The Pulse (04-17-13)


The Pulse (04-17-13)

April 17, 2013    ●    Volume 02, Issue 15


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

MnCUN monitors state sales tax proposals

Late last week, the Senate Tax Reform Division, a sub-committee of the Senate Tax Committee, introduced its Division Omnibus bill. Among other proposals for overhauling Minnesota's tax code was the proposal to drop the state sales tax rate and expand it to other service areas.

This idea was previously proposed as part of Gov. Mark Dayton's original budget plan but was withdrawn after some pushback from the Minnesota Credit Union Network because it would have negatively affected the state's credit unions. The Senate Tax Reform Division's bill specifically excludes credit union transactions from the list of services that it recommends be subjected to taxation. Gov. Dayton denounced the proposal, and the House has no interest at this time in pursuing a proposal to overhaul the tax code.

However, the Senate Tax Committee will be taking testimony on its bill and attempting to move forward. The Network will continue to monitor the bill to ensure that credit unions and the services they provide their members remain off the table and unaffected by a state sales tax.

Going, going gone ... Sign up now for MnCUN's Lending Conference

Don't miss your chance to learn new techniques for building your credit union's lending programs! The final day to register for the Minnesota Credit Union Network Lending Conference is tomorrow – Thursday, April 18.

This conference – on April 25-26 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington – provides the tools to bring lending practices to a new level! Day one of this training program is geared toward loan officers and frontline staff. Day two offers CEOs, lending managers and aspiring lending managers advice that will improve their department's overall lending and sales results.

For more information, a schedule and online registration, visit the 2013 Lending Conference page of the Network website.


Longtime PCU volunteer honored with Foundation's CU Builder Award

Roger McClure, a 36-year member of the Board of Directors at Postal Credit Union in Woodbury, was recently honored with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation's (MnCUF's) Credit Union Builder Award. This distinction recognizes those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement. Nominations for this award are made by credit unions and other organizations in honor of or in memory of a significant individual who has been instrumental in their success.

McClure, who was first elected to the PCU Board in 1977, will retire his post on April 28. During his tenure, McClure played a significant role in guiding the credit union to success. He has experienced much change with the credit union during his time, which started with just one branch in the main post office. Today, PCU has five offices and has become a full-service financial partner for more than 45,000 members.

McClure has served on a variety of board committees and as committee chair throughout his volunteer career at PCU. He has been a strong advocate for the credit union movement, spending countless hours lobbying state and national lawmakers on issues of importance to the industry and PCU.

McClure joins 14 others who have been honored over the past six years with the MnCUF's Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby as a tribute to their accomplishments. The honorees receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report.

To learn more about MnCUF's Credit Union Builder Award and to view a list of those who have been honored with this recognition, visit the Foundation website.


RSVP to raise some fun with MnCU4Kids

Get ready to play some games and have some fun for the kids during the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) event on Friday, May 17! This entertainment event is a highlight of the MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention and helps benefit Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul and its clinics statewide.

Credit union professionals, volunteers and vendors can compete for bragging rights during the MnCUKids "Minnesota Blackjack Tournament.” Playing cards not your thing? There will be other games and prizes available during this evening event for those who aren't blackjack fans.   

Advance registration is preferred for those interested in trying their hand in the blackjack tournament. Download a printable event flier to sign up or indicate your interest in attending the MnCU4Kids event within the Annual Meeting online registration form.

*Please note: No entry fee or sponsorship is required to participate in this event.

Need mortgage loan files reviewed? The Network can help!

Do review requests from a third-party company handling your credit union's mortgage loans sound familiar? You may have received requests recently asking the credit union to go through a reverification process on mortgage files. MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Lewis has the expertise to work with credit unions on mortgage loan reverification.

Lewis is able to conduct quality assurance reviews on all the credit union's mortgage files – evaluating the validity and quality of the data provided – to ensure they are up to compliance standards. Currently, the reverification process is not a regulatory requirement, but it is a quality control best practice for financial institutions.

As part of its efforts to provide valuable, affordable services to Minnesota credit unions, the Network strives to put tools at credit unions' disposal to ensure their success and make it easier to comply with changing standards. For more information on mortgage loan reverification and how to obtain a quality assurance review, contact MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Lewis by email or call (651) 288-5509.

Minnesota leaders influence the national credit union scene

Credit union professionals and volunteers from Minnesota have a solid reputation in the U.S. credit union movement. Minnesota leaders are continually sought-out to serve on committees, boards and on other leadership posts.

Last month, several Minnesota credit union representatives were appointed to positions on CUNA committees and boards. These individuals join others around the country in providing insight and direction for the national trade association. A listing of individuals is included below.

  • Jim Bryan of Postal Credit Union was reappointed to serve on the Awards Committee, which oversees the judging of national credit union recognition programs, such as the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring awards. Bryan has served in this capacity for 14 years.
  • Pam Finch of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union was appointed as Chair of the Accounting Subcommittee, which advises CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee on accounting proposals and initiatives to pursue. Finch, who joined the executive committee of the CUNA CFO Council in 2005 and has served as chair and vice chair, will also complete her service in May.
  • Nancy Hutchinson of Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union was selected in March to serve a second term on the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council. This is a three-year appointment.
  • Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was appointed to the Governmental Affairs Committee, which advises and provides policy recommendations to the CUNA Board of Directors regarding legislative, regulatory and political action issues affecting the credit unions.
  • Dick Nesvold of SouthPoint Federal Credit Union was newly appointed to the Cooperative Alliance Committee. This committee serves as the credit union system's liaison with the larger cooperative community to facilitate the exchange of ideas that foster partnerships, alliances and opportunities among credit unions and cooperatives.
  • Pat Pierce of City & County Credit Union was newly appointed to the State Credit Union Subcommittee, which works to identify issues related to state legislative and regulatory initiatives. The committee develops resources to assist state leagues and state-chartered credit unions in promoting and strengthening the dual chartering system, and develops resources to assist state and federal lobbying efforts, making recommendations to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee.
  • Bill Raker of US Federal Credit Union was reappointed to the Examination & Supervision Subcommittee. This group addresses the concern for safe, fair and efficient examinations for federal and state credit unions; monitors the budget of state and federal credit union regulators; and recommends appropriate regulatory and legislative changes to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee.
  • Bob Stowell of US Federal Credit Union continues to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of the CUNA Lending Council. This is a three-year appointment, which began in 2012.

Members of the Minnesota Credit Union Network staff are also involved in a variety of initiatives and task forces that work to strengthen the industry and provide vision for the future of the credit union movement.  

  • Mark Cummins serves as the chair of the Cooperative Alliances Committee, Secretary of the CUNA Strategic Services Board of Directors, Secretary of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), and participates in the AACUL Political Involvement & Grassroots Committee.
  • Mara Humphrey serves on the AACUL State Issues Advocacy Committee, which provides direction and feedback regarding state legislative and regulatory issues affecting credit unions and identifies proactive strategies to promote the state credit union system.
  • Kristina Wright serves on AACUL's new Communications Task Force, which is part of the System Evolution Work Group. The purpose of this task force is to develop programs and processes to improve communications between CUNA, leagues and credit unions.


MnCUN compliance expert discusses "over-compliance" at marketing conference

Last month, MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Armstrong Lewis was a featured speaker at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council annual conference. In a session titled "Marketing & Compliance: It's all about the Dos & Don'ts,” Lewis discussed a variety of compliance challenges that credit union marketers face, offering tools and input for conquering these challenges.

The theme of the presentation centered on knowing where and how marketing dollars are being spent – especially when it comes to marketing compliance.

"Marketers definitely can't stick their heads in the sand and ignore rules and regulations, but on the flip side, you don't have to overdo it,” Lewis said. "You can't treat everything as high-risk, and you absolutely should not over-comply just to be safe. Doing this will cost money and create inefficiencies.”

Through her experience, Lewis noted that she has seen that a great deal of credit unions over-comply by sending overdraft notices, annual reports, certificate renewals, loan coupons, and other notifications by mail – the cost of which can amount to a full-time staff position. To promote efficiency and save credit unions time and money, Lewis challenged attendees to leverage technology to reduce courtesy notices and non-required mailings.

"Credit unions should be using their websites – not only to promote products and services – but to communicate compliance and disclosure information,” Lewis said.

She referred to a credit union's website as a "library with a flashy front door,” suggesting that credit unions provide password-protected access to reference materials and compliance information online.

"If you print it, put it on your site,” she said.

Lewis suggested that credit unions perform a year-end inventory of all organizational mailings and marketing pieces to identify areas where they can gain efficiencies and save money, while still keeping members informed.

As MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Consultant, Lewis works with credit unions around the state to help them meet their ongoing compliance needs. She works as part of a credit union's team to identify compliance issues and assist in implementing solutions. Lewis has 25 years of financial institution experience, and she has hands-on experience working in a wide range of positions, which enables her to fully understand the intricacies of credit union operations.

For more information on MnCUN's Marcia Armstrong Lewis by email or at (651) 288-5509.


CU regulatory burden hearing shows willingness of legislators to grant relief
CU tax status gets support at congressional briefing

Small entity compliance guide released for "Ability-to-Repay” rule
CFPB now accepting money transfer complaints

FTC releases video to assist identity theft victims


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

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