The Pulse (03-06-13)

The Pulse (03-06-13)


March 6, 2013    ●    Volume 02, Issue 9


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News


Credit unions convey job creation, regulatory burden messages to Congress

Nearly 100 credit union representatives from across Minnesota took to Capitol Hill last Wednesday to deliver a unified message to members of the 113th Congress. Advocates spoke to elected officials about credit unions' benefits and their unique structure, told them how member business lending (MBL) will create local jobs, and discussed the increasing burden of regulatory compliance in the financial services industry.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar addressed nearly 100 Minnesota credit union advocates at a luncheon during the Governmental Affairs Conference on 
Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C.

This Minnesota contingent was part of a larger group of 4,200 credit union representatives nationwide who gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference. In preparation for their legislative visits, the Minnesota group attended a luncheon in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, with special guest speaker Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Expressing her affinity for credit unions, Sen. Klobuchar thanked attendees for their recent and ongoing work to stabilize the economy. "I understand the value that credit unions bring to the state of Minnesota,” Sen. Klobuchar said during her keynote remarks at the luncheon.

"Minnesota credit unions are eager to fulfill the lending needs of their business-owning members. They want to do their part to help boost the economy,” said Mara Humphrey, Vice President – Governmental Affairs for the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

In Minnesota, credit unions could lend nearly $193 million in the first year if the MBL cap is raised, creating more than 2,000 jobs in the state – at no cost to taxpayers. Credit unions have a sound track record when it comes to business loans, and they specialize in smaller loan amounts. The average loan in Minnesota is $135,000.

Credit union advocates conveyed the MBL message, along with other requests for support, to federal elected officials. One appeal made to members of Congress and their staff is to help reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions, which have faced increasing regulations in recent years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. The grassroots group stressed that every dollar a credit union spends on regulatory compliance is a dollar that is not being used to benefit its members.

"We appreciate the participation of our credit unions in this important advocacy event,” 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.”

Minnesota credit union CEOs inducted into national Hall of Leaders

Two longtime Minnesota credit union presidents – Gail Krall and Bill Winter – were inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders in Washington, D.C., last week in recognition of their dedication to upholding the credit union mission. This honor is given to those whose commitment has made a significant impact on the credit union movement at the local, state and national levels.

Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark Cummins presented Bill Winter (left) and Gail Krall (right) with plaques honoring them as 2013 inductees into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders.

Krall, President/CEO of Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union, has played a vital and influential role in the Minnesota credit union movement for more than 30 years. Her dedication is seen in her willingness to give her time, resources and energy to credit unions. She has been a leader for the state's credit unions, serving on the Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors and the Network Service Corporation Board for five years. She's also a powerful advocate for credit unions in the political arena through her work on the Network's Political Involvement Committee. Krall has also been a strong supporter of Shared Branching through her role with the Minnesota Credit Union Service Corporation.

Krall and Winter accepted their awards at a ceremony during the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA's) Governmental Affairs Conference. Krall expressed great appreciation for the honor and thanked her fellow credit union peers.

"It's not about me but about you and your predecessors that helped me get to where I am today. That's why I stuck with the credit union cooperative movement 45 years ago,” Krall said.

Winter, CEO of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, is a modest leader who inspires others through his involvement and passion. For more than 17 years, he has been actively leading the credit union movement, constantly challenging the industry to move forward. Over the past decade, he has given his time and resources to Minnesota credit unions through positions on the Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors, the Network Service Corporation Board, and the Minnesota Item Processing Corporation Board. Winter is a member of the Network's Political Involvement Committee and, as an advocate for credit unions, he dedicates himself to helping credit unions thrive – for years to come.

"I've been very fortunate to have so many mentors from the credit union movement,” Winter said during the induction ceremony. He is an active member of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, which he said is critical to being involved and raising the awareness of credit unions in the community.

"Gail and Bill are integral parts of the growth and success of credit unions – in Minnesota and nationwide,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. "The Hall of Leaders recognizes credit union advocates, like Gail and Bill, from across the country who have been leaders in their communities. Credit Union House on Capitol Hill is a great way to remind everyone in Washington about the power of credit unions.”

The Credit Union House Hall of Leaders was developed in 2008 and recognizes credit union professionals and volunteers whose commitment to service has inspired others in the credit union movement. The names of honorees are prominently displayed to remind visitors of those who have volunteered their time to advance the movement and who remain committed to credit unions' values and mission.

Time is running out to nominate your outstanding credit union colleague

Do you know an extraordinary professional or volunteer at your credit union? Nominate them for MnCUN's Outstanding Professional and Volunteer of the Year Awards! Don't wait too long to recognize this exemplary colleague. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 15.

These awards are presented annually and showcase the dedicated service and professionalism of credit union staff and volunteers. Individuals must be nominated by a colleague to be eligible to receive one of these top honors.

  • Outstanding Professional of the Year recognizes the notable service of one outstanding credit union professional who has selflessly given their time, efforts and talent to the support and promotion of credit unions in Minnesota.
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year is given to one extraordinary credit union volunteer who best exemplifies the credit union spirit through dedication to the movement through involvement at local and state levels and participation in other activities that support the credit union mission.

Award information and downloadable nomination forms can be found on the 2013 Professional & Volunteer of Year Awards page of the Network website. All nominations must be sent by Friday, March 15.

With questions about the awards programs, contact MnCUN Communications Specialist Kelli Sandhurst by email or at (651) 288-5503.

Cheney calls on CUs to "unite for good” in strategic vision plan

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney presented a bold, new strategic vision for the credit union movement during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference last week. It's an overarching vision in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner," Cheney said.

Outlining this strategic vision, and how credit unions can "Unite for Good" to achieve it, was the focus of the Cheney's remarks to the 4,200 participants at the opening general session of the 2013 GAC in Washington, D.C. This plan stemmed from more than a year of discussions with credit union and league leaders, industry partners and CUNA leadership. The vision encompasses credit unions' shared values, including collaboration, a focus on members, community involvement and dedication to financial well-being.

This broad plan for the movement is being presented now because the time for credit unions has never been better, Cheney said. He explained that a cultural shift is happening in America where more people are interested in values-based decision-making, and they are moving away from big corporations and big banks.

"People want to do business with people who have their best interests at heart. This cultural shift is right in our wheelhouse," Cheney said. "Our advantage is a values-based business model of credit union. People over profit, banking with a conscience, focusing on members, an organization that's built around your needs.”

In his "Unite for Good” strategic vision, Cheney outlined three goals that will require the collaborative efforts of credit unions across the country.

  • Remove barriers: Credit unions must actively participate in grassroots activities and the political process.
  • Raise awareness: Credit unions can achieve this by expanding their outreach and image in their communities, taking greater advantage of social media, becoming a trusted resource with their local media, and participating in state and regional cooperative advertising campaigns.
  • Foster service excellence: Credit unions can work together to offer innovative financial services to members of all backgrounds and life stages.

Cheney also offered two key measures of success to show what credit unions' collaborative efforts accomplished.

  • More PFIs: Raise the number of members who consider their credit union to be their primary financial institution (PFI) from today's 40 million to 50 million by 2023.
  • More member value: Increase the amount that consumers save by using credit unions over banks to $20 billion annually by 2023. Today, that figure is about $6 billion.

CUNA will be working with leagues and credit unions in the coming months to advance this common strategic vision. A new Unite for Good webpage has been launched and includes an overview of the initiative. Watch for resources and additional information about this strategic vision on the Network website.

Collateral Protection featured in March Product Series Webinar

Lunchtime can also be learning time with MnCUN's new webinar series! Join other credit union professionals and volunteers for a free Product Series Webinar during the lunch hour on Tuesday, March 12. This webinar series provides credit unions insight into services and expertise offered by MnCUN's strategic alliance business partners.

The March 12 webinar features CUNA Mutual Group and will focus on Collateral Protection. Attendees will learn about the evolution of Collateral Protection Insurance and how this important coverage no longer needs to be a necessary evil. Presenter Doug Mayhall, Division Vice President of Sales at State National Companies – a special alliance partner of CUNA Mutual Group – will show participants how the Collateral Protection Insurance program makes it easier to have a protected loan portfolio.

Don't delay in signing up for this unique and informative session. The deadline to register is tomorrow, March 7. For more information and to register, go to the Event Calendar section of the Network website.


Advocacy corner

MnCUN bill tracker allows CUs to follow important legislation
Minnesota recognized as top fundraiser at GAC

NCUA approves final rule amending definition of "rural district”
NCUA approves final rule adding TIPS to its list of permissible investments

NCUA issues risk alert to protect against DDoS attacks

NMLS disciplinary action information to become publicly available

FinCEN issues advisory on tax refund fraud


NCUA Issues Letters to Credit Unions

Letter No. 13-CU-02: Member Business Loan Waivers

Out for Comment

CFPB taking public comment on private student loans
Upcoming effective dates

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

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