By David Adams
Welcome to the November edition of Priority Report. I look forward to the chance each month to share some of the things we are working on, because I’m very proud of the level of innovation and service that we are providing to our Credit Unions, and I want to be sure that you know all of the ways MCUL &Affiliates is available to serve you.
This month is no different, and I am excited to announce that Cadillac is once again part of Love My Credit Union Rewards. This valuable discount will be available to Credit Union members for a limited time, ending Jan. 5. I ask that credit unions rally around this opportunity to help members save, because we would love to make GM’s luxury brand a permanent part of our program and create more opportunities for auto loan growth. If you aren’t enrolled in our GM program, now is a great time because you can receive real-time loan leads when members request an authorization code; plus use this exclusive discount to promote auto loans. Visit the partner center at love my credit union dot org for more information.
While Love My Credit Union Rewards is a major driver of loan growth, we are also working on other ideas to address loan growth and operational needs through our new Lending and Operations Solutions division, which was launched this month. This division’s mission is to develop products to expand credit union loan portfolios and implement operational solutions that reduce costs. Shared staffing to address compliance or human resources needs, for example, presents significant opportunities to save money by leveraging deep expertise when it is needed most. Much like other divisions of our company, this area will balance core solutions like ComplySight or management training with the innovation to develop new products like Planning Pro, which will provide strategic plan development and tracking support, and Governance Pro, which helps with management of board governance including governance policies.
By now, you should all be familiar with ComplySight, which has generated a lot of interest in its first five months on the market. This online tool helps Credit Unions streamline the lengthy compliance process, and continues to get better. Right now, our Technology Team is finalizing development of export and archive utilities within the system, which will allow historical snapshots of compliance risk year over year. And, our Michigan Solutions team continues to work with Credit Unions on an individual basis. Right now, the team is offering a six-session webinar to help with onboarding for only $199. You can contact your league rep for more information.
Shifting over to a couple of highlights on the MCUL side, I’d like to give you an update on how MCUL-endorsed candidates fared in the election earlier this month. As you know, we came out strong and early behind Credit Union-friendly candidates including Sen.-elect Gary Peters and Gov. Rick Snyder, both of whom easily won their elections.
Snyder and Peters were high-profile races that received a lot of national media attention. MCUL can proudly say we made the first significant endorsements for both candidates in this election cycle. This is an example of Michigan’s credit union movement establishing itself as a political force in state and national politics, and it sets a strong foundation for credit unions, and all of Michigan, to be represented exceptionally well in Lansing and in Washington.
Credit union-endorsed candidates won in 100 percent of seats where we became involved at the federal level as well as statewide Executive Branch seats. Along with Snyder, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette cruised to victory. Our endorsed candidates for Congress – Republicans John Moolenaar, Mike Bishop, David Trott and Democrats Debbie Dingell and Brenda Lawrence – all won. All of these officials were endorsed by our PACs and the MCUL Board of Directors.
In the state Legislature, the only losses for MCUL-endorsed candidates were two Democratic incumbents, for a success rate of 98.4 percent overall and 100 percent in open seats where the industry became involved. This success is rooted in our exceptionally strong grassroots and PAC engagement, and it begins and ends with our member credit unions. I thank each of you and your staff members and volunteers who did so much to leverage our strengths and make such a strong showing in this critical election.
Coming off this great success, I encourage you take steps to meet your Credit Union’s PAC goals before the year is out. Some smaller Credit Unions can meet their goals with the purchase of just a couple of PAC lapel pins. For other fundraising ideas, information is available at mcul.org under the Government Affairs tab. Feel free to contact anyone on our Government Affairs team if you have questions.
I am also pleased to report results for our annual awareness study as part of the CU Link cooperative advertising campaign. Overall, Credit Unions continue to hold their own against banks when it comes to awareness, perceptions and consideration. More than three-quarters of survey respondents told us that they would be likely to consider a Credit Union. Also, among those aware of Credit Union advertising, 64 percent were able to recall a new key message that says: “With better fees and lower rates, the best place to do all of your banking is at a Credit Union.” This is the highest message recall rate we have seen. In fact, 72 percent of respondents cited that message as one that makes them likely to consider joining a Credit Union.
These numbers show that our cooperative advertising campaign continues to take awareness to unprecedented levels, and is a strong incentive for all Credit Union leaders to promote and support this effort. This month, you received your Credit Union’s dues and support invoice, including a request for funds to support the 2015 CU Link media buy. If you would like to see additional compelling reasons to make a full-share contribution to the campaign, talk to your league representative, who has a wealth of information to share.
Our Education and Events area has also turned their attention to 2015. The Lending & Marketing Conference will kick off the year's lineup of training on Feb. 10-11, immediately followed by the Compliance Conference on Feb. 12-13. The Marketing Conference will bring together the latest trends to help Credit Unions evaluate how they interact with their members, as well as insights from the award-winning Pure Michigan Campaign and a social media workshop. Mortgage loan origination, compliance topics, future lending trends and Apple Pay are topics slated for the lending event. During the newly expanded Compliance Conference, an audit workshop will be among the featured topics. Visit the Education and Events area of mcul.org for all the details.
I have a few more notes on the CU Solutions group side of our business before we wrap up. I want to let you know about a free webinar series launched by our remote services team that helps credit unions understand the state of mobile usage today, and how it is disrupting traditional member-engagement channels. Please visit our events and webinars page on cusolutionsgroup.com for upcoming dates.
Ways to reach members through the mobile engagement channel continue to increase; especially as they pertain to “big data.” Our Marketing Solutions division is using new tactics involving geo-fencing to serve ads to members when they are in a designated geographic area. For instance, Marketing Solutions could build campaigns around a car dealership, then serve shoppers ads on their mobile phones about the great auto loan rates at a credit union. Marketing Solutions is focused on bringing exciting technologies like this into the credit union space. Talk to your league representative to learn more about how to take advantage of these new advertising and engagement tactics.
Technology isn’t just about creating new opportunities. Performance Pro is a cloud-based talent management program that takes a time-intensive task like performance appraisals and not only simplifies it, but provides a user-friendly interface that helps employees engage by aligning corporate strategies with individual performance objectives. Engaged employees are retained employees; and replacing an employee can cost 20 percent or more of their salary. The right salary is a critical part of engagement; and Compease is a salary administration too that can deliver 4-to-1 in cost savings. Performance Pro and Compease make improving employee performance and reducing costs easier than you think. Please visit the Performance Solutions division page on cusolutionsgroup.com for more information.
Performance appraisals aren’t the only thing happening at year-end. Believe it or not, we are in the middle of pre-season tax planning with our partner credit unions. Two hundred credit unions on TurboTax will be working directly with a client manager to help them build out their marketing plans, build their microsites and order custom banners. Plus, Intuit has an even better sweepstakes for credit unions to participate in; where a total of $25k will be given away. If the credit union opts to participate in the sweepstakes, their members are automatically entered when they start a tax return. The sweepstakes will run from December through February. Visit the partner center on lovemycreditunion.org to enroll or learn more.
From big data to new compliance tools to focused political advocacy, we continue to explore new ways to help credit unions serve, grow and remain strong. If there’s something else we can do to better serve you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any member of my staff. We look forward to hearing from you and serving your needs.
So far, it’s been a tremendous year. It is my sincere wish that you are all able to enjoy time with friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for watching.