The Pulse (06-18-14)
June 18, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 24
The Pulse Archive
Credit Union News
Minnesota credit union membership up, loan delinquencies down in first quarter
Final data reported in the first quarter of 2014 shows that Minnesota’s credit unions continued to grow in most leading indicators – a trend that has continued in the years since the financial crisis began.
Between the end of 2013 and the end of the first quarter in 2014, Minnesota credit union membership grew by more than 9,000, indicating that credit unions continue to be a popular and trusted choice as local, member-owned financial partners for consumers and businesses around the state.
“Minnesotans continue to choose local, member-owned credit unions as their best financial partner,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. “Credit unions are committed to supporting and strengthening communities, and the new membership figures show that Minnesotans choose credit unions because they align with their own values.”
Overall, credit unions have experienced positive membership growth since 2011 and steady asset growth each year since 2007, as outlined below:
Minnesota Credit Union Membership and Assets
Members (in millions)
Assets (in billions)
Another positive sign for Minnesota credit unions was the substantial decrease in loan delinquencies reported in the first quarter. Loan delinquencies decreased by more than 21 percent, creating a positive impact on credit union income statements.
“The decrease in delinquent loans is a great indicator of overall health in the credit union industry,” said Cummins. “This shows that Minnesota consumers and businesses are on more solid financial footing and are better able to help their families and communities prosper.”
Credit unions submit quarterly data to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This summary and analysis was compiled by the Minnesota Credit Union Network.
Minn. CU advocates discuss risk-based capital standards with legislators, regulators
Representatives from seven Minnesota credit unions and the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) were in Washington, D.C., June 9-11, during the MnCUN’s annual Hike the Hill event. The three-day trip included a legislative and regulatory briefing with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and visits at the offices of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.
Minn credit union advocates with
Senator Al Franken in D.C.
During visits with legislators and regulators, the Minnesota attendees discussed several issues impacting credit unions – focusing on the National Credit Union Association’s (NCUA) risk-based capital proposal. Twenty-nine of MnCUN’s member credit unions have filed comment letters about this proposal.
Attendees also met with NCUA Chairman Deborah Matz, as well as the chief of staff for NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger. In addition to risk-based capital standards, those discussions focused on the challenges credit unions are facing with conducting operations in today’s stringent regulatory environment, including credit union examinations.
Other topics covered during the visits with legislators and regulators were member business lending, data security, housing finance reform and credit union charter enhancements.
“Hike the Hill gives us an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the legislators and policy-makers who directly impact the credit union industry,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. “It’s important for us to meet with these federal officials so we can advocate effectively on behalf of Minnesota credit unions and their members.”
Registration open for MnCUN's Fall Leadership Conference
The Minnesota Credit Union Network invites credit union professionals to its annual Fall Leadership Conference on Sept. 5-7. This event features industry experts providing insight and relevant information on top credit union issues. Session topics include how to link strategy, interest rate risk and financial performance, innovations in lending, an economic outlook, the future of payments and developing tomorrow's credit union leaders.
Held at Madden's Resort in Brainerd, Fall Leadership Conference also offers attendees many amenities for relaxation and recreation. Madden's offers first-rate dining, and unrivaled leisure activities – including top-notch golf courses. It's business casual throughout the weekend for conference participants, including at the Saturday evening banquet.
With valuable networking opportunities, informational workshops and entertainment, this conference has something for everyone!
Throughout the weekend, attendees will have a chance to learn about a variety of credit union products and services in the Fall Leadership Conference exhibit hall, in the upper level of Town Hall. Meet representatives from companies dedicated to serving the Minnesota credit union movement. Prize drawings will occur during the Friday evening reception and on Saturday morning in the exhbit hall, so be sure to meet with the companies that are exhibiting.
With questions about the 2014 Fall Conference, please contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.
Legislative session highlights outlined in 2014 Session Summary
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. To assist credit unions in sorting through this session's bills, the Network has published its 2014 Session Summary.
The publication includes information on legislation that did and did not become law during the 2014 session. You will find a synopsis of each bill, who authored it, MnCUN's position on the legislation, the bill's final outcome, and its impact on credit unions. Links throughout the document also direct credit unions to more specifics on the pieces of legislation.
“The most important issue that we as an industry faced this session was a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL-Minneapolis) and Sen. Torres Ray,” said MnCUN Vice President - Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey. “The bill would have instituted mandatory mediation that lenders would have to go through before they would be able to foreclose on a property.”
Network staff met with the author to lobby for an exemption since the lending practices of credit unions are antithetical to that of the biggest banks but largely to no avail. The bill, H.F. 1941, passed through three committees before being halted in the process by concerns raised by credit union representatives.
“Thanks to the efforts the many GREAT advocates that responded to the action alert sent by the Network and lobbying efforts of Network staff, the bill was never heard in any committee in the Senate and failed to move forward towards approval,” said Humphrey. “We do anticipate that a similar proposal will l be introduced during the next Legislative Session and are planning meetings with the advocates of the bill in the interim to encourage them to either drop the bill or exempt credit unions.”
A credit union success this session also dealt with foreclosures. Last year, a bill referred to as the “Homeowner Bill of Rights,” passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton. Thanks to credit union advocacy, the bill largely left credit unions untouched in their current foreclosure procedures. The bill exempted lending institutions that completed 125 or fewer foreclosures in a year, but only until Aug. 1, – after this date the exemption requirement would have changed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) definition of a small servicer as an institution that services 5,000 or fewer mortgages. In order to exempt all Minnesota credit unions from additional requirements, the Network assisted in crafting a bill that has modified the 125 or fewer foreclosure exemption to be permanent. The bill, known as the Curative Act (H.F. 2213), also includes language that clarifies the statute of limitations for curative provisions for validating or invalidating a mortgage foreclosure. H.F. 2213 was signed into law by Gov. Dayton on May 1.
View the 2014 Session Summary. With specific questions about the bills and laws highlighted in the publication, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy DirectorRyan Smith by email or at (651) 288-5523.
Credit Union National Association shifts to fill CEO vacancy
Last week, the top leadership post at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) shifted when year President & CEO Bill Cheney left the organization, and the position he has held since July of 2010. Cheney has returned to California to become president/CEO of Santa Ana-based SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in that state.
Beginning June 11, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel has been at the helm, serving as interim President & CEO until a permanent replacement is named, likely in the fall. Hampel is a senior member of CUNA's credit union advocacy team in Washington, and he is one of the longest-tenured executives at CUNA, having joined the association as an economist in 1978. Hampel was promoted to vice president in 1985 and to senior vice president and chief economist in 1992. An expert on the economy and credit union issues, he is regularly interviewed by major national television, radio and print media. Hampel, a registered lobbyist, also regularly testifies before Congress, advocating on behalf of credit unions on a wide variety of issues.
Another shift underway during the transition is that Mike Schenk is filling the interim role as Chief Economist. Schenk is CUNA’s Vice President of Economics & Statistics, conducting research and supporting CUNA's public relations and lobbying efforts. Hampel and Schenk have worked together for 22 years.
Both Schenk and Hampel have appeared at MnCUN conferences and events throughout their time at CUNA. Minnesota credit union leaders attending the MnCUN CEO Conference at the end of June will have an opportunity to hear from CUNA Board Chairman Dennis Pierce on the latest movement on the CUNA leadership change.
MnCUN to hold elder financial abuse forum & webinar
On Thursday, July 24, the Minnesota Credit Union Network will hold an informational forum & webinar on elder financial abuse. Attendees will hear a panel of experts discuss the growing trends of financial abuse and fraud among Minnesota’s elderly population. The session will provide tools to recognize and report the signs of potential exploitation.
“There is now legal support for a teller to report suspicious transactions and for officials to check with family members,” said MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey. “It is important for credit union professionals to know the best practices for protecting their members.”
At an April news conference in St. Paul, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said "the level of scams and fraud that's perpetrated on our senior citizens has just grown exponentially. We know that senior citizens, and the Baby Boomers who have a great amount of wealth, have a big target on their backs."
Recent changes in federal banking law made it illegal to disclose financial transactions to third parties, which Rothman said has made bankers wary of flagging transactions, even suspicious one.
Participation is available via webinar or in person at Hiway Federal Credit Union's administrative office in St. Paul. For more information and to register for the July 24 interactive forum visit the event calendar on the MnCUN website.
Submit entries for the 2014 Dora, Louise, Desjardins awards
Minnesota's not-for-profit credit unions across the state continue to uphold the "people helping people” philosophy in the work they do every day for their members and their communities. Setting similarities aside, no credit union is alike. Each offers its own unique projects, products and services. To honor these distinctions, the Minnesota Credit Union Network and CUNA are proud to sponsor this year's annual Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins awards programs to recognize credit unions that are improving lives and communities.
Below is a brief overview of each awards program:
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award
The Dora Maxwell Award recognizes model credit unions that are improving the
lives of community members through external projects and activities.
Louise Herring Award for Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award
The Louise Herring Award recognizes model credit unions that are exhibiting their credit union philosophies andimproving members' lives through internal programs.
Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award
The Desjardins Youth Award recognizes model credit unions that are teaching personal finance concepts and skills to credit union members and nonmembers age 18 and younger.
Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award
The Desjardins Adult Award recognizes model credit unions that are teaching personal finance concepts and skills to credit union members and nonmembers age 18 and older.
To submit an entry, visit the National Awards Programs page of the Network website. There, you will find links to individual awards program pages that include helpful information such as eligible activities, entry forms and more
Credit unions are encouraged to enter in one or all of the national awards programs. Winning submissions will advance to the national competition for judging this fall. With questions about the Dora Maxwell Award program, please contact MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn by email or at (651) 288-5527.
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.
Royal CU names first Young & Free Royal Spokester
St. Pascal Parish CU joins St. Paul Federal Credit Union
Mid-Minnesota FCU sponsors medallion hunt at Little Falls Dam Festival
Affinity Plus FCU’s Minneapolis branch to open bike-thru lane
CFPB tips on using mobile devices for financial transactions
Out for Comment
PolicyAid adds to CU policy library to reflect new, amended regulations
Changes to the laws and regulations affecting credit unions are frequent. With that comes the need to continually amend or create new policies.
That's why the Minnesota Credit Union Network partnered with PolicyAid last year to provide credit unions a comprehensive, online policy library that helps them develop and maintain internal policies. This resource provides credit unions sample policies they can use to ensure compliance with current rules and regulations.
The PolicyAid documents are updated on a quarterly basis and reflect any new and amended regulations. These policies are available in Word format, allowing credit unions to adapt them to fit their needs. As of July 22, the following were added or updated in the online policy manual:
- Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Lending Policy (new)
- Participation Loan Policy (updated)
- Appraisal and Evaluation Policy (updated)
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act Policy (updated)
- Real Estate Lending Policy (updated)
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Policy (updated)
- Safe Act Policy (updated)
- Safe Act Procedures (updated)
With questions or for more information on PolicyAid, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or call (651) 253-5505.