The Pulse (10-16-13)


The Pulse (10-16-13)

Oct. 16, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 41


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

New credit union opens in northeastern Minnesota, serves Bois Forte

After three years of planning and preparation, Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union has received approval from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to open two offices on the Bois Forte Reservation in northeastern Minnesota.

Northern Eagle FCU officials and the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council met with NCUA representatives in September, and approval of the charter was officially announced last week. Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman has scheduled a visit with Northern Eagle FCU on Oct. 22, and the credit union will also host a grand opening this winter.

"Getting the charter was a long, arduous process and our plans endured a lot of scrutiny – as it should be,” said Northern Eagle FCU CEO Nikki Pieratos, Bois Forte’s Community Development Financial Institution and Credit Union Program Manager. "We are happy to finally be able to serve the needs of our Band members and employees. The community has been very excited about this homegrown effort.”

Northern Eagle FCU will serve the 4,900 members and employees of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, and it is the first new federal credit union chartered nationwide in 2013.

The credit union’s field of membership includes all Bois Forte Band members living in Minnesota or outside the state, tribal government employees, employees of the Bois Forte Development Corporation and Nett Lake School, those who are part of the immediate household of a Band member or tribal employee, and credit union volunteers. Offices will be located in Nett Lake at the Bois Forte Band’s new Government and Community Services Center and in the Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Vermillion.

Northern Eagle FCU will provide a variety of products and services, including:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Personal and niche loans
  • Online banking
  • Prepaid debit cards
  • Financial education
  • Money orders and cashier’s checks
  • Non-member deposits
Northern Eagle FCU checking accounts and online banking will be available to all credit union members six months after the grand opening.

"We’re very excited to see Northern Eagle FCU receive their charter. They will be a great addition to the Minnesota credit union family and, more importantly, will provide essential financial services and education opportunities to an underserved part of the state,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "We look forward to working them as they grow their membership.”

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz also said the credit union fills a necessary gap in serving the underserved. "Every American deserves access to affordable financial services, but many Native Americans unfortunately lack access to federally-insured financial services providers or only have access to predatory lenders," she said.

"The chartering of Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union addresses a real need," and the credit union "has the potential to play an important role in improving the lives and financial well-being of Northern Minnesota's Chippewa communities," she added.

Want to build your career, make new connections? Join this Nov. 14 Crew event!

Join the Minnesota Credit Union Network for lunch and a three-part education & networking session for young credit union professionals! This Crew Professional Development event is designed for members of the Network’s young professionals group, The Crew, and anyone who is 35 and younger, wants to grow in their career and is interested in joining this fun networking group. Beginning with a meet-and-greet lunch at Dave and Busters in Maple Grove, the Nov. 14 event will feature:

  • Credit union leaders discussing boards of directors and their roles;
  • MnCUN staff providing an overview of the association, member benefits, and engagement opportunities;
  • Networking and team-building activities focused on leadership and problem-solving.
This first part of this exclusive session, titled "What’s Your Function? Demystifying Boards & the Network,” will provide answers to questions such as: What is the proper structure of a credit union board? How should boards interact with management and staff? What’s a board meeting like? These questions and more will be covered by guest speakers who will their share personal experiences with attendees.

The second portion of the event will be dedicated to deepening involvement and engagement in the credit union industry. Learn more about the Minnesota Credit Union Network, what it does and how to use all of the Network’s offerings.

Network staff will also give a preview of Crew activities in 2014 and introduce opportunities to vie for the title of Crew Ambassador.

The event will conclude with a high-energy team-building activity, including challenges and prizes! Focusing on leadership and problem-solving, this interactive activity will allow participants to get to identify their strengths and get to know other Crew members in a fun setting.

For more details on this unique event and to register, please visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 6. With questions, contact Crew liaison Lindsey Evans by email or call (651) 288-5535.

Credit union reps meet with Owatonna senator on fraud, compliance costs

Representatives from HomeTown Federal Credit Union and Federated Employees Credit Union, as well as Network staff, talk with state Sen. Vicki Jensen (far left) about issues that could affect credit unions during the 2014 legislative session.
Credit union representatives and Minnesota Credit Union Network staff met with state Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna) on Oct. 8 to discuss issues that could affect credit unions at the State Capitol in the coming year.

Staff from HomeTown Federal Credit Union and Federated Employees Credit Union sat down with the senator to share stories about what credit unions are doing to help their members and highlight some potential areas of concern for the upcoming legislative session.

There has been talk about potentially making changes to the state statutes governing credit unions, and the group expressed concern that any major changes would result in added compliance costs. They also addressed the rising costs of fraud and the need to work collaboratively to help combat its spread.

As Vice Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Jensen is positioned to help credit unions continue to serve their members as unfettered from overly burdensome regulations as possible. Jensen expressed strong support for credit unions, noting that she has been a member for many years, and promised to help in any way possible.

"We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Senator Jensen and talk with her about the critical issues that could impact credit unions in the next legislative session,” MnCUN Vice President -- Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey said. "Personal interaction with our elected officials is the best way to keep credit unions at the forefront of our legislators' minds as they deliberate important issues.”

NCUA promises improvements to exam process in 2014

The National Credit Union Administration announced recently that its examination processes will be streamlined and improved starting in 2014.

"This indicates an effort toward a better process for addressing problem examination issues," Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said.

The NCUA's planned changes include setting clear expectations for credit unions and examiners regarding the use of Documents of Resolution (DoRs) and other areas. These changes are reflective of recommendations that CUNA has made to NCUA in the past. More details of the improvements to the exam process can be read in the Regulatory Compliance News section of this week’s Pulse.

CUNA has noted there is still room for improvement and has long advocated changes to certain exam practices. For example, in the 2011 "Credit Union Exam Bill of Rights," CUNA said if a credit union disagrees with a DoR from its examiner, the credit union should be able to contact the regional director to discuss concerns.

Overall, Cheney stressed, the success of these exam changes "will be in actions taken, including whether or not examiners correctly interpret information provided by credit unions." He added that CUNA will follow up with the NCUA on these and other exam issues.

Also, later this year, CUNA and state credit union leagues will conduct an annual National Examination Survey. Credit unions will be asked to describe the strengths and weaknesses of their state and federal regulatory examination experiences. The results of the survey will be used to help improve exam issue advocacy efforts.

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.

  • US Federal Credit Union offers a unique Borrower Resources program and a signature loan program to aid federal employees who have been affected by the government shutdown … more
  • Hiway Federal Credit Union is offering a hand to those facing financial strain due to the shutdown by providing several assistance options including a low-fixed-rate loan, free financial review and a Skip a Payment feature … more

26 credit unions attain their Fair Share fundraising goal for 2013
Janet Yellen nominated to replace Fed Reserve Chair Bernanke

CFPB releases HMDA resubmission guidelines
FFIEC issues alert on Windows XP support changes

NCUA Issues Letters to Credit Unions

Letter No. 13-CU-09: Changes to Examination Report

Minnesota Credit Union Network
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St. Paul, MN 55102

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