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following any emergency or interruption in service.
- Sept. 15 – "Private Sector Preparedness Certification Program"
Discuss the current status of the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation & Certification Program (PS-Prep) and learn how the program impacts small to mid-sized businesses.
- Sept. 22 – "Business Preparedness: Both Inside and Outside of Your Organization"
Learn how to become a better corporate citizen through your volunteer efforts.
- Sept. 29 – "Survivors' Panel: Businesses Who Survived Disasters"
Tune in to hear several small and mid-sized business tell their recovery stories. Each business will share the different lessons they learned as they responded to events ranging from building fires to hurricanes.
Emergency planning and business continuity are very important components of every credit union’s operations. To register for one or all of the webcasts, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site. To learn more about Agility Recovery Solutions and other CSS partners 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 throughout the summer. In addition, this September MnCUN is offering a variety of conferences and schools, including Fall Conference, Financial Management School: Parts III & IV, Loan Officer School, and Hike the Hill. To register for these and other events, visit the online Event Calendar today.
- Aug. 18 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Lending to the Self-Employed
- Aug. 18 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Opening Deposit Accounts Online
- Aug. 19 (9 a.m.): FIC Start 2 Go Workshop
- Aug. 19 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Head Teller Development
- Aug. 24 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Outselling Your Competitors
- Aug. 25 (1 p.m.): FIS WebCast - Mobile Commerce
- Aug. 25 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Credit Reports & Scores
- Sept. 1 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Decedent Accounts
- Sept. 2 (2 p.m.): Webcast - Identifying Risk for the Credit Union