Message from the MCUL
Chairman and President
Since its organization in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) has been one of the nation’s most innovative and progressive credit union trade associations. Services such as share draft (checking) accounts, shared branching and share insurance can all trace their roots back to Michigan. Today, the MCUL’s utilization of cutting-edge technology in such areas as podcasting, remote-access education programs, credit union web design and on-line information content are a clear indication that this proud tradition of innovation is continuing.
Through membership in the MCUL, Michigan credit unions receive important services such as legislative, regulatory and media advocacy; a stream of timely and vital news and information; access to key education and training programs; direct assistance with critical operational and planning issues; and a host of other products, services and programs designed exclusively to meet the unique individual and collective needs of credit unions. Thanks in no small part to the efforts of the MCUL, the history of the Michigan credit union movement is one of goals met, challenges overcome and victories achieved.
Today, nearly 4 1/2 million Michiganians are credit union members — everyday people who thus own their own financial institutions and enjoy the unique benefits of cooperative, not-for-profit financial services. Helping credit unions improve the lives of these members and extending the benefits of credit union membership to even more Michigan citizens is the MCUL’s commitment and mission. As this 2006 Annual Report clearly demonstrates, that commitment continues to be honored today, just as it has been over the last 73 years.
Chairman of the Board
President and CEO
MCUL Mission Statement
“To foster, protect and promote the vitality of credit unions by providing programs and services that will enhance their ability to enrich the lives of their members.“
The 2006 MCUL Annual Report provides a concise review of the news, highlights and activities of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL)and its subsidiary CUcorp, as well as a comprehensive look at the MCUL’s financial position at year-end. As the narrative, figures and charts clearly show, it has been another good year for cooperative savings and credit in the Great Lakes State.
Remarkably, these achievements have come against a backdrop of Michigan’s serious economic difficulties. For credit unions, this was a shared success, attributable to the hard work and dedication of our member credit unions, our chapter leaders, our thousands of credit union professionals and volunteers, our MCUL/CUcorp policymakers and staff. Teamwork, unity and cooperation have always been the keys to the credit union movement’s survival and success, and that will remain true as we confront the complex challenges of the future.
Michigan credit unions are not shirking their responsibilities in difficult times by abandoning the state for what are perceived to be more lucrative venues. Credit unions are stepping up to the plate and demonstrating again to consumers, legislators and the media the benefits and advantages of cooperative savings and credit — of financial institutions motivated by service before profit.
Not only are credit unions saving their members hundreds of dollars a year on average through more favorable rates and fewer fees, they are also taking a leadership role by committing to the unique Career Transition Program (CTP), which provides members who have lost their jobs with low-cost loans for retraining and education. Credit unions have also re-energized their social mission through the Community Reinvestment Initiative (CRI).
CRI, along with cooperative brand advertising and enhanced legislative advocacy, forms the MCUL’s three-tiered strategy for protecting and promoting the present and future strength and success of Michigan credit unions.
Credit union participation in grassroots events, our well-funded Political Action Committees (PACs) and the concerted efforts and leadership of the MCUL once again provided Michigan credit unions with outstanding legislative advocacy in 2006. We continue to enjoy positive, constructive relationships with legislators and leading elected officials in both political parties.
Michigan credit unions continued to build on the momentum of the largest and most ambitious cooperative advertising effort in their history. Surveys confirmed that consumer awareness of credit union uniqueness and the benefits of membership both increased in the wake of these advertising campaigns.
Through CRI, Michigan credit unions coordinated and documented their community service activities to underscore what makes them different from banks. CRI provides a catalog of examples of credit union uniqueness that can be presented to lawmakers, the media and consumer groups in defending the credit union tax exemption and the unique position of credit unions in the marketplace.
Michigan credit unions continued among the national leaders in financial literacy education and the MCUL continued to be in the forefront in utilizing technology to enhance service to its members. The revolutionary Online Learning Center expanded content and provided more credit union professionals and volunteers with convenient electronic access to a wide spectrum of education and training materials. League InfoSight, the credit union on-line compliance information system, was further enhanced and continued to gain in utility and popularity.
The League continued its strong commitment to the success of small asset sized (SAS) credit unions, providing consulting support through its relationship managers, scholarship assistance thought the Michigan Credit Union Foundation and the innovative SAS Initiative Accounts.
In the face of numerous challenges, Michigan credit unions achieved much for their members in 2006 — and the MCUL achieved much for its member credit unions.