Posts Tagged credit unions

10 figures demonstrating what CUNA and leagues do for credit unions

Posted by on Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

The three-tiered system of CUNA, credit union leagues, and credit unions is the nation’s most effective team of credit union advocates. Joining together to advance the credit union movement is the driving force behind credit union membership in Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues.

As a result, CUNA and state leagues work hard to serve the interests credit unions. But it’s often difficult to recognize the results of those efforts thanks to the din of a fast-evolving financial services industry and the every-day tasks of running a credit union.

We’d like to take this opportunity to share 10 figures from 2011 that illustrate the results of CUNA and state league efforts on behalf of credit unions.  The numbers show the considerable impact individual credit unions have when they pull together.

  • 9,100—The number of comments to the NCUA, Federal Reserve, and other regulatory agencies on proposed regulation via CUNA’s Operation Comment in 2011.  Credit union support through league and CUNA affiliation helps national and state-level advocacy to drive out regulatory burden and redundancies. Doing so establishes the operating flexibility credit unions need to provide the services demanded by their members.
  • $6.3 billion—The annual economic value to consumers by choosing credit union membership over for-profit financial institutions in 2011. CUNA and the state leagues shared this, and the message that credit unions are a trustworthy resource for financial services during good times and bad, to communities, the nation, and the world through media heavyweights in print, television, and radio.
  • $28, 545, 723—The dollar amount young members deposited into credit union savings accounts during the National Youth Saving Challenge hosted in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week. CUNA sponsors National Credit Union Youth Week with the help of the state leagues to promote the importance of youth financial literacy and support credit unions’ role in supplying financial education to their members.
  • 700-plus—Credit unions made sure their voice was heard on Capitol Hill in 2011. More than 700 credit union attendees visited lawmakers and staff as part of CUNA’s “Hike the Hill” program in 2011. “Hike the Hill” is one example of how credit unions—through their membership with CUNA and state leagues—shape the future and educate both chambers of the U.S. Congress, regulators and the administration about the credit union difference.
  • 180,000—The number of successful credit union searches on The network of state credit union leagues and CUNA collaborated to develop to help consumers locate a credit union they can join and drive new, potential members to credit unions nationwide.
  • 86—Of the CULAC-backed candidates during the 2010 midterm elections, 86% won election to Congress. CULAC (the leagues’ Credit Union Legislative Action Council) strengthens the credit union impact on key political races and provides the opportunity to support worthy candidates for federal office who back credit union principles.
  • 9—The number of times CUNA testified before Congress in 2011 to protect and promote credit unions. CUNA testified on major credit union issues related to interchange fees, member business lending, housing finance reform, the implantation of the Dodd-Frank Act, and regulatory burden.
  • 40,000-plus—The number of credit union professionals and volunteers impacted by CUNA Councils, the Governmental Affairs Conference, America’s Credit Union Conference, and CUNA’s CPDOnline training. These programs cultivate credit union leader connections, ensure credit union leaders are informed, and educate credit union professionals on the latest trends and service standards.
  • 2 million—The number of calls, emails and letters into Capitol Hill generated since 2009 by CUNA’s grassroots Interchange campaign. The overall rule on interchange was improved from its original version after 2 million grassroots contacts on the “interchange” issue supported CUNA’s challenge to the Fed’s rulemaking.
  • 70-plus—CUNA penned more than 70 comment letters to 16 different agencies on topics such as NCUA’s Proposal on Credit Union Service Organizations, FHFA’s Inter-agency Credit Risk Retention, and FTC on Credit Score Disclosures. These comment letters were in addition to countless face-to-face meetings and dialogues with regulators.

How credit unions and financial institutions use social media

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

A friend was recently hired into the credit union industry. As she got up-to-speed with credit unions she wanted to get a better sense for how financial institutions use social media and asked if I would supply her with resources on the subject.

I said to myself after replying to her request: “Self… CUNAverse readers might find this information useful!” I agreed with myself, as I often do.

So, here is a small list of online resources I track with periodically or have found to be useful. It is by no means an exhaustive list—nor an endorsement—but rather a small sampling of what I use to stay current with the credit union space and better understand how financial institutions use social media. Perhaps you will find these helpful as well.

What resources and examples would you suggest? Please share them in the comments!


Examples of credit unions using social media:


Resources from the credit union industry:


Articles on social media and financial institutions:


Top 10 New Years Resolutions for CUNAverse

Posted by on Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Your CUNAverse team is excited for the upcoming year and looking forward to several improvements that will make CUNAverse a better experience for you… beginning with this post.

Take a moment to view our slideshow for our top 10 New Years Resolutions for CUNAverse. We hope this level of transparency reinforces the genuine nature of this blog, our commitment to providing you with valuable insight on all things credit union, and sets the tone in your mind for what is already shaping up to be a fantastic year.

As always, we want to hear your feedback. What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Staff Turnover Report Reveals Greater Stability in CU Workforce in 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 15 December, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (December 13, 2011) – Credit union employees in all job classifications are more likely to stay in their positions than they were before the recession, says a new CUNA report.

The overall credit union turnover rate is 12 percent, according to the 2011-2012 Turnover and Staffing Survey. This figure is higher than the 2009 turnover rate (nine percent) and matches the 2008 figure. Prerecession turnover was about 15 percent.

“With heightened competition for skilled employees, it’s important for credit unions to monitor turnover rates,” said Beth Soltis, senior research analyst for CUNA. “This is particularly important when it comes to key employees, but turnover in any department or at any level costs the organization time and money for employee training.”

Hiring levels remain modest at credit unions. The creation of new positions at credit unions dipped at the onset of the recession and hasn’t changed since. The percentage of employees hired to fill newly created credit union positions was roughly five percent from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, three percent of credit union employees filled newly created positions.

“During the recession, most employers reduced staffing levels as low as they could possibly go,” adds Soltis. “This makes it more important than ever for credit unions to retain high-quality employees, especially those in positions critical to their credit union’s success.”

The survey provides turnover and staffing trends, as well as key human resources and operating expenditures. Data is segmented by asset size, region, number of branch offices and other criteria. The included worksheets allow credit unions to make side-by-side comparisons of important metrics, such as turnover rates, with their peers.

For more information about CUNA’s 2011-2012 Turnover and Staffing Survey, click here.

CUNA Announces Winners of the 2011 Desjardins Awards for Financial Education

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (November 21, 2011) – CUNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Desjardins Awards for Youth and Adult Financial Education.  Entries from more than 30 states yielded 10 winners, along with several honorable mentions, in two categories.  All of these organizations will be recognized during a reception at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18-22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. 

The Desjardins Awards are named for Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement, and honors credit unions for their commitment to youth and adult financial literacy.

“We congratulate this year’s winners and honorable mentions for their admirable work educating youth and adults about financial education skills,” says Vikki Kinsler, CUNA’s program coordinator for the Desjardins Awards.  “Credit unions, chapters and leagues from more than 30 states applied for the award, which shows the movement’s increasing commitment to this type of service for members.”

CUNA added the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award in 2011 to its well-established Youth Award to recognize credit unions’ efforts to teach personal finance concepts and skills to members and non-members age 18 and older.  This change brings all personal finance education activities under the Desjardins name, including the award for leagues.  CUNA received 30 entries in the Adult category in addition to the 55 entries received for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award.

“Part of the mission of credit unions is to promote thrift among our members,” says Bill Cheney, President and CEO of CUNA.  “Financial education is a key component of accomplishing this mission–it’s good for the members and differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions.”

Recipients were recently chosen from among the state-winning entries by CUNA’s national awards committee.

Winners for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award include (asterisks indicate repeat winners):

  • A+ Federal Credit Union – Austin, TX*
  • Community Credit Union – Lewiston, ME
  • CORE Federal Credit Union – East Syracuse, NY
  • Credit Union Association of New York*
  • Service 1stFederal Credit Union – Danville, PA

Honorable mentions include:

  • Altra Federal Credit Union – Onalaska, WI*
  • Arapahoe Credit Union – Centennial, CO*
  • Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union – Virginia Beach, VA*
  • Greater Minnesota Credit Union – Mora, MN*
  • Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union – Knoxville, TN
  • Maine Credit Union League*
  • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union – Columbia, SC*
  • Public Service Credit Union – Romulus, MI
  • Virginia Educators Credit Union – Newport News, VA*

Winners for the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award include:

  • CommunityAmerica Credit Union – Kansas City, MO
  • Community Credit Union – Lewiston, ME
  • Financial Fitness Greater Austin Credit Union Facilitators – Austin, TX
  • Greater Minnesota Credit Union – Mora, MN*
  • Latino Community Credit Union – Durham, NC

Honorable mentions include:

  • Credit Union 1 – Anchorage, AK*
  • Denver Community Credit Union – Denver, CO*
  • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union – Columbia, SC*
  • Patelco Credit Union – Pleasanton, CA
  • Tinker Federal Credit Union – Oklahoma City, OK*

In December, PDFs of the winning entries will be available for viewing on CUNA’s website. The actual winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18-22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. All winners and honorable mentions will be recognized during a March 21 reception at the conference.

Insights on Credit Union Innovation

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 November, 2011

Our friends at Credit Union Magazine featured an excellent article on their website today. The article—Think Outside the Cube by Libby Vertz—shares insights on innovation from Michael Spink, Communications Manager with Local Government Federal Credit Union and a Filene  i3 participant.

This Q&A piece deserves a quick read. It covers Michael’s thoughts on  i3 and the secret to being innovative.

Below is only a snippet from the article, so be sure to read the full article here.

Michael Spink, communications manager for Local Government FCU.

CU Mag: What’s one innovative effort taking place at Local Government Federal?

Spink: At Local Government Federal, we’re changing the way we think. We want to handle all our endeavors in innovative ways—from how we market products and go about operations to how we look at compliance and regulation.

It’s time to actually poke our heads out of the trench and really look at the bigger landscape. It’s a different world since we jumped into our foxholes a few years ago.

CU Mag: How will this benefit your CU and members?

Spink: It will make our credit union healthier and more efficient, and will increase the value to our members. We’ll also have a greater ability to respond to member needs more quickly.

On a grand scale, the benefit is a stronger credit union movement overall. The more we each honestly look at the new landscape, the more we’ll all learn about navigating within it.

What do you think… are credit unions too slow in implementing innovation and change? What’s your secret for being innovative?


CUNA Announces Upgrade of CPDOnline

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 November, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (November 21, 2011) - CUNA announced today that CUNA CPDOnline has launched its upgraded learning management system and website. Working closely with current users, CUNA CPDOnline has enhanced the user experience to provide an even more user-centric, impactful online learning environment. 

“With invaluable input from our users, we have enhanced the CPDOnline training system to better serve credit unions’ needs today and in the future. We are grateful to our pilot credit unions and confident our current and new users will benefit from the new platform,” said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of Center for Professional Development.

“We are excited for the upgrade to roll out at Summit,” remarked Kimberly Frederickson, AVP of Learning & Development at Summit Credit Union, a recent winner of the American Society of Training & Development’s BEST Award.  Summit was recognized for its training and development program, which utilizes CUNA’s CPDOnline as a key component.

Serving nearly 30,000 credit union professionals, CUNA CPDOnline is the premiere web-based training service that provides more than 350 credit union-specific courses on topics including lending, member services, compliance and more. Its interactive online environment combines the freedom of independent education with the support and collaboration of a classroom setting.

The key enhancements to CUNA CPDOnline include:

  • Enhanced navigation: With streamlined navigation and a clean look, users will find it easier to access exactly what they need and get relevant news.
  • Improved communications: Now users can easily send notifications to groups via email with CUNA CPDOnline’s new message center. Plus, with the new collaboration center, users can also engage in conversation, blend learning and post documents for better collaborative learning.
  • Extended reporting capabilities: CUNA CPDOnline’s new self-reported training function allows learners and managers to post to transcripts and include goals and additional training. Managers can also monitor the progress of their direct reports, keeping track of activities and assignments and follow on-the-job training. All of this can be done via new scheduled or on demand reporting.
  • More administrative options: Administrators can easily assign activities and assignments, including deadlines and reminder notifications. Users also have the capability to assign CUNA and credit union courses and control new notifications.

For more information about the upgrade to CUNA CPDOnline, visit For questions, please call 800-356-9655, ext. 4072 or e-mail

2011 Maxwell, Herring Winners Announced

Posted by on Wednesday, 16 November, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (November 9, 2011) – Recipients of the 2011 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award were recently chosen from among the state winning entries by Credit Union National Association’s national awards committee. 

The 2011 Dora Maxwell Award first-place winners include:

  • Marinette County ECU in Marinette, WI
  • Joplin Metro CU in Joplin, MO
  • General CU in Fort Wayne, IN
  • Space Age FCU in Aurora, CO
  • Alabama CU in Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Marine FCU in Jacksonville, NC
  • State ECU in Raleigh, NC
  • Western Chapter of the North Carolina Credit Union League, Penrose, NC

First-place winners of this year’s Louise Herring Award are:

  • Communicating Arts CU in Detroit, MI
  • St. Louis Community CU in St. Louis, MO
  • Credit Union 1 in Anchorage, AK
  • Eastman CU in Kingsport, TN

“The winners of these prestigious awards embody the philosophy and ideals of our movement, and we are honored to celebrate their achievements,” commented CUNA President & CEO, Bill Cheney.  “It’s no wonder that so many consumers are turning to credit unions these days, which are led and guided by individuals such as these to ever higher levels of service to their members. Commitment to community involvement and member financial education remain at the core of credit union success, and these award winners have demonstrated their personal commitment to these core values for credit unions. Congratulations to them — and to all in the movement who share and practice their values.”

Maxwell was an original signer of CUNA’s constitution and a tireless organizer of hundreds of credit unions throughout the United States. She also developed volunteer organizer clubs and worked tirelessly with organizations on behalf of the poor.

The Maxwell award is presented to credit unions in eight asset-size categories and a chapter or multiple credit union group category for outstanding social responsibility projects in their communities. Activities may include: solving core community problems, coordinating supply drives for the needy, raising money or organizing special events for charitable organizations, or mentoring students.

Herring was also an original signer of CUNA’s constitution when she was an Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, CO. She saw credit unions as more than just financial institutions and believed they should work to better people’s lives.

The Herring award is given to a credit union demonstrating the internal application of credit union philosophy to help better financial matters and increase financial education for its members.  Examples include: exceptional member service, financial counseling for members experiencing difficulties, and educating members on the credit union difference.

Winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18 – March 22, in Washington, DC.  The award winners will be honored during a March 21 reception.

# # #

2011 Dora Maxwell/Louise Herring Award Winners

Dora Maxwell ($5-$20 million)

First Place: Marinette County ECU in Marinette, WI
Second Place: Bethex FCU in Bronx, NY

Dora Maxwell ($20-$50 million)

First Place: Joplin Metro CU in Joplin, MO
Second Place: Community CU in Lewiston, ME
Honorable Mention: 1st Choice CU in Atlanta, GA

Dora Maxwell ($50-$100 million)

First Place: General CU in Fort Wayne, IN
Second Place: Linn-Co FCU in Lebanon, OR
Honorable Mention: Carolina Postal CU in Charlotte, NC

Dora Maxwell ($100-$200 million)

First Place: Space Age FCU in Aurora, CO
Second Place: Streator Onized CU in Streator, IL
Honorable Mention: Five County CU in Bath, ME

Dora Maxwell ($200-$500 million)

First Place: Alabama CU in Tuscaloosa, AL
Second Place (Tie): ELGA CU in Burton, MI
Second Place (Tie): Members CU in Winston-Salem, NC
Honorable Mention: Freedom First CU in Roanoke, VA

Dora Maxwell ($500 million- $1 billion

First Place: Marine FCU in Jacksonville, NC
Second Place: Credit Union 1 in Anchorage, AK
Honorable Mention: DuPont Community CU in Waynesboro, VA

Dora Maxwell (More than $1 billion)

First Place: State ECU in Raleigh, NC
Second Place: Indiana Members CU in Indianapolis, IN
Honorable Mention: American Heritage FCU in Philadelphia, PA

Dora Maxwell (Credit Union Chapters or Multiple Credit Union Group)

First Place: Western Chapter of the NC Credit Union League in Penrose, NC
Second Place: Montgomery Chapter of CUs in Montgomery, AL
Honorable Mention: Sioux Valley Chapter of CUs in Sioux Falls, SD

Louise Herring (Less than $50 million)

First Place: Communicating Arts CU in Detroit, MI
Second Place: Community CU in Lewiston, ME
Honorable Mention: Communicating Arts CU in Cincinnati, OH

Louise Herring ($50-$250 million)

First Place:  St. Louis Community CU in St. Louis, MO
Second Place: Central Maine FCU in Lewiston, ME
Honorable Mention: Public Service CU in Romulus, MI

Louise Herring ($250 million-$1 billion)

First Place: Credit Union 1 in Anchorage, AK
Second Place: CoVantage CU in Antigo, WI
Honorable Mention: People’s CU in Middletown, RI

Louise Herring (More than $1 billion)

First Place: Eastman CU in Kingsport, TN
Second Place: State ECU in Raleigh, NC
Honorable Mention:  Desert Schools FCU in Phoenix, AZ

The Clock is Ticking Down to Bank Transfer Day – Saturday, November 5th

Posted by on Friday, 4 November, 2011

From Jill Stevenson:

Were any of us expecting the surge of public outcry against big banks when Bank of America made that little announcement of charging a monthly $5 fee on debit cards? Come on, really…it’s not like they haven’t added new fees or increased fee charges before.

I think not…

When opportunity knocks, when our rivals really get it wrong, credit unions aren’t fortune’s fools.

This is the credit union movement’s “national branding campaign we have been waiting for,” Pat Keefe, CUNA VP of communications and media outreach, so aptly proclaimed during a recent interview on CU Chat Up.

I think he is right.

Credit unions did not have to design it, manufacture it, nor pay for it. But, we will certainly benefit from it. And may our new credit union members be content with their switch.

Now, whoa Nelly, BofA backed down and nixed the fee…

Too late!

The actions of big banks have sent their customers searching for credit unions to join. Will everyone find a credit union to join via the credit union locators that are being promoted throughout the news and Internet? Since the BofA announcement, over 68,000 successful searches have been conducted via the CU locator on the consumer website

Don’t overlook the power of social media, either. Geez, just look at the reaction from that event page posted by Kristen Christian. That’s what has gotten us to this countdown to Bank Transfer Day on Saturday, November 5.

A Smarter Choice’s Facebook page had reached 1,014 “likes” during its first 6 months. Now, four weeks after the BofA announcement, that number has climbed to over 6,283 as I edit this blog, again. Oh, and according to Facebook, 2,124 people are talking about this (us). How they know, I really don’t want to think about….

Here are a few of the most recent Facebook comments:

“Buy local everything. The extra money you may spend will end up in your pocket.”

As to whether the BofA fee reversal changes your plans to switch?

“No. Switching has never been easier…”

“No. Too little too late…”

Here’s a comment on the posts about The Disclosures song “Tired of Your Big Bank?”

“Love the song and love my credit union!!! They have taken care of me for 40 years and have never done me wrong!!! Get smart people and move your money to a credit union where you and people like you are in charge!!!” (3 people “liked” what she said.)

Thank you, big banks!

Jill Stevenson is the consumer website coordinator for

Update from CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth Conference in San Francisco

Posted by on Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth Conference is in full swing! You can follow along on Twitter using the hasthtag #CUGrowth or by following our CUNAverse Twitter feed.

The event, which is held in San Francisco this year, focuses on transforming innovative thought into solid action plans for credit union growth. Sessions run the gamut from gaining the loyalty of the Hispanic community and a discussion about the upcoming Bank Transfer Day to strategic board recruitment and an interactive youth financial literacy workshop using Mad City Money.

Credit Union Magazine posted an interesting article today highlighting activities and photos from yesterday’s sessions like the one below featuring our very own Meghann Dawson in action. Be sure to check out the full article on Credit Union Magazine’s website.

Behind desk from left: Marianne McCrary and Meghann Dawson welcome attendees to CUNA’s Community CU & Growth Conference in San Francisco Monday. The conference features a legislative and regulatory update, a Mad City Money simulation with local high schoolers, and workshops on developing a sales culture and building a younger cooperative. A new session on the agenda is a Wednesday roundtable on Bank Transfer Day, notes Dawson, CUNA’s manager of instructional design.