The Pulse (06-11-14)



The Pulse (06-11-14)

June 11, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 23


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Young Professionals: Join the Crew!

Calling all young credit union professionals with a passion for credit unions and a dedication to the movement! The Minnesota Credit Union Network invites you to mark your calendars for upcoming Crew events.

The Crew is a credit union networking group made up of young credit union professionals who are looking for the opportunity to grow in their career. The Crew is open to young professionals of all levels, including those new to the credit union movement or those seeking to establish deeper industry ties.

  • Aug. 7- Roundtable & Interactive Forum: Join your peers for this unique cooperative roundtable meeting and interactive live webinar forum, designed to help provide ideas and answers. This session will be paired with the Emerging Leaders Series webinar, "Managing for Ultimate Performance: The 6 Building Blocks of Success.” 
  • Nov. 5 - Crew Roundtable & Networking Opportunity: Information and topic to come!

To learn more about this networking group, 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.

Minn Dept. of Commerce revises Supervisory Committee Semi-Annual Report

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has released a revised Semi-Annual Supervisory Committee Audit Report form to Minnesota’s state chartered credit unions. The previous version of the form provided a checklist; however, it did not fully encompass all of NCUA’s requirements listed in its Supervisory Committee Guide. Appendix A of the Guide provides the minimum procedures that must be completed when a Supervisory Committee (or its independent accountant or auditor) follows the Supervisory Committee audit alternative to a financial statement audit in §715.7(c), “Audit per Supervisory Committee Guide.” Credit unions should anticipate receiving a cover letter, as well as the revised Semi-Annual Supervisory Committee Audit Report, from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The new Audit Report form requests that the supervisory committee provide a brief summary of areas reviewed during the applicable reporting period, including a copy of the credit union’s annual audit, and/or a CPA audit.

As a reminder, all Minnesota state-chartered credit unions are required to comply with NCUA Part 715 – Supervisory Committee Audits and Verifications; the specific audit requirements based on asset size can be found at §715.6. Audit functions must be reported semi-annually to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, pursuant to MN statute §52.11, as follows:

  • Audit period of Jan. 1 through June 30, compiled in the June 30 report, and submitted on or before July 31 of a given year;
  • Audit period of July 1 through Dec. 31, compiled in the Dec.31 report, and submitted on or before Jan. 31 of the subsequent new year.

Credit unions are encouraged to thoroughly review this information, and for those that utilize audit professionals, to notify them of these changes. For those that may need additional assistance for this or other compliance issues, please contact MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Lewis by email or by phone at (651)288-5509.


University of Minnesota offers Financial Educator Certificate program

The University of Minnesota online Financial Educator Certificate program (FEC) equips community-based professionals with knowledge and skills to work with people to manage financial resources, build financial assets, and improve financial health and well-being. 

The 10-module program covers core financial concepts of earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and protecting. The program is also focused on financial behavior theory, financial education delivery methods, ethics, and program evaluation.

The 2014-15 session begins Sept. 8 and Registration opens June 1. For more information and to register, visit the University of Minnesota Financial Educator Certificate website.  

The FEC modules are designed to be instructor-facilitated. Instructors are Dr. Mary Jo Katras,Extension, and Dr. Catherine SolheimFamily Social ScienceIf you have any questions, please contact the FEC.


30+ year industry veteran Jim DeBilzan honored as a “Credit Union Builder” through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation

After more than 35 years as a devoted credit union volunteer and manager, Jim DeBilzan retired last month. In honor of his dedication and service to the credit union movement, Unity One Credit Union has designated him as a distinguished “Credit Union Builder” through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation.

The Credit Union Builder award recognizes those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement. Nominations for this award are made by credit unions and other organizations in honor of or in memory of a significant individual who has been instrumental in their success.

DeBilzan served on the Board of Directors at Unity One for 35 years, which included a five-year stint as secretary and as the chair of numerous committees. He was active on the education, marketing, technology, and loan committees, he completed several modules of the Credit Union National Association’s Volunteer Achievement Program.

“Jim’s enthusiasm for this industry is evident, and he has a strong passion for the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people,’” said Gary Williams, President & CEO of Unity One. “With experience that spanned more than three decades, his knowledge of our credit union will be missed.”

In addition to his service at Unity One, DeBilzan also worked as the Manager of Saint Pascal Parish Credit Union in St. Paul for 32 years.

“In his dual roles as a credit union professional and a volunteer, it’s people like Jim who have built the credit union movement into what it is today,” said Foundation Chair Pat Brekken. “I wholeheartedly congratulate him on a long and distinguished career, and I am proud that the Foundation is able to present him with this honor.”

To learn more about the Credit Union Builder Award visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website. With questions, contact Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Kristina Wright by email or by phone at (651)288-5507.


MnCUN’s webinar library provides instant access to timely training

Along with its full list of live education sessions, the Minnesota Credit Union Network, through a partnership with the Credit Union Webinar Network, also offers a host of Webinars On Demand. These sessions bring important information on credit union hot topics, updates and compliance standards to you – no matter where you are! OnDemand sessions are provided via web link, enabling credit union professionals to learn valuable information at any time, anywhere. New webinars are added monthly and are available for six months after their release date.

Click the following link, to view and order archive webinars. Simply order the sessions and use them at a time that's convenient for you!

Also, check the list below for Network-hosted programs, provided via a Vimeo link.

For additional information or with specific questions about webinars on demand, please contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.

Team award up for grabs at Financial Literacy 5K!

Credit unions and service providers – now is the time to register for the inaugural Financial Literacy 5K, a walk/run and kids run set for Saturday, July 12, at Lake Normandale in Bloomington. Organizations can vie for the “team trophy” at this event by including information the registration form. Any credit union, 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.

The Financial Literacy 5K is being hosted by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. With a strong commitment to financial education, the 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 2014 Financial Literacy 5K is powered by soleMOTION Race Management and is sponsored by TC Running Company, Banzai financial education, and TruStage insurance and investments, a division of CUNA Mutual Group. Registration is open to:

  • Credit union staff, volunteers & supporters
  • Educators, school staff & administrators
  • Non-profits, agencies & financial literacy enthusiasts
  • Legislators, government officials & others holding elected office
  • Members of the running community
  • Walkers
  • Fitness enthusiasts
  • ...and anyone who shares a passion for financial education!

Early bird pricing is available through June 25. For additional details about the Financial Literacy 5K, visit the MnCUF website at


Business Journal seeks nominees for technology spotlight awards

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal announces a call for nominations for the inaugural Titans of Technology Awards, honoring the region's outstanding technology professionals and their supporters.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Titans of Technology awards will recognize individuals currently transforming Minnesota's high-tech industry and giving companies a competitive edge. This award will showcase the innovators, adopters, and executors impacting the technology industry for the greater good. Awards will be given in seven separate categories.

View award categories, eligibility requirements, and submit nominations on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal website. The Titans of Technology nomination deadline is June 13. 


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.  

Greater Minnesota CU president, CEO Ahlness retires

Affinity Plus FCU supports ‘Heroic’ dog that gives students a paw up on reading skills

Two students receive Minnesota Family Involvement Council scholarships at TopLine FCU

Royal CU donates over $8K to Minnesota teachers

Minnesota credit union representatives Hike the Hill 

Senator Amy Klobuchar signs on to credit union supported Privacy Notice Modernization Act

MnCUN holds event for credit union endorsed Tom Emmer

Increases to maximum Flood InsuranceCoverage on “Other Residential Buildings”

Out for Comment

FHFA Seeks Input on Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac Guarantee Fees

Understanding your insurance program options

Auto and home insurance programs are a proven way for credit unions to increase products per member, build non-interest income, and help members protect their investments in their home or vehicle.

But deciding to make the coverage available is just the first step. Equally—if not more—important is deciding how to structure the program.

CUNA Mutual Group recently worked with MarshBerry Inc., a provider of consulting services in the financial services industry, to learn more about the most common insurance delivery models used by credit unions and the pros and cons of each. Below is a summary of what the company learned.

Insurance Delivery Models*

Build or Acquire

In this model, a credit union will either build an insurance business from the ground up or acquire an existing agency.


    • Control of the process and outcomes
    • Full ownership of customers
    • Strong relationships with members enhance the chances of success


    • Start-up phase can be long and expensive—A successful launch requires your credit union to learn the industry and cover an array of operational, legal, and compliance expenses.
    • Difficult to scale
    • Limited experience or resources to invest in mass marketing—Does your credit union have the expertise to develop effective marketing tools and the budget to afford them?

Joint Venture

In this model, the credit union forms a joint venture with an outside party. Each usually owns a percentage of the business and the annual profits are split accordingly.


    • The outside partner provides/oversees management and production talent—The credit union doesn’t need to staff the program.
    • Direct monetary incentives for the partners
    • Avoids complications with licensing, training, and carrier appointments—Partner will handle these issues.


    • Lack of control over strategic direction
    • Profit potential may be quite small
    • Lack of control over customer experience—And members may be confused over who “owns” the relationship, especially if the partnership ends.


In the final model, the outsourced specialist is responsible for every aspect of the program.


    • Low cost of entry—There is often no investment on the part of the credit union.
    • Direct monetary incentives—No payback period, income flow can begin at the point of the first sale.
    • Can be used in tandem with other distribution models—Even if a credit union has their own agency, they can still opt to use an outsourced program to ensure they meet the needs of customers who won’t be served by their agency or might prefer to buy through online/call center channels.


    • Partner has primary control of the program’s strategic direction
    • Lack of control over customer experience—And members may be confused over who “owns” the relationship, especially if the partnership ends.
    • Channel availability may vary by state

Other Considerations

Although these pros and cons are a good starting point, your credit union will also need to weigh a variety of other factors when determining which insurance model is the best fit for you.

These include:

    • Assets
    • Membership size
    • Locations
    • Staff experience
    • Operational readiness
    • How insurance aligns with your credit union culture
    • Whether available model options meet local consumers’ channel preferences—e.g., if most consumers prefer to research insurance online, does your preferred model allow for this?

Currently more than 4,000 credit unions choose to outsource their program through The TruStage Insurance Agency—the insurance agency built exclusively for credit union members.

After you have considered the pros and cons listed above, take a closer look at making TruStage insurance available to your members.

More than 4,000 credit unions across the country have already discovered the key reasons why the TruStage Insurance Agency can get results that are Proven, Predictable, and Immediate:

  • Multi-media marketing—TruStage uses a mix of media to create awareness, including traditional methods, such as direct mail and referrals, and new ones such as social media, emails, and web ads. 
  • Multi-channel access—Members research and buy using the channels they prefer, including call center, online options, and through a local agent. Multi-channel access is a unique capability that sets the TruStage Insurance Agency apart from other outsourced distribution options.
  • Trusted national carriers—Including Liberty Mutual Insurance and Esurance.

Ready to learn more about the benefits of an outsourced program? Contact your CUNA Mutual Group sales team at (800)356-2644, or visit CUNA Mutual online.

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

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