July 15, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 14 Archived Issues
Dora, Louise & Desjardins Awards due today!
Credit unions have until 4 p.m. today to submit their entries for the statewide Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins Award competitions. These social responsibility awards recognize credit unions that have gone above and beyond to live out the ideals of the credit union movement.
Tout your CU’s unique service efforts during the shutdown
As the state shutdown continues, many consumers and members affected by the shutdown are seeking financial assistance. Therefore, it is imperative that your credit union communicates the programs and services it is offering to members affected by the shutdown. Even if these programs are part of what you normally offer to members, the public needs to hear about them.
The most effective way to spread this message is to use the media. To assist you in getting the message out, the Network has developed a sample press release for you to modify and send to your press contacts. The document outlines what to focus the press release on and provides resources to help you find media contacts in your area.
Since it is unclear exactly when a budget agreement will be reached, credit unions should send this release today. When sending the release, be sure to include MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson on your distribution list. Also if you have any questions about how to write or send the release, contact Rachel by email or at (651) 288-5527
To download the sample press release and for more information about the budget impasse’s impact on credit unions, visit the Government Shutdown page of the Network website. In addition, the Network has created a Shutdown Assistance web page that provides consumers needing financial assistance resources on how to find a credit union they can join.
MnCUN responds to NCUA’s prepayment assessment program
Following NCUA’s final version of the corporate prepayment assessment program, MnCUN sent a letter to the agency urging it to increase the funding level cap to an amount higher than $500 million. The Network sent the comment letter following the agency’s approval of a plan on June 29 that would allow credit unions to prepay a portion of their assessments to the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund.
While the Network appreciates the majority of the changes NCUA made to the final prepayment plan, it is concerned that the $500 million cap is too low. In the letter, MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins stated that "NCUA’s self imposed $500 million liquidity cushion of its $6 billion line of credit from the Treasury department could be used to alleviate some of the agency’s cash flow concerns.” In addition, Cummins encouraged NCUA to reconsider its position regarding the borrowing authority from the Treasury.
To assist credit union in deciding whether or not to participate in the corporate prepayment program, CUNA has developed a white paper on the issue. This publication notes that the prepayment program's financial benefits may not be broadly felt but could prove vital for some credit unions.
For more information about the prepayment assessment program and to download the white paper, visit the NCUA Corporate Assessment Prepayment Program page of the Network website. Credit unions that wish to participate must submit a completed program agreement by Friday, July 29.
Fall Conference offers discounts for small credit unions
Does your credit union have less than $25 million in assets? If so, you are invited to attend Fall Conference at a discounted price by taking advantage of MnCUN’s Small Credit Union Discount and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Grant.
With MnCUN’s Small Credit Union Discount, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets can send one registrant at half price for every full price individual that registers for the conference. In addition, credit unions with less than $25 million in assets and less than $35,000 in net income in 2010 can receive a Foundation grant to cover the remaining conference expenses. Small credit unions are eligible to receive up to $500 in Foundation grants each year.
Take advantage of these discounts and join the Network for its Fall Conference. This year’s event will feature sessions on the economic outlook, credit union differentiation, board self evaluations, revenue strategies and more. In addition, attendees will have several opportunities for networking and recreation.
For more information, a printable brochure and online registration, visit the Fall Conference page of the Network website. When registering, be sure to check the small credit union discount boxes.
Network meets with international professionals to discuss the CU difference
MnCUN welcomed participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) to its office on Aug. 1. Seven professionals – from Argentina, Bulgaria, Israel, Malawi, Oman, the People’s Republic of China and Sri Lanka – visited MnCUN to learn more about credit unions, their role in communities and initiatives for financial recovery.
MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins (above, left) and Hiway Federal Credit Union President Jeff Schwalen (below, second from right) provided participants of the IVLP an overview of the credit union difference and structure during their visit to MnCUN’s office on July 1.
The purpose of the group’s nearly three-week visit to the United States was to learn about efforts to strengthen the global economy and to gain a better understanding of the relationship between U.S. and foreign financial systems. During the group’s meeting with MnCUN, participants learned the role credit unions play in the U.S. financial industry.
During the discussion, MnCUN staff members provided an overview of the Network’s purpose and explained the credit union difference. The IVLP participants questioned how the economic crisis affected financial institutions in the U.S. MnCUN President and CEO Mark Cummins explained that while a few credit unions were severely affected, the impact was much less overall than for banks.
The seven visitors also were quick to engage Network staff in a variety of questions about how credit unions are regulated and how they operate. Helping to answer specific operations questions, Hiway Federal Credit Union President Jeff Schwalen talked to the group about credit unions’ cooperative model, how profits are passed on to members and the benefits of shared branching.
"It was a very educational experience meeting with these professionals from all over the world,” Cummins said. "They came with intelligent questions and showed genuine interest in how our financial system – specifically relating to credit unions – operates in the United States. It was a privilege to participate in this exchange of information and to help in their understanding of the credit union movement in this country.”
MnCUN seeks seminar recommendations
Do you have ideas for future MnCUN education sessions? Is there a topic you’ve always wished we would cover? Now is your chance to send your ideas our way!
The Network’s education department is currently working on the 2012 Event Calendar and welcomes input from member credit unions. To submit topics for consideration, please contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.
Sign up early for MnCUN’s planning sessions
It’s not too early to start thinking about planning sessions. If you are interested in scheduling a planning session with the Network, now is the time to make your appointment as staff schedules are filling up quickly.
The Network provides fee-based training and consultation to enhance development opportunities and credit union growth. Some of the services offered include:
- Strategic planning seminars;
- Business plan development; and
- On-site, customized training for volunteers, staff or management teams.
For more information on the Network’s consultant services, visit the Planning Sessions page of the Network website.
CUNA Mutual accepting Excellence in Lending applications
The Excellence in Lending Awards identify and share examples of lending excellence within the credit union movement and recognize credit unions for their ability to serve members while sustaining sound financial performance. Credit unions may submit an application for the following categories:
- Consumer Lending Excellence
- Mortgage Lending Excellence
- Low/Modest Means Excellence
- Business Lending Excellence
The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Aug. 5. For more information and printable applications, visit the CUNA Mutual Group website.
Nominate a colleague for Finance & Commerce’s Top Women in Finance
Finance & Commerce is now accepting nominations for its Top Women in Finance Award. Celebrating its 11th anniversary, this award recognizes women across the state for outstanding achievements and leadership.
Honorees will be selected for their outstanding work and notable contributions to their professions, communities and the society at large. Nominees should have an impressive professional track record, leadership experience, and a history of community involvement. Past Top Women in Finance honorees may be nominated again. Once an honoree has been recognized three times, they are entered into the Finance & Commerce Top Women Hall of Fame.
Nomination forms can be obtained from the Finance & Commerce website. Nominations are due Monday, Aug. 1.
Lakes & Pines Chapter Golf Outing set for Aug. 5
Credit union professionals and volunteers are invited to attend the Lakes & Pines 34th Annual Golf Tournament & Steak Fry at Hoyt Lakes Golf Course in Hoyt Lake. The event will begin with a nine hole golf scramble at 1 p.m., followed by a social hour and steak fry starting at 5 p.m.
The registration deadline for the tournament is Monday, July 25. For more information and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
Help members save time and money with Intuit
Members spend significant amounts of time managing their money. With Intuit Financial Services, the creator of Turbo Tax, your credit union can provide members tools to save them time and money.
Intuit turns their insights into innovations that are so in tune with your members, that they can’t imagine going anywhere else. More than 1,800 banks and credit unions trust Intuit with the future of their online banking services. With easy-to-use online financial management tools that simplify everything from taxes to deposits to paying bills, Intuit leads the shift from information to intelligent advice. Consider these statistics about customers who use Intuit products:
- FinanceWorks users are up to four times more profitable compared to the average household account holder.
- FinanceWorks users are so satisfied with the experience that 78 percent would recommend their financial institution based on the solution.
- Bill pay users are up to 271 percent more profitable.
- 89 percent of customers who used TurboTax for online banking had a more favorable impression of the financial institution because of the offering; 47 percent said they are more likely to recommend their financial institution to friends and family.
For more information about how your credit union can reap the rewards offered by Intuit Financial Services, visit the MnCUN Strategic Alliances page of the Network website. With questions about Intuit, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Youth & credit unions: An extraordinary pair
Is your credit union looking for ways to increase youth involvement? With CU Succeed®’s turn-key youth marketing programs, your credit union can more effectively serve younger members today and in the future. The benefits of the program include maximized loyalty and minimized uncertainty.
- Offer products that will carry your members through their current life stages into their borrowing years
- Make your credit union the main resource for financial needs including products, services and education for younger members
- Teach your young members the credit union difference through CU Succeed®’s engaging websites, newsletters and marketing tools
- Grow your young members into savvy, responsible and loyal adult members
- Ensure the survival of your credit union by reducing your average age of membership
- Guarantee responsible membership by teaching younger members financial education and sound money practices
For more information about CU Succeed, visit the MnCUN Strategic Alliances page of the Network website. With questions about CU Succeed, 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.
- July 19 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Incentives & Recognition
- July 20 (1 p.m.): Political Involvement Committee
- July 20 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Electronic Payment Systems
- July 21 (8:30 a.m.): MnCUN Board of Directors Meeting
- July 21 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Developing Better Ethics
- July 21 (10:30 a.m.): Roundtable – Compliance/Fraud
- July 21 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Reg Z Requirements for Non-Mortgage Loans
- July 22 (9:30 a.m.): Commercial Lending Roundtable & Golf Outing
- July 24: WOCCU World Credit Union Conference
- July 25: NYIB Conference
- July 26 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Board Package Preparation
- July 27 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – It Takes a Village: Community Charters
- July 27 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Avoiding Lender Liability Pitfalls
- Aug. 3 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Safe Deposit Legal Issues
- Aug. 4 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Loan Concentration Risks
- Aug. 5 (1 p.m.): Lakes & Pines Chapter Golf Outing