The Pulse (08-14-13)

The Pulse (08-14-13)

Aug. 14, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 32


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Cummins' editorial underscores necessity of credit unions' tax status

The Minnesota Credit Union Network, Minnesota credit unions and their supporters continue to engage in the "Don't Tax My Credit Union” campaign. To help spread the message of this advocacy effort – and the reason behind it – MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins wrote an editorial on the topic, which recently appeared in the Duluth News Tribune.

In the editorial, Cummins discusses Congress’ plan to rewrite the tax code, eliminating all tax exemptions and adding back in only those that they deem to be most important. As it pertains to the elimination of the credit union corporate income tax exemption, Cummins labeled this "the most serious threat to credit unions – and our communities – that we’ve ever faced.”

This imminent overhaul of the tax code means that more than 400 organizations with various tax exemptions are in danger. In the editorial, Cummins stresses that, because of their tax status, credit unions are able to provide considerable benefits to consumers and the economy.

"Credit unions put money back into Minnesotans’ pockets. All savings from the credit union corporate income tax exemption are passed on to members, who are owners of their credit unions. For every $1 of credit unions’ corporate income tax exemption $10 is put back into the pockets of members and communities. The substantial savings Minnesota credit unions provide to consumers far outweigh any revenue that would be raised by taxing credit unions,” Cummins writes.

The corporate income tax exemption is essential to the survival of credit unions as we know them. This is the message the "Don’t Tax My Credit Union” campaign aims to deliver to Congress. So far, more than 9,500 "Don’t Tax My Credit Union” messages have been sent by Minnesota credit unions to federal legislators. But our goal is 36,000 contacts through this campaign to ensure the credit union voice is heard.

Go to the Network’s Tax Status Advocacy page to get involved in this campaign. With questions on this advocacy effort, please contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith by email, or call (651) 288-5533. To read the full editorial, go to the CUs in the News page of the Network website.

New Deputy Commerce Commissioner meets with MnCUN Board, staff

Last month, the Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors met with the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s new Deputy Commissioner of Financial Institutions. Shane Deal, who was named to the position in May, now leads the team within Commerce that is responsible for state regulatory oversight of state-chartered financial institutions and non-depository entities doing business in Minnesota, including credit unions.

Deal has 20 years of experience in the financial industry, most recently serving as Senior Vice President & Market President at Bank Midwest in New Ulm. He was selected for the Deputy Commissioner post after a national search conducted by a committee of department and financial industry representatives. Pat Pierce, MnCUN Board Chairman and President of City & County Credit Union, was a member of this search committee, which served in an advisory capacity.

"Credit unions and community banks have a lot in common, especially the issues you deal with on a daily basis like compliance and lending obstacles,” Deal said, referencing the "tens of thousands of laws and regulations” that financial institutions must read through and comply with. "But compliance isn't going to go away. We have to figure out how to work within it – and we as a state want to find ways to work together.”

Deal commented on the overall strength of Minnesota’s credit union industry during the economic downturn, and congratulated the state’s credit unions for their "ability to adjust and conform.” He pledged to be accessible for discussion and said he is open to hearing from those who have ideas for improving Minnesota communities and small businesses.

MnCUN has an excellent working relationship with Department Commissioner Mike Rothman and Chief Examiner Carl Schwartz, as well as with previous deputy commissioners.

"We appreciate Mr. Deal’s willingness to meet with Minnesota credit union representatives and become better-acquainted with our industry,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. "We look forward to increased interaction with the Department of Commerce as credit unions continue to grow and serve consumers around the state.”


$10,000 in financial education grants available to CUs through Foundation

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation -- with the mission of providing resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive -- has a strong commitment to financial education. The Foundation is offering $10,000 in grants to assist Minnesota credit unions in implementing financial education projects.

Applications are currently being accepted through Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The Foundation Board of Directors will evaluate applications based on a variety of factors, including credit union value, community impact, collaboration, creativity, and past involvement in and support of Foundation activities. Projects/initiatives must have measurable outcomes and a written follow-up report must be submittedwithin 30 days of the project completion.

For full details and application forms, visit the Financial Education Grants page of the Foundation website. With questions, email MnCUF Staff Liaison Kristina Wright or call (651) 288-5507.


CO-OP Miracle Match applications due Sept. 30

Credit unions planning to host Credit Unions for Kids fundraisers in the remainder of 2013 have until Monday, Sept. 30 to apply for CO-OP Miracle Match grants.

CO-OP Financial Services makes these matching funds available on behalf of its 3,500 client credit unions, and all credit unions and chapters are eligible. Grant applications must be submitted before the date of the event.

"This year marks our 15th year of participating in Credit Unions for Kids," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "The program is national in scope, but dollars raised go to supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the local service areas of the credit unions holding the events. This is an ideal way for credit unions to uplift the community of their members."

In 2012, the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee raised more than $200,000 for its Children’s Miracle Network-designated hospital – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, with clinics statewide. This was made possible in part because of the CO-OP Miracle Match dollars that accompanied the variety of fundraisers hosted by the state’s credit unions. Nationally, more than $3 million was raised by credit unions participating in the CO-OP Miracle Match program and by CO-OP Financial Services through its matching grants, which benefited 68 CMN hospitals in 37 states.

To apply for a Miracle Match for your credit union’s fundraiser, visit the Miracle Match page of the CO-OP Financial Services website.

CU4Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues, the Credit Union National Association and business partners nationwide engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Credit unions are the third-largest corporate sponsor of the hospitals, behind only Walmart and Costco.


Minnesota Credit Union Foundation re-elects leadership

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MNCUF) recently announced its board members and table officers.

At an MNCUF board meeting on Aug. 8, the board re-elected Pat Brekken as Chair, Dave Larson as Vice Chair, and Brian Sherrick as Secretary/Treasurer. Table officers are elected for one-year terms. Brekken and Larson are entering into their fourth consecutive years in these roles, and Sherrick is entering year two.

Brekken is President of Richfield/Bloomington Credit Union and Larson is Senior Vice President of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Executive Director of the Affinity Plus Foundation. Sherrick is the President & CEO of Postal Credit Union.

During the Foundation's annual meeting in late July, Glen Durbahn of Hiway Federal Credit Union was elected to fill the remaining two years of a three-year term that was vacated in January. Durbahn is Vice President of Marketing & Member Relations at the St. Paul credit union, where he has worked for 19 years.

In addition to those mentioned above, three other individuals round out the MNCUF Board:

  • Larry Champeaux, Northern Communities Credit Union
  • Mary Hansen, Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union
  • Kathy Harrington, Heartland Credit Union

"The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation has become a more nimble, focused and impactful organization in recent years, and I appreciate the leadership and direction provided by all members of the board,” Brekken said. "I look forward to making continued progress and working to benefit credit unions and communities across the state.”

Credit Unions in the News ...

Minnesota credit unions are making headlines every day! Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers in recent weeks. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.

  • Fulda Area Credit Union chooses Harland's UltraData Enterprise Core to upgrade the credit union's processing systemmore
  • TopLine Federal Credit Union teams up with the St. Paul Saints for a "Be an Angel for a Day" fundraiser as a give-back to local nonprofits … more
  • Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union sends an intern on a cross-country journey to learn how college students manage their financesmore
  • Cook Area Credit Union wins one of 16 BizKid$ grants to help improve financial education at local schools ... more
  • SouthPoint Federal Credit Union welcomes Jay Gostonczik at its new Vice President of Member Services ... more

"Don't Tax My Credit Union" message now spreading in Spanish
NCUA welcomes Metsger, addresses credit union issues

Fed to host free consumer compliance webinar


CO-OP Financial Services expands products through partnership

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

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