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|The Pulse (05-06-15)|
The Pulse (05-06-2015)
May 6, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 18
Credit Union News
The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a Minnesota Credit Union Network-sponsored bill – H.F. 1127 – on a 125-2 vote on April 30.
H.F. 1127, authored by Rep. Jennifer Loon, allows credit unions to offer prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts that essentially treat every deposit as a ticket in a drawing. With every pre-set dollar amount deposit in a participating financial institution (up to 10 a month) a saver is entered into monthly and quarterly prize drawings.
PLS accounts offer savers the opportunity to win a larger prize with no risk of losing their savings. They encourage consumers to save by changing the savings experience and allowing them to feel the immediate rewards of prizes and incentives. Since 2009, credit unions in the U.S. that offer PLS accounts have helped over 50,000 members save $94 million. The PLS bill was a key focus for the Minnesota Credit Union (MnCUN) this legislative session.
“We thank the members of the Minnesota House of Representatives for their support of this bill,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “Prize-linked savings accounts will give credit unions additional opportunities to help their members build a stronger financial future.”
The Senate version of the bill – S.F. 1043, authored by Sen. Vicki Jensen – now awaits a Senate floor vote.
To take action in support of S.F. 1043, visit the GrassRoots Education & Action Team page of the Network website.
Throughout Financial Capability Month in April – as proclaimed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton – the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and credit unions throughout the state held events to showcase year-round efforts to provide financial education to credit union members and communities.
Below are some of the many events that Minnesota credit unions celebrated in April to highlight projects and programs designed to address the financial education needs of Minnesotans of all ages:
April 6 – Accentra Credit Union & AARP Tax Services, Austin
Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman toured the AARP Tax Services center at Accentra Credit Union in Austin to kick off Financial Literacy Month. The Austin AARP tax preparation site serves 1,500-2,000 area seniors and low income residents every year.
April 21 – Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union & Bridges of Hope, Brainerd
Minnesota Department of Commerce Deputy Commissioner Shane Deal, joined MnCUN and Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union at a “Your Money, Your Goals” training session at Bridges of Hope, a nonprofit organization that serves Crow Wing County and surrounding communities. “Your Money, Your Goals” is a toolkit developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that credit unions can use to train non-profit groups who work directly with consumers, as well as to educate their own members on setting financial goals and managing money, credit and debt.
April 21 – Collegeville Community Credit Union & Saint John’s University, St. Cloud
Minnesota Department of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Deputy Commerce Commissioner Deal and MnCUN visited Collegeville Community Credit Union’s Sexton Commons branch on the campus of Saint John’s University. The Collegeville Community Credit Union location is the first student-run credit union branch on a university campus in Minnesota and was opened with support from a grant received from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation.
April 28 – Fifth Annual Financial Capability Roundtable, St. Paul
CFPB Director Richard Cordray and MnCUN participated in the Fifth Annual Financial Capability Roundtable organized and led by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Active partners with the Commerce Department in providing financial education, Minnesota credit unions played a key role in the event. United Educators Credit Union presented on its partnership with Sand Creek Elementary in Coon Rapids, where the credit union provides financial education resources to students. A group of first graders from the school also sang “Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters,” a song that teaches children how to count money, at the event. Two student workers from Ideal Credit Union’s branch at Tartan High School also participated in the event and shared their experiences working at the school’s branch.
April 29 – Cook Area Credit Union & South Ridge School, Culver
Cook Area Credit Union celebrated the grand opening of its newest student-run credit union branch at South Ridge School. To help establish the newest branch at South Ridge School, Cook Area Credit Union received a financial education grant from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, which funds initiatives that positively impact credit union members and communities throughout the state. Cook Area Credit Union now operates two branches operated in K-12 schools, increasing the total number of student-run credit unions in Minnesota to seven, including four located in high schools and one at a university.
“Credit unions are proud to partner with communities and organizations on financial education projects for people of all ages across the state,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “The combined skills and expertise created by these partnerships helps build a stronger financial future for all Minnesotans.”
Hiway Federal Credit Union (Hiway), at its Annual Meeting on April 29, honored retiring board members, Merritt Linzie and Jerry Holland, as Credit Union Builders through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MnCUF).
Merritt Linzie has been an influential, loyal board member at Hiway for 40 years, serving with five different President/CEOs during his tenure. Linzie held several positions on the board—including Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair—and was very involved in establishing credit union personnel, Nominating Committee, Board and Supervisory Committee recruitment and many other policies.
Linzie also participated in and led all of the major board committees, including the Strategic Planning Committee. In fact, he organized Hiway’s very first strategic planning session, held in the mid-1980s at the University of St. Thomas.
“We thank Merritt for his incredible contributions to Hiway—being a vocal leader, a valuable resource and a trusted and challenging advisor—and for being an outstanding credit union ambassador in Minnesota and nationally,” said Hiway President & CEO, David Boden.
Jerry Holland became a member of Hiway in 1978. He served on both the Supervisory Committee and Board of Directors from 2001–2015, holding the positions of Board Secretary and Vice-Chair. He also participated on several committees, including Budget & Salary, Business Loan and Strategic Planning.
Holland was committed to providing Hiway members with competitive financial services and outstanding service, in addition to ensuring that Hiway’s financial interests were protected.
“We thank Jerry for dedicating 14 years of his time and talent to Hiway, its members and the credit union movement,” said Hiway President & CEO, David Boden.
Linzie and Holland join 32 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with MnCUF’s Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s lobby as a tribute to their accomplishments. The honorees receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the MnCUF’s year-end annual report.
To learn more about the Credit Union Builder Award and to view a list of those who have been honored with this recognition, visit the MnCUF 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.