AC&E Was a Big Success; Plenty on Agenda for League 

For the June edition of Priority Report, MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams takes a look back at a successful Annual Convention and Exposition and discusses some of the top initiatives the league is working on including the Risk Based Capital proposal, a win on the state foreclosure process and the latest on moving Michigan to an electronic vehicle titling system. We also highlight the upcoming Executive Summit, Instant Issuance from Richardson Business Solutions and the upcoming release of ChannelPro, our newly updated content management system.

We saw a big uptick in attendance at this year’s conference, which is a testament to the great work our Education Department is doing to present relevant, compelling and enjoyable events. We recognize that credit union leaders need the latest information on new and emerging trends and tailored this year’s conference to focus on mobile banking and digital payments. We have posted a series of videos from some of our big events at the AC&E, and even more details from the event are covered in a Monitor EXTRA sent out on June 10. When you see all that you missed this year, we hope you will be inspired to attend next year’s AC&E June 3-6 in Traverse City.

While the AC&E was a major undertaking, we have a variety of pressing issues that we continue to work on at the state and federal levels.

Federally, credit unions across the country made a big push on the NCUA’s Risk Based Capital proposal. Additionally, U.S. Reps. Peter King and Gregory Meeks sent a letter to the NCUA regarding concerns about the proposed rule. They were joined on the letter by 322 of their House colleagues, 11 of whom are from Michigan, including all three Michigan members on the House Financial Services Committee – Reps. Bill Huizenga, Gary Peters, and Dan Kildee. Michigan was responsible for sending in more than 220 letters, representing about 10 percent of all of the letters sent to NCUA on the RBC rule, including a letter from the league. The number of letters continues to grow as the regulator posts more letters to its website. NCUA has said there will be changes to the final rule, so there is hope for significant improvements. We will continue to keep a close eye on this rule, which we believe is critical for credit union growth.

That high level of input on a major federal proposal would not be possible without the fantastic support from credit union leaders for our grassroots advocacy efforts here in Michigan.

The 2014 Grand Raffle, which supports our federal PAC, is picking up steam across Michigan. This year’s Grand Prize Winner will choose between $20,000 cash or $20,000 toward the price of a 2014 Chevy Silverado or Impala. New this year: There will be a second-place prize of $5,000 and five third-place prizes of $1,000. In 2013, credit unions helped to raise a record-setting $226,725 through the Grand Raffle. Let’s see if we can beat that total this year!

The 2014 “A Stronger Financial Michigan” Golf Outing, benefiting the Michele Myrick Scholarship Fund, is quickly approaching. The event will be at Forest Akers West Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University on July 16. The Michele Myrick Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to credit union officials wanting to participate in grassroots lobbying events such as the CUNA GAC and Hike the Hill. Support for these programs continues to be a critical component of the MCUL’s advocacy efforts.

Our silent and live auctions benefiting Children’s Miracle Network and MCULAF, our state PAC, was once again a huge success, generating the most money in the history of the event. Together, we raised $49,200 for CMN and with our matching program, $50,000 went to MCULAF.

At the state level, our government affairs team scored an important win when Gov. Rick Snyder signed bills to improve the state’s foreclosure process. The new law addresses issues created by the repeal of the state 90-day pre-foreclosure workout law and creation of a new right of inspection for properties in redemption. The need for common-sense parameters had been an ongoing discussion topic, along with unaddressed issues with owners of abandoned properties.

We are also working with the Legislature and the Secretary of State’s office to move Michigan to an electronic titling system for cars, boats and other titled property. The proposal will help financial institutions and dealers realize greater efficiencies and prevent fraud. Earlier this month, MCUL staff and four credit unions testified in front of a House committee on this bill, and we look forward to quick passage through the legislative process.

Looking ahead later in 2014, I want to remind you to mark your calendar for the Executive Summit, which is Sept. 17-19 in Bay Harbor, near Petoskey. The event kicks off with your choice of a golf outing or a session on strategic loan growth that will be facilitated by cuStrategies CEO and founder Celeste C. Cook. Other highlights include Stan Hollen, CEO and president of CO-OP Network, speaking on "Emerging Technologies Related to Debit" and digital strategist Sundeep Kapur discussing the EMV chip.

Turning to our quarterly statistics, we can report that the industry numbers for the first quarter of 2014 look very good. Growth continued in the first quarter for credit unions. Michigan credit unions added more than 20,000 new members and credit union membership is now up to 47 percent of the Michigan population. But the good news doesn’t stop there. Membership growth fueled an 8.6 percent increase in checking account balances. Deposits were up 4.1 percent. Lending also grew with new auto loans up 1.6 percent and used auto loans growing 2.5 percent. Indirect lending was up 7.2 percent. Business lending continues to rise, growing another 4.1 percent this quarter after rising 26 percent last year. At the same time, loan quality improved. Total delinquencies as a percentage of loans were at 0.82. This, in turn, led to a decrease in loans charged off, down to 0.52.

As you know, the for-profit side of our business, CU Solutions Group, is a very important part of our operation, helping keep your dues extremely low. Besides supporting all of the association work we do on your behalf, we think these products offer terrific value. Today, I’d like to tell you about some products offered by our Michigan Solutions team.

Michigan Solutions offers an Instant Issuance product, in conjunction with our partner Richardson Business Solutions, which enhances the member experience by providing instant access to debit, credit and prepaid cards. Credit unions will be able to produce a card on the spot, which eliminates the wait time for members to use their card. Members can also customize their cards with background graphics or a personal photo. 

Another new product offered by Michigan Solutions is the GAIC Equipment Management Solution. This solution offers one comprehensive, multi-vendor, equipment service agreement that saves money and caps costs annually, providing budget certainty for these expenses. Additionally, GAIC also offers an aggressive profit-sharing arrangement with credit unions.

As I shared with you last month, our HR Performance Solutions division is moving to Michigan to add greater value by delivering integrated HR applications that optimize the value of human capital. Both PerformancePro and Compease, now integrated cloud-based applications, are leading the way in this area. Several credit unions are scheduling Compease installations to access this unique program. Compease is the only compensation administration system in the industry that is authorized to use CUNA’s salary survey data as an input into the system.

As you know, this monthly video report comes to you from CUBE TV, which is a product provided by our Marketing Solutions division. With the talent and expertise we have in developing high-quality video content, we are expanding to offer CUBE TV Studios. This business will develop customized videos to serve credit union needs for good video content. Maybe you need videos about products you offer, or perhaps a motivational video for a sales or management meeting. CUBE TV Studios can develop scripts, shoot on location and develop graphics and animations to provide you with top-notch videos.

I know that many of you use the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Program from our Membership Enhancements area. As part of Sprint’s new “Framily” plan, Sprint is making even more special offers to members. When switching from another carrier to the Sprint Framily plan, your members can get free unlimited data for a year with no activation fee. Also when upgrading to new phones, members can save up to $240. Tell your members about this incredible offer, which ends July 10 and is available to both consumers and businesses.

Our Technology Solutions area has been very focused on completing development of ChannelPro, which is our next-generation content management system. The system has been developed to accommodate the latest online technologies, and includes site-wide management utilities and more globalized functionality. ChannelPro is slated for release in July, with client migrations starting in late August. This new system will bring much more value and simplicity in managing your website.

I hope you will find some time to visit the MCUL website or contact your league representatives to talk about these solutions and more.

Thank you for support and your interest in what we’re doing on your behalf at MCUL & Affiliates. If you need more information on any of these initiatives – or anything else we are working on at MCUL & Affiliates – feel free to reach out to me directly or to any of our staff. We are here to help you serve, grow and remain strong.

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