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|The Pulse (08-12-15)|
The Pulse (08-12-2015)
August 12, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 32
Credit Union News
Preliminary data released by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) show that Minnesota credit unions experienced robust year-over-year growth in assets, deposits and loans between the second quarters of 2014 and 2015. Growth includes $884 million in assets, $699 million in deposits and $1,133 million in loans over the one-year period.
“Credit union loan growth has been impressive, and we’re pleased to see this continuing sign of consumer confidence,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark Cummins. “These loans are making a positive difference for families and communities throughout Minnesota.”
Credit unions submit quarterly data to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This summary and analysis was compiled by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.
Credit unions statewide showed they think highly of the Minnesota Credit Union Network, according to results of the 2014 Performance Survey. In an effort to provide quality, valuable service to member credit unions, MnCUN conducts an annual survey in late March to gauge its performance over the previous calendar year. The Network Board reviewed these results at its July 24 Board meeting.
Minnesota credit unions gave MnCUN an overall satisfaction score of 5.68 on a scale from 1‐7.
Of the respondents, 86 percent said that MnCUN has improved or maintained its service to credit unions. MnCUN got high percentages of “agrees” – rankings of 6 or 7 on a scale of 1‐7 – in all the following categories: responds in a timely manner to my CU’s needs, keeps me informed, understanding credit union needs, is progressive, is democratically run, and is financially sound. MnCUN was labeled accessible, professional, informed, experienced, well‐managed and an excellent leader. The majority of respondents gave all six attributes a rating of 6.6 or 6.7 on a scale of 1‐7.
Of MnCUN’s core competency areas, respondents ranked Regulatory/Compliance Support and Legislative Advocacy as the top two most important services; followed by Communications, Training/ Education, Operational Support/Member Service and Products & Services.
MnCUN's Performance Survey, introduced in 2001, helps the Network staff and its Board of Directors evaluate offerings and monitor trends in credit union satisfaction, based on whether the Network has improved, maintained or declined in its service to member credit unions.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is hosting a free webinar on Aug. 20, at 1 p.m. focusing on NCUA's Member Business Lending (MBL) proposal. Bill Hampel, CUNA's Chief Economist, Lance Noggle, Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel, and Ryan Donovan will discuss the proposal, its potential impact on credit unions, and key points to raise in your comment letters. The webinar will also be an opportunity for credit unions to provide feedback on the proposal and ask questions. To learn more and to register, see CUNA's website.
The Regulatory Review committee met recently to discuss the proposal, and anticipates submitting a comment letter shortly after CUNA’s webinar. For more information, see the July NCUA report, or our June 24 article in the Pulse. If you have any thoughts or recommendations for commentary, please email to VP & General Counsel, John Wendland.
Comments are due on or before Aug. 31.
Trade your work attire for jeans and help raise funds for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
There are three main ways to participate in Miracle Jeans Day:
To register and order merchandise visit the Miracle Jeans Day website.
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 Communications Specialist Laura Whittet.
Minnesota’s Credit Agreement Statute was enacted to protect lenders and financial institutions in their dealings with borrowers. A commit to lend or restructure a loan in Minnesota is not binding until there is a signed writing and as the economy gains momentum, it is a good time to review the protections provided by this statute.
By: Jodie Leigh Grabarski
Minnesota enacted Minn. Stat. Section 513.33, commonly known as the Credit Agreement Statute of Frauds, in the 1980s which was at the height of both the farm credit and savings and loan crisis. Generally, the statute’s purpose was to protect creditors from allegations stemming from alleged oral promises made by lenders in conversations with their borrowers. Section 513.33, Minn. Stat. benefits financial institutions and their depositors by requiring written agreements between lenders and borrowers. The statutory purpose was to avoid fraud in existing or proposed lending relationships.
Section 513.33, subdivision 2, provides that “[a] debtor may not maintain an action on a credit agreement unless the agreement is in writing, expresses consideration, sets forth the relevant terms and conditions, and is signed by the creditor and the debtor.” The term “credit agreement” is defined as “an agreement to lend or forbear repayment of money, goods, or things in action, to otherwise extend credit, or to make any other financial accommodation.” Minn. Stat. § 513.33, subd. 1(1). What lenders sometimes miss in reading the statute is that the statute protects agreements to lend as well as agreements to forbear. And most importantly, section 513.33, subdivision 3(b), provides that a “credit agreement may not be implied from the relationship, fiduciary or otherwise, of the creditor and the debtor.”
When negotiating with any borrower, it is always important to begin any conversation with the caveat that unless the parties’ agreements or discussions are reduced to writing and signed by both parties, there is no agreement between the lender and the borrower to lend, or there has been no amendment of the original loan terms then in existence. Many lenders refuse to engage in such discussions unless the borrower first provides a written proposal to the financial institution for its consideration. Oftentimes loan officers do not have the authority to offer a loan or restructure it without the consideration of the financial institution’s board of directors or loan committee. Requiring the borrower to make a proposal in writing allows the financial institution to consider the proposal without engaging in oral negotiations where oral promises can be alleged.
When enacted in 1985, Minnesota’s Credit Agreement Statute did not contemplate immediate electronic mail communications either. As we all know email is extremely useful, but it is also dangerous. It is best not to negotiate loan terms, or restructure or renewal terms, electronically. In any written communication by a lender it is good practice to include a statement indicating that the electronic communication is not a credit agreement under Section 513.33, Minn. Stats.
Minnesota’s Credit Agreement Statute was written to protect lenders. Use of good lending practices contemplated by the statute will continue that protection. First, remind borrowers at the outset that only a written agreement between the borrower and lender can create a lending relationship. Second, make sure that written agreements signed by the parties to create or amend the relationship are always used. In following those two steps lenders can avoid the need to rely on the statute in defensive litigation. So, lenders, don’t forget to write.
The contents of this article are intended to be informational, and not legal advice regarding any specific case or set of facts. However, if you do have questions, Peter Tiede and Jodie Grabarski at Tiede Grabarski are happy to discuss any time, and as a practice don’t charge Credit Unions for ad hoc calls. They can be reached at (651) 964-2518 (Peter) and (651) 964-2514 (Jodie), and can be found at tiedegrabarski.com.