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Arkansas Credit Unions by dcs11730


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									                           Arkansas Credit Union League
                         Product/Service Benefit Statement

About the Arkansas Credit Union League

The Arkansas Credit Union League (ACUL) is the trade association representing the interests of
the Arkansas credit union professionals and volunteers. A trade association is an organization
of persons and/or businesses having a common interest. Within the credit union movement, the
trade associations are often called “leagues”. The ACUL is governed by a democratically
elected board of directors from the credit unions in Arkansas. The league provides the following
services to its member credit unions.

Governmental Affairs/Advocacy

The League’s governmental affairs area is responsible for representing Arkansas credit unions
both at a state and national level. They go before state and federal regulatory agencies, as well
as state and federal government on behalf of Arkansas credit unions. This requires a great deal
of time, experience, and knowledge. This knowledge and expertise is found in the league
lobbyist, Ron Harrod.

Governmental Affairs/Advocacy activities include but are not limited to:

      Monitoring legislation affecting credit unions on both state and national levels

      Lobbying for favorable credit union legislation and against negative legislation

      Promoting credit unions’ interest on the state and national level to such organizations as
       Arkansas State legislature, NCUA, U.S. Congress, and regulatory agencies whose
       decisions impact credit unions

      Help organize ARCULAC (Arkansas Credit Union Legislative Action Committee) and
       ARCUPAC (Arkansas Credit Union League Political Action Committee) fundraising

           o   Both of these organizations are political action committees. A political action
               committee is a group of people with common goals who pool their money in order
               to financially support candidates running for elected office. A PAC supports
               political candidates to represent the interest and views of its members.

           o   ARCULAC – This is the national political action committee the Arkansas credit
               unions use to support CULAC (Credit Union Legislative Action Committee) the
               national PAC for all credit unions run by the Credit Union National Association
           o   ARCUPAC – This is the state political action committee of the Arkansas Credit
               Union League. It is a small donor PAC that supports state level candidates who
               are credit union supporters.

      Organizes credit union managers, volunteers and members for support of lobbying

      Serves as a liaison with CUNA’s Washington, D.C. staff

      Makes credit unions aware of regulatory and legislative alerts and publications that
       specifically address regulatory and legislative issues affecting credit unions and their

      Provides and maintains “League InfoSight”, an online compliance system designed to
       assist credit unions in understanding and complying with the numerous state and federal
       laws and regulations.

      Publishes a weekly compliance newsletter “League InfoSight eNewsletter” for credit
       unions which details the latest compliance issues and training available.

Training and Networking

Your membership with the ACUL gives you access to several reasonably priced training
programs, including distance learning opportunities such as webinars and teleconferences
which eliminate the need and expense of travel, national certificate programs, and state-level
League customized workshops and conferences, including:

      Seminars – programs with a concentration on a specific topic such as compliance,
       lending training, and collections.

      Webinars – Through a cooperative partnership with the Kansas Credit Union League,
       and the Texas Credit Union League, the ACUL has access to a wealth of webinar

      Certification Programs – Teaming with CUNA CPD (Center for Professional
       Development) online, the Arkansas Credit Union League offers computer-based
       recognition programs for staff, management, and volunteers.

           o   Staff Training and Recognition Program (STAR)

           o   Management Enrichment Training Program (MERIT)

           o   Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP)
           o   Regulatory Training and Certification Program (RegTrac)

           o   Certified Credit Union Executive Program (CCUE)

      Quick Bites – The Arkansas Credit Union League works with the Illinois Credit Union
       League to offer phone training through a program called “Quick Bites”. This training
       allows credit union management and staff to participate in quality training courses
       anywhere a phone is available.

      Councils – Credit union professionals are given the opportunity to come together to
       share ideas, concerns, successes and challenges in a cooperative spirit.

      Library – CD Rom training, books and video tapes can be checked out from the League
       so you can provide training at the credit union for your employees. There is no cost for
       this service, and credit unions and check out materials for a period of two weeks.


The Arkansas Credit Union League offers scholarship opportunities to those credit unions that
need assistance with management, staff and volunteer education. One of the League’s most
used scholarship program is for Southwest CUNA Management School. Each year, applicants
to the school can apply to the Scholarship Committee to receive tuition assistance to attend this
three-year school coordinated by the Texas League and held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

NEFE (The National Endowment for Financial Education) High School Financial Planning
Program is a fully developed curriculum that consists of six units designed to teach financial
education to teens. The program is supported by the credit union industry and all materials are
provided at no cost to credit unions and schools. The League has teamed up with the Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service to bring this program to schools across Arkansas free of charge.

In addition to the training above, the League has started a CU At The Top leadership and
management training course. It is a one year life-changing event for emerging credit union
leaders from across the state of Arkansas. This program’s goal is to increase the trainee’s
knowledge and understanding of the economic and social changes affecting credit unions
through practical application of leadership skills and development of expertise in addressing
critical problems facing credit unions today.

Training is focused on:

           o   Basic communication skills

           o   Interpersonal relationships
           o   Networking

           o   Economics

           o   Policy formation

           o   Role of government

           o   Social and cultural understanding

           o   Legislative process

           o   Long-term effects of regulations and rules facing credit union

           o   Current political issues facing our state


The Annual Meeting and Convention as well as the Management Roundtable are held annually
for Arkansas credit unions. The annual meeting is held during the first half of the year, usually
in April, and the Management Roundtable is held during the third quarter, usually in September.
Each of these events provides attendees with many networking opportunities and a variety of
educational sessions instructed by both local and national speakers. The Annual Meeting also
provides vendor exposure through an Exhibit-centric convention schedule.

The League organizes the annual International Credit Union Day event for credit unions and
their employees. Each year, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) sets aside one day
to acknowledge credit unions across the world. On this day, the League sponsors an evening
event so credit unions in Arkansas can come together to network and have a fun-filled evening
while celebrating credit unions worldwide.


Credit unions have a large burden these days with new regulations and changes to existing
rules and regulations almost daily. The League is here to help credit unions with their
compliance issues, if needed, by offering compliance information, updates and resources on a
day to day basis.

The ACUL offers all its member credit unions free access to the online compliance information
site on the League’s website – League InfoSight. The InfoSight provides up-to-date federal and
state regulatory information for credit unions as well as sample policies. This website is
updated any time regulations change or new laws are enacted. In addition, by being a member
of the Arkansas Credit Union League, credit unions have access to other state league InfoSight
information. For example, if a credit union needs to know the collection laws in Florida, they can
access the Florida League’s InfoSight compliance guide in the same online section as the
Arkansas League’s.

The League also publishes a weekly InfoSight eNewsletter that details the latest information
regarding compliance issues. Anyone in an affiliated credit union can sign up to receive this
newsletter by email.

In coordination with Credit Union Resources at the Texas League, the Arkansas League offers a
“Compliance for Hire” program where credit unions can contract with CU Resources to provide
an on-site compliance person to review and update compliance policies as well as assist the
credit union with compliance-related issues that arise. Credit unions can contract for a specific
number of hours of service based on their own need.

ACUL and the LSC (League Service Corporation), Credit Union Resources, Inc. and
CUNA Mutual Group

The Arkansas Credit Union League and the League Service Corporation teamed up several
years ago to bring reasonably priced, quality services to the credit unions of Arkansas. The
LSC is the for-profit arm of the League and holds a number of business relationships with select
partners for the benefit of the credit unions they serve. With credit unions’ affiliation with ACUL,
they can purchase services from the list of partners who have business relationships with the
LSC. Some of them include the following:

          Asset/Liability Management

          CU Employment Resources

          Credit Union Employment Resources

          On-Balance

           o   Strategic Planning Services

          CU Members Mortgage

          Shared Branching Services

          Marketing Resources

           o   Research Services

           o   Annual Meeting Materials

           o   Marketing Services
           o   Member Connect Newsletters
           o   Web Site Design

          Financial and Technology Resources

           o   Financial and Auditing Services

           o   Technology and Compliance Consulting Services

           o   Shared Compliance Resources

          ARCUSO (Arkansas Credit Union Service Organization)

           At a planning session a few years ago, the League board envisioned an organization
           to help credit union members with their indirect lending efforts. Indirect auto lending
           was an idea whose time had come in Arkansas, yet credit unions in the state lacked
           an avenue to make this idea a reality. The League commissioned a task force to
           develop this CUSO concept and ARCUSO was born. The bylaws of the CUSO were
           written, agreements were adopted, and many credit unions invested in the plan.
           Today, ARCUSO is a thriving indirect lender in the state, working as a conduit
           between credit union partners and users and the dealers who have vehicles to sell.
           The LSC is one of the owners of the CUSO.

Arkansas Credit Union Foundation

The Arkansas Credit Union Foundation was founded in 1999. It represents the charitable arm
of the Arkansas Credit Union League. It was established as a 501(c) 3 non-profit, public

The Foundation was created to administer the collection and disbursement of funds for general
charitable and educational uses that benefit the Arkansas credit union system. It truly
expresses the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” through offering assistance to
credit unions and credit union members for educational scholarships, operational grants, and
disaster relief.

Disasters such as the Clinton, Arkansas tornado and the tornado in Mena were targeted by the
Foundation for disaster relief funds. Also, organizations that work closely with disaster victims
such as the American Red Cross and the Mena Regional Hospital Employee Disaster fund have
also been recipients of funds as well as individual credit union members who have been
personally touched by devastating circumstances. The Foundation has also played a key role in
raising funds for the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi,
and Texas.
Education has a major role in the Foundation’s philanthropic plan. The Foundation works with
AETN (Arkansas’ educational television network), to sponsor the nationally recognized and
highly honored program called Biz$Kids. This program airs weekly on AETN, and it teaches
junior high school students about finances and entrepreneurship.

In addition to Biz$Kids, the Foundation has sponsored several NEFE training workshops for
Arkansas teachers. These programs help familiarize teachers with the materials and
encourages them to use the information in planning their curriculum for the coming school year.
It is filled with helpful suggestions, teaching tools, and detailed lesson plans.

Scholarships have played a major role in the success of the Foundation since its inception.
Educational scholarships have been given to qualifying credit unions in Arkansas to help further
employees’ credit union education and to build tomorrow’s leaders. The Foundation makes
scholarships available to employees who attend the Southwest CUNA Management School as
well as the CU at the Top program.

Find A Credit Union

The Arkansas Credit Union League offers affiliated credit unions access to the nationwide
program called Find A Credit Union. This program links Arkansas’ credit unions with credit
unions across the country in an effort to match a credit union with a potential member via the
Internet. Every affiliated credit union has a unique ID number and password to use with this
program. They can enter their fields of membership information, geographic information, branch
locations, etc. into the national database that searches every time anyone accesses the
FindACreditUnion icon on participating League websites. This site locates any and all potential
credit unions that an individual might have the opportunity to join. It also sends a notice back to
the credit union with the pertinent information for that individual. FindACreditUnion is an
excellent way to enhance your membership opportunities.


eNewsletter: Each month the League publishes an eNewsletter to credit unions. This
publication is filled with the latest information highlighting Arkansas credit unions, chapter
events, and sharing legislative news. It is used to let credit unions know about upcoming
events, educational sessions, and to disseminate important information regarding regulations
and laws passed.

ACUL website: The Arkansas Credit Union League maintains a website located at This website is updated to reflect the latest information pertinent to credit unions.
It has a section for Members Only that highlights educational programming and handouts, a
compliance section that offers credit unions access to League InfoSight, and information on
asset/liability management as well as information on the Foundation, chapters, governmental
affairs, etc.
Credit union staff and volunteers have access to the Members only section of the website
through a unique log-in and password. Any affiliated credit union can sign up for access.

Cooperative Advertising and Branding

Credit unions in Arkansas are a well-capitalized, safe, and secure option for consumers. People
simply do not realize the numerous benefits that come with being a credit union member. The
League organized a committee to operate a statewide cooperative advertising and branding
campaign. The goal of the campaign is to educate the people of Arkansas about credit unions
and our role in the financial marketplace. Consumers need a better understanding of what
credit union membership can do for them, and together the credit unions and the League help
send this message.
Credit Unions of Arkansas: “A Great Fit For Life” runs ads on television, radio, and billboards in
order to spread the message statewide. A media and consumer friendly web site was set up,, to spread the great fit for life message, and all television and public
service announcements are displayed on the website. There is also a pod cast as well as a link
for consumers to hunt for a credit union they can join.

Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Credit Union League developed a program a few years ago to honor individuals
who have devoted their lives to the credit union movement, and especially to credit unions in the
state of Arkansas. Criteria was developed and credit unions across the state were encouraged
to nominate someone for this special recognition. A number of individuals have received this
prestigious honor in years past, and many more will be honored in years to come.

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