The Pulse (06-25-14)


The Pulse (06-25-14)

June 25, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 25


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Commerce Department Chief Examiner Schwartz set to retire

Carl Schwartz, Chief Examiner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, recently announced his upcoming retirement Aug. 1. Schwartz started with the Commerce Department in 1980, spending 25 years as a credit union field examiner. He moved into the Chief Examiner slot seven years ago, overseeing both credit unions and consumer credit companies.

In his role as Chief Examiner, Schwartz was responsible for reviewing and approving applications for charter conversions, mergers, bylaw amendments, and field of membership expansions. He also reviews exams conducted by field staff and coordinates the state and federal examination schedule.

Schwartz said that he is appreciative of the people within the credit union industry, both staff and volunteers, who have been very supportive of him and his efforts during his time at the Department of Commerce.

“During my career, I have clearly seen the growth of credit unions – both in size, and in volume and variety of services they now offer members,” Schwartz said.

The Department of Commerce has begun seeking a replacement for Schwartz, and hopes to have a new Chief Examiner named by the fall.

“In his role as a regulator, Carl did his job very well, and he could always be counted on to make decisions that were in the best interest of credit unions and for the industry as a whole,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark D. Cummins. “We wish Carl the best in his retirement and remain committed to continuing an equally-strong relationship with the Department of Commerce in the future.”

Calling all credit unions: Join us TOMORROW on social media to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act!

This Thursday – June 26, 2014 – marks the 80-year anniversary of the signing of the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934. In celebration of this momentous occasion, credit unions and state leagues across the country are encouraged to chime in on social media and make some noise!

The Federal Credit Union Act is the source of authority for all federally-chartered credit unions and governs the coverage and terms of insured accounts at all federally insured credit unions. It also determines the structure and duties of NCUA. Since the passage of the Federal Credit Union Act, credit unions have been able to grow and thrive nationwide while serving in the best interests of their members. 

If you are a credit union that was chartered in or before 1934, you are encouraged to seek out and spotlight some of your local 80-year members in honor of this anniversary. (With pictures!)

Included below are some additional ideas for your credit union’s social media….


  • 80 years of #CUDifference. Federal #CreditUnion Act signed into law 6/26/34 #TBT  PICTURE LINK
  • Today’s #CreditUnions are living examples of our values & commitments made to our members 80 yrs ago. #TBT PICTURE LINK
  • #CreditUnions, 80 yrs of #PeopleHelpingPeople since Federal Credit Union Act! #TBT PICTURE LINK
  • Americans have chosen #CreditUnions as their preferred financial partner for the last 80 years! #UniteForGood PICTURE LINK
  • Have you ever walked into a business where everyone knows your name? If you're a #CreditUnion member you have! #TBT LINK


  • If you’re looking for a financial institution to provide checking accounts (with no or lower fees), saving accounts (with higher returns), ATMs (free of surcharges), loans (with lower rates), and fewer (and lower) fees overall – a credit union is for you. Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, financial cooperatives whose core mission is serving their members.  Our focus isn’t on returning money to shareholders like banks or catering to special interest groups.  Since the Federal Credit Union Act passed 80 years ago on June 26, 1934, credit unions were able to grow and thrive nationwide more efficiently while serving in the best interests of their members.  Members, share with us your best memories of membership!  What does your credit union mean to you?
  • Today, credit unions are living the promise our business principles and values made to our members and potential members 80 years ago through the Federal Credit Union Act. And [INSERT NAME OF CU] will continue to work to put our members and our community first. GIVE EXAMPLES AND LINK BACK TO WEBSITE OR POST PICTURES #PeopleHelpingPeople
  • The foundation for a strong, nationwide credit union movement was set 80 years ago, on June 26, 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law, permitting credit unions to be formed across the nation. Since that day, credit unions have developed considerably. Through the years, we’ve grown in membership as we’ve broadened our services to meet the needs of our members, from mortgage lending to education loans to digital banking. And we’re working together with credit unions around the country to create value-based decision-making; a clear departure from the big banks. #TBT PICTURE OF ORIGINAL BRANCH/ LOCATION/ GROUNDBREAKING/ CHARTER
  • Today, nearly 100 million people choose to be members of credit unions and more than 6,700 independent, consumer-owned, volunteer-led, democratically controlled credit unions have the well-being of their members in mind every day. Why are you a credit union member? #TBT PICTURE

Customizable op-ed pieces and letters to the editor are also available – contact MnCUN Communications Director Connie Kuhn by email or at (651) 288-5527 for more information.


Senate approves McWatters for NCUA post

The U.S. Senate confirmed J. Mark McWatters Thursday to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board. He will join NCUA Chair Debbie Matz and board member Rick Metsger to form the three-person board. 

Matz said of the newest board member, "Mark is experienced, thoughtful, judicious and values a collaborative process to get things done. I know credit unions and their members will be well served by his presence on the board."

She noted that as she welcomes McWatters to the board, she also says farewell to board member Michael Fryzel. "For the last five years, I have considered Mike a partner in the agency's efforts to contain the fallout from the corporate credit union crisis and mitigate the effects of the Great Recession. Credit unions were well served by his judgment during some very dark days, and he left the system better than he found it. I wish Mike all the best in his future endeavors."

Bill Hampel, interim president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, offered CUNA's congratulations to McWatters. Hampel said Thursday, "His extensive experience in business, the private practice of law, teaching, congressional staff work, and other endeavors will help him bring a unique perspective to the issues.

"We at CUNA look forward to discussing a range of issues with Mr. McWatters, including the importance of a strong safety and soundness regulator, while at the same time providing much needed regulatory relief for credit unions."
On June 12, CUNA sent a letter to Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging the Senate to schedule a vote on McWatters so the board would have a full contingent as it considers comments on its risk-based capital proposal.
McWatters, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in December, will serve a term that ends in August 2019.
McWatters will replace Fryzel--though likely not immediately. Fryzel began his term in July 2008. Although Fryzel's term expired Aug. 2 of last year, the Republican on the board agreed to remain in service until his successor was confirmed. Hampel also extended well wishes to outgoing board member Fryzel and commended him for his efforts to minimize the impact of the agency's stress testing rule and other concerns. 
Members of the NCUA are appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. No more than two board members can be from the same political party, and each member serves a staggered six-year term.
During his March nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, McWatters said he intends to work with NCUA board members, agency staff and external stakeholders "in an open and respectful manner, with the goal of finding a common ground and working cooperatively through any differences."
Previously, McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Congressional Oversight Panel, and prior to that he practiced for more than 25 years as a domestic and cross-border tax, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney.
McWatters received his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law, a master of laws degree from Columbia University School of Law and a master of laws degree in taxation from New York University School of Law.


Bankziety receives Honorable Mention in CUNA’s 2014 Blockbuster Awards contest

Marketing, advertising, and publications play an important role in how credit union leagues communicate their messaging to the public. Whether raising awareness of credit union programs or advocating a specific cause, leagues work diligently to engage the general public. CUNA created the Blockbuster Awards to celebrate and honor the work done by leagues in these areas. The Blockbusters are also the highest communication awards bestowed on leagues in the credit union industry.

This year MnCUN nominated Bankziety in the “Best League Piece on the Uniqueness of Credit Unions” Blockbuster Award category. Bankziety is an awareness campaign aimed at consumers age 21-35 that positions credit unions as “the cure” for those who are experiencing feelings of financial frustration. Bankziety lives online and uses social media channels to engage consumers. It outlines the difference between credit unions and banks, and includes informational pages on various life stages (wedding, home buying, baby). Ultimately, the site points consumers who are experiencing Bankziety to to find a credit union they are eligible to join. Bankziety received an Honorable Mention in this year’s Blockbuster Award judging. A full listing of this year’s Blockbuster Award winners is available on the CUNA website.

Three credit unions add new CEOs

In recent months, a handful of new leaders have taken the helm at Minnesota credit unions. Included below are quick snapshots of who they are and where they’ve been.

  • Jed Meyer, St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, St. Cloud – Meyer took the reins at SCFCU on May 8. Meyer succeeds Bill Winter, who retired from the 14,800-member SCFCU March 31. Meyer had been a director at the $1.7 billion Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul. St. Cloud Federal has 14,000 members and $109 in assets, with 2 branch locations.
  • Jen Davis, Pipefitters Steamfitters Credit Union, St. Paul – On the heels of a five-and-a-half year career as a supervisory examiner with the National Credit Union Administration. Davis replaces former manager Jim Kavaloski, who left the credit union in April. PSCU has 3,200 members and $31 million in assets.
  • Mary Goggleye, Deer River Cooperative Credit Union, Deer River – Last week, Goggleye took over as manager of DRCCU upon the retirement of John O'Brien. DRCCU has 2,400 members and $15 million in assets.


Register now for the Financial Literacy 5K – early bird pricing ends today!

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


Mayo EFCU Board member designated a “CU Builder” through the Minnesota CU Foundation

In recognition of her outstanding dedication and service to Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, the Board of Directors has designated Jacqueline L. Moen as a “Credit Union Builder” through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. Moen, whose final board meeting was March 25, has served in a volunteer capacity at MEFCU for 18 years.

The Credit Union Builder award, established by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, 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.

Moen began her service with MEFCU in 1996, and her 18 years included eight years on the Credit Committee – as chair for four years and secretary for two years – one year on the Supervisory Committee, and nine years on the Board of Directors, which includes eight years serving as Secretary to the Board.

“Jackie was instrumental in helping to shape the policies and strategic direction of MEFCU during a time of significant growth and branch office expansion,” said MEFCU President & CEO Mary Hansen.” Her contribution of time, talent and commitment to the credit union industry and to the MEFCU membership is very much appreciated!”

Moen joins 29 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the Foundation’s Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in MnCUN’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.


“Jackie played an important role as a devoted volunteer to the Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union,” said Foundation Chair Pat Brekken. “It’s inspiring to see the legacy that she is leaving behind at a very strong credit union in our state, and I am honored to be able to recognize her as a distinguished Credit Union Builder.”


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 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.  

Embarrass Vermillion FCU raises most funds in state for Minnesota Credit Union for Kids

Affinity Plus FCU honored at Jefferson Awards national ceremony

Wakota FCU to hold second annual Community Appreciation Day

Central Minnesota CU sponsors Melrose Riverfest



Congressman Paulsen submits letter outlining concerns with NCUA’s risk-based capital plan following Hike the Hill visit

Network provides legislative advocacy insights to Grassroots Coordinators

NCUA holds sixth meeting, releases Board Action Bulletin

Federal Reserve announces revisions to HMDA reporting requirements

NCUA releases June Report

Federal Reserve releases update to Consumer Compliance Handbook 

CFPB Revising Special Information Booklet for mortgage applicants


Out for Comment 

NCUA issues proposed rules permitting securitization of loans

NCUA issues proposed rule providing safe harbor for securitized assets

NCUA issues proposed rule exempting appraisal requirement for mortgage refinancing

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

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