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|The Pulse (12-17-14)|
The Pulse (12-17-2014)
December 17, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 50
Credit Union News
MnCUN, CUNA urge president to sign credit union insurance parity bill
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act. The bill directs the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to extend share insurance coverage to trust accounts, such as Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and other similar accounts, opened and managed by credit union members.
The Senate's unanimous approval of the IOLTA bill brings parity treatment for credit unions in relation to banks.
With questions about Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts, contact MnCUN Associate General Counsel Lyndsay Miller by email or by phone at (651) 288-5517.
MnCUN dues packets will be mailed to all Minnesota credit unions on Friday, Dec. 19. The packets include dues invoices, CUNA and MnCUN's Power of Association brochures, and information about MnCUN's three voluntary funds to which credit unions can contribute for 2015. They include:
Minnesota Credit Union Network dues should be remitted by Friday, Jan. 30. With questions, please contact the Minnesota Credit Union Network at (651) 288-5170 or (800) 477-1034.
Minn. credit unions see business lending, auto loan growth in third quarter
According to final data reported by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Minnesota credit unions experienced significant growth in lending in the third quarter of 2014. Nationally, credit unions recorded their highest annual loan growth rate since the first quarter of 2006, with outstanding loan balances rising 10.1 percent over the third quarter of 2013.
Minnesota credit union member business lending grew nearly 15 percent, outpacing the national result of 12.6 percent. Auto lending – for both new and used vehicles – was also strong with growth rates of 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively, over the same time period in 2013.
“Credit unions are lending more to Minnesota businesses and consumers, which shows that confidence in today’s economy also continues to grow,” said Mark Cummins, Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO. “These loans are helping communities all across Minnesota build a brighter future.”
The strong growth trend for Minnesota credit union membership also continued during the third quarter, increasing by nearly 8,000 to reach a new high of close to 1,644,000. That total reflects a gain of nearly 37,000 memberships since the end of the third quarter in 2013. Overall, credit unions have experienced positive membership growth since 2011 and steady asset growth each year since 2007, as outlined below:
Minnesota Credit Union Membership and Assets
Credit unions submit quarterly data to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This summary and analysis was compiled by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.
Trust matters – credit unions pummel banks in national consumer survey
Continuing the positive trend for Minnesota credit unions, a recent American Customer Satisfaction report found that credit unions outpaced banks in a number of important measures. The report showed that consumers rank credit unions first in availability of products and services, interest rate competitiveness and helpful staff.
“All of these positive results show that Minnesota consumers continue to choose credit unions because they are trusted, locally-owned financial partners,” Cummins said. “Minnesotans see that credit unions work for people – not for profit – and they choose credit unions because they align with their own values.”
HomeTown Credit Union’s thriving student-run Owatonna High School branch focus on Senate Commerce Committee hearing
Minnesota’s Senate Commerce Committee learned about the successes of HomeTown Credit Union’s student-run branch at Owatonna High School during a hearing on Tuesday.
Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman kicked off the day’s testimony by talking about the importance of building financial capability skills for individuals and families.
“I applaud the partnership between HomeTown Credit Union and Owatonna High School,” said Rothman. “They are on the front line of financial education and are helping Minnesotans build financial security starting in kindergarten and throughout their lives.”
Through the in-school branch office at Owatonna High School, which is operated by student workers and supervised by a HomeTown Credit Union manager, the credit union is helping to fulfill a need for more personal finance education at the high school level.
“We strive to educate youth to help avoid financial pitfalls later on in life,” said HomeTown Credit Union Youth Education Supervisor David Dorsett. “Our student employees learn by working at the branch and also share the knowledge they gain with their peers.”
Elements of the credit union branch have spread to the classrooms at Owatonna High School as well. “We were persistent in getting the school board to support opening the credit union branch,” said Owatonna High School Business Education Instructor Scott Pierce. “We offer three sections of personal finance classes, and what the students learn working in the branch provides them with even more tools to help their peers learn about finances.”
Providing an example of the benefits gained by workers at the student-run credit union branch, Owatonna High School senior Jack Livingston said, “Today is my two-year anniversary of working at the credit union branch. In those two years I’ve gained real-world, professional experiences that I can use as I go on to college and throughout my career.” Livingston plans to study finance at Minnesota State University-Mankato next year and has already conducted 20 peer-to-peer financial education presentations.
During the hearing, senators chimed in with remarks about the student-run credit union branch. “It is important to me as a legislator to see what schools are doing in financial education and to get a broader idea of what’s possible,” said Sen. Vicki Jensen, Commerce Committee Vice Chair, who represents the Owatonna area and has visited the school’s branch. “I see the value in all you are doing.”
Commerce Committee Chair Sen. James Metzen agreed, “This should be going on in every school in Minnesota. It’s so essential for kids to learn about finances and money.”
Wrapping up the hearing was Mara Humphrey, Minnesota Credit Union Network VP-Governmental Affairs. “We are very excited and encouraged by what credit unions are doing, and our Minnesota Credit Union Foundation continues to provide support for establishing student-run branches throughout the state,” said Humphrey. “With these branches, students are learning real-world business skills they can use in their future careers.”
HomeTown Credit Union’s Owatonna High School branch was the first of its kind to open in Minnesota in 2011. The number of student-run branches in the state has grown to five during 2014 and more are planned to open next year.
Minnesota Business Ethics Awards – nominations now open
The Minnesota Business Ethics Award® (MBEA) is seeking nominations to recognize and celebrate businesses with good performance plus good ethics. Established in 1999, the MBEA is a joint effort of the Society of Financial Service Professionals – Twin Cities Chapter and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas, along with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. The Minnesota Credit Union Network is an endorsing organization for these awards.
In the award’s history, 46 Minnesota-based businesses have been recognized and honored for their ethical performance, ranging from firms with fewer than 10 employees to those with more than 150,000.
To nominate a business, click on Nominate a Company and complete the online form. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 23. For more information about the awards visit the Minnesota Business Ethics Award 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 Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.
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