The Pulse (12-03-2014)
December 3, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 48
The Pulse Archive
Credit Union News
MnCUN hires Compliance & Audit Consultant
Last week MnCUN welcomed Jennifer Stedt as its Compliance & Audit Consultant.
As the Network's Compliance & Audit Consultant, Stedt works with credit unions around the state to provide compliance and audit services. She assists credit unions in meeting ongoing regulatory needs and provides compliance and auditing services on a project basis. She also works as part of a credit union's team to identify compliance issues and assist in implementing solutions.
Stedt is a certified compliance officer with 20 years financial institution experience in a variety of positions. Her hands-on experience in a diverse range of positions enables her to fully understand the intricacies of credit union operations. Specifically, she has experience in risk management, internal auditing, training, compliance and operations. She also has the ability to establish, develop and strengthen programs that facilitate credit union compliance with regulations. For more information about MnCUN's new compliance service, visit the Compliance Services page of the Network website.
Five Minn. credit unions win national awards for community involvement, financial education efforts
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently announced that five Minnesota credit unions received national recognition in 2014 through the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards and Desjardins Financial Education Awards programs. These awards recognize credit union excellence in community service and financial literacy initiatives.
Each award program is divided into various asset categories, and Minnesota credit unions took home the most awards of all the states competing.
Award entries from Lake State Credit Union (Moose Lake), Hiway Federal Credit Union (St. Paul), Cook Area Credit Union (Cook), United Educators Credit Union (Apple Valley) and TopLine Federal Credit Union (Maple Grove) received national awards after taking first place honors at the state level and advancing to the national competition in August.
“All of these Minnesota winners are great examples of the credit union mission of people helping people,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark Cummins. “Their awards are well-deserved, and I am proud of their commitment to helping their members and communities build a brighter future.”
A summary of the award-winning entries follows:
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award was created in 1987 and recognizes credit unions for the activities they coordinate that benefit the community or a specific charity. This award promotes social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their achievements outside the credit union.
- Lake State Credit Union (First place, $100-$200 million asset category) – Lake State Credit Union launched a pledge campaign in area high schools to promote "Drive Now, Text Later.'' The campaign’s goal was for students to pledge not to read or send text messages while driving.
Desjardins Financial Education Award
The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards formally recognize the leadership of individual credit unions in their efforts to educate youths and adults in financial literacy.
- Cook Area Credit Union (First place, Less than $50 million asset category) – Cook Area Credit Union’s youth financial education initiative began by asking: How can we bring financial education back into the schools? The answer: Start a focus group of students and have them create an in-school credit union branch at the K-12 North Woods School while also providing financial education to students.
- United Educators Credit Union (Second place, $50-$150 million asset category) – United Educators Credit Union created a Math Market for first graders at an elementary school in the Anoka Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota. In the Math Market the students learned how to “Save, Share, Spend” by finding out how to identify needs vs. wants, budget their money, count money and make change.
- TopLine Federal Credit Union (Honorable Mention, $150-$500 million asset category) – It’s never too early to talk with your kids about money. That's why Topline Federal Credit Union is committed to Get Smart With Your Monev™ - an ongoing, age-specific financial education initiative that encourages kids and their parents to talk about spending, saving and sharing money wisely.
- Hiway Federal Credit Union (Honorable mention, Greater than $500 million asset category) – Hiway Federal Credit Union’s Learn@Work initiative provides financial education for adults in a series of 24 workplace seminars. The goal of each 60-minute Learn@Work presentation is to provide information that leads to individuals taking action toward greater financial health.
“Credit union commitment to social responsibility and financial education are epitomized by the winners of these awards. The values on display here exemplify the best of the credit union difference,” said CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle.
Award-winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference, March 8-12, in Washington, D.C., and award winners will be honored during a March 11 reception.
MnCUN celebrates 2014 accomplishments
The primary purpose of the Minnesota Credit Union Network is to ensure the success, growth and vitality of our member credit unions. To this end, MnCUN channels the collective energy of credit unions throughout the state and works to lead the industry into the future – together.
Over the past decade, MnCUN has consistently maintained an affiliation rating of more than 90 percent. Through our core service areas, our aim is to create the environment for credit unions to grow. We do that by providing strong advocacy on the legislative, regulatory and public awareness fronts. We also foster cooperation and unity among the industry through education and networking opportunities throughout the year. With MnCUN's strategic goals in mind, the following list provides a glimpse into our activities and accomplishments for 2014.
GRASSROOTS & POLITICAL ADVOCACY
building a powerful grassroots force to protect & strengthen Minnesota credit unions
- MnCUN was heavily engaged in the 2014 mid-term elections, both on the state and federal levels. The Political Involvement Committee endorsed four candidates in Congressional races, all of whom won their bids for election in November. CUVOL, the state’s credit union Political Action Committee, had a 94 percent success rate in supporting 71 candidates in their bids for election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Support was spread evenly across both parties.
- Four Minnesota credit unions engaged in a partisan communication effort this election cycle, in conjunction with MnCUN and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). This action resulted in nearly 70,000 postcards sent by mail to credit union members in support of Congressman Rick Nolan (8th District), who has been one of the strongest credit union supporters in Congress since his election in 2012. Rep. Nolan won victory by a slim 3,500 vote margin, thanks in part to the support of the credit union industry.
- MnCUN launched the Why I Love My Credit Union campaign in March of 2014, asking credit union members to provide submissions in writing and by video. Throughout the course of the year, nearly 600 stories were collected from credit union members and employees from across the state, and compiled into a video summary. Stories were shared with legislators, the media and also given back to credit unions for use in their own marketing efforts.
- Through the Grassroots Coordinators program, Network staff continue to engage key leaders at 36 credit unions. Communications and events targeting Grassroots Coordinators provide credit unions with the “inside scoop” on legislative initiatives and involve them early in advocacy efforts.
shaping the industry’s future by creating a favorable legislative environment
- MnCUN continues to preserve the credit union tax status and is actively engaged in discussions about tax reform, even after the success of the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign which generated more than 60,000 Congressional contacts to Minnesota’s elected officials. This strong advocacy was able to keep credit unions out of the House Ways & Means Committee Chairman’s tax reform proposal that was released in February.
- Throughout the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session, MnCUN’s governmental affairs team lobbied elected officials on more than 70 bills that would impact the credit union industry. (See the 2014 Session Summary for full details.)
- Through MnCUN’s lobbying efforts, seven Minnesota Congressional Representatives and Sen. Franken sent letters encouraging NCUA Chairman Matz to consider dramatically changing the proposed Risk-Based Capital (RBC) rule to make it less onerous. These communications added to an overwhelming tally of letters from Minnesota credit unions and were instrumental in the Chairman announcing that the modified RBC proposal will have a second comment period, as requested by CUNA and MnCUN.
- The Network’s lobbying team halted a proposal that would have mandated pre-foreclosure mediation for any lender. This legislation also would have applied to any subsequent lien holders on a property, including home equity loans, and, if they were found to have acted in “bad faith,” by not participating in mediation, for example, their lien would have been voided.
- MnCUN proactively lobbied for legislation regarding the current foreclosure process, which ultimately was signed into law by Gov. Dayton. Referred to as the Curative Act, the bill clarifies the statute of limitations for curative provisions for validating or invalidating a mortgage foreclosure, and made permanent the definition of a “small servicer” which was due to sunset in August 2014, making permanent an exemption from certain loss mitigation provisions for lenders completing fewer than 125 foreclosures during the preceding 12 months.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
increasing awareness of credit unions
- MnCUN executed a slate of press events in 2014 and created several infographics to generate media coverage about credit unions. The press events illustrated how “Credit Unions Lead the Way in Financial Literacy,” and that credit unions are “Minnesota Minded” and “Community Connected.” Events received coverage through television, local newspapers, trade press, local and national social media, and a podcast segment.
- As the Network continues to deepen its penetration and engagement with the media, staff have met with several newspaper editorial boards around the state of Minnesota to educate writers and editors about the credit union difference. Additionally, MnCUN welcomed four members of the Capitol Press Corps to participate in a panel discussion at the 2014 CU Day at the Capitol.
- The Network continues to publish its Connected to Community newsletter that is sent to legislators, media, and public opinion leaders – and this year, distribution of that newsletter was expanded to GREAT members.
- In partnership with Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Current,” MnCUN co-sponsored the spring schedule of “Policy and a Pint,” a program that provides information and education on various policy issues. This program typically attracts young professionals, advocates and future public opinion leaders – a beneficial audience in which credit unions can gain awareness.
disseminating information to credit unions, consumers & the media
- As part our media relations work, MnCUN has focused on earned media as an important part of its overall communications strategy. The communications department performs regular pitches to local media, drafts press releases, provides quarterly statistical data and growth statistics, highlights trend stories, coordinates event-based media coverage, and submits op-eds and letters to the editor.
- A major focus of the past year has been to encourage credit unions to share their stories with the Network. This sharing has helped us create a “cycle of news” to share those stories more effectively. With the launch of an enhanced News Channel in March, this is now the home of all credit union news – including published stories and news coverage, credit union press releases, and releases from the Network and the Foundation.
- In April MnCUN began circulating a weekly Media Digest to 200+ media contacts around the state, summarizing all news published and distributed over the past week. This is just one step in the “cycle of news,” which also includes posting to state and national social media sites, story pitches to local press and trade press, and inclusion in The Pulse newsletter.
- In delivering the credit union message to a variety of important audiences on social media, MnCUN staff continue to boost the industry’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, providing timely updates and relevant news to friends and followers.
REGULATORY ADVOCACY & COMPLIANCE
helping to ease the regulatory burden on credit unions
- MnCUN’s compliance team meets regularly with the Regulatory Review Committee to discuss proposed rules and files comment letters on behalf of credit unions, including the risk-based capital proposal, penalties for late call reports & profile submissions, the proposed rule regarding home-based credit unions, the associational common bond proposed rule, the proposed FHLB membership rule, NCUA’s fixed asset proposed rule, and the proposed amendments to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
- Network staff spearheaded efforts among credit unions in the state to submit comments on NCUA’s risk-based capital proposal, which included a draft letter to guide credit unions, as well as an informational conference call and an online resource center. Representatives from MnCUN also attended NCUA’s Listening Session in July to discuss specific concerns with the risk-based capital proposal.
- MnCUN’s compliance department continuously monitors the legal and regulatory environment and provides updates and compliance support to all member credit unions by phone, email, newsletter and other publications, including monthly reminders of upcoming dates and deadlines, webinars, teleconferences and updates.
- The Network provides strong advocacy on behalf of Minnesota credit unions through quarterly meetings with regulators from the NCUA and Department of Commerce to maintain open lines of communication and to candidly discuss credit union concerns. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz attended MnCUN’s Annual Meeting in April and also met with Minnesota credit unions in June at Hike the Hill. The Network also frequently engaged with the Commerce Department through various partnerships and initiatives, including an open format roundtable with credit union representatives to discuss cyber security, examinations, statutory concerns and other issues.
- Through the Compliance Services Program, MnCUN staff provide compliance and audit expertise, working on-site with credit unions around the state.
EDUCATION & NETWORKING
providing opportunities for interaction, learning & professional development
- MnCUN offered timely training and education in 2014, working in partnership with several other organizations and agencies. These events included:
- exclusive financial industry participation for Minnesota credit unions in the national roll-out of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) “Your Money, Your Goals” education program.
- two all-day NMLS-approved Mortgage Loan Originator Training courses, in conjunction with CUNA, to provide safe harbor for an individual loan originator as stated in the new rules issued by the CFPB pursuant to Dodd-Frank amended Regulation Z.
- an online and in-person forum on preventing elder financial abuse, featuring Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III. MnCUN partnered with the Department of Commerce, Department of Human Service, AARP and the Minnesota Elder Justice Center to present this event.
- Network staff continues to develop The Crew professional development & networking group for credit union staff 35 and under. This year, MnCUN named its first Crew Ambassador – Amanda Kissner of Wakota Federal Credit Union – to help shape and guide the Crew’s activities and offerings. The Crew had an exclusive session with NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in April, and introduced the opportunity to “Crash” the Fall Leadership Conference in September.
- With the occurrence of several high-profile retail data breaches in the past year, the Network coordinated two informational conference calls on the subject. Each call had more than 60 participants from around the state, and featured industry experts from MnCUN, CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, and CO-OP Financial Services. Staff created resource pages on the MnCUN website and posted archives of the calls for members.
- Each year, MnCUN coordinates a professional development lineup that includes training on a variety of topics and in various formats. Major events include Annual Meeting, Credit Union Day at the Capitol, Fall Conference and CEO Conference.
- The 2014 Annual Meeting was a resounding success, which included a complete format change and new venue at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. The two-day conference welcomed more than 450 credit union professionals and volunteers from 78 Minnesota credit unions and 55 service organizations from across the country. The conference featured KARE 11 TV anchor Kim Insley, NCUA Chairman Chair Debbie Matz, and industry speakers Brett Christiansen, John Lass, and Anthony Huey.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
delivering solutions & savings to credit unions
- In illustrating the strong partnership, CUNA Mutual Group and the Minnesota Credit Union Network held a joint planning session to analyze the Minnesota market, discuss changes in the local landscape, and implement strategies for greater penetration and collaboration.
- MnIPC continues to work through the integration process following its asset purchase of North Dakota-based credit union service organization ProDraft Services Inc., adding to its processing solutions portfolio. This acquisition provides additional strength for MnIPC clients and offers a continuation of the services offered by ProDraft, with the benefits of enhanced technology, greater efficiencies and increased financial stability.
- Through MnCUN’s Compliance & Audit Services, credit unions received highly-qualified audit and compliance services – either one time or on a quarterly or monthly basis – ranging from Bank Secrecy Act, plastic card reviews and lending compliance to SAFE Act, vendor management and website reviews.
- MnCUN staff provided a record level of strategic planning & consulting services to credit unions in 2014, working with institutions to implement growth strategies, reduce expenses, resolve audit findings, and establish business continuity plans. This proactive planning lays the groundwork for the future growth of credit unions.
- To help credit unions leverage social media to improve their communications with members and potential members, MnCUN partnered with DAYTA Marketing to help credit unions develop their social media strategy. DAYTA brings a high level of social media experience to the credit union industry, offering varying levels of support from consulting to email marketing and website development, to complete management of a credit union’s social media program.
For additional information about affiliating with the Minnesota Credit Union Network is available on the membership page of the Network website. Questions, suggestions or feedback on our 2014 accomplishments is welcome at any time – please contact us!
NCUA welcomes new three new Minnesota examiners
Last month, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) welcomed three new credit union examiners in Minnesota. The new staff join seven other NCUA examiners in the state, reporting to Region IV Supervisory Examiner Justin Burleson.
- Evangelina Dominguez - Dominguez grew up in a border town in Texas and became bilingual and bicultural almost by default. Dominguez attended St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, where she earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Then Dominguez joined the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, for a Master’s in Business Administration. From 2003-2006, Dominguez worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Washington D.C. as a Management and Program Analyst. From 2007 to 2008, with the goal of gaining international exposure, Dominguez accepted the invitation to travel to Italy and Israel. In 2009, Dominguez joined the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. as a Grants Specialist. In the summer of 2011, Dominguez was hired as a Management and Program Analyst for the Department of Homeland Security Intelligence and Analysis Office at their headquarters. Most recently, Dominguez worked for the Department of State at the Office of Private Sector Exchange Designation.
- Corey Peterson – Peterson was raised mainly in California and Texas. After having served in the U.S. Army, Peterson relocated to Minnesota for a while and then returned to Texas where he earned a BS in Accounting, a BBA with a focus in Real Estate, and an MBA at the University of Texas. After working in the public sector as a tax preparer for a few years, Peterson took an opportunity to join the IRS in California as an examiner. After 18 months at the IRS, he relocated to Minnesota in order to join NCUA.
- Nicole Yaddof - Before receiving her B.S. in Accounting from Strayer University she worked as a bank teller and financial advisor. Yaddof then became an Accountant for Noblis, Inc., a nonprofit Federal Government contractor, located in Falls Church, Virginia. Yaddof currently resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Conrad, and their cat, Pallas.
NCUA examiners overview work methods, techniques, procedures, financial principles and operating practices to ensure the financial stability of Minnesota credit unions.
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.
Hiway FCU presents Minnesota Wild “Tweets of the Week”
United Educators Credit Union Foundation awards $1,500 for financial literacy initiatives
US Federal CU rewards youth financial literacy
Ideal CU’s Director of Mortgage Sales named 2014 “Super Mortgage Professional”
National Cyber Security Alliance to host event in St. Paul for credit unions, consumers, & businesses
Regulation D Study Act
NCUA releases Q&A on Corporate System Resolution Costs and Assessment Range
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac release updated Lender Seller Representations and Warranties
FHFA announces 2015 conforming loan limits
FDIC releases three-part video series on ATR/QM compliance
DoD announces allotment policy change
Out for Comment
CFPB proposes changes to Mortgage Servicing Rules – expanded foreclosure protections
DoD extends comment deadline on proposed amendment to Military Lending Act
Upcoming compliance dates