Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Look Beyond the Bottom Line

Soon, corporate earnings reports and other year-end statistics for 2014 will begin flowing into the media, where they will be parsed by journalists and industry analysts. CUNA Mutual Group’s numbers will be among them, and the company expects excellent 2014 results.

That’s a good sign for the credit union industry as a whole, but it’s more than that. It means CUNA Mutual Group will continue to invest more effort, expertise, and resources on behalf of all credit unions and members, as the company does year after year.

Here’s a look beyond the bottom line—beyond products and services—at some of what CUNA Mutual Group does to support the credit union industry:

Advocacy: Lending a Strong Voice to Credit Unions That Need to be Heard 

Working alongside credit unions and other industry partners, CUNA Mutual advocates for our industry with legislators and regulators at the federal and state levels. Whenever the credit union industry needs to be heard in Washington or in state capitals, CUNA Mutual Group is there.

In March 2014, the IRS reversed its ruling about Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT), resulting in millions of dollars in refunds to more than 200 state credit unions. CUNA Mutual Group’s Larry Blanchard, who chaired the UBIT Steering Committee, has been involved in this fight since 1995, and hundreds of the company’s employees joined in the UBIT effort by contacting their legislators.

The UBIT campaign isn’t unique. In December, CUNA Mutual Group partnered with the National Cooperative Bank to form a national Co-op Coalition to stand together in mutual support as Congress embarks on tax reform. The group is holding monthly meetings, and its early members include trade groups and similar apex organizations of mutual insurance companies, credit unions, cooperative housing, co-op utilities, and worker and agricultural-related co-ops. Blanchard and Charles Snyder, president and CEO of the National Cooperative Bank are co-chairing the coalition.

Research: Fueling Innovation and Growth

CUNA Mutual Group is a founding member of the Filene Research Institute—our industry’s “think and do tank,” and supports The Cooperative Trust, a community of young credit union professionals. The company also sponsors its own research, including the monthly Credit Union Trends Report.

Infrastructure: Investing in the Industry’s Critical Support System

CUNA Mutual Group provides financial and other support for a network of organizations—state leagues, CUNA, CUES, the National Credit Union Foundation, the World Council of Credit Unions, and dozens more—that credit unions use for critical services: training, leadership development, compliance resources, community-building initiatives, and much more.

Community Building: Giving Back, Lending a Hand, Caring

Local, national, and global community groups receive millions each year from CUNA Mutual Group, often in cooperation with credit unions and industry partners.

In addition to schools, neighborhoods, community centers, and food pantries in communities that are home to CUNA Mutual Group offices, the company also supports the United Way, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, Susan G. Komen, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, WOCCU Relief Fund, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, and on and on.

Money isn’t everything, however. CUNA Mutual Group also takes enormous pride in how many hours, how much sweat, and how much care individual employees devote to helping people. It’s a reflection of the credit union ethic of people helping people.

In the end, that’s really what CUNA Mutual Group is: A reflection of the credit unions it serves. It’s hard to quantify that, and it’s unlikely to get much media attention. But it bears repeating every so often.

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates.