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July 1, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 13 Archived Issues
MnCUN welcomed Lindsey Brache to the Network team on June 30 as its Administrative Assistant. Brache will work to support the Network’s various departments, assisting with meeting coordination, administering programs, maintaining database information, and a wide variety of other functions. She will also serve as the company receptionist.
Brache comes to MnCUN after spending eight years at a Twin Cities credit union, beginning as a teller and expanding into member service, loss prevention and collections. Brache fills the position previously held by Marva Jean (MJ) Chevalier who left the Network in May.
Credit union professionals and volunteers are invited to attend MnCUN’s annual Fall Conference on Sept. 9-11 at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd. This weekend event is held at one of Minnesota's finest resorts and provides credit union professionals and volunteers opportunities for education, networking and recreation.
This year's conference will feature experts presenting on timely credit union topics geared toward both credit union professionals and volunteers. Sessions for credit union professionals will focus on realistic revenue strategies and tactics for reinventing the credit union. Volunteers will be able to attend a Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) on board self-evaluations, along with sessions about board effectiveness and strategy. In addition, the conference will feature general sessions providing insight into the economic forecast and the credit union differentiation factor.
Additionally, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets are eligible to attend Fall Conference at a discounted rate. With the Small Credit Union Discount, credit unions receive one half-priced registrant for every full-priced registrant.
Lodging and meals for Fall Conference are not included in the MnCUN registration fee, and reservations must be made through Madden’s by Tuesday, Aug. 2. Attendees must stay at Madden’s to participate in the conference. Make accommodation requests early, as rooms are granted on a "first come” basis.
For more detailed information and to register online, visit the MnCUN Fall Conference section of the Network website. To take advantage of the early bird discount, registration and payment must be received by Tuesday, Aug. 2. The deadline for regular priced registrations is Tuesday, Aug. 23. With questions about Fall Conference, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.
After sorting through more than 11,000 interchange comment letters – 5,600 of which were from credit unions – the Federal Reserve Board approved a final interchange rule on June 29 that implements provisions of the Dodd-Frank Regulatory Reform Act. The most significant change of the final rule was the increase of the interchange cap from 12 cents to 21 cents, which will cover network connectivity, hardware, software, and labor costs, as well as costs related to network processing and transaction monitoring. An additional five basis points per transaction may be charged to cover fraud losses.
A separate interim final rule was proposed that would allow an additional cent to be charged if financial institutions are in compliance with Federal Reserve’s established fraud prevention standards. Comments on this interim final rule, which is effective Oct. 1, 2011, will be accepted until Sept. 30.
In addition, the final rule requires issuers to provide a debit card that can be processed on at least two unaffiliated card networks, such as one signature network and one unaffiliated PIN network, two signature networks, or two PIN networks. The final rule also prohibits issuers and payment card networks from limiting merchants' ability to choose the network on which a transaction is routed, limited to those networks on which the debit card is enabled to be used.
Within the final rule, the board included provisions that would enable the Federal Reserve to gauge the effectiveness of the small issuer exemption. In April 2012, Federal Reserve staff will report on whether a two-tiered system has been effectively implemented and the impact of the rule on small issuers' interchange fee income. Staff will also present a more comprehensive report to the Board by April 2013, which will include information on whether there is a change in income for smaller issuers, whether merchants are discriminating against small issuers, and the impact of the network exclusivity provisions.
On June 29, the NCUA Board approved a plan allowing credit unions to prepay a portion of their assessments to the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund. The approved plan took into consideration the comments submitted by credit unions and substantially revamped the agency's original proposal. The changes that were made to the plan include:
While the NCUA received feedback suggesting that the agency provide interest on funds pre-paid by credit unions, the board declared that NCUA does not have the authority to issue interest-bearing debt.
NCUA has posted prepayment instructions and a participation form on its website. Credit unions must complete the participation agreement by Friday, July 29. More information about the prepayment plan, along with links to the participation agreement, may be found on the NCUA Prepayment Plan page of the Network website. In addition, NCUA will be holding a webinar focused on the prepayment plan on Monday, July 11 at 1 p.m. More information about the webinar will be posted on the Network’s website once it is available.
Credit unions have two weeks remaining to submit their entries for the 2011 social responsibility awards. Enter the Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins Award competitions and be recognized for the characteristics that make your credit union unique.
Award entries must be submitted to the Network office by Friday, July 15. For in-depth award and application information, visit the National Credit Union Awards Programs section of the Network website.
Does your credit union present financial education seminars to young members or students? If so, be sure to report your presentations to the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB). All presentations made from July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011, may be recorded in this reporting period.
NYIB collects financial education data from credit unions nationwide on presentations made to individuals age 26 or younger. The Network, CUNA and NYIB use the information when speaking to elected officials about the education efforts of credit unions. In addition, NYIB will recognize credit unions who demonstrate outstanding performance and support of credit union advocacy at its annual conference July 25-28 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The reporting deadline for presentations made during the 2010-2011 school year is Tuesday, July 8. For information on how to report through NYIB, visit the Family Involvement Council website.
Earlier this year, CUNA launched a new consumer website – called aSmarterChoice.org– to provide consumers a central location where they can learn about credit unions and easily find one they are eligible to join. To increase the effectiveness and accuracy of this search engine, Minnesota credit unions are being asked to ensure that their profile on this site is up-to-date.
Since the site’s launch, Minnesota has been one of the top 10 states with the highest traffic on the website. The all-inclusive, comprehensive credit union locator uses information from an online database to provide consumers with a list of credit unions they are eligible to join. The database is maintained and updated by each individual credit union, so the search engine is only as good as the information credit unions put into it. Therefore, it is necessary for Minnesota credit unions to ensure that their information is up-to-date in the website’s database.
To update your credit union’s information, visit the administration page of aSmarterChoice.org. If you need a password for this site or would like to register your credit union in the database, contact MnCUN Director of Technology Scott Shoberg by email or at (651) 288-5525.
On June 17, CUNA Mutual Group announced that its board approved a plan to convert from a mutual insurance company structure to a mutual holding company structure. In the mutual holding company structure, CUNA Mutual will continue to be mutually owned with policyholders having full ownership of the MHC.
"The mutual holding company structure significantly improves our ability to access capital and to sustain the responsible growth we need without requiring that we move away from a mutual ownership structure and culture," said CUNA Mutual President/CEO Jeff Post.
Post emphasized that CUNA Mutual only asked for a limited MHC and it has no plans to convert to a stock-held company. "We don’t have any interest in demutualizing the company,” Post added.
The CUNA Mutual board indicated it believes in a mutual ownership structure but sees the mutual holding company structure providing more power to implement the company's strategy and improve its financial strength and long-term growth.
The mutual holding company plan must be approved by a two-thirds majority of a policyholder vote. The plan also requires regulatory approval. With questions about this conversion, contact your CUNA Mutual Group representative.
Credit unions seeking cutting-edge financial service and payment technology need to look no further than FIS. FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in more than 100 countries worldwide. Serving financial institutions of all sizes, it provides financial institution core processing, card issuer and transaction processing services.
No other organization offers the breadth of product and the depth of integration that FIS offers. With more than four decades of experience and thousands of customers, FIS has everything credit unions need to provide innovative and reliable EFT and payment processing solutions. From card issuing to transaction acquiring, FIS provides web-enabled, end-to-end products and services that credit unions can count on.
Check out FIS today and discover how it can provide solutions to take your credit union to the next level. To learn more about FIS, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
CUDL, the credit union auto lending network and vehicle shopping website administrator, has introduced two new features for its iPhone application. "Apply for a Loan” and "Sell Your Ride” have been added to the company's AutoSMART iPhone App, which CUDL introduced to credit unions and their members in July of last year.
The new "Apply for a Loan” feature provides credit unions with a mobile solution that helps retain member loan opportunities. Members can apply for an auto loan through their credit union from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The feature is an extension of CUDL's SMART Approval solution, through which credit unions can provide their members with an online pre-approval application and loan decision.
The new "Sell Your Ride” element of the AutoSMART app allows members to post information about their personal vehicles – including automobiles, motorcycles, boats and personal watercraft and RVs – to their credit union's AutoSMART website via their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Credit union members can post their vehicle's information and photos to their credit union's AutoSMART site's "Private Party" vehicles section, using the site's inventory program.
CUDL continually works to improve credit unions’ ability to stay connected with members through the vehicle buying process. For more information about CUDL’s auto lending programs, 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.