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|The Pulse (06-12-13)|
The Pulse (06-12-13)
June 12, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 23
Credit Union News
In Minnesota alone, credit union membership reached 1,579,000 as of March 31. That’s up 6,000 members in just three months, and up 58,000 members from March 2012. Consider these statistics:
Is your credit union capitalizing on today's economic environment? Are you catering to consumers' desires to create a banking relationship with a local financial institution they can trust?
On Thursday, June 13, from 2 p.m.-3 p.m., the Minnesota Credit Union Network will host a FREE webinar titled "Gaining Market Share through Mind Share” featuring Blois Olson of Fluence Media.
This webinar will present data compiled from MnCUN's 2013 consumer research, and it will also cover key messages and recommendations from the recently-released publication, Consumer Research & Recommendations Report: Using Key Messages & Research Data to Grow Credit Union Market Share. The webinar will also provide new information on MnCUN's consumer awareness campaign, Bankziety, and detail tools and resources available to credit unions.
Both the research and consumer awareness initiatives are funded by credit unions' voluntary contributions to MNAP, the Minnesota Network Advertising Program.
The webinar is free, but pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit the Event Calendar page of the Network website. With questions, contact Communications Specialist Kelli Sandhurst by email or call (651) 288-5503.
Act now and use these #DontTaxMyCU tools
The credit union corporate income tax exemption is now under threat by the federal tax reform that's being discussed by Congress. One option being considered is to wipe out all tax exemptions in the tax code and add back in those that are deemed necessary by legislators. That means the time is NOW to make the credit union message heard, above the cacophony of more than 400 other industries that will be looking to protect their exemptions, as well.
A massive effort is needed from ALL credit union supporters to ensure our voice is heard by Congress.
The "Don't Tax My Credit Union” campaign requires engaging credit union members. If you have not yet reached out to your members, the Network has created a sample email message encouraging members to join the "Don't Tax My Credit Union” campaign.
Another way to reach the masses, and quickly, is through social media channels. The Network also now has sample social media posts available on its Tax Status Advocacy webpage. Use these to reach out to credit union members, and let them know how important it is that they deliver the "don't tax my credit union” message to Congress.
If your credit union uses social media outlets, please help us promote this campaign by using #DontTaxMyCU in any posts via Twitter. Make sure to direct members to www.donttaxmycreditunion.org on Twitter and Facebook. Reach out through your personal social networks, as well!
Also available is the "CUNA Advocacy” app, which MnCUN's Governmental Affairs team helped develop, for smartphones or tablets in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store. For more social media details, you may also reference the CUNA Advocacy Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Network would also like to remind you to please respond, if you haven't already, to the GREAT Action Alert and send a message to your legislators, urging them to protect the credit union tax status. MnCUN is seeking 100 percent participation in this alert from credit union staff and employees. Go to www.greatcreditunions.org to take action.
Preserving credit unions' tax exemption is the top priority of MnCUN's Governmental Affairs team. With questions about this advocacy effort, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith by email or call (651) 288-5533, or Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey by email or call (651) 288-5523.
MnCUN, credit unions respond to FASB credit losses proposal
In December 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a proposal that would drastically alter the way in which reporting entities – including credit unions and banks – would account for and report credit losses for financial instruments. Some estimates show the proposed standards, if implemented, could potentially double or even triple a credit union's Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses (ALLL).
MnCUN filed a comment letter in late May in opposition to this proposal:
"Although MnCUN generally supports the need to review regulations and standards, especially in light of recent economic events, MnCUN opposes much of the proposal due its inconsistency with accounting principles and the potential enormous negative impact it would have upon credit unions,” the letter said.
Of all the entities that would be affected by this proposed rule, credit unions from across the country played a major role in the advocacy process. More than 125 of the nearly 350 comment letters were submitted by credit unions, including six from Minnesota:
"In today's complex and changing regulatory environment, it is important that credit unions, leagues and CUNA work together to advocate for credit unions on the regulatory front," said MnCUN General Counsel John Wendland. "We appreciate the Minnesota credit unions that commented on FASB's proposal, and for taking an active role in the regulatory advocacy process."
Financial education is an important topic for credit unions of all sizes across the state and across the country. As student-run credit unions have become a hot topic in Minnesota in recent years, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation and Minnesota Credit Union Network have come together to host an educational session to discuss the process and hear first-hand the experiences of our state's three in-school credit unions – HomeTown, St. Paul Federal and Postal.
The Student-Run Credit Union Forum will include insight from an economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who will discuss experiences with in-school financial institutions elsewhere. The session will also provide resources that outline the process -- from research to hiring and marketing to tracking.
Join us for this informative and interactive session on Wednesday, June 19, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., which is being offered live at the Network office in St. Paul and also via webinar. To register for this forum, go to the MnCUN Event Calendar.
The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee and the Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC), committees of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, recently honored two people for their outstanding service and contributions to their respective committees. Marty Kelly of US Federal Credit Union and Andrea Molnau of United Educators Credit Union were recognized during an awards banquet at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN's) 2013 Annual Meeting & Convention in May.
Kelly, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at US Federal Credit Union in Burnsville, was honored with the MnCU4Kids Volunteer of the Year Award. He became a committee member in 2006 and has contributed to the success of the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee and its fundraisers in many ways. He's often the first to volunteer to lead the organization of committee events, and he has been instrumental in the success of the Credit Union for Kids golf tournament, annual meeting fundraiser, and the Bowl-O-Rama event.
"Receiving this honor was extraordinarily flattering, considering the many talented individuals with whom I serve on the Credit Unions for Kids committee,” Kelly said. "They are a tireless group doing great things for Gillette. All of the committee members have their hearts behind this cause, raising money that directly helps the kids and families who need it.”
Last year, Minnesota raised more than $200,000 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, which has outreach clinics across the state. Nationally, fundraising for CU4Kids takes place in all 50 states.
Molnau, Vice President of Marketing at United Educators Credit Union in Apple Valley, was chosen for the Minnesota Family Involvement Council's Outstanding Volunteer Award for her longtime service on the committee. Currently the FIC's Vice Chair, Molnau has been a part of the Family Involvement Council since 2002, and has also held the position of Secretary. She is one of the most senior committee members and is an integral part of the FIC's successful scholarship program and other initiatives. She is a committed and enthusiastic supporter of youth financial literacy and the credit union movement.
The FIC is a volunteer-based organization run by credit union professionals. Its mission is to enhance the future of the credit union movement by providing financial awareness to families. The FIC focuses on providing scholarships to Minnesota credit union members to help further their education and to nurture their relationship with credit unions. The recipient of this annual award is voted on by members of the council.
"The FIC is an incredible group of people. There are many on the committee who work very hard and are quite deserving of this award. I am honored and humbled to be recognized by them,” said Molnau. "The committee's dedication to our scholarship program and commitment to financial education are notable contributions to Minnesota's credit unions. It's very rewarding to be part of this team.”
"It's the dedication of people like Marty and Andrea, and their willingness to go above and beyond for the greater good, is what helps strengthen credit unions,” said Kelli Sandhurst, MnCUN Communications Specialist and MnCU4Kids and FIC liaison. "They truly believe in what credit unions and their committees stand for, and the recognition they received is well-deserved.”
America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC), presented by CUNA, has been praised by past attendees as an energizing, forward-thinking event. This conference, taking place June 30-July 3, features the nation’s best business innovators who will deliver ideas for growth and the inspiration to drive positive change for credit union movement.
This year’s keynote speakers include social genius and much-loved author Malcolm Gladwell, USMC (Ret.) Lt. Col. Robert Darling, revolutionary success expert Adam Grant and Director of Creation for Cirque du Soleil Lyn Heward. The 2013 ACUC will be hosted at the Hilton New York in New York City. For more information and to register, go to the America’s Credit Union Conference webpage.