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MnCUN international visitors meet on CU difference
ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/7/11)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) welcomed participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) to its St. Paul office Friday.
Click to view larger image The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) hosted participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program Friday. Mark D. Cummins (left), MnCUN president/CEO, provided participants an overview of the credit union difference and how credit unions are structured during their visit to MnCUN’s office.
Click to view larger image Hiway FCU President Jeff Schwalen (second from right) described the credit union cooperative model, how profits are passed on to members, and the benefits of shared branching to participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program during the group’s visit to the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s office. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Seven professionals--from Argentina, Bulgaria, Israel, Malawi, Oman, the People’s Republic of China and Sri Lanka--visited MnCUN to learn more about credit unions, their role in communities, and initiatives for financial recovery. The purpose of the group’s nearly three-week visit to the U.S. was to investigate how other countries can help integrate of emerging markets into the world economy, to learn about efforts to strengthen the global economy, and to gain a better understanding of the relationship between U.S. and foreign financial systems. Participants learned the role credit unions play in the U.S. financial industry. MnCUN staff provided an overview of the network’s purpose and explained the differences between credit unions and banks. The IVLP participants asked how the economic crisis affected U.S. financial institutions. Mark Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO, explained that while a few credit unions were severely affected during the financial crisis, the impact was more greatly felt within the banking industry. Credit unions now have the opportunity to expand their market share and grow business lending, an area where banks continue to struggle, Cummins said. The seven visitors asked about how credit unions are regulated and how they operate. Jeff Schwalen, president of Hiway FCU, St. Paul, answered questions and talked about the credit union cooperative model, how profits are passed on to members and the benefits of shared branching. Following its visit to MnCUN, the group visited South Metro FCU in Prior Lake, Minn. to learn more about credit union operations and the services they offer. During their U.S. trip, IVLP participants also visited New York, Boston and Charlotte, N.C.


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