Output (08-12-11)

Output (08-12-11)

August 12, 2011   ●   Volume 34, Issue 16                                                                    Archived Issues

NCUA urges CUs to ease members' downgrade fears

In a letter sent on Aug. 10, NCUA emphasized to credit unions that the recent U.S. credit rating downgrade had no negative impact on the movement. Credit unions are urged to assure members that the downgrade does not affect the safety and soundness of the movement.


Within the letter to credit unions, the agency stated that the downgrade of NCUA Guaranteed Notes "does not affect the costs of corporate debt obligations to NCUA or credit unions.” In addition, NCUA emphasized that the current risk weights for Treasury securities will not change.


Since the U.S. credit rating downgrade may lead to a surge of deposits or withdrawals, NCUA recommended that credit unions "consider all reasonable and prudent actions that could help meet the financial needs of members.” In addition, credit unions should reassure members that the credit union system is strong and well capitalized and that federally insured credit union deposits remain safe and protected through the NCUSIF.


To read the complete letter, visit the National Credit Union Administration website.

MnCUN adds debit card routing requirement info to website

As all credit unions are aware, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – which included the Durbin Amendment – has some serious implications regarding debit card interchange fees and routing for financial institutions.

One of the key aspects of the Federal Reserve’s final rule is that a credit union’s debit card has to be routed through at least two unaffiliated payment networks beginning April 1, 2012. For instance, a credit union could have its debit cards processed on two unaffiliated signature networks, two unaffiliated PIN networks, or one signature network and one unaffiliated PIN network. Since it can take anywhere from 90-120 days to complete the process, credit unions are strongly encouraged to contact vendors as soon as possible.

In response to inquiries from credit unions, MnCUN has added a page to its website that contains illustrations, links, examples and action steps – follow this link to the page entitled New Debit Card Routing Requirements. With questions, feel free to contact MnCUN General Counsel John Wendland by email or at (651) 288-5519.

Fall Conference registration deadline quickly approaches

Credit union professionals and volunteers have less than two weeks left to register for MnCUN’s Fall Conference. Set for Sept. 9-11 at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, this conference will discuss current credit union topics and provide a variety of networking opportunities.
This year’s sessions will focus on providing credit unions the tools and expertise to grow and thrive in today’s economic environment. Credit union experts will discuss how credit unions can stand out in the marketplace and ways they can reinvent themselves and their marketing tactics. In addition, the conference will feature a VAP session focused on board evaluations, and attendees will have the opportunity to explore the economy’s impact on the credit union movement.
For more information, a printable brochure and online registration, visit the Fall Conference page of the Network website. With questions about the conference, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521. 

Minnesota Credit Union Foundation elects Board members







The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MNCUF) elected two new board members at its annual meeting in July.


Incumbent Mary Hansen of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union in Rochester was reelected to a three-year term. She has served on the MNCUF Board of Directors since 2004. Hansen has been in the credit union industry for more than 28 years and has served as the CEO/Administrator of the Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union since 2001.


Brian Sherrick of Postal Credit Union in Woodbury is the newest member of the Board and brings to the Foundation a diverse range of experience. He is the Executive Vice President of Lending & Member Service at Postal Credit Union, where he has worked for 26 years. In this capacity, he also is the Chairman of the PCU Community Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen communities by supporting local education initiatives, including early childhood development and financial literacy programs.


Sherrick, who was also elected to a three-year term, replaces longtime Board member Judy Root of Bluestone Federal Credit Union. Root was first elected to the Foundation Board in 2004 and served for six years as secretary/treasurer.


Hansen and Sherrick join the following individuals on the seven-member board:


·         Chair Pat Brekken, Richfield/Bloomington Credit Union, Bloomington;

·         Vice Chair Dave Larson, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, St. Paul;

·         Secretary/Treasurer Kristi Mukomela, Novation Credit Union, Oakdale;

·         Chuck Albrecht, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Baxter; and

·         Lynn Kothe, North Memorial Federal Credit Union, Robbinsdale.


"We are excited about the continued growth and development of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and we enthusiastically welcome Brian to the Board,” Brekken said.


The MNCUF was founded in 1969 to serve as a charitable arm of the Minnesota credit union movement. It has aided credit unions, their employees and volunteers in times of need, providing funds for educational scholarships, charitable purposes and for the betterment of the movement.

Take advantage of MnCUN’s fall education opportunities

The world of finance is constantly evolving, and it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date on current topics and trends. Attend the Network’s education and training opportunities this fall and keep ahead of the curve.
  • Financial Management School, Sept. 26-28 – Network office, St. Paul
    To help employees gain a better understanding of credit union financial principles and fiscal responsibilities, MnCUN is hosting its Financial Management School: Parts III & IV. This three-day training features sessions on product pricing and matching strategies, and how to develop strategies to meet the credit union’s long-term objectives. Participants will learn asset liability management best practices, discuss cash flow forecasting, explore improved marketing concepts, and have the opportunity to create a business plan.
  • Supervisory Committee Workshop – Oct. 4: Proctor, Oct. 6: Bloomington, Oct. 11: Owatonna
    MnCUN’s Supervisory Committee Workshop will provide the groundwork for developing a highly-effective supervisory committee. Geared toward new committee members and seasoned veterans, this training will discuss the duties, responsibilities and liabilities of the supervisory committee. Participants will learn the protocol for ensuring that the credit union is following proper procedures and discuss red flags for misconduct.
Detailed information and online registration for both trainings is available in the Event Calendar section of the Network website.

Ultimate Dealership Auctions joins MnCUN Vendor Involvement Program

Ultimate Dealership Auctions recently enrolled in the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s Vendor Involvement Program (V.I.P.), becoming the twenty-ninth organization to sign on in 2011.
Ultimate Dealership Auctions specializes in the liquidation of repossessed collateral, as well as dealer-to-dealer consignment sales. The company boasts the lowest buyer and seller fees in the industry and has 2,000 purchase-ready dealers at its disposal. Through live and online auctions and consignment sales, Ultimate Dealership Auctions works with credit unions to find an appropriate sale option and obtain the best auction price for repossessions.
The V.I.P., created in 2005, provides committed service organizations with an opportunity to work with MnCUN and increase their visibility among Minnesota credit unions. This program offers advertising, informational packages available at MnCUN’s Annual Meeting & Convention, and the opportunity to participate in new MnCUN initiatives.
For detailed information about the products and services V.I.P. participants have to offer your credit union, visit the Vendor Involvement Program section of the MnCUN site. V.I.P. participants agree to offer professional service, quality product lines and competitive pricing to Minnesota credit unions. Participation in the Vendor Involvement Program does not constitute an endorsement by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

Celebrate credit unions through International Credit Union Day

This October, Minnesota credit unions are invited to celebrate the attributes that make credit unions unique. Be part of a worldwide celebration and join in the promotion of International Credit Union (ICU) Day on Thursday, Oct. 20.
With the theme of "Credit Unions Build a Better World,” this year’s ICU day honors credit unions’ cooperative mission of building stronger individuals and communities. It also provides credit unions the opportunity to thank members for helping to further the credit union movement. To assist credit unions in recognizing this important day, the Network has a variety of resources available, including sample newsletter articles, promotional items, coloring pages and downloadable graphics.
To further the global cooperative mission, this year’s celebration is also serving as the launch for the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, which also aims to increase public awareness of cooperatives while promoting their formation and growth. More information and resources for the International Year of Cooperatives will be available on the Network website in September.
For more information about ICU Day and to download celebration resources, visit the International Credit Union Day page of the Network website. 

National Cooperative Conference to be held in Minneapolis Oct. 4-7

Minnesota credit unions are invited to join the National Cooperative Business Association for its Annual Meeting and Cooperative Conference on Oct. 4-7 in Minneapolis. With a theme focused on the "Power of the Principles,” this year’s programming will connect credit unions to the wider cooperative movement and help strengthen cooperatives’ commitment to the business model.
During the conference, attendees will investigate cooperative financials, best practices, ways to grow the cooperative economy and numerous other topics. In addition, the meeting will feature a diverse panel of co-op CEOs discussing how the cooperative principles have contributed to their organization’s success. During this session, participants will gain insight from the CEOs of CHS, Health Partners and other co-ops.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with the cooperative movement and network with key co-op leaders from around the nation. For more information about the conference, visit the National Cooperative Business Association website.


CUNA Mutual to host free ACH fraud webinar

CUNA Mutual Group Bond Policyholders are invited to attend a free webinar on Aug. 17 focused on preventing ACH fraud. Participants will investigate how wire transfer loss occurs and the steps credit unions can take to prevent it.
Fraudsters today are attacking the ACH accounts of businesses of all sizes by compromising systems and initiating fraudulent electronic payments. This webinar will focus on specific system controls and transaction procedures that can help minimize the credit union’s risk.
For more information about the webinar and to register, visit the CUNA Mutual Group website. To learn more about the products and services CUNA Mutual Group has to offer your credit union, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515. 

Earn revenue and save members money through Sprint

Through a unique agreement with Sprint, credit unions have the opportunity to earn non-interest income by marketing Sprint discounts to members. Participating credit unions must only complete four marketing requirements to receive incentive income.
Through Sprint’s marketing arrangement, credit union members receive discounts that they cannot find elsewhere. Review the table below and discover the savings your credit union could offer members through this program.
Benefits Personal Business
10% discount on most Sprint monthly recurring charges
Yes N/A
15% discount on most Sprint monthly recurring charges
N/A Yes
Waived activation fee on new lines (approx. $36 in savings)
Yes Yes
Waived upgrade fee (approx. $18 in savings)
Yes Yes
Discounts on phones and accessories
Yes Yes
National rates with no roaming or long distance charges
Yes Yes
Includes Any Mobile, Anytime Plan
Yes N/A
Credit unions have the option of signing an exclusive or non-exclusive marketing agreement with Sprint. Those with an exclusive agreement may only market Sprint’s program and may not promote other cellphone companies’ products or services. These credit unions receive 100 percent of Sprint’s incentive dollars. Those that sign a non-exclusive agreement may market other cellphone companies’ products and services and receive 50 percent of Sprint’s incentive dollars.
For information about the Sprint Nextel Credit Union Member Discount Plan, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.  

Stay top-of-mind all year with credit union calendars

Market to your members 365 days a year with credit union calendars. Through CUNA Strategic Services, your credit union can purchase cost-effective wall calendars, pocket planners, calendar cards and stick up calendars.
Credit union calendars are an effective tool to retain top-of-mind awareness and help your credit union stay relevant with members. The calendars offer interesting credit union facts and financial tips for members. In addition, your credit union can support the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids program by purchasing select credit union exclusive calendars.

Order your calendars today and ensure that members remember you through 2012 and beyond. For information about the credit union calendars, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.


Calendar of Events

The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out the roundtables, telecourses and webinars available throughout the summer. Register online for MnCUN's annual Fall Conference, which offers credit unions professionals and volunteers a weekend of education, networking and fun. Visit the online Event Calendar today.

  • Aug. 17 (2 p.m.): CUNA Mutual Webinar – ACH Fraud Hits a Nerve
  • Aug. 17 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Consumer Lending Regulatory Issues
  • Aug. 18 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Preventing Frontline & Call Center Losses
  • Aug. 18 (10 a.m.): Interactive Forum – Call Center: Preventing Call Center Losses
  • Aug. 19 (10 a.m.): Webinar – Credit Unions as Withholding Agents: SSNs, EINs, & ITINs
  • Aug. 23 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Achieving Security Excellence
  • Aug. 23 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Rules for CU Websites
  • Aug. 24 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Bank Bribery Act & Reg P
  • Aug. 30 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse – Foreclosure Alternatives
  • Aug. 30 (2 p.m.): Webinar – Security Officer Training

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

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