The Pulse (05-29-13)


The Pulse (05-29-13)

May 29, 2013    ●    Volume 02, Issue 21


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

CUs urged to participate in conference call, advocacy efforts

Right now in Congress, legislators are considering a major reform of the U.S. tax code, and one option could nullify all current tax exemptions. It is critical that Minnesota credit union supporters send a strong message to Congress stressing the benefits that credit unions' corporate income tax exemption brings to consumers and the economy.

To help increase understanding of what a tax code overhaul means for credit unions, the Network is hosting a conference call Thursday, May 30, at 2 p.m. This conference call will discuss the current climate for tax reform in Congress and the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign. It is crucial that all credit unions participate in this conference call to hear concerns about maintaining the credit union corporate income tax exemption.

The conference call is free, but pre-registration is required. Go to the Event Calendar page of the Network website to register. Credit union professionals and volunteers of all levels are welcome to participate.

Also, as a way to rally credit union supporters, MnCUN and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) joined forces with credit union leagues from around the country in launching an advocacy campaign. The goal is to communicate one unified message to Congress: "Don't tax my credit union!”

To help in this advocacy effort, MnCUN is encouraging credit unions to take three simple action steps.

  1. TAKE ACTION NOW – Go to the GrassRoots Education & Action Team (GREAT) webpage to respond to the tax status action alert.
  2. Engage Your Members – Use the sample email, as well as web graphics and additional resources on the Network's Tax Status Advocacy webpage, to reach out to credit union members and encourage them to join the tax status fight.
  3. Learn More – Visit the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" webpage to find even more ways to convince your members that this battle to protect credit unions' corporate income tax exemption needs to start now!


MnCUN releases research & recommendations report 

The Minnesota Credit Union Network, with the help of credit union contributions to the Minnesota Network Advertising Program, worked with Fluence Media to conduct a reputation-based public opinion poll to better understand Minnesota consumers' perceptions of financial institutions. The poll, conducted in January, asked 500 Minnesotans a series of question to gauge their attitudes about and knowledge of credit unions.

The key findings were compiled and presented to credit unions at the 2013 Annual Meeting, and are also available in MnCUN's Consumer Research & Recommendations Report: Using Key Messages & Research Data to Grow Credit Union Market Share. This report was published in May.

The research helped to identify four main messages that credit unions should communicate to consumers:

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit.
  • Credit unions are local.
  • Credit unions are trusted.
  • Credit unions are safe, sound and secure.

Additional tools will be created and made available to credit unions to help deploy these key messages to their members and communities. To download the report, go to the Consumer Research 2013 page of the Network website.


Missed Annual Meeting? Watch what happened at the Business Meeting

If you were unable to attend MnCUN's Annual Meeting & Convention on May 17-18, you can still catch the highlights through a video of the live event. Available as a free archive of the Business Meeting live stream, this video allows credit union professionals and volunteers to hear MnCUN's recap of credit unions' 2012 accomplishments and this year's initiatives.

The video features updates from MnCUN Board Chairman Pat Pierce and MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins, as well as special guest speakers Mary Dunn, CUNA Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, and Pat Wesenberg, CUNA Board Chair. The Business Meeting also highlights the activities of MnCUN's partners and committees.

Watch this free archive video to get a complete update of the Minnesota credit union movement, as well as a sneak peek of next year's new Annual Meeting location. Credit unions are encouraged to view the video during a full staff meeting. To watch the video, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website.

Tell CUNA how new International Remittance Transfers Rule affects you

The CFPB recently announced that it has made several changes to its final rule on international remittance transfers. These changes include a delayed effective date of the entire rule until Oct. 28, 2013, and additional latitude for remittance providers.

CUNA needs to hear from you regarding the impact of these final changes on your international remittance transfer services. Please take a few minutes to complete a survey regarding the effects of this remittance transfer rule. Your responses will be helpful as CUNA continues to advocate for the minimization of effects of the Dodd-Frank Act on international remittances. The aggregate results of this survey will be shared with the CFPB, key members of Congress, and the National Credit Union Administration Board.

Please complete this survey by Monday, June 10. For more details on the final rule changes, please access CUNA's final rule analysis. With questions, contact Dennis Tsang, Jon Haller, or Connie Dey-Marcos.

40+ volunteers complete BSA training at MnCUN's Annual Meeting

MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Lewis explains the Bank Secrecy Act during a training session for volunteers at Annual Meeting.

Last week, more than 40 credit union board members received their required annual Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) training during an educational session at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's Annual Meeting & Convention. Following NCUA guidelines, the training explained the importance of BSA and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, the risks of an inadequate BSA program, and the ramifications of non-compliance.

The training was led by MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Armstrong Lewis. As an independent BSA auditor, Lewis is a Credit Union National Association-designated Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist. Those certified through this program must pass written exams and earn continuing professional education credits to ensure up-to-date knowledge of current developments and regulatory changes.

When providing consultant services to credit unions, Lewis frequently pairs BSA audits with board and staff training. Over the past year, smaller credit unions in similar geographic regions have also scheduled joint trainings with Lewis to share in the costs of meeting this NCUA requirement.

Staff training requirements, which are more in depth, include BSA regulatory requirements, as well as related internal policies and procedures. At minimum:

  • All employees tasked with responsibilities related to BSA/AML should be trained;
  • Training programs should be tailored to an employee's specific responsibilities;
  • All new employees should receive a standard overview of BSA/AML requirements; and
  • Staff that work in particular business lines should have more detailed training to understand the implications for indirect lending, trust accounts, etc.

"In addition to it being a regulatory requirement, it's important that credit union staff members and board members receive regular training on the Bank Secrecy Act requirements, as NCUA continues looking for expertise in this area,” Lewis said.

With questions, please contact Marcia Lewis by email or call (651) 288-5509.

St. Cloud FCU's Bill Winter honored with Foundation's CU Builder Award

Bill Winter, CEO of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, was recently honored for his tenure, service and excellence with a Credit Union Builder Award from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. Winter – honored by the staff and board of St. Cloud FCU – will be retiring at the end of this year after 38 years of service.

Winter was hired at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union in 1975, when the credit union had 1,600 members, three employees, and $1 million in assets. Throughout his career, the credit union has grown to almost 15,000 members, 57 employees, and over $100 million in assets.

On the state and national levels, Winter is well-known as a valuable contributor in the community and in the credit union movement. Winter was inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders earlier this year for his dedication and leadership in political advocacy. He is a long-standing member of MnCUN's Political Involvement Committee, and he lobbied at both the state and federal levels for issues that\ affect the credit union industry. Locally, Winter has been active in the Rotary Club as board member and chair, and he is a government affairs committee contributor for the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

Winter also served on the boards of Minnesota Item Processing Corporation, Minnesota League of Credit Unions, Minnesota Credit Union Network, Minnesota Corporate Federal Credit Union, and Network Service Corporation.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize Bill Winter for his many contributions – not only to St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, but to the entire industry,” said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Chair Pat Brekken. "Bill is a model credit union CEO and is very deserving of this designation as a Credit Union Builder.”

"Bill's tireless efforts made significant and far-reaching contributions to the credit union movement,” said Alyce Justin, Executive Vice President of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union. "The credit union staff and volunteers who had the opportunity to work with Bill will ensure that his passion for members and his philosophy to ‘do the right thing' will be his legacy for years to come.”

Winter joins 18 other individuals 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.

Credit unions encouraged to report classroom presentations to NYIB

Despite what the weather is showing, summer is right around the corner. As the school year wraps up, credit unions are encouraged to notify the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) of their classroom presentations made throughout the year.

Reporting financial education presentations is beneficial to the Minnesota Credit Union Network, CUNA and NYIB in providing information to state and federal elected officials. This quantitative data helps illustrate to lawmakers the credit union difference. Plus, in this day and age of bank attacks, credit unions need to showcase the activities they do to improve their communities.

It is vital for credit unions to document and report such efforts! The information you submit is used to demonstrate how credit unions make a difference in the lives of young people and, at the same time, helps protect the unique status of credit unions as not-for-profit financial cooperatives.

Reporting your information helps NYIB recognize you, your credit union and the state. In addition, your educational efforts contribute to the decline in bankruptcies, benefiting consumers, credit unions and the economy.

Any credit union employee or volunteer who makes a presentation to groups of students or youth audiences age 22 and younger can report it. Presentations can be conducted in a broad range of educational settings, including a traditional classroom, Scout troop meeting, church group, community group, and others.

  • Acceptable presentations can be conducted on these and other consumer and financial related topics:
  • Credit union history, philosophy and/or uniqueness
  • Money management: saving, spending, checking, budgeting, credit, lending, insurance,
  • Consumer education: smart shopping and/or other consumer focused issues;
  • Employment: interviewing, resumes, credit union careers, etc.;
  • Business, finance, employment and other related topics;
  • NEFE High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) presentations; or
  • Junior Achievement and/or other youth-related programs focused on finance

(Note: When presenting Junior Achievement modules or HSFPP presentations, each chapter should be recorded separately.)

Presentations that promote a specific credit union or credit union service, such as youth savings club or teen programs, do not qualify. In addition, visits to schools to pick up deposits for credit union/savings programs or operations of student branches do not qualify.

To report presentations, visit and log into the "reporting” section on the right side of the page. Additional information can be obtained in the reporting FAQ section of the NYIB website. With questions or for assistance in reporting appropriate presentations, contact NYIB North Central Regional Coordinator Janice Quigg.


New Deputy Commissioner appointed at Dept. of Commerce
CUs encouraged to ramp up advocacy efforts as federal legislators return home

REMINDER: New mortgage rules go into effect June 1
CFPB clarifies Escrow Rule
CFPB establishes framework to improve coordination with state regulators


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

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