Last week, Minnesota Credit Union Network staff presented legislative and regulatory priorities, events and initiatives, and updates credit unions can look forward to in 2021. The presentation is available to view in the Member Portal.
It’s important to us that you make the most of your membership with the Network and CUNA. Here are some ideas to further engage your credit union and maximize your membership - including professional development and training, strategic products, compliance, and news updates.
Support a favorable legislative environment
Ease your regulatory & compliance worries
Stay informed about industry updates and MnCUN opportunities
Increase awareness in the market place about credit unions
Provide robust product & service offerings to your members through MnCUN strategic partnerships
Engage in professional development and networking opportunities
For additional opportunities, visit the Get Involved page.
As your state trade association, the Minnesota Credit Union Network works proactively to create the environment for credit unions to grow market share and demonstrate the CU Difference. To help achieve this goal, MnCUN has stablished restricted funds to strengthen our advocacy efforts on behalf of Minnesota’s credit unions.
This fund provides resources to strongly position credit unions on the legislative and political fronts. The Advocacy Fund is proactive in nature, helping to create a strong credit union environment and augment MnCUN’s advocacy efforts. As a restricted fund, expenditures are governed by a committee of credit unions and MnCUN staff.
Minnesota Credit Union Foundation
Focused on financial education and professional development initiatives, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is dedicated to providing the resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive. Each year the Foundation commits to fund financial education grants and professional development opportunities for credit union staff and volunteers.
The Credit Union Awareness Fund was established to focus on increasing consumers’ awareness of credit unions through public affairs initiatives, expanding media coverage, and coordinating other visibility opportunities. Expenditures from this fund promote the benefits and value of credit unions, helping to spread the word that credit unions are the best financial choice for consumers. As a restricted fund, expenditures are governed in accordance to the Board’s strategic plan, by the Awareness Fund Committee of credit unions and MnCUN staff.
View the 2020 Special Funds Report for details on activities supported by these funds.
Please consider supporting these funds and initiatives that help position credit unions as the best financial partner for Minnesotans and fulfill the “people helping people” philosophy.
The official call for candidates for the Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors will go out to credit union Presidents/CEOs this Friday.
Four seats are up for election in 2021. Two seats in the at-large category and two in the 10,000 or fewer credit union members category, one of which is to fill the 1-year unexpired term of Terri Maloney who retired this past July.
The official call will go out via email. To qualify as a candidate, a person must be the CEO (or equivalent) of a member credit union. Information regarding the election, including the election rules will be posted on the 2021 Board Elections webpage.
With the 2021-22 Minnesota legislative session now underway, legislators from both parties and in both bodies have begun introducing proposed bills. Each year, Senators and Representatives draft thousands of proposals to be considered for adoption into law. Well over 90% do not get adopted and a majority of those will never even receive a hearing in a committee. Nonetheless, tracking introduced legislation to identify proposals worthy of support or opposition is one of the more important things MnCUN staff engage in each year. In order to keep our members updated, the Network has created a bill tracking document enabling credit union advocates to keep track of bills that would affect credit unions.
In addition, we would like to encourage our members to register and participate in Credit Union Impact Week – the virtual version of our annual Credit Union at the Capitol Day. We have a lot advocacy in store and it’s going to be an amazing opportunity to engage legislators in ways we haven’t before on issues affecting our industry. You can register to join us for the kickoff on February 1 at the information below.
CU Impact Week - Virtual Kick Off Event
Monday, February 1, 2021 9:00 - 12:00 PM
The Minnesota Credit Union Employee Benefits Plan (Plan) will hold its first election for trustees. One of the benefits of association health plans is that they are governed by the participants.
The Plan’s Board of Trustees is composed of 7 members, the majority of which are elected from, and by, the participating credit unions. The current Board, which consists of Mark Cummins, John Ferstl, Brian Sherrick, Dave Boden, Daryl Doucette, Aaron DeJong and Dick Nesvold, was appointed prior to the Plan having participants.
The Plan grew to 17 employer groups in 2021 and over 400 covered employee lives. We also improved the offering by adding two plan designs and ancillary benefits (life, disability, dental, vision, etc.). The call for candidates will go out to participating credit unions this Friday.
Christopher Roe, SVP Corporate & Legislative Affairs, CUNA Mutual Group
More than ever, 2020 has shown a spotlight on the incredible impact that credit unions make in their communities. Whether it’s working around the clock to process Payment Protection Program loans, participating in social justice initiatives or giving their employees time off to vote, credit unions have consistently demonstrated their commitment to serving the needs of their communities.
But equitably meeting those needs in minority or low-income communities takes commitment and innovation. That’s where the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program can help.
Created by Congress in 1994, the CDFI program was designed to combine federal money with private capital to help qualified financial institutions meet the need of under-served communities that typically lack access to affordable loans and safe financial services.
“When we looked at the needs within our community, we knew it was just too large a problem to solve on our own. That’s why we started looking into the CDFI program,” says Kirk Mills, CEO of St. Louis Community Credit Union. “As an example, we wanted to offer consumers an affordable alternative to predatory financial products and help get our members off the payday loan merry-go-round. The benefits and grants from the CDFI program have allowed us to focus more of our lending activities on minority and low-income members who need it most.”
Benefits of the CDFI Program
Mission driven credit unions are dedicated to financial inclusion, and the ability to apply for capital or technical assistance grants is often a top draw for credit unions. In September 2020, the CDFI fund awarded grants totaling $45.8M to 111 credit unions.
Additional benefits of the CDFI program include:
What a CDFI Credit Union Looks Like
Not every credit union will qualify as a CDFI. There are seven tests for CDFI certification, most of which are automatic or easily fulfilled by most credit unions. A good CDFI candidate makes it their primary mission to provide development services like financial education and coaching for those community members who need it most. That commitment can be seen in the makeup of their governing or advisory boards, providing a reflection of the communities they serve.
The real hallmark of a CDFI credit union is that their lending activities are predominantly focused on target populations in economically depressed areas, low-income communities, or other historically under-served populations.
This coming spring, the National Credit Union Foundation will host two DE Training classes in a virtual learning environment. Over 4 weeks, participants will engage in a mix of on-demand and live learning sessions. Live learning sessions will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays between the hours of 10 AM – 4 PM CT for the duration of training.
March 15 – April 9, 2021 – Register Now!
April 26 – May 21, 2021 – Register Now!
The Minnesota Credit Union Network has received several questions on issues related to the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP Payments) being issued pursuant to the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the “Act”).
With the start of 2021, dozens of new legislators are being sworn into office at both the state and federal levels who will face a myriad of challenges and credit unions engaging in politics is as important as ever.
To that end, MnCUN encourages all credit union leadership, staff, and board members to take part in the CUNA Government Affairs Conference and the Network’s Credit Union Impact Week.
CUNA’s GAC brings together credit union professionals and volunteers from across the country for important sessions on our industry, as well as giving all a chance to lobby their elected Congressional representatives on credit union issues.
Credit Union Impact Week is the 2021 virtual version of the Network’s annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol. The week will feature virtual sessions, grassroots advocacy activities and engagement opportunities to connect with elected leaders in Saint Paul. The Network will provide a briefing on the 2021 MN Legislative Session and a preview of the CU Impact week at the Capitol on Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:00 am.
“As the economic impact of the pandemic continues it is critical that credit unions share how they provide value to their members and communities,” said MnCUN Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Mara Humphrey. “We look forward to providing plenty of opportunities for credit union advocates to engage with their elected officials on key issues and be a voice for our industry.”
Update Project Zip Code
To maximize the Network’s grassroots advocacy work, please run Project Zip Code (PZC) before CUNA GAC and Credit Union Impact Week. The information collected is used to show legislators how many credit union members are in their districts, helping to demonstrate the power and reach of credit unions.
As a reminder, PZC is a user friendly, secure computer program that counts your members and matches them by congressional district, state legislative district and county. These counts are then uploaded to CUNA's Project Zip Code website and combined with data from other credit unions nationwide. There are no personally identifiable data points that are required and the PZC site is secured.
You can access the PZC website, including the instructions on how to upload your information, online.
The Pulse is MnCUN's newsletter that keeps credit union professionals and board members updated on current news and information.