ICUL Service Corporation
November 2012


Important News

Credit unions continue to outpace banks in Financial Trust Index

Con O'Mahoney to provide compliance consulting services on behalf of ICUL

Statewide winners announced; two place in national competition

Call for Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame Nominations

CUAid Activated for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Enroll Now for the TurboTax and Jackson Hewitt Member Discount Programs

Credit unions continue to outpace banks in Financial Trust Index
As the economy continued to be a top issue for voters in the final days of the presidential campaign, trust in credit unions remained high at 61 percent among Americans, according to the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index.

The Index, issued October 30 also found that 23 percent of Americans say they trust the country’s financial system.  This is an increase of two percentage points since the last issue of the Index in June 2012 and reflects a rebound of trust in the banking sector.

The Index measures public opinion over three-month periods to track changes in Americans’ trust in the private institutions in which they can invest their money, including the stock market, banks, mutual funds, and large corporations.  The Index has consistently reported notably more trust in credit unions than local and national banks quarter over quarter since it began in December 2008. This was the 16th quarterly update and based on a survey conducted in September 2012.

Luigi Zingales, co-author of the Financial Trust Index and the Robert R. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, added the gain in the banking sector was largely driven by an increase of trust in national banks in particular, which rose by five percentage points to 28 percent since the last report. Also, trust in community banks remained at 56 percent.

The Financial Trust Index was also developed and spearheaded by Paola Sapienza, Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Research Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Professors Sapienza and Zingales define trust as "an expectation that a person (or institution) will perform actions that are beneficial or at least not detrimental to others. While trust is fundamental to all trade and investment, it is particularly important in financial markets, where people part with their money in exchange for promises."

On a quarterly basis, data is analyzed from more than 1,000 American households, randomly chosen and surveyed via phone by Social Science Research Solutions.  In different quarters, this information is supplemented with data on additional topics.

"This is a story we all already knew. Credit unions are trusted," said Dan Plauda, President/Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Credit Union League. "To have this kind of academic pedigree backing what we knew to be fact, is great."

The survey is conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) as part of their weekly national telephone survey, EXCEL. In the most recent wave, a total of 1,011 individuals were surveyed by live interviewers (not IVR) from Sept. 19 to Sept. 26, 2012. The institutions considered in the survey are banks, the stock market, mutual funds and large corporations. 

To learn more about the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index visit To learn more about the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, visit To learn more about the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, visit

Con O'Mahoney to provide compliance consulting services on behalf of ICUL
We are pleased to announce that Con O’Mahoney will provide compliance consulting services on behalf of the League effective November 1, 2012 (the date of his retirement from the League).

Credit unions are operating in an intense and often hostile legislative and regulatory environment. The passage of laws and promulgation of rules directed at credit unions and other financial service providers has accelerated at an incredible pace. It presents a significant challenge to our affiliated credit unions, especially the smaller ones, to sort everything out and implement all the new regulatory mandates.

Since Con first came to the League over 36 years ago, he has focused his efforts in the area of regulatory compliance. In the process, he has played a key role in ensuring credit unions avoid the countless traps that await them if they inadvertently breach a regulatory standard.

In his new role as our compliance consultant, Con will continue to serve credit unions and the League with his written analyses of legislation and regulations, especially the "alphabet soup" of rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has inherited from the Federal Reserve Board under the Dodd Frank Act. In that regard, he will provide invaluable assistance in drafting comment letters on the avalanche of pending regulatory initiatives of the CFPB, NCUA and other administrative agencies. 

He will also assist us in the preparation of position papers, bulletins and memoranda dealing with issues relevant to credit union operations, particularly lending, tax and accounting questions. Finally, he will provide assistance as we confer with legislators, legislative staff persons and lobbyists, on pending legislative initiatives before the Illinois General Assembly.

We look forward to continuing to draw upon Con’s wealth of knowledge and experience, as we serve credit unions.

Credit unions may continue to contact the League’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), with respect to compliance issues.  The direct line for OGC is 630-983-4264 (800-942-7124, ext. 4264).  All calls will be answered or returned as expeditiously as possible by Carol Bertoux, Lynn Esp, Brad Bergmooser or Steve Olson.

In case you were not already aware, on November 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ICUL will be hosting a "retirement" celebration for Con, Don Edwards, and Sue O’Mahoney at the League office. We hope you will be able to join us to wish them all a long, prosperous and happy retirement.  Con, Don and Sue have all been with the League more than 35 years.  During that time they contributed a wealth of knowledge, leadership, commitment and dedication to both the League and its member credit unions.  If you are unable to join us for this event, you can share your good wishes, stories or photos by sending them to 
Vicki Ponzo no later than November 20.  We are planning to present them with albums that will forever contain these memories.  If you are able to join us on November 26, please respond to Vicki no later than November 5.

Statewide winners announced; two place in national competition
In recognizing the recipients of its annual statewide award competitions, the League is also pleased to announce two credit unions that placed in the national contests.

In the Desjardins Youth Financial Education award competition, the winners and their respective asset categories were as follows:

  • $150 - $500 million:  First place: 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.  Honorable Mentions:  NuMark Credit Union and Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union.
  • More than $500 million: First place: Great Lakes Credit Union.  Honorable Mention:  Scott Credit Union.

The Desjardins Adult winners included:

  • $150 - $500 million: First place:  NuMark Credit Union.  Honorable Mention: 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.
  • More than $500 million:  First place:  Scott Credit Union

The Desjardins Financial Education Awards recognize leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth and adult financial literacy. Naming the award after Alphonse Desjardins emphasizes the movement’s long-time commitment to youth and financial literacy.

In the Dora Maxwell competition, the following credit unions have been honored:

  • $50 - $100 million:  First place:  Rock Valley Credit Union.  This credit union also placed first in the national competition as well.
  • $100 - $200 million: First place: Streator Onized Credit Union.  This credit union also placed in second in the nationals.  Second place: NuMark Credit Union.  Honorable mentions: Land of Lincoln Credit Unionand Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union.
  • $200 - $500 million: First place: 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.  Second place: GCS Credit Union.  Honorable mention: Financial Plus Credit Union.
  • $500 million - $1 billion: First place:  Great Lakes Credit Union.  Second place: Scott Credit Union.

The Dora Maxwell Award is part of a national recognition program to honor credit unions for their outstanding efforts in community projects and activities.

Finally, the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action was established in 1990 to commend credit unions that make exceptional efforts to include credit union philosophy in their daily operations and member service.  The recipients were:

  • $250 million - $1 billion:  First place:  Great Lakes Credit Union.  Second place: Scott Credit Union.

"The Illinois awards this year really are unprecedented, as a number of years can go by without any of our credit unions placing in the competition, let alone having two in one year!" said Dan Plauda, ICUL President/Chief Executive Officer.  "Congratulations to all who participated."

Call for Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame Nominations
Nominations for the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame are now being accepted through December 31. 

Up to two individuals from the categories described below are eligible to receive this prestigious award.  Each credit union or chapter is entitled to submit one nomination annually. 

The Lifetime Achievement category recognized the special efforts put forth by credit union and chapter volunteers.  It complements the Hall of Fame Leadership Award, which recognizes contributions made on behalf of the credit union movement through statewide or national endeavors.

The League Board Annual Convention Committee will select up to five nominees from each category.  Those nominations will be sent to three out of state judges to determine the final selection.  Inductees will be chosen based on an objective point system and the nominee profile submitted with the application.  Those selected for membership in the Hall of Fame will be inducted during the Keynote & Awards program held in conjunction with next year's League Annual Convention.

Please click here to view the nominating criteria.  If you have any questions regarding the Hall of Fame program, nominating process, or application form, please contact Vicki Ponzo, ICUL Senior Vice President of Member Services, via email or 630-983-3413.

CUAid Activated for Hurricane Sandy Relief
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has activated the online disaster relief system to raise money for credit union people along the East Coast affected by Hurricane Sandy. 

To date, more than $82,000 has been raised through for Hurricane Sandy relief.

Credit union supporters in every state can now make donations at CUAid is the only program of its kind that enables credit union employees, volunteers, and members, as well as credit unions and credit union organizations across the U.S., to contribute directly to support other credit union people.

"To help alleviate the devastating effects of this disaster, we encourage credit union leaders all across the country to use as a channel to collect donations from their employees, volunteers, and members," said NCUF Executive Director Bucky Sebastian. "Everyone who supports CUAid is helping affected credit union people directly with critical needs, longer-term recovery needs, operational needs, and assisting credit union members."

Click here to make a donation 

As donations are posted through, NCUF will coordinate with the credit union leagues in the disaster area to distribute money efficiently to affected credit union employees and members. 100% of the donations through CUAid goes to credit union disaster relief. In the event that all donations are not used for Hurricane Sandy relief, NCUF will transfer any and all unused funds to its "General Disaster Relief fund" for future disaster relief efforts.

CUAid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the Credit Union National Association’s Disaster Preparedness Committee in 2006.

Organizations and individuals can use a variety of CUAid web buttons for their website. Please click here for the easily linkable buttons. Click here for a direct link to the donation form.

Enroll Now for the TurboTax and Jackson Hewitt Member Discount Programs
Time is running out for your credit union to offer the 2012 TurboTax Sweepstakes.

The deadline to enroll in this program is November 16, 2012, so don’t delay. In addition to giving your members a chance to win the TurboTax sweepstakes, you’ll also provide discounts on the top selling TurboTax Federal products.  Enroll in the TurboTax Promoter program by November 16th and CU Solutions Group will provide free custom marketing assistance that includes custom sized web banners and optional delivery of your two required TurboTax emails directly to your members on your credit union’s behalf (emails are sent to the member email list provided by your credit union and sent only after your credit union’s approval).

No action is required if your credit union offered the sweepstakes last tax season.  You will be automatically re-enrolled.  The majority of your members rely on tax professionals each year to help them prepare their tax returns so don’t forget to also enroll in the Jackson Hewitt discount program. Your members will save $30.00 with a printed coupon provided by CU Solutions Group at no cost to your credit union.

Plus, member loyalty will increase when members take save money on their tax services through your credit union. Intuit research has found that 95 percent of members reported feeling favorable toward their credit union for offering TurboTax.

Click here to learn more about these Invest in America Tax Discount Programs and enroll today.  For more information please contact Vicki Ponzo at (630) 983-3413 or Leslie Norush from Invest in America at: (800) 262-6285 ext. 542.

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