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|The Pulse (02-25-15)|
The Pulse (02-25-2015)
February 25, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 8
Credit Union News
Cummins, Nussle talk industry issues, emphasize credit union difference with Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal
Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) President & CEO Mark Cummins and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President & CEO Jim Nussle sat down with Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (MSPBJ) reporter Kathy Grayson earlier this week in Minneapolis. Along with a focus on Minnesota credit union growth, their discussion centered on the regulatory burden facing credit unions, cyber security threats and the partnership between MnCUN and CUNA on these issues.
Credit union membership continues to grow, with national credit union membership surpassing the 100 million member mark in 2014. In Minnesota, credit unions serve a new high of more than 1.64 million members, and they experienced strong year-over-year asset, deposit and loan growth between year-end 2013 and 2014. That growth included $881 million in assets, $647 million in deposits and $713 million in loans over the one-year period.
“Credit unions are attracting new members from the millennial generation,” said Cummins. “Membership and loan growth are both positive signs for the long-term future of credit unions as well as Minnesota’s economy.”
Moving on to regulatory reform, Nussle mentioned that since 2009, more than a dozen agencies have enacted over 190 regulations totaling nearly 6,000 pages. “Reducing this regulatory burden is a critical issue for credit unions as well as big and small banks at both the state and federal levels,” he said.
Cummins agreed and added that “Regulations are crushing for credit unions. While we realize that some regulation is needed, it’s a matter of how far you let the pendulum swing to strike the right balance between what’s necessary and what’s excessive.”
On the topic of cyber security threats, data breaches and related costs, Cummins and Nussle stated that Congress needs to take action and hold merchants accountable for data breaches by getting them to protect consumer information and reimburse credit unions for the costs incurred as a result of breaches. Credit unions not only cover the cost of fraud, but also costs of blocking transactions, reissuing cards, increasing staff at call centers and monitoring consumer accounts. Ultimately, credit unions and their members end up footing the bill for data breaches.
Cummins and Nussle also addressed misconceptions some consumers have about credit unions, highlighting convenience, service and security.
"With 30,000 ATMs, credit unions have the largest network in the entire country – even bigger than Bank of America – but service is not just about the number of ATMs there are," said Nussle. “When a member comes into a credit union to talk about a loan or other service, they know that they are sitting across the table from a member just like them – not with someone who is just looking to make money.”
Cummins reinforced the message that money deposited in credit unions is safe and secure. “Not all consumers are aware that NCUA coverage of credit union deposits carries the same level of insurance that the FDIC provides to banks,” he said. “That’s a perception we still need to overcome.”
Nussle wrapped up the interview by talking about the biggest opportunity for credit unions. “As people become aware of the non-profit model, they’ll flock to credit unions. Overcoming consumer misconceptions and removing regulatory barriers will spur additional credit union membership.”
Consumers across the country continue to discover credit unions – the smarter choice in the financial industry!
aSmarterChoice.org uses news stories and member testimonials to educate consumers about credit unions. The national credit union locator on the site enables users to quickly and successfully find a credit union in their area. In addition, this website offers free marketing resources that credit unions can use to promote this valuable tool.
In 2014 consumers who used aSmarterChoice clicked on search result links to individual Minnesota credit unions nearly 2,000 times. To maintain that momentum, credit unions need to update their own information within the locator to ensure that it’s accurate and comprehensive. Take the time to review information posted for your credit union on the website. To edit your profile, visit aSmarterChoice.org's update your records page or contact Scott Shoberg at the Network office for login credentials.
Minnesota credit unions do great things for their members and communities every day, so be sure to share your story with the Network! When stories are submitted to MnCUN – either via press release or through a brief synopsis provided in an online form – they become part of the Network’s "cycle of news.”
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation CU4Kids committee will once again be hosting a Blackjack tournament during the 2015 Minnesota Credit Union Network Annual Meeting being held at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington.
Credit Unions in the News
Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers recently. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.
The members of System United Corporate Federal Credit Union (SunCorp) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed merger with Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union (Alloya). The effective date of the merger is February 28, 2015.
The combined Corporate will provide investment, financial, lending, and correspondent services to more than 1,600 member credit unions throughout the United States. Alloya will retain approximately half of SunCorp’s employees. SunCorp members are expected to convert to Alloya’s secure transaction portal, Premier View, in May.
“This merger adds 206 members to Alloya’s current membership, plus additional scale,” noted Tom Graham, President and CEO of SunCorp. “SunCorp members gain continued access to an owned financial cooperative for wholesale services with increased scale, additional services and greater financial strength. Members will continue to receive great service from staff they know,” added Graham.
“This partnership with SunCorp adds several strategic benefits for members. Beyond additional scale, revenue growth and enhanced value, this merger opens a doorway to western markets for Alloya,” said Todd Adams, Alloya’s President and CEO. “By maintaining a local presence in Colorado, Alloya adds experienced and dedicated staff as well as member service access in all four U.S. continental time zones,” continued Adams.
SunCorp is System United Corporate Federal Credit Union, a full-service financial cooperative serving credit unions, CUSOs, and credit union associations throughout the Western States. SunCorp provides payment services, free lines-of-credit, and investments delivered with superior member service and the benefits of cooperative ownership and pricing. For more information, please visit www.suncorp.coop.
About Alloya Corporate FCU
Alloya provides critical cooperative services to nearly 1,500 member credit unions in ten core states and beyond, including investment, financial, lending and correspondent services. Headquartered in Warrenville, Illinois, Alloya offers a dependable and affordable Line of Credit, secure and efficient product access and settlement, and unparalleled member service to its members. To learn more, visit www.alloyacorp.org.