Welcome to the August edition of the MCUL Priority Report. This month, I’ll give you an update on our activities and progress at the association and at CUSG as we gear up for our strategic planning for 2020.
We had some excitement this month with the Democratic Presidential Debates coming to Detroit for two days. Myself, along with some of our directors, were able to attend, and get a better understanding of each candidate’s approach to issues impacting our nation. We also had the opportunity to touch base with our Governor and many lawmakers.
With both our state and federal lawmakers on summer recess, we look forward to attending and coordinating local visits with lawmakers to engage them on issues we hope to continue to pursue come fall. At the federal level, legislation has been introduced to delay the roll out of CECL. We have reached out to our Michigan lawmakers to support this legislation. On the state side, we are working with lawmakers on identity theft issues as well as working with the Attorney General on their elder abuse task force to help ensure any regulations here connect with what credit unions already do to protect their elder members but also ensure that the resulting law does not place to much of a burden on the front line credit union staff.
Registration is now open for two upcoming advocacy events. Our advocacy team is preparing for MCUL’s upcoming Capital Day in Lansing on September 24th and our fall Hike the Hill in D.C. on October 15 to 17. We hope you can join us and share your credit union’s story with lawmakers. We cannot emphasize enough how valuable these events are for moving legislation and regulations that pave the way for serving credit union members.
I am also happy to share with you some updates on our Awareness Campaign, the Michigan Credit Union Foundation and upcoming education events.
On the CUSG side, I issued a press release in connection with the Department of Justice’s recent approval of the Sprint T-Mobile merger. As you know, CUSG has had a very successful program in Sprint and we are hopeful that the merger will lead to additional opportunities. Additionally, CUSG’s latest acquisition, MemberXP, helps credit unions increase member growth and satisfaction.
FEDERAL ADVOCACY AGENDA
Before adjourning for the Summer, the House passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, seeking to restore consumer confidence in the nation’s phone system. The bill would require phone carriers to implement call authentication technology at no additional cost to the consumer. Additionally, this bill would allow carriers to offer call blocking services to consumers at no additional charge.
HYPERLINK "http://www.cvent.com/events/2019-fall-leadership-development-conference/event-summary-1ec2e9e4d41c4884ba2338b866b70672.aspx"This month we’ll be holding meet-and-greets with many of our federal elected officials. August affords credit unions with a wonderful opportunity to engage lawmakers back in their districts and highlight the programs, services and community initiatives credit unions have in place to assist their constituents.
If your credit union is interested in hosting a meeting, inviting the member of congress or their staff to your credit union for a tour, or perhaps having your representative participate in a financial reality fair, please let MCUL’s Government Affairs team know and we can help facilitate the request.
We’re also currently working on the agenda for our annual trip to DC for October’s Hike the Hill. Among the potential topics of discussion are cannabis banking, CECL implementation, data security and much more. This event provides a great low-cost opportunity for credit union leaders to meet with members of the congressional delegation to advocate for our industry’s priorities. Registration and details about the hotel room block are available on our website.
At the state level, Senator Lana Theis has received draft legislation to help modernize the Identity Theft Protection Act, which currently governs how data breaches are handled in the state of Michigan. This is a great step forward for credit unions as the proposed changes would also require that, upon a breach, merchants notify card companies in a timely fashion.
Additionally, we’re watching two important pieces of legislation being introduced this fall:
Registration is now open for Capitol Day 2019. This year’s event will be held on September 24th in the Michigan State Capitol Building and provides a great opportunity to have lunch with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate in Lansing. The event will kick off at the MCUL office in Lansing and then head over to the Capitol for lunch before an opportunity to see the House session from the gallery.
In the regulatory arena, MCUL’s Examination Task Force held its kick-off meeting and discussed examination issues and concerns facing credit unions in Michigan. The Task Force will begin reviewing the MCUL’s Examination Survey in preparation for distribution to Michigan credit unions. Data collected from the survey will be shared in meetings with NCUA and DIFS leadership.
After significant interest in the Compliance Committee, CASE Credit Union is hosting a meeting in late August. Shelly Edgerton, senior counsel with Dykema law firm, will be discussing cannabis banking, including an update on what is happening at the state level and the climate of the cannabis industry.
At the federal level, NCUA and CFPB remain busy with several proposals and requests for comment including debt collection and qualified mortgages. Of immediate importance, FASB announced it will issue a proposal and request for comment delaying the effective date for CECL implementation to January 2023. If you have any relevant comments you would like MCUL to share with FASB, please share them with Sarah Stevenson and we will incorporate them into ours. While this is a step in the right direction, we will continue to work with CUNA and others to advocate for an exemption for community-based institutions.
This month we are launching additional creative for Michigan’s “Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union” campaign. You can view the new material on the League’s website and take advantage of the integration materials as well.
Campaign metrics are showing higher than average consumer engagement, and we’re encouraged that the creative material appears to break through the clutter in advertising. Our goals are to increase share of market and share of wallet by reaching current and potential members with specific messages about convenience, mobile technology, service diversity and sophistication and community commitment.
Once again, this year, upcoming consumer research will help us to determine if we are moving the needle in our areas of focus.
The team loves to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have about how your credit union can be more involved, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Michigan Credit Union Foundation recently awarded grants to eight credit unions for initiatives aimed at improving the financial health of people and communities in Michigan. The total number of MCUF grants awarded this year is now at 12 and makes for a total of $80,357.
MCUF grants are provided for a variety of credit union “social mission” activities including financial education, expanding community partnerships and assisting financial vulnerable or underbanked families. These grants are also aimed at increasing the awareness of the credit union difference for the benefit of the entire Michigan credit union movement.
Two credit unions receiving grants this year are utilizing the funds for unique programs aimed at reducing barriers to employment. These will help struggling families increase their income and help community businesses, including credit unions, attract and retain employees.
A grant to People Driven Credit Union will be used to expand credit access to low income or credit challenged people with a fresh start auto loan program that includes financial education and counselling.
Other recently awarded grants focus on financial education initiatives:
MCUL’s education team is continually working to support member credit unions with the training your staff and volunteers need to best serve your members. To better do so, this year we’ve added a Lending School to our schedule.
This new event is in response to requests for more education on the essentials of lending, and how to further lending success by learning best practices from across the country. Frontline staffers and managers will be empowered to make smarter loan decisions and earn more member business.
The more we hear feedback from you, the more we can make our events schedule fit credit union needs. We have over a half-dozen events being offered before the end of the year, including the Executive Summit, Fall Leadership Development Conference and the Contact Center Conference. Be sure to check out the education portal of our website for more information on these events. We hope to see you and your colleagues there and to learn what more we can do to serve your training needs.
Now onto an update of CU Solutions Group. For the past 15 years, our Sprint Credit Union Member Cash Rewards program has helped more than 1,200 U.S. credit unions provide an attractive money-saving cellular plan that’s proven beneficial for credit unions and their members. With the recent approval of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile by the Department of Justice, we’re enthusiastic about the prospects for greater value-conscious pricing, a faster path to a 5G network and an even stronger, more reliable technology infrastructure.
Other new and improved deals continue to be offered to credit union members through our Love My Credit Union Rewards program, with in-demand products and services from partners like TurboTax and the program’s newest partner, Simplisafe.
Speaking of valued partners, at the end of July, CUSG acquired MemberXP, the largest provider of direct credit union member feedback in the United States. This acquisition will provide credit unions the research they need to create an increasingly distinct brand. In short, with the help of insights and data, MemberXP will help you provide interactions that grow member engagement and satisfaction.
Beyond a seamless experience, members continue to be interested in ways they can use their existing technology to invest in their future. Harnessing the popularity and ease-of-use of robo-investing, our Technology Solutions division is completing due diligence and review of two new product lines: a white-labeled robo-investment platform from Folio and a robo-investing solution from Access Softek and myCUID, part of our partnership with CU Ledger. We’ll have more on this in the months to come as we fine tune delivery for credit unions and their members.
Our HR Performance products continue to help credit unions attract and retain top talent through integrated tools and capabilities. With all of our performance products able to work together, HR teams can connect more employee data for a comprehensive and effective talent management strategy. Now, with the addition of the Learning Center (TLC 360) solution to our suite of performance solutions, credit union leadership can assign learning content to employees through career development plans based on a library of required competencies for both current and future positions. Additionally, we’re working with our CUBE TV Studios team to develop media that will enhance CUSG’s own content library.
Finally, our Strategic Advisory team continues to work with Michigan league reps to develop planning and governance seminars for Detroit, Midland and Grand Rapids. These sessions will feature strategic planning, risk management and a holistic, dynamic approach to governance. Our recent acquisition of credit union sector rights to AffirmX's patented risk management and compliance solutions seamlessly supports these consulting services. CUSG, in conjunction with state credit union leagues, will expand and enhance the delivery of AffirmX's compliance offerings, which include bundled and unbundled compliance risk assessment tools and services like regulatory compliance monitoring and enterprise risk management assessment.
If you believe your team would benefit from any of the products or services I’ve covered today, please reach out to our divisions; they’re always happy to help.
That’s it for this quarter’s report. Thank you for your support for MCUL. Together we’re stronger and we show the power of association with the MCUL and CUNA as we advance this wonderful credit union movement. Together we truly make an impact in people’s lives.
Thank you once again for joining us!