CU News (11-30-12)


The Pulse (11-30-12)

Nov. 30, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 47

View 11-30-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News

What do I get for my dues?

With year-end quickly approaching, many organizations are putting the finishing touches on their budgets for 2013. As credit unions make tough decisions on where to apportion funds, you may wonder, "What do I get for my dues to the Minnesota Credit Union Network?”

A valid question!

The list below provides a basic outline of MnCUN's services and resources that are supported, in whole or in part, by your dues dollars. Each item also includes a link that you can follow for additional information.

  • Full-time lobbying activities at the state and federal levels (more)
  • GREAT grassroots advocacy program (more)
  • Annual compliance publications and online library (more)
  • Employment listings and resume summaries (more)
  • Weekly e-newsletter to keep members abreast of general credit union news, legislative developments, action alerts, educational opportunities, compliance information and deadlines (more)
  • Networking opportunities through events and department-specific roundtable meetings (more)
  • Gen Y outreach resources (more)
  • The most recent Minnesota Credit Union Statistical Profile (more)
  • An informative, interactive website (more)
  • Inclusion in the national credit union finder – – used by consumers seeking a credit union (more)
  • Product & service discounts and group pricing through strategic alliances (more)
  • Onsite assistance in a variety of operational and technical areas, along with fee-based offerings at reasonable prices (more)
  • Webinars On Demand (more)
  • Compliance call center (more)
  • Young professionals networking group, The Crew (more)
  • Online CU directory (more)
  • Chapter involvement, support and communications (more)
  • Collective strength and unity of the entire CU movement (more)

Through our consistent presence and valuable service offerings, MnCUN has maintained an affiliation rating of above 90 percent for more than a decade. We do not take lightly our obligation to you, our members, and we value your continued trust in us.

Affiliation is key to our success and to the success of the industry. We appreciate the opportunity to serve credit unions across the state, working together to meet present and future challenges. With questions about your membership with the Minnesota Credit Union Network, visit the MnCUN Membership page of the Network website or contact MnCUN Vice President – Association Services Kristina Wright by email or at (651) 288-5507.

MnCUN equips credit unions to handle unclaimed property regulation

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently re-implemented a program requiring holders of abandoned property to turn that property over to the Unclaimed Property Division after a certain period of time, depending on the property being held. To assist credit unions in complying with this program, the Minnesota Credit Union Network, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, is holding a free education session focused on this issue. The Unclaimed Property Forum & Webinar will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union's Roseville branch.

The session will summarize the Department of Commerce's efforts to revitalize the Minnesota Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. The forum and webinar will discuss steps the department is taking to improve compliance with unclaimed property reporting through the use of field audits, self-audits, and a newly-developed voluntary disclosure program. Specifically, the session will highlight:

  • Dormant accounts;
  • Matured time deposits;
  • Service charges related to inactivity;
  • Retirement accounts;
  • Cashier's checks;
  • Money orders;
  • Safe deposit boxes; and
  • Due diligence requirements.

Credit union professionals have the option to register to attendthe session in-person or via webinar. Those who participate via webinar will need to have audio capabilities on their computer to hear the session.

We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the Department of Commerce's unclaimed property program. For more information and to register for this event, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.

Consumers plan to spend more this holiday season, CUNA survey reports

Consumers' willingness to spend more money this holiday season may reflect overall perceived improvement in Americans' financial situations. This information and other spending expectations were reported as part of CUNA's 13th annual holiday spending survey conducted in conjunction with the Consumer Federation of America.

The survey reported that in the past year the percentage of those surveyed who said they would spend more on holiday items this year compared to last year rose from 8 percent to 12 percent, and those who said they would spend less declined from 41 percent to 38 percent. From 2011 to 2012, the number of people who said their financial situation was better than a year ago rose from 19 percent to 24 percent.

Additionally, the survey found that:

  • 43 percent said they were concerned about meeting monthly debt payments – down from 45 percent last year;
  • 49 percent stated that they had extra funds available to pay for an unexpected expense of $1,000; and 
  • 43 percent said that if they received an unexpected windfall of $5,000 they would use most of it to add to savings or investments.

CUNA's survey data, along with holiday spending tips, were shared with the media last week. The press release and the survey data are available on the Network website.

Budget today for next year's compliance needs

It's budgeting season and, once again, regulatory compliance and audits will be a significant line item for credit unions in 2013. As you plan your credit union's compliance spending for next year, ease the impact on your budget by taking advantage of MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Services Program. This fully customizable program provides credit unions the opportunity to contract with a highly-qualified professional who will help the credit union meet its compliance and audit obligations.

MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Services Program provides custom solutions that enable credit unions to hire a consultant for the exact level of assistance needed. Whether you are looking for project-based service or ongoing assistance, this program has flexible options to fit your needs. MnCUN specializes in a number of auditing functions, some of which include:

  • Customizable quarterly audit programs;
  • Bank Secrecy Act reviews;
  • SAFE Act reviews;
  • Lending reviews; and
  • Website reviews.

MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Armstrong Lewis has 25 years of 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. With expertise in risk management, internal auditing, training, compliance and operations, Lewis possesses the skills to help your credit union manage its compliance obligations.

Make room in your 2013 budget to take advantage of MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Services Program. For more information about the program, visit the Compliance & Audit Services Program page of the Network website. With questions and to receive an estimate for your budget, contact Marcia Armstrong Lewis by email or at (651) 288-5509.

MnCUN offers free rate resource

Looking for data to help your credit union make informed decisions on deposit, loan and fee pricing? Look no further than the Minnesota Credit Union Network website! MnCUN's website has an online resource page, courtesy of RateWatch, that allows Minnesota credit unions to view the high, low and average rates on the most prevalent deposit and loan products in the state's various counties.

Since 1989, RateWatch has been surveying up to 90,000 credit union and bank branches to collect advertised deposit and loan interest rates and fees. That data is accumulated into the largest database of its kind in the country.

This free map of average county interest rates is a dues-supported service offered to MnCUN-affiliated credit unions only. Visit MnCUN's RateWatch page to view average rates in your local market for a variety of products. Rates are updated on a weekly basis.

Credit union notes…

  • On Nov. 26, NCUA approved the conversion of Thrivent Financial Bank to Thrivent Federal Credit Union. The new credit union is sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a fraternal benefits society. Thrivent FCU will have approximately $500 million in assets, making it one of the largest faith-based credit unions in the United States. The credit union will be headquartered in Appleton, Wis., and have one office in Minneapolis.



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

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