Priority Report — November 2018

In this month’s report, Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and CU Solutions Group (CUSG) President/CEO Dave Adams and MCUL EVP/COO Patty Corkery will provide a recap of the 2018 midterm elections, updates on 2019 affiliation and highlight current activities with CU Solutions Group.  

Midterm Election Results and Impact on Credit Unions

As you may have read in Adams’ election summary email, MCUL will play an integral role in helping shape policy that affects us all in the year ahead. MCUL will need your help to continue educating incoming elected officials, many of whom are new, on what credit unions mean to our members and communities.

While MCUL remained neutral in the gubernatorial and Secretary of State races, endorsed Speaker Tom Leonard was unsuccessful in his bid for Attorney General.

At the federal level, MCUL endorsed Senator Debbie Stabenow, Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib in their bids for open seats, as well as all incumbents. In the state Senate, 27 of our 32 endorsed candidates were successful. In the state House, 79 of 83 endorsed candidates prevailed.

These endorsements were made based on survey responses, credit union-focused track records and careful analysis of the candidates and races by our staff and PAC Trustees. MCUL congratulates our winners and is confident that we will be able to build relationships quickly and fruitfully with all incoming officials.

As an industry, we should be very pleased with the election results. Many credit union-friendly candidates were successful last night in their bids for office. In the coming weeks, MCUL will be working to meet the newcomers and begin the education process on the important issues facing our industry. Credit union awareness is just as important in advocacy as it is with consumers.

For a full report on midterm election results, click here.

Continue Support for CU Link in 2019

With affiliation right around the corner, MCUL encourages your continued support for CU Link. CU Link ads broadcast the CU Difference to Michigan’s nearly 10 million residents, including legislators. These ads reinforce our commitment to trust, service and convenience in communities throughout the state.

MCUL hopes that you will continue to maximize your financial support for the state campaign as opposed to redirecting dollars to any campaign outside our state. Of course, if you see the value in a nationally-administered digital campaign outside Michigan, such as CUNA’s “Open Your Eyes” campaign, and wish to also fund that, those dollars will certainly help promote credit unions in other states, and that has value for the movement. Look for more information in your 2019 affiliation packages, coming out later this month.

Limestone FCU Takes First Place in CUNA National Awards

Congratulations to Limestone Federal Credit Union on their first place national Dora Maxwell award for the Grind Coffee House project. This project started with a grant from MCUF and has now changed the lives of an entire community. Read more about The Grind and Michigan’s other national winners here.

State Advocacy Priorities: Leinholder Notification and E-Notary

MCUL was happy to see leinholder notification legislation was signed by Governor Snyder on October 16th. This allows credit unions to cut down on the cost of tow and storage fees that would otherwise be accruing for additional time. Read more about what this legislation means for credit unions here. Additionally, MCUL expects Electronic Notification bills to follow in the near future.

The bills are now considered “implementation” legislation for the previously passed remote notary legislation, HB 5811. If passed, this would allow notary publics and individuals to sit at their personal computers and conduct notarial transactions, significantly streamlining the process for all involved parties.

2019 PAC Lapel Pins Coming Soon

Just this month, our team wrapped up the new design for the 2019 lapel pin campaign. As our premier state PAC fundraiser, this campaign continues to be a strong and effective fundraising initiative. More than 1,770 lapel pins were sold in last year’s campaign. Look for the new 2019 design to launch in January.

DIFS Director’s Order Grants State-Chartered Credit Unions Authority to Invest in GSEs

On Oct. 15, DIFS Director Pat McPharlin issued a Director’s Order granting authority for state-chartered credit unions to invest, without limitation, in Government Sponsored Entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Domestic credit unions do not currently have this authority under state or federal law, while competing financial service institutions do, so granting this authority is necessary to enable domestic credit unions currently at a competitive disadvantage.

Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union spearheaded the initiative in collaboration with Chuck Holzman and MCUL support to seek order for parity with the Federal Credit Union Act and the Michigan Banking Code.

Credit Union Trust Approved by State of Michigan

Congratulations to the seven Michigan credit unions who collaborated earlier this year to create Credit Union Trust, a limited purpose bank and credit union service organization (CUSO) that is the first entity of its kind in the state and is being established to serve the needs of Michigan credit union members in ways previously unavailable. The trust were granted approval by DIFS earlier this month.

Read more about Credit Union Trust here.

Requests for Comment on NCUA Proposals Coming Soon

MCUL Regulatory Affairs will be issuing a request for comment on two proposals from the NCUA: The Appraisal Rule and the Federal Credit Union Bylaws proposed rule.

The first would provide real estate-related regulatory relief for credit unions, while the second would update, clarify and simplify the Federal Credit Union Bylaws.

MCUL supports NCUA’s efforts and provided the agency with comments earlier this year in their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking encouraging the NCUA to amend the process.

2019 CU Link Collateral Coming in April

Again, MCUL’s affiliation packet will be sent out to credit unions this month, and your affiliation with MCUL and contributions to the CU Link cooperative advertising campaign supports awareness to the 5.3 million credit union members in Michigan.

Contributions to CU Link mean discounted membership dues, and full-share participants will enjoy the added value of expanded campaign assets and collateral. In conjunction with CUBE TV and Focus IQ, MCUL is building out seasonal collateral to create new assets for 2019.

Look for new creative to hit the airwaves in April. This year, the messaging will focus on products and services that drive home share of wallet and deliver on our brand promises: trust, service, value and convenience.

Contact your League Rep to find out more about affiliation and CU Link participation.

MCUF Continues to Support FiCEP Training for Michigan Credit Union Professionals

This year, the Michigan Credit Union Foundation continues to help credit unions by providing low cost access to CUNA’s FiCEP curriculum, an enhanced, guided self-study program that prepares professionals to provide financial education and counseling.

So far this year, this program has helped 94 credit union professionals gain the skills and knowledge to guide members toward a better financial future. Since 2010, FiCEP training has allowed 601 credit union professionals to participate in this training and upon successful test completion, earn the CUNA designation of Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor.

2019 MCUL Events Calendar Now Available

MCUL recently mailed all Michigan credit unions a lineup of 2019 training opportunities, to help with budget and staff planning.

As your mailers arrive, we ask that you take a look at all of the offerings we have for next year. With topics ranging from compliance, lending and marketing and chapter leadership, there’s something for everyone. We’re starting the year with the 2019 Compliance Conference, which will help attendees navigate the ever-changing landscape of state and federal compliance topics.  

MCUL would also like to thank all who recently provided our education team with valuable feedback about their training needs. We were impressed with your personal stories and longstanding dedication to your fellow members.

For a full schedule of next year’s training offerings, click here.

CUSG Technology Solutions Help Credit Unions Connect on Mobile

CUSG Technology Solutions’ current focus is helping credit unions connect with members using mobile-first technology that doesn’t sacrifice traditional service-first approach. As Adams discusses in November’s CEO Connect, LifeSteps Wallet is built specifically to deliver both. The product, which is designed to help members with shopping, auto, home ownership and financial wellness, continues to enjoy a strong, positive reception with credit unions and their members.

As Technology Solutions launches with more clients, they are creating a group of engaged credit unions that help them grow and evolve the concept of member service in the digital age. If you’re one of the many clients currently in the onboarding phase, CUSG value your feedback both during and after the launch process.

More CUSG Innovative Fintech Solutions

While CUSG continues to grow and improve the LifeSteps Wallet product line, they are also moving forward with other innovative fintech solutions. Just days ago, CUSG announced a new partnership with QCash Financial. Built to be a smart and agile alternative to payday loans, QCash offers a mobile lending platform that provides members with affordable, short-term, small-dollar loans. Branded for your credit union, the platform can originate, underwrite and fund a loan in just 60 seconds.

CUSG is excited about this partnership, as this service fills a critical void in the credit union space. Currently, there are more than 15.6 million unbanked consumers and another 88 million underbanked in the U.S. These people often don’t have a checking or savings account, live paycheck-to-paycheck and are especially vulnerable to predatory lenders. QCash Financial allows credit unions to offer a faster, lower-cost alternative in a way that requires no additional IT resources. Reach out to your League Rep to find out more about this service.

CUSG Marketing Solutions Provide Holiday Incentives

Turning to CUSG Marketing Solutions, Love My Credit Union Rewards (LMCUR) and Sprint are taking the opportunity this month to thank credit union professionals by launching the CU Employee CELLebration Sweepstakes. Individual employees will have a chance to win new Samsung smartphones, and credit unions with the highest employee participation can win $5,000 for an employee appreciation event or charity of their choice. More information on the sweepstakes can be found here(

Also in November, LMCUR is launching its Sprint Holiday campaign, which encourages credit union members looking to upgrade their cell phones this holiday season to choose Sprint and receive $100 for each new line activated. You can help your credit union promote this offer with the new marketing materials found in LMCUR’s Partner Center.

CUSG is continually updating resources in the Partner Center. In preparation for tax season, the TurboTax team just added new materials designed to help credit unions guide members through changes brought on by recent tax reform. Offering members timely financial insights and products reinforces your credit union as a trusted and valuable partner. If you’d like to offer these resources to your members for the fast-approaching tax season, CUSG has several webinars in November.

Leverage GSTV During Upcoming Holiday Shopping Season

With more than 31 million video impressions across 39 states, CUSG was very happy with the great success GSTV had this past month promoting International Credit Union Day and the benefits of credit union membership. Heading into the holiday shopping season directly after this massive exposure, CUSG encourages you to leverage the reach and awareness of this ad spend by purchasing media with GSTV.

CUSG Performance Solutions Support Strategic Planning Season

CUSG Performance Solutions and Strategic Advisory Services are collaborating with credit union executives and board members as they move through strategic planning season. Current focus is on advancing the division’s latest product, Planning Pro.

Planning Pro has already been implemented at more than one dozen credit unions in its first few months on the market, and CEOs and boards have both responded with enthusiasm. Early feedback is that users appreciate being able to collaborate with multiple users on their strategic plan using a single tool. It’s a simple way to monitor individual and team progress on key priorities, goals and action items. CEOs especially welcome Planning Pro’s ability to automatically create and update presentations, which a valuable tool for board meetings.

Performance Solutions and Strategic Advisory Services are also teaming up on a new suite of products built specially for governance. This suite will include Planning Pro, Governease — CUSG’s forthcoming solution that simplifies and modernizes board governance — as well as several board-related solutions still in development. CUSG will have more details in the coming months, but in the meantime, they encourage any and all feedback on current and forthcoming products. Hearing from members and clients only makes CUSG more equipped to meet credit union needs.

Thank you for joining us for this month’s report. If you have questions or suggestions regarding anything mentioned this issue, feel free to contact President/CEO Dave Adams or any member of our leadership team( We’ll see you next month.

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