Output (03-25-11)

Output (03-25-11)


March 25, 2011 Volume 34, Issue 06                                                                                  Archived Issues

Credit unions called to action on interchange issue

The introduction of interchange legislation in the House and Senate has propelled the credit union movement into a number of advocacy efforts on this important issue. Last week elected officials in both legislative bodies introduced bills that would delay the implementation of the interchange provision of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform package. This delay would be extremely beneficial to credit unions, which is why the Minnesota Credit Union Network is calling all credit union professionals and volunteers to contact members of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation about the interchange legislation.
The Debit Interchange Fee Study Act (S. 575), introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would delay implementation of the interchange rule for two years and give Congress a chance to study the rule’s implications before proceeding with the legislation. In addition, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a similar bill in the House (H.R. 1081). Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-6th District) is one of 27 elected officials who signed on as a co-sponsored of the House bill.
Last year, the provision to reduce interchange fees passed as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform package. The subsequent rule set forth by the Federal Reserve Board proposes to reduce the interchange rates credit unions receive by more than 70 percent. Since these rates would not adequately cover debit card costs, credit unions are advocating Congress to delay action on the interchange provision or to eliminate it all together. If it moves forward, the proposed decrease in interchange fees would result in an increase in debit card costs for credit unions and their members.
Due to the significance of this issue, it is imperative that credit union professionals, volunteers and members encourage their elected officials to support this bill. To send a message to your elected officials, visit the GREAT web site. In addition, within the next week individuals will be asked to participate in a Call on Congress for this issue. More information about this advocacy tactic will be available soon.

Garnishment rule webinar now available

To assist credit unions in complying with the new garnishment rulefor federal benefit payments, the Network has a training CD-ROM available for purchase. Effective May 1, 2011, financial institutions must implement new procedures for handling garnishments on accounts that receive federal benefit payments via direct deposit.  For the first time, federal law will protect consumers’ federal benefits from garnishment. 
This recorded presentation will explain the new procedures that financial institutions must follow for a garnishment against an accountholder who receives certain types of federal benefit payments.  It will overview the proper procedures to follow for a garnishment order, garnishment deadlines, and the types of federal benefits that are exempt under the new rule. In addition, attendees will learn how to determine the amount that is exempt, discuss restrictions on garnishment fees, and receive a model notice that must be sent to accountholders.
This CD-ROM training is a cost-effective way to ensure your credit union employees understand the new garnishment rules. Through this education option, you may train as many individuals as you like for one set price of $200. In addition to the CD-ROM, you will also receive an on-demand web link of the presentation that you may distribute to employees at other branches.
To purchase this CD-ROM, visit the New Garnishment Rule for Federal Benefit Payments page of the Network web site. With questions about purchasing the CD-ROM, please contact Sue Groskreutz for assistance.  With questions about complying with these new garnishment procedures, contact MnCUN General Counsel John Wendland or MnCUN Associate General Counsel John Teske.

Annual Meeting to feature "Minnesota Hold’Em” poker tournament

Are you willing to ante up? Join MnCUN for a "Minnesota Hold’Em” poker tournamentduring the Network Annual Meeting on Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Coordinated in conjunction with Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee, this entertaining event will benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
Credit union professionals and volunteers will compete for the title of "Minnesota Hold’Em” Champion. Refreshments will be available for players and non-players. Come try your hand at cards or cheer on others as they go "all in” for a good cause.
Space in the tournament is limited and pre-registration is required for the event.* More details and a printable entry form will be uploaded to the Annual Meetingsection of the Network web site soon. Money raised at the event will benefit the children and families served by Gillette. For more information about MnCU4Kids visit the committee web site. 
*No entry fee or sponsorship is required to participate in the tournament.

CUs invited to attend financial literacy session   

Over the next two months, credit unions will have the opportunity to attend two financial literacy sessions hosted by organizations dedicated to this issue. Focusing on various aspects of financial education, these sessions will provide credit unions information on how to effectively educate members about money issues.
  • Minnesota Financial Fitness Conference – April 20-21, Alexandria
    This year’s Financial Fitness Conference will focus on integrating financial fitness for greater impact and sustainability. It is geared toward individuals dedicated to helping those in need achieve self-sufficiency. The conference will feature sessions on financial decision making, behavioral economics, home buying, gambling, budgeting, job searching, and how to teach a variety of financial concepts.  
  • Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy Train-the-Trainer Workshop – May 18-19, Collegeville
    This workshop will provide instruction on how to teach from the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum. Attendees will learn the information included in the teaching materials and gain skills in facilitating training and group sessions for people with low incomes. Participants will also receive the Four Cornerstones curriculum, which can be integrated into the financial education credit unions provide. 
Attend one of these informative training sessions and learn how to help members improve their financial well-being. For more information and to register for the session, click the links above.

Minnesota CUs receive Marketing & Business Development Awards

Six Minnesota credit unions received accolades at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Conference held March 16-19. The state's winning credit unions were recognized in the Diamond Award competition at the conference.
The credit unions’ marketing pieces were chosen from among hundreds of entries submitted for the contest. The following awards were received by Minnesota credit unions:
  • Affinity Plus FCU: Diamond Award for its Ditch Your Bank campaign
  • City & County CU: Diamond Award for its CCCU Members’ Connection publication
  • Mid-Minnesota FCU: Merit Award in the publications category
  • Mayo EFCU: Diamond Award for its redesigned web site
  • Northern Communities CU: Diamond Award for its NCCYOU ATM/Debit card 
                                               Merit Award for its "We are NCCYOU” commercial series
  • TopLine FCU: Diamond Award for its Auto Loan 1% Cash Back direct mail series 
                                  Merit Award for its Mortgage Refinance direct mail piece
CUNA’s Diamond Awards represent the pinnacle of excellence in credit union marketing and business development. The credit unions’ award-winning pieces were evaluated on strategy, design, publication, creativity, copy and communication, and results.

NCUA to host Small CU Workshop on May 12

The NCUA will host a Small Credit Union Workshop on May 12 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriot in Bloomington. This free workshop is tailored to credit unions with $50 million in assets or less and will focus on issues facing small credit unions.
The conference will provide tools and information to help credit unions tackle the current issues facing the movement. Learn about examination issues, payment system service provider due diligence, financial literacy, the NCUA consumer protection office and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend a session that fulfills the key requirements of the new director financial literacy rule. Upon completion of the session, participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance.
While this conference is free, pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the Event Calendarsection of the Network web site. 

Credit union notes…

  • Como Northtown Community Credit Union recently announced that it will merge with TopLine Federal Credit Union in April. The merged credit unions will have more than $300 million in assets and will serve 36,000 members through branches in Brooklyn Park, Edina, Maple Grove, Plymouth and St. Paul.
  • John Larson, Chairman of the Minnco Credit Union Board of Directors, passed away on March 14. Larson was involved in many credit union political activities and was a solid supporter of the movement.

Balance Sheet Solutions offers free webinars on marketable securities

In an effort to help credit unions stay up-to-date on current topics, Balance Sheet Solutions, LLCis offering credit unions access to free webinars on marketable securities. This educational series investigates various security investments available to federal- and state-chartered credit unions.
This series discusses the basics of investing and more complex investment topics, including types of suitable investments and the risks they carry. The sessions are broken down in three succinct topics:
  1. Investing in Marketable Securities – Necessary First Steps
    Participants learn about policy changes, broker/dealer due diligence, accounting factors and treasuries.
  2. Overview: Federal Agencies
    Explore various Government Sponsored Entities, accounting considerations, callables vs. non-callables, and how to identify risks.
  3. Overview: Mortgage Backed Securities, Collateralized Mortgage Obligations
    Participants will learn about how MBS and CMOs are created, premiums/discounts and interest rate risks, and what to look for when purchasing.
Credit unions can view these webinars at any time on the Balance Sheet Solutions, LLCweb site. Balance Sheet Solutions, LLC is a credit union service organization wholly owned by Members United Bridge Corporate FCU. For more information about the company, visit the Balance Sheet Solutions, LLCweb site.  

Diebold offers ATM solutions

Credit unions looking to serve their members better through ATM, security and deposit services are invited to investigate Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Services provider. Diebold is the leading provider of ATMs in the U.S. and a global supplier of self-service systems. In addition to manufacturing state-of-the-art equipment, they address multiple credit union needs through comprehensive service solutions surrounding ATM services, security services, deposit automation and branch transformation.
Diebold, the original ATM innovator, offers integrated equipment and service solutions that enable credit unions to securely automate personalized attention to each member. ATM deployment provides many benefits for you and your members. Specifically, it:
  • Provides convenient 24-hour account access;
  • Helps members avoid surcharge fees;
  • Shortens teller lines, giving better service to members; and 
  • Saves money – ATM transactions cost less than teller transactions.
Diebold is well known for innovative, reliable equipment, but the greatest reason to consider Diebold is their flexibility and breadth. There is no credit union need too small or great for Diebold. Need one ATM? Done! Want to outsource the maintenance and upkeep of your entire ATM fleet, have your branch premises physically secure, and recycle cash at your teller lines? No problem! Diebold is ahead of the curve in understanding how members interact with their money now and in the future.
Partner with Dieboldtoday and discover the ATM solutions it has to offer! For more information about the company, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.

Grow your service to businesses with Small Business Authority

Are you looking to expand and strengthen your service to small- and medium-sized businesses? If so, Small Business Authority, a CUNA Strategic Services Partner, has a service solution for you. Small Business Authority is one of the premier providers of business services and financial products to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States.
The Small Business Authority is focused solely on providing services to businesses, and does so primarily through alliance relationships. It is a non-depository institution, which means they are not competing for members’ accounts. As such, the company works to preserve the relationship between each member and their credit union. A business services specialist will answer each member's questions, provide thoughtful guidance and assist the member in the completion of the application. The benefits receive through this partnership include:
  • Credit unions receive a one-time referral fee or an ongoing revenue share, depending on the specific service
  • Credit unions can begin offering business services to their members quickly, with no up-front investment in additional staff or infrastructure
  • The Small Business Authority provides marketing and training support for each credit union
  • An online referral system – NewTracker™ – allows credit union staff to enter and track the status of member referrals online, 24/7
  • Each credit union chooses which services they want to offer to their members – from one service to the entire suite
Discover how the Small Business Authority’sbusiness solutions can benefit your credit union. For more information about the company, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail 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 webinars available. To register for these events, visit the online Event Calendar.
  • March 29 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse –Reading & Selling from a Credit Report
  • March 29 (5:30 p.m.): Arrowhead Chapter Meeting
  • March 30 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Board & Management Compliance Training
  • March 31 (1 p.m.): Political Involvement Committee Meeting
  • March 31 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Overdraft Protection Programs
  • April 5 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Managing Difficult Employees
  • April 5 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Death of a Lending Member
  • April 6 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Alternatives to Collateral Foreclosures
  • April 7 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Risk Management for Senior Management & Directors
  • April 7 (11:30 p.m.): MnCUN Board of Directors Meeting
  • April 8-9: MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention
  • April 12 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Firewalls: Compliance Guidelines
  • April 13 (2 p.m.): CUNA Mutual Webinar – Survive the Unthinkable
  • April 13 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Impaired Loans and ALLL
  • April 14 (TBD): Central Minnesota Chapter Meeting 


Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034