Greetings and Happy Monday!
Like many in here North Dakota, I am deeply saddened, devastated really, by the loss of our friend and Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem. I first met Wayne 40 years ago when I was a young radio personality in Grand Forks. I was assigned to help him with his legislative radio ads one election cycle. I recall hitting it off with him right from the get-go. He was kind, humble and patient with the “kid” that was fresh out of broadcasting school. Little did I know at that time how much he would influence me and what a positive impact he would have on me and the direction of my career.
Fast forward to the 2015 ND Legislative Session, when I was a fill-in host for the “Legislative Today” program that was broadcast live daily from the Peacock Alley bar in downtown Bismarck. As the fill-in host, I also had to produce the show, meaning I had to come up with the content and schedule guests. One particular day toward the end of the session it was hard getting legislators to be on the show, as late committee work would overlap our show time. So, I reached out to Wayne. He kindly and enthusiastically agreed to step in and bail me out that night. (He agreed only if he could come causal – in a UND sweatshirt). Well, he really was the star of the show that night as we spent a memorable hour discussing policy and ND politics.. The hour-long show flew by. What fun, and honestly, the best show I ever had! You and brother Bob taught me so much over the years.
As recently as last summer, I reached out to Wayne to get his support and leadership on a campaign to get other AGs to issue a join comment letter to the Federal Reserve Board concerning Reg. II and the flawed Durbin Amendment. Before signing on, he invited me and my colleagues from the banking association to meet and share our concerns with him in person.
Wayne was a true public servant, mentor, and a friend to me and many folks around the state. He was enthusiastic about his work, but even more passionate about North Dakota. We are a better place because of it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Beth and his family. On a personal level, I will be forever grateful for his professional guidance and friendship. I hope I can pay it forward.
Governor Burgum weighs in on NCUA Strategic Plan – Local media covers potential impact.
ND Governor Doug Burgum strongly agreed with the stance Dakota Credit Union Association and Dakota’s credit unions are taking regarding some of the language contained in NCUA’s proposed draft of their Strategic Plan.
In a comment letter submitted last week to the regulatory agency, Burgum said, “The plan’s proposed draft language under ‘Climate-Related Financial Risks’ is ill-conceived, politically motivated, anti-agriculture rhetoric that threatens to cause serious harm to the farmers and ranchers who form the backbone of rural America. We strongly urge that it be stricken from the proposed draft or significantly revised to encourage agricultural lending.”
DakCU, along with the governor, Dakota’s elected representatives, and the ND Department of Agriculture, are concerned that the language in the agency’s plan as currently written will have a detrimental effect on ag lending as well as our farm and ranch producers.
Following the governor’s press release regarding his comment letter, AgWeek, a Midwestern ag news source based in Fargo, contacted the association for comment. The magazine then published a detailed account of the issue that which you can find here. Be sure to stay tuned to the Memo, as we will be closely monitoring further developments.
Interesting study from Filene Research on noninterest income strategies.
Filene Research recently conducted a study that asked about how credit unions are rethinking their overdraft protection programs, and where they can look for noninterest income to replace overdraft fees. The final research presents key findings and steps credit unions should consider when developing their noninterest income strategies.
As you know, as overdraft programs continue to come under fire from law makers and regulators and consumer groups, credit unions are beginning to consider if these programs are still necessary, and many are reevaluating how they fit into their strategic plans, with many re-structuring or even eliminating their overdraft programs. This matters because overdraft protection programs have supplemented sustainable revenue as credit unions experienced decreases in other fee and noninterest income in recent years. You can read the entire report and best practices here.
In addition, Mike Lawson with CU Broadcast did an interview with Paul Dionne, Filene Research Director to discuss the report. In the interview, they discuss how many credit unions are looking at this “fee generator” a bit differently and working on creative ways to assist members in this area. You can watch the five-minute video here.
ULEND Academy Nearly Full!
If you have been waiting to register for our first in-person ULEND Academy in nearly two years, don’t wait any longer because only a few spots remain! The session is scheduled for March 15-16 at the ClubHouse Hotel & Suites in Fargo. Sign up here – and feel free to contact George McDonald with any questions.
Congratulations to “Best of the Best” credit unions!
I would like to send a “shout out” to CEO Jeremiah Kossen and the crew at Town & Country Credit Union (Minot, ND). They received honors in two categories in the Minot Daily News “Best of the Best” awards, taking honors as “Best Credit Union” and “Best Mortgage Company.” Their Fargo branch also recently won “Best Credit Union” in the Red River Valley awards presented by InForum. Congratulations and keep up the great work!
Finally, Western Cooperative CU (Williston, ND) received the honor of “Best Credit Union” in the Dickinson Press annual Readers’ Choice Award. Congratulations to President/CEO Melanie Stillwell and her entire staff on this recognition!
Have a great week!
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