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July 29, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 15 Archived Issues
Credit unions have until Tuesday, Aug. 2, to take advantage of MnCUN’s Fall Conference early bird pricing. Attendees that register and pay by this deadline will receive $85 off the standard registration price.
Set for Sept. 9-11 at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, MnCUN’s Fall Conference provides credit union professionals and volunteers a weekend of education, networking and fun. With sessions on topics ranging from the economic outlook to the credit union differentiation to board evaluations, this conference has something for everyone. In addition, Madden’s offers scenic views, first-rate dining and excellent recreational opportunities.
For complete information and to register, visit the Fall Conference section of the Network website.
In his latest column in the Finance & Commerce newspaper, MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins proclaimed that Minnesota credit unions have the potential to significantly improve the economy. A frequent columnist for the publication, his article entitled "Credit unions stand ready to help boost sluggish economy,” was published on July 25.
Referencing Minnesota’s stagnant unemployment rate, Cummins stated that credit unions have the capability and capacity to help the state’s businesses create jobs. The article highlighted that over the past year credit unions have increased member business lending by 5 percent, while the state’s banks decreased business lending activity by 8 percent.
"Credit unions are eager to increase their efforts to help the state’s small businesses create jobs, but they are being held back by a cap that limits member business lending to 12.25 percent of assets,” Cummins wrote.
Referencing member business lending legislation in the U.S. House and Senate, Cummins stated that the passage of these bills could inject $181 million into Minnesota’s economy and help create nearly 2,000 jobs. He highlighted the fact that these new jobs and new loans would be created at no cost to the public.
"I would argue that not passing this legislation leaves money on the table that could help small businesses and hire some of the 6.7 percent of Minnesotans actively seeking jobs,” Cummins concluded. "Now is the time to pass this bill and allow credit unions to fully serve the small businesses that are the engine of our state’s economic growth!”
To view the Finance & Commerce column, visit the Network website's Online Newsfeed.
Minnesota credit unions rated the Minnesota Credit Union Network strongly in the 2010 Performance Survey. In an effort to provide high-quality, valuable service to member credit unions, MnCUN conducts an annual survey in March to gauge its performance over the previous calendar year. The Network Board analyzed these results at its July 21 Board meeting.
According to member credit unions, the Network offers solid service and value from year to year. On a scale from 1-7, MnCUN received an overall satisfaction rating of 6.1, and 90 percent of survey respondents felt that MnCUN has improved or maintained its service to credit unions.
Additionally, credit unions ranked Network staff as being accessible, professional, informed, experienced, well-managed and excellent leaders. MnCUN’s core competency areas of legislative advocacy, communications, and regulatory compliance received overwhelming percentages of "excellent” and "good" ratings.
MnCUN’s Performance Survey, created in 2000, allows the Network Board and staff to evaluate MnCUN’s service and to monitor trends in credit union satisfaction on the basis of improving, maintaining or declining service. To view the Performance Survey results, visit the Credit Union News section of the Network website.
Last week Minnesota’s government shutdown came to an end after Gov. Mark Dayton signed 12 budget bills into law. A number of these laws, along with other bills passed by the legislature, directly impact the financial services industry and the products and services credit unions provide to members. To assist credit unions in sorting through this session’s bills, the Network has published its 2011 Session Summary.
The publication provides a synopsis of legislation that did and did not become law during the 2011 session. A section on each pertinent bill contains information about the authors, MnCUN’s position on the legislation, the bill's final outcome and its impact on credit unions. In addition, links throughout the document direct credit unions to more detailed information about the pieces of legislation.
Throughout session, legislators’ main focus was on developing solutions to the state’s budget problems and working to help Minnesotans recover from the economic downturn. This year MnCUN’s Governmental Affairs staff successfully halted bills that would have required financial institutions to reissue debit cards and would have created an end date for credit unions’ tax exemption status. In addition, members of the GrassRoots Education & Action Team contacted their elected officials to share how these pieces of legislation would impact them and their members.
"This was an important advocacy year for Minnesota credit unions,” said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs. "Throughout session, credit unions were recognized as financial institutions that are dedicated to acting based on the best interest of members. The advocacy efforts of Network staff combined with the political and grassroots involvement of credit union professionals and volunteers enabled our movement to have a strong voice at the State Capitol.”
To view the 2011 Session Summary, visit the Political Publications section of the Network website. With specific questions about the bills and laws highlighted in the publication, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey by email or at (651) 288-5523.
Credit unions’ recent involvement in the advocacy fight against the interchange bill has demonstrated the importance of maintaining a credit union presence on Capitol Hill. This fall credit union professionals and volunteers have the opportunity to visit Minnesota’s federal elected officials during MnCUN’s annual Hike the Hill on Sept. 20-22. This trip to Washington, D.C., will enable participants to meet with Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation and discuss the current issues that are important to the state’s credit union movement.
This year’s Hike the Hill itinerary includes:
For more information and online registration, visit the Hike the Hill page of the Network website. With questions, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber by email or at (651) 288-5533.
Alloya Corporate FCU has released a video testimonial featuring four credit union leaders discussing how the corporate credit union will benefit their institutions. The video serves as a tool that provides information and insight to credit unions as they decide whether or not to capitalize with the corporate credit union.
The 10-minute video is geared toward credit union management and board members, and it features representatives from credit unions with asset sizes ranging from $38 million to $2.2 billion. Each representative discusses the importance of maintaining the credit union cooperative model and insight into why their credit union is supporting the cooperative.
The idea of Alloya Corporate FCU was developed by a group of state league leaders and individuals who were members of Members United Corporate FCU. They worked together to create a new charter to which the assets and liabilities of Members United Bridge could be transferred. A plan to capitalize the corporate credit union has been approved by NCUA, and credit unions have until Wednesday, Aug. 31, to submit their capital subscriptions to Alloya Corporate FCU.
To view the video testimonial and for more information about the corporate, visit the Alloya Corporate FCU page of the Network website.
To assist credit unions in complying with its new financial literacy rule, NCUA is offering a training module on how to read a federal credit union’s financial statements. This session provides volunteers tools and skills to understand credit union financials.
The one-hour training program is designed to introduce financial statement concepts to board members with non-financial backgrounds. Specifically, it overviews the basics of income statements, statements of cash flow and balance sheets. The training helps directors to understand these vital financial statements so that they can meaningfully participate in the control of the credit union.
NCUA’s new director financial literacy rule became effective in July and requires directors to have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting principles. Under the regulation, federal credit union volunteers must be able to read and understand the credit union’s financial statements and ask appropriate questions of management and auditors.
The cost of NCUA’s training module is $15. For more information and to purchase the module, visit the National Credit Union Administration website.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is now accepting nominations for its CFO of the Year Award. This award recognizes CFOs in the Twin Cities for their outstanding performance as corporate stewards.
The awards will be presented in eight categories, and honorees will be recognized for the roles they play in their respective organizations’ growth and profitability. Nominees should have an impressive professional track record, leadership experience and a history of community involvement. The award will highlight the growing importance of financial executives in today's corporate environment.
Nomination forms can be obtained from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal website. Nominations are due Friday, Aug. 12.
With more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs (including 9,000 deposit-taking), CO-OP Network gives your credit union the power to be everywhere for your members. They work with credit unions around the country to help them grow and meet members’ needs.
As the most expansive credit-union-only ATM network in the nation, the CO-OP Network has links to virtually every national and regional system. This network is constantly growing and spans 50 states and 10 countries. Credit unions that participate in the CO-OP Network don’t have to deal with data processing changes or additional data communications links. Plus, they have access to virtually every national and regional network in which credit unions participate.
Become part of the CO-OP Network and plug your members into convenient ATM access. For more information about the CO-OP Network, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Credit unions seeking ways to engage kids can turn to Googolplex®, a product offered by CUNA that includes three customizable websites geared toward kids and youth. These sites enable credit unions to connect with younger members and build loyalty.
Through Googolplex®, your credit union can target three different age groups through 5-Spot (ages 6-10, elementary school), A-J's (ages 11-13, middle school) and C-Note (ages 14-18, high school). Each site features interactive games, videos and colorful stories dealing with money matters and life issues. In addition, subscribers receive access to quarterly newsletters that can be distributed to each age group; marketing resources that include logos, articles and statement stuffers; and free comic strips focused on financial topics.
Subscribe to Googolplex® today and start building the future of your credit union. Reach them young, and they'll reward you with loyalty. For more information, 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 webcasts available throughout the summer. Register online for MnCUN's annual Fall Conference, which offers credit unions professionals and volunteers a weekend of education, networking and fun. Visit the online Event Calendar today.