The Pulse (03-11-15)



The Pulse (03-11-2015)

March 11, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 10


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News


Minn. credit unions may offer new IOLTA Accounts

Last December, President Obama signed the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act into law. This new law, supported by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), provides that interest on lawyer trust accounts (IOLTAs) held at federally insured credit unions are insured up to $250,000 for each owner of funds held within these accounts. The Minnesota Credit Union Network has been working with the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board – the organization that oversees the opening and maintaining of IOLTA accounts in Minnesota – to ensure that credit unions are a financial institution option to attorneys and law firms for holding IOLTA accounts.

Financial institutions in Minnesota that offer IOLTA accounts must follow certain requirements pertaining to the payment/remittance of interest/dividends, and the reporting of any overdrafts. This week, affiliated credit unions should receive a packet in the mail from the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board which will outline these requirements and include its standard agreement regarding IOLTA accounts, should a credit union decide to offer these accounts and be on the list of approved financial institutions.

For additional information, contact MnCUN General Counsel John Wendland or Associate General Counsel Lyndsay Miller, or visit the Network’s IOLTA Accounts Resources webpage.


Survey shows Minnesotans love credit unions more than banks

Minnesotans are passionate credit union supporters. In fact, when asked which financial institution they love, Minnesotans say they love their credit union nearly two-and-a-half times more often than they say they love their bank.

“Credit union growth in Minnesota has been non-stop over the past several years,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) President & CEO Mark Cummins. “Consumers are more drawn to credit unions because they believe they are honest and locally invested financial institutions.”

The 2015 Minnesota Credit Union State, conducted by Fluence Media and American Strategies, found that:

  • Consumers have more intense positive feelings about credit unions. Nearly four-in-ten (37 percent) are “very” favorable towards credit unions. Over one-third (35%) of credit union members “love” their financial institution – compared to just 13% who “love” their bank. In virtually every comparison, credit unions enjoy an intensity advantage.
  • Respondents feel that phrases like “honest and trustworthy” (46% describes credit unions better vs. 23% describes banks better), “consumer friendly” (45 to 26%) and “has roots in the local community” (51 to 30%) describe credit unions better than banks. Also, fully 75% say the phrase “owned and operated for the benefit of its members and customers” better describes credit unions than banks.
  • An overwhelming majority (73%) have a positive reaction to credit unions growing their share of deposits. Pocketbook benefits like access to better rates and lower fees also resonate strongly with consumers. Support is up from 59% in a similar 2013 poll.

In addition, nearly one-quarter of all Minnesotans identify credit unions as their primary financial institution, and credit unions are viewed as more consumer friendly, locally rooted and invested in the local community than banks.

“We expect that the significance of credit unions as a major player in family finances, as well as business growth, will continue for the foreseeable future,” Cummins said. “The data we are releasing today confirms what members tell us in their local credit unions every day.”

In recent years, Minnesota credit unions have been significantly impacted by legislation and financial institution regulations enacted after the Great Recession and are leading efforts to protect members from data breaches and related costs. While both banks and credit unions are impacted by these issues, Minnesotans responding to the survey said that they support credit unions on policy positions more than banks. Other credit union priorities include helping Minnesotans increase their financial literacy and savings rate and enacting patent reform.



Ray Burnett to be honored for 23 years of service through MnCUF’s “Credit Union Builder” award

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union has announced it will honor Ray Burnett as a Credit Union Builder through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MnCUF) at its Annual Meeting on April 22. The meeting will take place at Central Lakes College Brainerd campus at 501 West College Drive in the Cafeteria/Rotunda area at 6 p.m.

Burnett was President/CEO of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union from 1980 until retiring in 2003. He led Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union through tremendous growth and held many leadership positions in state and national credit union associations. Burnett was also founder and first Board President of the National Association of Community Credit Unions and was recognized with many awards for outstanding service and social responsibility.

An active member of the community and a credit union champion both locally and nationally, Burnett was also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He passed away on February 15 at the age of 77, with his family by his side.

“Ray was an inspiration to many,” said Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union President/CEO Chuck Albrecht. “Not only did he dedicate time and talent to the credit union movement, but to his community as well.”

Burnett was a leader of the credit union community in Minnesota, serving as Chairman of the Minnesota Credit Union League from 1991 to 1993. He also advocated for credit unions nationally, serving on the following Boards of Directors:

  • Credit Union National Association, National Director/Delegate:  1988-96
  • Credit Union National Association & CUNA Service Group Board of Directors:  1993-95
  • Credit Union National Association Board of Directors:  1996-97
  • CUNA Service Group Board of Directors:  1996-99
  • National Credit Union Foundation Board:  1995-98

“The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is pleased to honor Ray’s commitment to the credit union movement,” said MnCUF Chair Dave Larson. “We are thankful for the work he did not just for credit unions here in Minnesota, but also for credit unions nationwide.”

Burnett joins 31 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the Foundation’s Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in MnCUN’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 the Foundation’s Credit Union Builder Award and to view a list of those who have been honored with this recognition, visit the Foundation website 



The Crew P2P – March 25

During this Crew young professionals networking group exclusive session, a panel of credit union Presidents & CEOs will discuss their career paths, experiences in the credit union industry, and advice for young professionals. Following the discussion, attendees will have the chance to tour the historic Union Depot near the Minnesota Credit Union Network office in St. Paul.

Speakers will include:

  • Chuck Albrecht – Mid-Minnesota FCU
  • Aaron DeJoing – Red Wing CU
  • Rudy Pereira – Royal CU
  • Patrick Pierce – City & County CU

To learn more about the Crew, visit The Crew page of the Network website. With questions or add your name to the Crew database, contact Crew liaison Laura Whittet by email or at (651) 288-5503.


Compliance P2P with special presentation from USPI

Join your peers on Thursday, March 26 for this forum for peer groups to network, share experiences, and learn from each other.

The group will be joined by Mr. Barry Bouchie and Mr. Troy Sabby with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPI) out of the Twin Cities field office, whose territory covers Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Barry Bouchie has been a Postal Inspector for 19 years, and currently works fraud cases for the USPI and is the Twin Cities Field office JOLT Inspector - Jamaica Operations Linked to Telemarketing (JOLT). Troy Sabby has been a Postal Inspector for 21 years, and currently works financial crimes cases including mail and identity theft, including reshipping schemes, check cases, and credit card fraud.

While you are encouraged to attend the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) meeting in person, you also have the option to participate via webinar with conference call. Event time is 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a 12:30 p.m. lunch included in the cost of registration. Visit the MnCUN calendar of events to register.


Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal Diversity in Business Award

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is accepting nominations online for their 2015 annual Diversity in Business publication, out in July 2015. The awards recognize 20 local business owners and executives who represent the ethnic minority, GLBT, disabled and veteran communities. The honorees were selected through a highly competitive nomination process based on the contributions they've made to their companies, industries and communities.

We will honor business owners, executives and other leaders with high levels of responsibility.

The top candidates are those who also play a strong leadership role outside their jobs and serve in industry associations or community organizations. Nominees must be based in the Twin Cities 13-county metro area.

Nominations can be made through the online form. Honorees will be highlighted in the publication and honored at a July 23 reception.


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.  

Prize-Linked Savings accounts offer incentive to save

Minnco CU donates $2,400 to local food shelves during Minnesota FoodShare Month




7 new reg. relief bills welcome MnCUN to GAC

View all Governmental Affairs news stories


Reminder: TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Forms become effective Aug. 1

NCUA’s Chairman Matz Announces 2015 as the Year of Regulatory Relief

NCUA webinar, Successful Strategies for FOM Expansion on March 25

Registration for online stream of NCUA’s March Board meeting now open

National Flood Insurance Program Suspensions includes Minnesota counties

Out for Comment

NCUA proposed rule published re: small entity definition – comments due May 4


View all Regulatory Compliance news stories




CUNA Mutual Group Continues CU System Advocacy Efforts in 2015

As a partner in the credit union system, CUNA Mutual Group continues to be a strong and vocal advocate for credit unions and their members. We have a long and accomplished history in this area from H.R. 1151, to the IRS battles regarding the Unrelated Business Income Taxes, to the more recent "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign.  As the 114th Congress begins its work, we will continue to play an active role with credit union trade associations in advancing the public policy agenda of credit unions.

For us and the credit union system, the defense of the credit union tax exemption remains our top priority. We continue to fund research in this area and are working with CUNA staff in preparing for the tax debate in the 114th Congress.  Most recently, we are joining CUNA and the Leagues in bank battles in Illinois and Iowa by contributing significant funds to amplify credit unions’ defense of the tax exemption.  In addition, we believe coordination with the cooperative system is invaluable when discussing tax policy.

By working with other cooperative sectors, we are able to share intelligence on tax legislation, strategize on how we can work together, and identify common interests in defense of tax policy impacting the cooperative model.  As a result, our own Larry Blanchard, who led the charge during H.R. 1151, and the National Cooperative Bank, have brought together a diverse group of cooperative sectors, including credit union trade associations, to discuss and coordinate on tax reform.

While passing tax reform is daunting, the debate today and in particular, the work of House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan represents the building blocks for future tax reform.  Chairman Ryan has already indicated the work of his predecessor will be a starting point. That's good news considering the great work of the credit union system to keep the credit union tax exemption out of former Chairman Camp’s bill in the last Congress.  As many will concur, the legislative debate becomes much more difficult once a tax provision is placed in the draft bill.  

As an insurance company, CUNA Mutual Group continues to be a leader in cyber security and plastic card fraud.  In the last year, our senior executives have met with White House and Treasury officials to share our perspectives.  Because our subject matter expertise is valued, CUNA Mutual Group was invited to the President's address on cyber-security at Stanford University on Feb. 13.  As credit unions face increasing risk in this area, we hope to continue to provide solutions to mitigate this threat. Beyond working with various federal agencies, we joined forces with CUNA to sponsor and provide input to the website.  The intent of the website is to inform the public - particularly Congress - on how a multifaceted approach is necessary in mitigating data breaches and to dispel certain myths raised by merchant groups.

On the regulatory front, our LOANLINER team is working overtime to help credit unions prepare for TILA/RESPA changes. Through several webinars that were attended by hundreds of credit unions to sharing our concerns with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are taking an active role in helping credit unions meet the demands of these new regulations.  Similarly, given the major ramifications of NCUA's risk-based capital rule, we worked with the business community to make sure their voice was heard and filed our own comments with NCUA.  

Member business lending is important to a number of credit unions and it's important to us.  As small businesses turn more and more to credit unions, we believe there is an opportunity for the system to provide an array of financial solutions. To that end, we connected Georgetown University Professor David Walker with CUNA and the Filene Research Institute and commissioned a study on the impact of member business lending on small businesses.  We look forward to his study and intend to share the results with Congress.

Finally, patent reform remains a possibility in this Congress.  CUNA Mutual Group, as a financial institution, is subject to the same issues that credit unions face.  While we made some inroads when patent reform was passed a few years ago, more should be and can be done. We will continue to work side-by-side with the credit union trades to tackle this issue – which may be one of the few major bills to pass this Congress.

CHRISTOPHER P. ROE is senior vice president, Corporate and Legislative Affairs, at CUNA Mutual Group. Contact him at


If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 
If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 

 Joanna Drennen
 Nathan Dormody

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

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