The Pulse (05-21-14)


The Pulse (05-21-14)

May 21, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 20


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Sen. Franken spotlights CUs' RBC plan concerns

Last week, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter to National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz urging her to consider the input of Minnesota's credit unions as the agency considers its risk-based capital (RBC) proposal.
Franken added his voice to a growing chorus of lawmakers who are urging the federal regulatory agency to heed credit union concerns that the RBC plan, as written, could adversely affect small businesses and credit union members. A bipartisan collection of more than 320 House lawmakers joined Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) to urge the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to be judicious as it works to finalize a RBC rule.
In his separate letter Franken wrote, "Minnesota credit unions have contacted me with a number of concerns regarding the proposed rule. Capital rules must be tailored to the circumstances of credit unions and their customers."
The NCUA's proposal would replace existing risk-based net worth requirements with new risk-weighted asset and capital requirements.  The rule would apply to federally insured "natural person" credit unions with more than $50 million in assets.
Under the proposed rule, an adequately capitalized credit union would need to maintain a net worth ratio of 6% and an RBC ratio of 8% of equity to risk assets, while a well-capitalized credit union would need 7% and a higher RBC ratio of 10.5%, meaning the RBC ratio for well-capitalized credit unions exceeds that for adequately capitalized credit unions. This violates the Federal Credit Union Act, the Credit Union National Association says. 
The act directs the NCUA to set any risk-based component for the well-capitalized threshold no higher than the component for the adequately capitalized level. 
The Minnesota Credit Union Network opposes the NCUA's current proposal and is developing a comment letter with its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee. The trade association is also encouraging all credit union with assets above $40 million to consider how the proposal will affect their operations and to file a comment letter by the May 28 deadline.



Minnesota credit unions submit comment letters on Risk-Based Capital proposal – deadline next Wednesday

Wednesday, May 28, is the deadline for credit unions to submit comment letters on the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) risk-based capital bill proposal (RBC).   

The Minnesota Credit Union Network hosted a conference call on April 22 for credit unions to discuss the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) risk-based capital proposal. The proposed rule, applicable to credit unions with assets over $50 million, would revise the risk weights for many of NCUA’s current asset classifications, which would place higher risk-weights on certain assets such as: real estate loans, member business loans, and delinquent loans. In addition, the proposed rule would allow NCUA to require an individual credit union to hold higher levels ofcapital to address unique supervisory concerns raised by NCUA. NCUA proposed an effective date 18 months after publication of a final rule.

MnCUN’s conference call featured Mark Cummins, John Wendland and Mara Humphrey from MnCUN, Mary Dunn and Bill Hampel from the Credit Union National Association, Bill Raker of US Federal Credit Union and Bernie Brixius of Central Minnesota Credit Union. The call provided an overview of the rule, MnCUN’s comment letter, a variety of resources, and time for Q&A and comments.

An archive of the recording, along with other resources, are available on the RBC resource page of the Network website.

Last month, MnCUN – with input from its Regulatory Review Committee – submitted a comment letter to NCUA, and is encouraging credit unions across the state to do the same. MnCUN’s comment letter can be found on the Out for Comment page of the Network website. Credit unions are encouraged to use the Network’s letter as a template, but suggest that it be individualized to reflect how your respective credit union may be affected under the proposal.

The RBC resource page contains instructions on how to submit comment letters, and a wealth of other information. Comments on the proposal are due on or before May 28. With questions or comments, contact General Counsel Wendland by email or at (651) 288-5519.



More MnCUN staff sought to serve on industry task forces

In recent months, three Minnesota Credit Union Network staffers have been tapped to serve on national industry task forces through the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL).

  • Sue Groskreutz, MnCUN’s Director of Education, was appointed to serve on the CUNA Housing Task Force. This group provides input and feedback to CUNA to assist in coordination of lodging for the Governmental Affairs Conference, which brings thousands of people from across the country to Washington, D.C., each year. The task force addresses issues and strategy with GAC housing blocks provided to and offered by state leagues.
  • Earlier this year, AACUL formed a league Social Media Task Force to work on developing a unified League-CUNA social media strategy. This group aims to maximize and leverage social media exposure, generate awareness of credit unions, and create credit union advocates. MnCUN’s Director of Communications Connie Kuhn and Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith have been appointed to serve on this task force.

Additionally, MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey was reappointed in 2014 to serve on the AACUL State Issues Advocacy Committee. This group works to provide direction and feedback regarding state legislative and regulatory issues affecting credit unions and to identify proactive strategies to promote the state credit union system.

President & CEO Mark D. Cummins is secretary of the CUNA Strategic Services Board of Directors, is the AACUL Board of Directors Treasurer, serves on the AACUL Political Involvement & Grassroots Committee and the System Financial Sustainability Task Force, and is chair of the CUNA Cooperative Alliances Committee.

“As the credit union system changes and evolves, it’s important for credit unions to know that advocates on the state and national levels are continually evaluating the scope, purpose and relevance of our respective associations,” Cummins said. “I am proud that Network staff is sought after to participate in CUNA and AACUL initiatives, as we work to improve coordination and cooperation among credit unions nationwide.”

State legislative update teleconference scheduled

On Friday, May 16, the Minnesota State Legislature concluded the 2014 Legislative Session. As usual, there were many bills and legislative machinations that the Network tracked and lobbied for and against that kept us busy up until the very last minute. Below is a brief review of a few of the key issues faced by Minnesota credit unions during this most recent Legislative Session. Join us today Wednesday, May 21, from 10-10:30 a.m. for a full Legislative Session round-up conference call. To join, dial (800) 832-0736. When prompted to enter your room number, please dial *2885533#

Financial education enthusiasts register for Foundation’s Financial Literacy 5K

Financial Literacy 5K participants from across the state are signing up for this inaugural event, to be hosted by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation on July 12 at Normandale Lakes in Bloomington. Credit union employees and members, teachers, non-profit and agency staff, and government officials are invited to take part in this walk/run and kids run event, powered by soleMOTION Race Management.

Any credit unions, school or organization that registers five or more Financial Literacy 5K participants will automatically be “in the running” for the team award. Participants’ times will be aggregated and averaged to determine the best team time. It’s a pride thing! Team winners will be announced in the weeks following the race.

“We are excited to host this first annual event and to bring together the many individuals and organizations committed to financial literacy,” said Foundation Chair Pat Brekken. “And likewise, we are eager raise additional funding that will allow us to provide more grants and further amazing financial education initiatives across the state.”

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing the resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive. In 2013, the Foundation launched its Financial Education Grant Program and an ongoing budgetary commitment to financial education. The Foundation dedicates 50 percent of its annual budget to Financial Education Grants that positively impact credit union members and communities.

The Financial Literacy 5K is sponsored by:

For additional details, Q&A, & to register, visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website

NCUA offers $1.2 million in grant funding to low-income credit unions

Next month, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) will be accepting grant applications from low-income credit unions across the country. NCUA recently announced that it will award $1.2 million in its second round of Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants for 2014. Applications will be accepted June 2-30.

“NCUA’s grants to low-income credit unions are wise investments in community development,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “These grants have seeded a range of activities, from new products to technology modernization and staff training. Because NCUA’s grants to low-income credit unions can improve service and support local economies, I encourage all qualified credit unions to apply.”

Grants will be awarded in four categories:

  • Community Development Financial Institution Certification – NCUA anticipates awarding 60 credit unions $2,500 each to cover the cost of applying for CDFI certification. This certification makes a credit union eligible for funding to help service low-income members and communities that lack adequate access to affordable financial services products.

  • New Product & Service Development – Credit unions that want to offer members new electronic services will be eligible for grants up to a preset amount based on the individual product. These services include first-time websites, home banking, mobile banking, bill pay, remote deposit capture, online loan and member applications, electronic or digital signatures, and debit, credit or prepaid cards. Total allocation is $652,000, with a maximum award of $7,500 for each successful applicant.

  • Collaboration – NCUA will award four collaboration grants of up to $50,000 each for a total of $200,000. Credit unions may use these grants to establish collaborative relationships for cost-saving projects like back-office operations, vendor due diligence and secondary capital investment pools. A minimum of three credit unions must apply, with the lead credit union having its low-income designation. Collaborations may include leagues, CUSOs or vendors.

  • Training – Grants of up to $3,000 each will be available to pay for training in compliance, collections and lending, and governance. The total allocation for training grants is $198,000.

Funding for NCUA’s grant initiatives is provided by the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, a fund created by Congress to support credit unions that serve low-income communities. NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) administers the fund. For additional information or to apply online, visit the OSCUI Grants page of the NCUA website.


Reminder Hike the Hill: June 9-11, 2014

Hike the Hill provides credit union representatives with an exciting opportunity to meet with federal legislators and talk about top credit union issues, face-to-face, in Washington, D.C. During Hike the Hill visits, credit union professionals and volunteers meet with the entire Minnesota Congressional Delegation and typically visit the NCUA Board, CUNA and/or Credit Union House on Capitol Hill.

The three-day Washington, D.C., trip will include a legislative and regulatory briefing with CUNA to provide information on the critical issues facing credit unions as well as background information about the current happenings on the Hill.  Attendees will then meet with offices of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation. The trip will also include visits to regulatory agencies including the NCUA.

With questions about Hike the Hill, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith by email or at (651) 288-5533


CEO Conference early bird pricing ends Friday

The Minnesota Credit Union Network will hold its fifth annual CEO Conference once again at the Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth on June 25-27, 2014. Exclusively for credit union presidents and chief executive officers, this event features discussion of the issues, obstacles and opportunities facing credit unions today.

The conference will feature roundtable discussions and networking opportunities. In addition, the education component of the conference will examine many of the unique issues facing credit unions in Minnesota. Designed to be interactive and discussion-oriented, the event will also offer the opportunity to discuss obstacles facing the movement and to build consensus with other CEOs on possible solutions.

Headline speakers will include:

  • Elizabeth Ellis, CFPB Deputy Assistant Director
  • Keith Morton, NCUA Region IV Director
  • Credit Union National Association Board Chair Dennis Pierce 
  • Bob Trunzo, President & CEO of CUNA Mutual Group
  • Tom Hauser, KSTP-TV Reporter and host of “At Issue”

The 2014 CEO Conference is open to presidents or chief executives only. Join your peers at The Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth to discuss issues, learn from each other, and work together toward potential solutions to the many challenges facing credit unions today. Go to the 2014 CEO Conference page to register by Tuesday, July 20!

Young Minnesotan wins National youth saving challenge

The National Youth Saving Challenge™, sponsored by GreenPath Debt Solutions, is held during the month of April in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week and is hosted by the Credit Union National Association.

By starting youth on the right path setting goals and saving to reach them, the National Youth Saving Challenge helps credit unions build strong, long-term relationships with youth and their families. 

Last year, more than 117,000 young members deposited $25.2 million into their savings accounts during this national event in 2013—with 6,173 of those being new accounts! Read about why credit unions take the challenge.

Congratulations to Jonah, age 6, of Cloquet, Minn., who won during the savings challenge. Jonah is a member of Northwoods Credit Union. 

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.  

United Educators Foundation announces academic scholarship recipients

Royal CU Sacred Heart Hospital office celebrates grand opening

US Federal CU announces new Business Development Specialist

HomeTown FCU, Owatonna area residents surpass ‘On the Move’ program’s goal

As advocated: Fannie/Freddie loan limits will not be reduced

Why I Love My Credit Union social media day success

CFPB launches online version of Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)

NCUA releases 2013 Annual Report

FHFA announces future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

NCUA opens second round of Community Dev. Revolving Loan Fund grants for 2014

CDFI opens applications for up to $750 million in bond guarantee authority

NCUA Issues Letters to Credit Unions

CFPB extends international remittance transfers modified rule commentperiod


Help Members Discover the Power of Yes, Yes and Yes 

New TruStage insurance marketing campaign makes it easy to leverage peak car buying season

With the height of the car buying and leasing season just around the corner,[i] there’s no better time to let members know auto insurance is available through your credit union.

To help you promote the TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program, the MemberCONNECT® Program is making a new, multi-media marketing campaign available. Called Yes, Yes and Yes, it brings awareness to members through three quick questions: Car insurance through your credit union? At a great rate? And switching is easy? Yes, yes and yes.

This no-cost campaign is available to all credit unions who endorse the TruStage program and includes:

  • A printable flyer—Great for use in branch displays, drive-thrus, and at your sponsor organizations
  • Digital graphics for in-branch signage
  • Complied text and articles—Just copy and paste to include in your newsletter or online
  • Banners and ads for your credit union website
  • Suggested Facebook postings and a fun Facebook contest you can share with members that runs during June

The TruStage Insurance Agency makes coverage available from industry-leading companies including Liberty Mutual Insurance and Esurance. Your credit union can rest assured that your members will be taken care of by experienced, member-friendly experts who deliver the guidance, advice, information, support, and member-only discounts they’ve come to expect from the credit union. Members can get a TruStage quote in just minutes via phone, face-to-face or online—and it’s easy to make the switch from a current carrier at any time.  Plus, members could see an average annual savings of up to $427.96. 2

Get your campaign materials by going to

Want to learn more about making TruStage Insurance available to members through the MemberCONNECT Program? Contact your CUNA Mutual Group Sales Executive today at 800.356.2644.

1. Source: Monthly sales for all used and new vehicle dealers (3-year average, 2007-2009) from the Dept. of Commerce; Leasing activity reflected in monthly sales figures for all new vehicle dealers (3-year average, 2010-2012) from Dept. of Commerce.

2. Figure reflects average national savings for customers who switched to the TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program. Based on data collected between 9/1/2012 and 8/31/2013.  Individual premiums and savings will vary

TruStage™ Auto Insurance Program made available through TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issued by leading insurance companies. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by your credit union

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

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