December 2, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 23 Archived Issues
MnCUN weekly e-newsletter to debut in 2012
In 2012, MnCUN will launch a new weekly e-newsletter called The Pulse. Combining Output, Political Update and Summation, this newsletter will provide credit union professionals and volunteers one central resource for information that is of interest to those in the industry.
The Pulse will feature all the news, updates and stories that individuals are used to receiving in MnCUN bi-weekly and monthly e-newsletters. However, the new weekly format will deliver that information to credit unions faster and more effectively. In addition, readers will be able to more easily stay informed about general credit union information, state and federal political updates and regulatory compliance news.
If you currently receive Output, Political Update or Summation, then you will automatically be added to The Pulse email list. Be sure to watch your inbox for the first edition of The Pulse on Friday, Jan. 6.
Be part of The Crew
Wanted: all professionals under the age of 35 who are looking to advance their credit union career
If the description above describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group is made up of mid-level, young credit union professionals who are looking for the opportunity to grow in their career. The Crew is geared toward those new to the credit union movement or those who want to establish themselves in their profession. Crew members will learn about the credit union industry, explore options for advancement, and network with other young professionals.
Crew events will be held in conjunction with MnCUN’s major credit union conferences, including Credit Union Day at the Capitol and Annual Meeting. Members will receive discounts off the conference admission price and will have the opportunity to experience these events in a unique way. In addition to participating in the conferences’ standard activities and educational opportunities, Crew members will have "special access” to speakers, legislators and other key credit union leaders, along with opportunities to participate in unique programs.
Be part of the movement, and join The Crew! More information and application materials for membership in The Crew will be available in the coming weeks.
Network joins the International Year of Cooperatives celebration
The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC), and the Minnesota Credit Union Network is joining the celebration. The event kick-off on Oct. 31 launched a yearlong celebration of the contributions cooperatives make to help reduce poverty, create jobs and promote socio-economic development around the world.
Since credit unions are cooperatives with a global impact, the Network is coordinating a variety of activities to celebrate the IYC. Throughout the year, MnCUN will promote the IYC in publications and on its social media sites, generate publicity highlighting credit unions' involvement in the cooperative movement, and coordinate events highlighting the cooperative difference. A session will also be held at the Network's Annual Meeting focused on raising credit unions' awareness of the IYC and encouraging involvement in the cooperative movement.
Join the Network in recognizing and celebrating this year of cooperatives. For ideas on how your credit union can celebrate and promote the IYC, as well as downloadable graphics and other resources, visit the International Year of Cooperatives page of the Network website.
MnCUN launches new Compliance Services programs
Understanding the difficulties that credit unions face in today’s complex regulatory environment, MnCUN is launching two new Compliance Services programs. These programs allow credit unions to contract for a highly-qualified compliance professional to work on-site, without the hassle or expense of hiring another employee.
The Network has two Compliance Services programs in which credit unions can participate.
- Shared Compliance Services Program: This program allows your credit union to contract for a compliance professional that will help you manage your internal compliance programs. This individual will be contracted out to work at your credit union for pre-specified time blocks (i.e. one week/month) to help you identify compliance issues and implement solutions.
- Compliance Consultant Program: This program allows your credit union to contract with a compliance professional to perform specific tasks. This individual will support existing compliance programs by working on specific projects like training, audits, reviews and more.
The biggest different between these two programs is that the Shared Compliance Services Program offers ongoing support, whereas the Compliance Consultant Program provides assistance for specific projects. With both of these programs, MnCUN trains and employs the compliance officers, leaving credit unions free from the burden of hiring and managing additional staff.
To learn more about these new programs, visit the Compliance Services page of the Network website. With specific questions or to enroll, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.
Greater Minnesota Credit Union recognized in national award competition
Greater Minnesota Credit Union has been nationally recognized in the 2011 Desjardins Awards for Financial Education. National award winners were recently announced by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards – named for Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement – recognize the leadership of credit unions and chapters to help improve financial literacy among youth and adults. GMCU was one of five winners in the Adult category and received honorable mention for its submission in the Youth category. The credit union's winning entries highlighted its adult and youth financial literacy outreach programs.
GMCU's Financial University program reaches out to unemployed adults who are actively seeking employment. The credit union, in conjunction with area workforce centers and the local Communities Investing in Families organization, works with job seekers to help them gain financial freedom and teaches them skills necessary for financial survival. The credit union's youth outreach program teaches high school students about topics such as checking accounts and the loan application process, as well as basic financial skills covered in its Financial University program.
"Greater Minnesota Credit Union demonstrates extraordinary dedication to helping its members and communities move forward toward a brighter future,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "Their recognition in this awards competition is well-deserved, and I wholly support their efforts to improve financial literacy in their local communities.”
Fed seeks credit union input on current credit conditions
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is seeking insights on current credit conditions from financial professionals in the Ninth District. The 12-question survey should take less than 10 minutes. Please complete the poll online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/FedCreditFI. Responses are kept confidential, and summary results (only) will be reported in a future fedgazette newsletter.
The deadline for participating in the survey is Friday, Dec. 9. With questions, please contact Toby Madden, Regional Economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, at (612) 204-5372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 permission agreements due
Has your credit union signed its permission agreement for 2012 yet? Credit unions whose permission agreements have expired should have received the form in the mail earlier this month.
Signing a permission agreement with the Network permits your credit union's executive and administrative employees, volunteers, members and their families to participate in all events and activities coordinated by MnCUN to support the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC). CULAC-sponsored events raise money to support credit union-friendly candidates running for federal office.
Permission agreements allow the Network to send information about CULAC activities to the credit union's board members and its executive and administrative employees. Signing an agreement does not obligate anyone in the credit union to make a contribution to CULAC or participate in the activities. It merely authorizes the Network to contact those at the credit union for CULAC donations. Legally, your credit union may only sign a permission agreement for one trade association per calendar year; however, you may sign an agreement for multiple years.
Please take a moment to send the signed form back to the Network office. With questions or concerns about permission agreements, please contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber by email or at (651) 288-5533. Blank forms can be downloaded from the Permission Agreements section of the Network website.
2011 MnCU4Kids donations due Dec. 14
The 2011 fundraising year for Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) is quickly coming to an end. All funds raised throughout the year must be received by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation by Wednesday, Dec. 14. These funds will then be forwarded to Gillette to meet the year-end deadline.
Send in your credit union’s funds today to help MnCU4Kids reach its goal of raising $150,000. When sending in donations, be sure to include the MnCU4Kids Reporting Form. Please forward all funds to:
Minnesota Credit Union Foundation
Attn: Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids
555 Wabasha Street North, Suite #200
St. Paul, MN 55102
Checks should be made payable to the "Minnesota Credit Union Foundation” with "MnCU4Kids” written in the memo line.
With questions about MnCU4Kids, contact committee co-chairs Marty Kelly of US Federal Credit Union by email or at (952) 736-5396 or Steve Oien of Minnco Credit Union by email or at (763) 552-6103.
Products and services resources available on MnCUN’s website
MnCUN’s refreshed website features an updated section featuring information about products and service providers dedicated to meeting credit unions’ needs. The Network Service Corporation section of the Network website serves as credit unions’ go-to source for investigating endorsed vendors that are dedicated to serving the movement.
Within this online section, credit unions can peruse information on companies that offer credit union products and services. The Strategic Alliance page now features a listing of companies categorized by business type, allowing credit unions to quickly find a vendor that meets their needs. Learn more about each company’s niche in the financial services industry and find contact information. Additionally, visitors can discover the benefits of Shared Branching and investigate the member share draft and deposit services offered by MnIPC.
For a full overview of NSC’s products and services, visit the Products & Services section of the Network website. With questions, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.
City & County Credit Union joins Shared Branching network
Minnesota brought its number of credit union service centers to 39 recently after City & County Credit Union added its four locations to Shared Branching. Minnesota’s Shared Branching network serves members of participating credit unions at numerous locations throughout the Twin Cities and outside the metro area.
Through Shared Branching, credit unions across the country share facilities, providing members thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions similar to those they conduct at their primary credit union, including making deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and more.
In a statewide public opinion poll conducted in Minnesota last year, consumers said having financial institutions’ branches office locations near their home or work was a major factor in determining where they maintained a banking relationship. Currently, there are more than 4,400 service centers nationwide, enabling credit unions to strongly compete with the largest banks in the United States.
"The expansion of Shared Branching is important to credit unions’ growth, and it’s a vital piece of a successful branching strategy,” said John Ferstl, MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation. "Shared Branching can help increase member retention by offering consumers numerous branch options around the state and nationwide. This network of service centers increases the probability that members can find a credit union nearby – no matter what the circumstances.”
To learn more about the benefits of Shared Branching, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.
ICUL Service Corporation, CUNA Strategic Services launch CUMONEY Family Card
Earlier this month, CUNA Strategic Services, in partnership with ICUL Service Corporation, introduced another tool to help credit unions compete – the CUMONEY Family Card. This pre-paid debit card is geared toward teens and serves as an effective payment method and financial education tool.
The CUMONEY Family Card carries the teen’s name and is funded, restricted and supervised by an adult. Parents and other gift-givers have the security of knowing that cards are not directly linked to their accounts and that this product effectively helps their teen learn how to manage money. In addition to the 20 million Visa locations worldwide, the CUMONEY Family Card works at ATMs across the country.
ICUL is the leading provider of pre-paid debit cards to credit unions, providing 2,700 credit unions in 49 states with gift cards, CU TravelMoney, and CUMONEY pre-paid debit cards. Benefits to credit unions include:
- Additional ongoing revenue;
- Minimal liability or fraud exposure;
- Competitive advantage and cross-selling opportunities to your credit union;
- Stronger relationships with members; and
- Easy-to-operate program that only requires an internet connection
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 email or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Visit the Event Calendar and check out the roundtables, telecourses and webinars available.