As an organization designed to serve and support the needs and interests of credit unions around the state, the Minnesota Credit Union Network works hard on behalf of its members year-round. MnCUN is committed to providing a viable option for membership at an affordable price, while working to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. We do this by creating a positive public environment through leadership, political advocacy, education, awareness and regulatory assistance.
We are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities credit unions face in today's changing financial environment. With a dedicated, committed and passionate staff, our members can have confidence that the Network is experienced, accessible, informed – and ready to assist in any way possible.
Through our consistent presence and valuable service offerings, MnCUN has maintained an affiliation rating of above 90 percent for more than a decade. We value our members' continued trust in us, and we appreciate the opportunity to be able to serve credit unions throughout the state.
Goals & Strategic Objectives
The Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors and staff are regularly engaged in the development of MnCUN's strategic plan. We are keenly focused on creating the environment to help credit unions grow marketshare, and we are tireless advocates of the credit union movement. Our three-year strategic plan grounds our core activities in four overarching goals:
- Create a favorable legislative environment
- Ease the regulatory burden on credit unions
- Increase marketplace awareness of credit unions
- Provide robust product & service offerings to credit unions through strategic partnerships
Specific measurable goals and annual initiatives are derived from these broad goals to maintain our strategic framework and create a shared vision for the association and credit unions throughout the state.
Activities & Accomplishments: January-June 2014
Throughout the course of the year, Network staff work hard to accomplish a wide variety of initiatives in accordance with MnCUN’s strategic plan. The list below provides a glimpse into activities during the first half of 2014….
building a powerful grassroots force to protect & strengthen Minnesota credit unions
- MnCUN launched the Why I Love My Credit Union campaign in March of 2014, asking credit union members provide submissions in writing and by video. As of June 30, nearly 400 stories had been collected from credit union members and employees from across the state! In addition, these stories have been shared with the media and will also be given back to credit unions for use in their internal marketing.
- Through the Grassroots Coordinators program developed in 2013, Network staff continue to engage key leaders at 30 credit unions. Communications and events targeting Grassroots Coordinators provide credit unions with the “inside scoop” on legislative initiatives and involve them early in advocacy efforts.
- As the state and the country gear up for the 2014 elections in November, MnCUN worked with the Political Involvement Committee to identify and select credit union-friendly candidates to endorse. Additionally, MnCUN is conducting a candidate survey to ascertain candidates’ position on credit union issues and create a CU voter guide.
STATE LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
shaping the industry’s future by creating a favorable legislative environment
- Throughout the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session, MnCUN’s governmental affairs team lobbied elected officials on bills that would impact the credit union industry. (See the 2014 Session Summary for full details.)
- The Network’s lobbying team – with the support of GREAT (GrassRoots Education & Action Team) members – halted a proposal that would have mandated pre-foreclosure mediation for any lender. This legislation also would have applied to any subsequent lien holders on a property, including home equity loans, and, if they were found to have acted in “bad faith,” by not participating in mediation, for example, their lien would have been voided.
- Prior to the 2014 Legislative Session, MnCUN proactively worked with a state housing advocacy group to discuss concerns regarding the current foreclosure process, which culminated in the introduction and passage of a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Dayton. Referred to as the Curative Act, the bill clarifies the statute of limitations for curative provisions for validating or invalidating a mortgage foreclosure, and made permanent the definition of a “small servicer” which was due to sunset in August 2014, making permanent an exemption from certain loss mitigation provisions for lenders completing fewer than 125 foreclosures during the preceding 12 months.
- MnCUN continues its work to preserve the credit union tax status and is actively engaged in discussions about tax reform, even after the success of the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign generated more than 60,000 Congressional contacts to Minnesota’s elected officials. This strong advocacy was able to keep credit unions out of the House Ways & Means Committee Chairman’s tax reform proposal that was released in February.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
increasing awareness of credit unions
- As the Network continues to deepen its penetration and engagement with the media, staff continue to meet with newspaper editorial boards around the state of Minnesota – most recently Mankato and Rochester – to educate writers and editors about the credit union difference. Additionally, MnCUN welcomed four members of the Capitol Press Corps to participate in a panel discussion at the 2014 CU Day at the Capitol.
- In delivering the credit union message to a variety of important audiences on social media, MnCUN staff continue to enhance the industry’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, providing timely updates and relevant news to friends and followers.
- In partnership with Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Current,” MnCUN co-sponsored the spring schedule of Policy and a Pint, a program that provides information and education on various policy issues. This program targets young professionals, advocates and future public opinion leaders – a beneficial audience in which credit unions can gain awareness.
- The Network continues to publish its Connected to Community newsletter that is sent to legislators, media, and public opinion leaders – and this year, distribution of that newsletter was expanded to GREAT members.
disseminating information to credit unions, consumers & the media
- A major focus of the past year has been to encourage credit unions to share their stories with the Network, and to be able to create a “cycle of news” to share those stories more effectively. With the launch of a revised News Channel in March, this is now the home of all credit union news – including published stories and news coverage, credit union press releases, and releases from the Network and the Foundation.
- In April MnCUN began circulating a weekly Media Digest to 200+ media contacts around the state, summarizing all news published and distributed over the past week. This is just one step in the “cycle of news,” which also includes posting to state and national social media sites, story pitches to local press and trade press, and inclusion in The Pulse newsletter.
- MnCUN executed a slate of events and activities in April, also known as Financial Literacy Month, highlighting credit unions’ efforts to educate their members and communities. The Network created and distributed an infographic to legislators and members of the media illustrating how credit unions lead the way in financial literacy, and MnCUN also coordinated a series of press events to garner additional earned media.
REGULATORY ADVOCACY & COMPLIANCE
helping to ease the regulatory burden on credit unions
- MnCUN’s compliance team meets regularly with the Regulatory Review Committee to discuss proposed rules and files comment letters on behalf of credit unions, including the risk-based capital proposal, penalties for late call reports & profile submissions, the proposed rule regarding home-based credit unions, and the associational common bond proposed rule.
- Network staff spearheaded efforts among credit unions in the state to submit comments on NCUA’s risk-based capital proposal, which included a draft letter to guide credit unions, as well as an informational conference call and online resource center.
- MnCUN’s compliance department provides consistently reliable compliance support to all member credit unions through phone, email, newsletter and other publications, including monthly reminders of upcoming dates and deadlines.
- The department also continuously monitors the legal and regulatory environment and provides updates by webinar, special publications and teleconference, such as the Target data breach and its effect on credit unions.
- The Network provides strong advocacy on behalf of Minnesota credit unions through quarterly meetings with regulators from the NCUA and Department of Commerce to maintain open lines of communication and to be able to candidly discuss credit union concerns. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz attended MnCUN’s Annual Meeting in April and also met with Minnesota credit unions in June at Hike the Hill.
- Through the Compliance Services Program, MnCUN staff provide compliance and audit expertise, working on-site with credit unions around the state.
Providing opportunities for interaction, learning & professional development
- Each year, MnCUN coordinates a professional development lineup that includes training on a variety of topics and in various formats. Major events include Annual Meeting, Credit Union Day at the Capitol, Fall Conference and CEO Conference.
- The 2014 Annual Meeting was a resounding success, which included a complete format change and new venue at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. The two-day conference welcomed more than 450 credit union professionals and volunteers from 78 Minnesota credit unions and 55 service organizations from across the country. The conference featured KARE 11 TV anchor Kim Insley, NCUA Chairman Chair Debbie Matz, and industry speakers Brett Christiansen, John Lass, and Anthony Huey.
- Network staff continues to develop The Crew, its professional development & networking group for credit union staff 35 and under. This year, MnCUN named its first Crew Ambassador – Amanda Kissner of Wakota Federal Credit Union – to help shape and guide the Crew’s activities and offerings. The Crew had an exclusive session with NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in April, among other events.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Delivering solutions & savings to credit unions
- MnIPC continues to work through the integration process following its asset purchase of North Dakota-based credit union service organization ProDraft Services Inc., adding to its processing solutions portfolio. This acquisition provides additional strength for MnIPC clients and offers a continuation of the services offered by ProDraft, with the benefits of enhanced technology, greater efficiencies and increased financial stability.
- Through MnCUN’s Compliance & Audit Services, credit unions received highly-qualified audit and compliance services – either one time or on a quarterly or monthly basis –ranging from Bank Secrecy Act, plastic card reviews and lending compliance to SAFE Act, vendor management and website reviews.In illustrating the strong partnership, CUNA Mutual Group and the Minnesota Credit Union Network held a joint planning session to analyze the Minnesota market, discuss changes in the local landscape, and implement strategies for greater penetration and collaboration.
- To help credit unions leverage social media to improve their communications with members and potential members, MnCUN partnered with DAYTA Marketing to help credit unions develop their social media strategy. DAYTA brings a high level of social media experience to the credit union industry, offering varying levels of support from consulting to email marketing and website development, to complete management of a CU’s social media program.
We need you!
The strength of the Minnesota Credit Union Network is our unity and our willingness to work cooperatively. Not only do credit unions help each other as a part of the cooperative movement, but MnCUN also spearheads our industry's advocacy efforts and communicates with a broad base of legislators on behalf of credit unions.
The strength that comes from joining together to advocate for the credit union movement and 1.6 million credit union members around the state is immeasurable. Affiliation is key to our success and to the success of the industry.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve credit unions across the state, working together to meet the present and future challenges. We encourage you to contact us at any time!
The Three-Tiered System: MnCUN, Credit Unions & CUNA
As a member of the Minnesota Credit Union Network, you are also a member of CUNA, the Credit Union National Association. This three-tiered system – which brings together CUNA, the state Networks/Leagues, and credit unions – is the most effective advocacy engine for the credit union movement, supporting 92 million credit union members nationwide. See the documents below for information on CUNA and its various activities and accomplishments.