Posts Tagged CUNA

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.

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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Top 15 Must-read Credit Union Articles for Summer, 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 22 September, 2011

What a busy summer in credit union land! We took a brief respite from our “Must Read” lists this summer to tend to other matters, but fear not! This post includes five articles for each month—June, July, and August—on important credit union topics you may have missed.

We hope these are helpful and, as always, please share additional articles by leaving a comment below!




Create a Board Succession Plan: Seven Steps

Creating a board succession plan is in members’ best interests and helps fulfill directors’ fiduciary duties. Learn how with this article.

What Do Credit Unions Need to Do to Remain Relevant

Several credit union IT leaders were asked this question by Credit Union Times at the recent Finovation conference in San Francisco: “What do credit unions need to do to stay relevant in the coming years?”

Small Banks, Credit Unions Fear Debit Fee Declines

Could a limit on the fees retailers pay on debit card purchases cause your bank or credit union to fail? That’s the dire picture some are painting as a cap on so-called swipe fees nears.

Louisiana League to Develop Young Professionals Network

The Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) is developing a program to provide networking, development and growth opportunities for Louisiana’s young credit union professionals.

Compliance: What to Know About Reg Z Changes

CompBlog, the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) newest addition to its electronic information toolshed for members, has started a conversation about what credit unions should focus on in the changes the Federal Reserve made this spring to its Regulation Z.




Why Social Media’s in the Cards

Credit unions still unsure whether or not to invest in social networking may find some direction in a new study. According to SYNERGISTICS Research, cardholders are beginning to connect with credit card issuers via social networks.

Credit Unions Provide Haven for Commercial Lending

More companies have turned to their friendly neighborhood credit union for commercial loans, which is keeping many folks in business and adding jobs to a shaky economy.

Fed Issues Interchange ‘Exempt/Not Exempt’ Lists

In its first step to facilitate a two-tiered debit card interchange fee structure since adoption of its final rule, the Federal Reserve Tuesday (06/12) issued two lists—one with the names of each institution considered to be covered by the new cap on debit interchange fees and another with the names of those that are exempt.

Check 21: Image is Everything

Even though the volume of checks written gradually declines each year, credit unions should continue to invest in check-capture technologies that automate item processing and lower costs, says Andrew Tilbury, director of marketing and communications at Bluepoint Solutions Inc.

Social Media Enters the Hiring Process

As with all communication, social media comes with business benefits and legal risks. A primary area for concern among HR professionals is the use of social media in the hiring process.




Crash Networkers Take on Affordable Home Ownership

In just ten weeks, the Filene Research Institute and the Crash Network have developed an innovative program designed to help credit unions increase the availability of affordable home ownership.

Ed Filene on Embracing Social Media

There has been a long-running topic on about how to get management on-board with social media when they are dead-set against it.

Can Square Bring You More Business?

Shari Storm, SVP and CMO for Verity Credit Union suggests the launch of Square may cause credit unions to see more of their members starting side businesses.

CU Members Today and Tomorrow

As credit unions look to attract new members and peak borrowers in the future, they should increasingly think “young” and “Hispanic.”

How Stock Market Woes May Impact CUs

What is the consumer-confidence effect of market volatility on credit union members?


Deadline extended for scholarships to CCUC

Posted by on Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Scholarship deadline for Community Credit Union Conference extended

The deadline to apply for a 2011 Community Credit Union & Growth Conference scholarship has been extended to September 9, 2011.  Up to 30 scholarships to the event will be co-sponsored by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and CO-OP Financial Services.

To be held October 24-27, in San Francisco, the conference will focus on how to turn growth-generating ideas into action plans.  To access the conference website, including the simplified scholarship form and scholarship criteria, please visit

To apply for a scholarship, please click here.

Applications are due Friday, September 9, 2011.  Recipients will be contacted by Thursday, September 15, 2011.

The Credit Union Link to James Arness

Posted by on Thursday, 9 June, 2011

While driving home from the grocery store last week my girlfriend mentioned James Arness had passed.  It was sad news to hear, but not necessarily because I was an avid viewer of Gunsmoke or a fan of Mr. Arness’ acting.  It is very sad to hear of his passing because he has a significant link to credit union history.

Here’s how…

In 1977, ABC aired the “epic” western mini-series, “How the West Was Won,” staring James Arness, Eva Marie Saint, and Bruce Boxleitner.  The mini-series garnered a 50-share.  Due to the huge response, “How the West Was Won” returned in 1978 as a TV series.

During the 1970s, CUNA sponsored the National Advertising Program (NAP) an effort to pool credit union resources in order to create advertising campaigns and purchase advertising spots on a national scale.   At the time, the campaign claimed to reach over 325 million people through its combined magazine and television efforts.  As of 1978, the “crown jewels” of the campaign included award winning Tournament of Roses Parade floats and purchasing commercial spots during the “How the West Was Won” mini-series.

Continuing into the future, the NAP secured additional ads during the TV series and participation in the 1980 Winter Olympics.  Appeals for continued support stated the cooperative philosophy: “We have all reaped the benefits because we have all shared in the effort.  Our success shows that all kinds of people getting together can get things done.”

James Arness’ image was used by the NAP for counter displays, newspaper and magazine ads, stuffers, posters, and badges.  Below are some of the “Bullet Proof” ideas offered by the NAP at that time. You might find them helpful for your credit union:

  • Stage a “Credit Union Pardner Day” around the Old West theme at the credit union; encourage staff to wear bandanas and ten-gallon hats, to promote a new service at the credit union.
  • “Deputize” your credit union staff using sheriff’s badges to promote “How the West Was Won.”
  • Sponsor a Western night featuring a Western band or singers for your Annual Meeting.
  • Set up a canteen with coffee in the credit union encouraging pardners to feel welcome.
  • Sponsor a “Chuckwagon Dinner” at the credit union selling tickets for the event and conduct a contest for the member who brings in the most new members during the “HTWW” viewing time.
  • Organize a “possee” to clean up the neighborhood.  A good public relations effort for your credit union.

With the passing of James Arness the credit union movement loses another iconic figure.

James Arness, May 26,1923-June 3, 2011.

Who’s Your CU hero? Vote Now

Posted by on Thursday, 12 May, 2011

True heroism, tennis great and activist Arthur Ashe once said, “is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

That description readily fits the candidates for Credit Union Magazine’s 2011 Credit Union Hero of the Year Award.

Each year, Credit Union Magazine subscribers nominate and vote for one of four deserving credit union leaders. The top vote-getter is honored as Credit Union Hero of the Year at the America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo, held this year in San Antonio June 19-22.

Past winners include Linda Milton, CEO of Team Financial Federal Credit Union in Houston; CEO of Community First Credit Union, Appleton, Wis.; and Vic Thate, executive vice president for FAA Credit Union in Oklahoma City.

This year’s nominees:

* Ron Amstutz, executive vice president, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Phoenix. After his son recovered from a serious illness thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff at a children’s hospital, Amstutz guided his credit union to become the No. 1 U.S. credit union for Children’s Miracle Network [] fund raising.

* Michael Bittle, CEO of Vanderbilt University Employees’ Credit Union, Nashville, Tenn. When his neighbors and members suffered damage from the May 2010 Nashville floods, he rolled up his sleeves and created a suite of flood-relief loans to help them through the difficult days.

* Carol Schillios, founder of Schillios Consulting Group, Seattle. A microfinance entrepreneur, she has participated in numerous cooperative programs in more than a dozen countries on six continents.

* Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C. He helps members through tough financial times by providing mortgage loan modifications, alternatives to subprime debt, and unemployment protection options.

Voting ends Friday, May 13, so vote now to select Credit Union Magazine’s 2011 Credit Union Hero of the Year.

We’ll announce the winner next week.

CUNAverse Turns One!

Posted by on Wednesday, 4 May, 2011

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary for CUNAverse! It’s been a fantastic experience and we look forward to the year ahead.

We’re happy you—our readers—have come along for the ride since our official launch on May 3rd, 2010. The CUNAverse team can’t thank you enough for commenting on our posts, following our tweets and “falling in like” with us on Facebook.

Our gift to you on (the day after) CUNAverse’s birthday… is this excessively cute picture of a puppy and a cupcake.


Top 10 must-read credit union articles for April 2011

Posted by on Monday, 2 May, 2011

CUNAverse brings you the top 10 must-reads for April, 2011. As always, we highlight important credit union articles from a variety of sources, including U.S. News and World Report.

Vote for the 2011 CU Hero of the Year

Who should be the 2011 CU Hero of the Year? Follow the link to cast your vote and celebrate credit union leaders and heros.

Why You Need a Credit Union Account

Jim Wang’s post discusses the many advantages credit unions have over banks. In addition to discussing the major differences between banks and credit unions, Wang suggests, “if you’ve been searching for a way to sever your ties to a commercial bank, consider credit unions.”

H&FF Radio Covered Financial Literacy in 200th Broadcast

Sunday, April 3rd was a milestone for the Home & Family Finance Radio program. The broadcast was the program’s 200th show and discussed the importance of financial literacy and offered ideas to help consumers develop everyday financial skills.

The Jigsaw Puzzle: Redefining Tomorrow’s Corporates

Robert McGarvey reviews the current corporate credit union situation and why “…Topic A in the credit union industry during 2011 has to be how corporate credit unions will service natural person credit unions going forward.”

AmeriChoice Uses Grant for Youth Fin Lit Outreach

AmeriChoice FCU is on track to reach more than 10,000 school students this year after receiving a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation in 2010 for its financial literacy youth outreach program.

Credit Unions Look for a Lending Rebound

CU loan portfolios take a hit as members pay down debt at unprecedented rates.

First Tech CU Adds As SEG

NCUA has approved First Tech CU to serve Seattle-based employees of

Review policies in wake of quakes, tornadoes

Do you know exactly what your insurance policies cover–and don’t cover–if you’re the victim of a tornado, earthquake, flood, or other natural disaster?

Council Honors Top Marketers

CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards honors top marketers, best practices award winners also receive acclaim

CUs pick up the pieces in tornadoes’ aftermath

Credit unions in several Southern states have either begun to pick up the pieces from last week’s swarm of tornados and flooding or are standing ready to help.

Top 10 must-read credit union articles for March 2011

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 March, 2011

It’s time for the CUNAverse top 10 must-reads for March, 2011. This month we highlight important credit union articles from the Wall Street Journal and other sources around the credit union world including the National Credit Union Foundation and the World Council of Credit Unions.

Special Report: CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference

Couldn’t make it to CUNA’s GAC this year? Here’s what you missed.

Banks hit for CU Ills

Federal regulators point to Wall Street’s biggest firms for the collapse of five institutions at the heart of the nation’s credit-union industry.

NCUA Details Fin Lit requirements for FCU Directors

The NCUA in its letter to federal credit unions No. 11-FCU-02 reminded federal credit union directors of specific financial literacy requirements that will become effective later this year.

Hard-Working Apps Streamline to Meet Member Expectations

Scott Hess, vice president of consulting and innovations, Digital Channels, at Fiserv Inc. shares his thoughts on delivering consistent anywhere, anytime, any channel access to members.

Women Serving on Boards Improve Corporate Performance

The World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network Members shared the advantages of women serving on boards of directors during the Global Women’s Leadership Network breakfast at the 2011 Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference.

Reach Out to Tomorrow’s Members

About 19 million nonmembers under age 18 live in credit union members’ households.

Credit Unions asked to complete financial education survey

The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is now collecting data for its 2011 Credit Union Member Education Inventory.

Show your Policies Some Love

Additional defined benefit plan funding may be warranted if corporate bond yields drop.

Fed ends development of 3 Reg Z Mortgage rule changes

The Federal Reserve announced it would halt work toward finalizing three pending mortgage rulemakings under Regulation Z.

New safety seat advice makes sure kids are safe

New child safety seat recommendations were recently released.

CUNA Volunteer Network 101

Posted by on Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

This past week, CUNA launched a new membership opportunity for credit union board and committee members.  I was fortunate to be working with this network for the past months as it was developed, but CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) attendees had the opportunity to see the members-only website as its launch was celebrated on Sunday night in the exhibit hall.

Kevin Smith, CUNA Instructional Design Manager

I took some time to sit down with Kevin Smith, CUNA Instructional Design Manager, who worked with developing and launching the membership to get his perspective on its usefulness and value for credit unions.  Read on to find out what he had to say as he prepared for the launch last week.

What inspired the creation of the CUNA Volunteer Network?

The job of credit union directors is getting increasingly complex, more demanding of time and attention, as well as requiring more expertise. It’s incumbent upon CUNA to provide products and services  to help directors keep up  with demand and to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. We see that directors get a great value from networking opportunities at our schools and conferences.  However, networking is challenging for them to continue outside of a conference environment. We also hear from directors who are traveling to conferences less often for a variety of reasons and they want a way to stay connected. There are a surprising number of directors at conference events using cutting-edge technology to try to keep up with everything (iPhones, laptops, Blackberries, etc.).

This all suggests that volunteers are very busy and need a community of resources to help them excel in their roles as directors.  Therefore, the CUNA Volunteer Network was “born” out of the necessity for board and committee members to keep up with credit union issues and connected with each other.

Is the CUNA Volunteer Network fulfilling a need that CUNA identified or was it driven by members?

CUNA identified a number of trends that inspired the idea of a network of volunteers.  Through focus groups of credit union volunteers, we fine-tuned the specifics of how that network would be delivered and what it would include to provide value.  We make a concerted effort to pay close attention to our directors to ensure we give them the tools they need, so this membership is an example of just that.

Due to recent regulatory changes affecting board members, CUNA sees the need for volunteers to stay up-to-date and connected becoming even more important given the additional expectations being placed on board members.  Volunteers are looking for more online resources, so a membership-based website was very well received by our focus groups and we thank them for their input.

What have you found is the most attractive value to credit unions to want to join?

By far the access to leading industry training, tools and peer advice anytime and from anywhere has been a big interest point for credit unions.  Specifically, the list serve, 20 online training courses, and Director’s Newsletter have been getting a lot of interest because of the value on a variety of potential topics each provides.

How are membership benefits different than the benefits of being a member of CUNA?

You have to be a volunteer or CEO of a CUNA and league-affiliated credit union to be a member of the CUNA Volunteer Network. The network provides opportunities that are focused specifically on the roles of credit union board and supervisory committee members. The membership benefits include additional discounts and access to tools and information CUNA offers, plus some exclusive options for just the CUNA Volunteer Network members at an affordable value.  Basically, if a board or board member takes advantage of even half of the tools available to them through the network, they’ve more than paid for their membership and it’s all served up on an easy-to-use and access website.

Learn more about the network at