The Pulse (10-23-13)


The Pulse (10-23-13)

Oct. 23, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 42


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Minn. credit union leaders featured as "Rock Stars" in CU Magazine

Credit Union Magazine recently published an exclusive list of industry professionals who it has named credit union "Rock Stars.” Minnesota is well-represented among this group with three honorees – Pam Finch, the former Chief Financial Officer at Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union; Dick Nesvold, president/CEO at SouthPoint Federal Credit Union; and Bob Stowell, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at US Federal Credit Union.

These rock stars of the credit union industry from across the country were chosen because they are "unique individuals who demonstrate outstanding innovation in their areas of expertise—and by doing so make the credit union movement a better, more interesting place.” A brief synopsis of the articles on Minnesota’s three honorees are listed below. For the full articles, visit the Credit Unions in the News page of the Network website.

  • Pam Finch: Her zeal for credit unions extends back to her first job as an auditor, when she visited Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union in Baxter, in 1992. "From that point on, I looked forward to serving credit unions," Finch said.
  • Dick Nesvold: Dick Nesvold is an innovative and passionate steward of his credit union and the movement. The President/CEO of SouthPoint Federal Credit Union in New Ulm, Minn., took over the top post in 1996 and has presided over tremendous growth and prosperity for members.
  • Bob Stowell: When Bob Stowell isn’t performing his duties as a Minnesota credit union executive, he might be off in Haiti mixing concrete for a village well-house construction project. Or you might find him administering polio vaccine drops to children at a clinic in India.

The Network’s Credit Unions in the News page features recognition-worthy projects and initiatives from credit unions across the state. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.

Members speak out about value of MnCUN

As the end of the year approaches, the Minnesota Credit Union Network looks ahead to 2014 with energy and optimism. MnCUN staff work as tireless advocates for your credit union and for the entire industry as they provide compliance support, educational seminars, legislative advocacy, networking opportunities and much more!

But don't take our word for it! Find out what your peers are saying about the value of being a member of the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

  • "Among the many valuable services provided by the Network, one of the most critical is that of legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of all credit unions. The Network keeps us up-to-date on the relevant issues and provides a strong and unified voice for us that none of us could ever accomplish on our own."

– Bill Raker, President/CEO, US Federal Credit Union

  • "With today’s economy being so unpredictable, it is reassuring to have the support of MnCUN working on behalf of Minnesota’s credit unions and acting as a political advocate for us. We truly benefit from being a member of a network of credit unions to partner and share ideas in order to help our credit union remain strong and achieve success."

– Jim Carrier, President, Employees First Credit Union

With questions about membership with the Minnesota Credit Union Network, please contact MnCUN Vice President – Association Services Kristina Wright by email or phone at (651) 288-5507.

Final second quarter analysis shows strong net growth, well-capitalized CUs

Minnesota credit union financial performance indicators were again mixed for the second quarter of 2013 as the Minnesota economy gained 20,000 jobs. Looking ahead, improved economic growth is expected across the state in 2014 due to an improving housing market, as well as in the energy and durable goods sectors. With this backdrop, credit union operating results should reflect modest improvement. 

Minnesota’s credit unions experienced strong net growth in the second quarter and the number of Minnesota credit unions considered "well-capitalized” rose to nearly 99 percent. The following are summaries of performance indicators from MnCUN’s second-quarter statistical profile, compiled by the Credit Union National Association.

  • Loan balances increased 2.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, up from a 1.2 percent increase in the second quarter of 2012. A 3.5 percent increase in the member business loan portfolio made it the fastest growing loan category. Consumers continued deleveraging their home equity loan balances which fell 0.9 percent.
  • Minnesota credit unions reported strong net membership growth in the second quarter. Net memberships grew by 12,000 in the second quarter to reach 1,591,000, a 0.8 percent growth rate. However, this pace is slower than the 1.3 percent reported in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Asset quality measures improved in the second quarter. Overall, the 60+ day dollar delinquency rate fell to 0.84 percent compared to 0.90 percent for the first quarter of 2013. Net charge-offs rose slightly to 0.45 percent in the second quarter from 0.44 percent in the first quarter. The Minnesota credit union delinquency rate is less than one-half that reported by Minnesota banking institutions.
  • Minnesota credit unions reported second quarter earnings of 0.79 percent, below the 0.97 percent reported one year earlier. Net worth grew faster than assets in the second quarter increasing the net worth-to-asset ratio to 10.1 percent, slightly below the national average of 10.5 percent. The percentage of Minnesota credit unions considered "well-capitalized” (with PCA net worth above 7 percent) rose to 98.5 percent from 96.3 percent.

For additional insights from the report, go to the Minnesota CU Statistics page of Network website to download the full Second QuarterMinnesota Credit Union Profile.

Credit unions are encouraged to share this information internally and with members of the media, drawing comparisons and contrasts with your individual credit union's data. With questions about the report's information and data, contact MnCUN Controller Tommy Rempfer by email or at (651) 288-5511. With questions about disseminating this information to the media or your members, contact MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn by email or call (651) 288-5527, or contact Communications Specialist Kelli Sandhurst by email or at (651) 288-5503.

Minnesota Credit Union Foundation awards $10,000 in financial education grants

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation recently announced the award of $10,000 in financial education grants to three credit unions. All grant funds will be used to further the credit unions’ diverse financial education programs or initiatives that benefit members and communities.

Recipients were chosen by the Foundation Board of Directors based on a variety of factors, including credit union value, community impact, collaboration and creativity.

"The Foundation Board was very impressed with the applications we received this fall,” said Foundation Chairman Pat Brekken. "It’s impressive to get a closer look at some of the amazing initiatives being coordinated by Minnesota credit unions, and I’m proud that the Foundation can be a resource to provide financial support to these important programs.”

Fall 2013 Financial Education Grant recipients include:
  • Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union
    Foundation grant funding will support MPECU’s partnership with the Duluth Children’s Museum to enhance its "Moneyville” financial education exhibit. This display features interactive, hands-on tours through a mock city to learn economic concepts and experience real-life decision-making scenarios. Moneyville can be toured by the general public or coordinated as a school classroom field trip program.
  • Postal Credit Union
    Foundation grant funding will help PCU develop a peer-to-peer financial education seminar series to deliver to students at Tartan High School, where PCU opened a student-run credit union in early 2013. The education series will provide an in-depth look at four key pillars of financial literacy, including budgeting, saving, credit and money management.
  • St. Paul Federal Credit Union
    Foundation grant funding will support SPFCU’s efforts to open a student-run credit union at Harding Senior High School in St. Paul. This innovative approach to financial education teaches students the basic principles and practices of business, marketing and financial institution operations.

With the mission of providing resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive, the Foundation has a strong commitment to financial education. This is the inaugural year of the Foundation’s Financial Education Grant Program. The program debuted in the spring with the first round of grant awards and will continue with a spring and fall grant period in future years.

Additional information and details are available on the Financial Education Grants page of the Foundation website.

Digital directory featuring MnCUN's VIPs now available online

The 2013 digital directory showcasing the 24 participants of this year’s Minnesota Credit Union Network Vendor Involvement Program (V.I.P.) is now available. The 2013 V.I.P. Directory features full company descriptions, as well as valuable contact information for these vendors that have promised dedicated service to Minnesota’s credit unions.

This digital edition also allows credit union professionals to view it anywhere – on a desktop computer, laptop or by using their smartphone's web browser. This interactive directory can also be downloaded as a PDF, shared by email or social media, or printed.

The exclusive vendor listing is a benefit of participating in V.I.P., which is an advertising program that increases service organizations' visibility among credit unions. V.I.P. participants agree to support the Network and Minnesota's credit unions and pledge to offer professional service, quality product lines and competitive pricing. Participation in the Vendor Involvement Program does not constitute an endorsement by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

More information about the Vendor Involvement Program and links to the 2013 V.I.P. Directory are available on the Network website.

Minnesota CUs for Kids positioned as leaders in state collaboration forum


Signifying the importance of Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) as a state sponsor for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), two credit union leaders were invited to participate in a CMN state fundraisers’ collaboration forum. Established in 2013, this biannual event brings together local representatives from CMN’s premiere corporate sponsors, including Credit Unions for Kids, WalMart, Costco, Ace Hardware, Super America, Dairy Queen, Marriott and RE/MAX. 

Credit unions are the third largest corporate contributor to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals annually, behind only Wal-Mart and Costco. Introduced nationally in 1996, Credit Unions for Kids has raised more than $100 million for affiliated CMN hospitals around the country.  

MnCU4Kids Co-Chairs Marlo Hirl of General Mills Federal Credit Union and David Engler of Hiway Federal Credit Union were among the invited guests at the collaboration forum.  

In 2012, MnCU4Kids raised more than $200,000 through the generous support of credit unions, credit union members, and several local and national companies that work with credit unions, most notably CO-OP Financial Services. All funds raised by MnCU4Kids stay local, supporting Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, which helps kids with disabilities and chronic conditions. Gillette, based in St. Paul with outreach clinics located around the state, is Minnesota’s CMN-affiliated hospital. 

"We are proud of the success of Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids and appreciate the opportunity to be able to share our successes and collaborate with others,” Hirl said. "It’s very valuable to hear from other fundraising organizations and to discuss events and strategies around the charitable work that we’re all doing to support Gillette and CMN.” 

The sharing ideas and resources is at the root of the forums, which encourage cooperation among sponsors. CMN hosts similar meetings in other regions around the country.  

"The passion, creativity and hard work that the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids Advisory Board displays year after year is truly impressive,” said Joe Dearborn, national CMN’s Senior Director of Credit Unions for Kids. "They continue to motivate the credit unions across the state to make miracles possible for kids at CMN Hospitals throughout Minnesota.


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Minnesota Credit Union Network
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