Output (10-28-11)

Output (10-28-11)


October 28, 2011   ●   Volume 34, Issue 21                                                                           Archived Issues

CUs encouraged to sign debit card pledge

Minnesota credit unions have the opportunity to tout their dedication to serving members by signing a pledge to keep their debit cards fairly-priced. Building upon the momentum gained by Bank Transfer Day, this document will bring attention to Minnesota credit unions' "people helping people” philosophy.

Bank Transfer Day is a social media campaign set up by a California small business owner who is fed up with big bank fees. Through Facebook and Twitter, she is encouraging consumers to move their money from big banks to local credit unions on or by Nov. 5. As of Oct. 27, more than 65,000 people have pledge to move their money by this day, which provides credit unions a significant opportunity to build membership – especially among young people.

To help credit unions take full advantage of this opportunity, MnCUN has assembled a Debit Card Pledge for Minnesota credit unions to submit. This online pledge states that credit unions will remain dedicated to "continuing to offer fairly priced banking services to members.” Those that submit the online pledge by Monday, Oct. 31, will be included on a list of credit unions dedicated to fairly-priced debit cards. This list will be published online and will also be distributed to various media outlets in advance of Bank Transfer Day.

Credit unions are encouraged to review and "sign” this pledge to help MnCUN communicate to consumers and the media that credit unions are dedicated to putting their members first. To access the pledge, visit the Pledge page of the Network website. In addition, the Bank Transfer Day page contains talking points, a sample press release and a checklist to help credit unions prepare for this event.

If you have any questions about the pledge or promoting Bank Transfer Day, contact MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson by email or at (651) 288-5527.

MnCUN to introduce shared compliance services & consulting

Credit unions seeking additional compliance support should look no further! Beginning in 2012, the Minnesota Credit Union Network will begin offering two new compliance services to enhance credit unions’ internal compliance programs.

The Shared Compliance Services Program allows credit unions to contract with a highly-qualified compliance professional for assistance in managing their compliance programs. Each compliance officer will be a full-time employee of MnCUN contracted out to individual credit unions to work on-site for pre-specified time blocks (i.e. one week per month). Compliance officers will receive and maintain all appropriate certifications and be managed at the expense of MnCUN, minimizing the overall cost to credit unions.

Each credit union will work with the compliance officer to develop a customized program designed around its unique needs. Compliance officers will work as part of a credit union’s team to identify issues and assist in implementing solutions.

The Shared Compliance Services Program is ideally suited for credit unions that do not want or cannot afford a full-time resource – or those that wish to outsource compliance services or supplement their own internal efforts.

MnCUN is also developing a Compliance Consultant Program that allows credit unions to contract for a highly-qualified compliance professional to perform specific tasks. A standard menu of consultant services will be available, with the option to customize services to adapt to an individual credit union’s needs. This program is ideal for credit unions that wish to outsource some or all of their compliance functions and/or auditing needs.

Additional details, options and pricing information will be available in the coming weeks! With immediate inquiries, please contact Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.

MnCUN refreshed website now live

In mid-October, the Minnesota Credit Union Network launched its refreshed website. Featuring an updated look and navigation panel, the site furthers the Network's initiative to strengthen its overall image and communication with credit unions.

Some of the new features incorporated into the site include an updated products and services section, as well as a redesigned employment opportunities section. In addition, MnCUN's online registration system has been improved to make registering for yourself and others a simpler, more efficient process.

The refreshed site also provides an enhanced profile section for those that have an account on the Network website. Credit union professionals and volunteers can now update their profile with contact information, professional details and email subscription preferences. If you had an account on the old MnCUN website, you can sign in using the same username and password. If you didn't have an account on the previous website, you can create a new user profile on the refreshed website.

While MnCUN has updated its online look, all the information and features included on the old website are still available on the refreshed website. Visit mncun.org today and discover the resources and information it has to offer.

NCUA Chairman Matz to host webinar

NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz will host a free webinar open to the entire credit union industry on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. (CDT). This session will review NCUA initiatives and provide an opportunity for open dialogue between credit unions and the agency.

Topics that will be covered during the webinar include: updates on the resolution of the corporate credit union system, the health of the Share Insurance Fund, the progress of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative and the 2012 budget outlook. In addition, participants will also be able to ask questions about other related topics.

While the webinar is free, registration is required. To register, visit the Event Calendar page of the Network website. For those unable to listen to the live session, a webinar archive will be able on the NCUA website approximately two weeks after the event. 

Rising bank fees leave the door open for credit unions

As the nation's largest banks begin charging higher fees for debit card use, credit unions have a unique opportunity to tout their ability to offer members lower and fewer fees.

Following the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, which dropped the revenue earned from interchange fees from 44 cents per swipe to 24 cents, Bank of America announced that it will charge its debit card users a $5 monthly fee. Banks such as Wells Fargo and Chase are also considering implementing fees for debit card transactions and other services. A majority of credit unions, however, are able to offer free checking and lower fees because of their cooperative, member-owned business model. Consumers, fed up with rising fees, seem receptive to exploring these options.

Now is the time for Minnesota credit unions to spread the word about what makes them stand out from their for-profit counterparts. To assist credit unions with this effort, MnCUN has developed a sample press release and sample newsletter article that promotes the credit union difference. To download these documents, visit the Promote Your Credit Union page of the Network website.

Credit union executive nominated to NCUA Board

On Oct. 20, President Barack Obama nominated Carla Leon-Decker, President of $48 million District Government Employees Federal Credit Union, to serve on the NCUA Board. Leon-Decker will succeed Gigi Hyland, whose six-year term on the board expired in August.

Leon-Decker has diverse credit union experience, including serving as an operations manager and later as President/CEO of PAHO/WHO Federal Credit Union from 1994 to 2000. Prior to that, she worked as a branch manager of Transportation Federal Credit Union. She is also a credit union development educator and director of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals.

The next step in the process is for Leon-Decker's nomination to be confirmed by the Senate. A vote on the nomination could possibly come before the end of the year.

Small Business Lending Seminar archive now available

Credit union professionals that were unable to attend MnCUN's Small Business Lending Seminar on Tuesday, Oct. 25, can now access an archive of the session. This session provides information on lending programs aimed at offering more credit to small businesses.

As part of the Small Business Jobs Act, Minnesota will receive $15.5 million in federal funds for state lending programs that will help finance loans for small businesses. The Small Business Lending Seminar explores the programs and offers an opportunity to learn about Minnesota's federally-funded initiatives, including:
  • Renewing the Capital Access Program (a state business loan loss reserve fund);
  • Working with lenders to loan money to businesses;
  • Providing business loan guarantees; and
  • Seeding angel investment funds.

To access the archived seminar, visit the Small Business Lending Seminar page of the Network website.

Traffic on aSmarterChoice.org booms as consumers seek CUs

Since Bank of America's announcement of its new $5 monthly debit card fee, traffic on aSmarterChoice.org has increased fourfold. This new fee and those implemented by other banks have caused many fed-up consumers to utilize this credit union locator. Now more than ever it is imperative that Minnesota credit unions ensure that their field of membership information on aSmarterChoice.org is accurate and up-to-date.

Launched in February of this year, aSmarterChoice.org is a web-based tool aimed at helping credit unions build membership. It features an all-inclusive, comprehensive credit union locator that uses information from an online database to provide consumers a list of credit unions they are eligible to join. The database is maintained and updated by each individual credit union, and 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 accurate.

To update your information, visit the administration page of aSmarterChoice.org. If you need a password 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.

Deputy Commissioner Kevin Murphy to retire

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced that Deputy Commissioner Kevin Murphy will retire in December. Murphy, who has been in this role for 13 years, has shown support over the years for all sectors of the financial services industry, including credit unions. The opening for this position was officially posted on the Department's website in mid-October.

Credit union recognition…

Dennis Bauer of Postal Credit Union was named a finalist of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's 2011 CFO of the Year Awards. These awards recognize chief financial officers at public and privately-held companies, as well as nonprofits. Winners are chosen by a panel of business development and finance experts.

Credit union notes…

  • In mid-October, Royal Credit Union announced Rudy Pereira as its new CEO. Pereira is a 25-year veteran of the credit union industry, serving most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations and Technology at Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, Ill. Pereira replaces retiring CEO Charles Grossklaus, who has been with Royal Credit Union for 40 years.

  • On Oct. 26, Wings Financial Credit Union introduced R. Frank Weidner as its new President/CEO. Weidner currently serves as Senior Vice President for member services at the $7.9 billion Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, Ill. He success Paul Parish who is retiring from the credit union at the end of the month.
  • Share Advantage Credit Union welcomed Kellee Lueck as its new President & CEO on Oct. 1. Lueck has 23 years of financial experience, including nine years as CFO at Share Advantage Credit Union. Prior to that, she was a CFO at Lakewood Bank for 14 years. She replaces longtime President/CEO Knut Hovde who retired on Sept. 30.

Online Discovery Conference materials available until July

Credit union professionals and volunteers that missed CUNA Mutual Group's Online Discovery Conference have until July 4, 2012, to access the conference's materials. Held on Oct. 4, the Online Discovery Conference was a web-based event that attracted more than 1,800 credit union and league staff members from around the country and world.

Registrants can view or revisit the 13 credit union-focused sessions, download all conference materials, visit the expo hall and network with peers by downloading virtual business cards. The archive feature continues to provide Online Discovery participants with full control of their conference experience, according to Steve Johnson, CUNA Mutual senior vice president, marketing and credit union strategy.

To access the conference materials, visit the Online Discovery Conference website. To learn more about the products and services CUNA Mutual Group has to offer your credit union, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.

Free webinar provides member service solutions

In today's financial services environment, meeting and surpassing the needs of credit union members is more important than ever. CO-OP Financial Services invites credit union professionals to discover more ways to deliver superior service during a free webinar set for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Titled From High-Tech to High-Touch: Becoming a Total Solutions Provider, this webinar will explore consumer behaviors and attitudes and how to deliver critical member services effectively. It will also investigate the impact of contradictory member perceptions and how to solve them using technology such as mobile banking, as well as person-to-person tactics. Participants will learn how other credit unions are meeting member expectations.

To register for this session, visit the Event Calendar of the Network website. For those unable to attend in person, the webinar will be available on demand. To learn more about the CO-OP Financial Services, 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 variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Visit the Event Calendar and check out the roundtables, telecourses and webinars available.

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

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