State league efforts to enable more credit unions to receive public deposits took a step forward this week with the Minnesota Credit Union Network signing a pact with a Milwaukee vendor, American Deposit Management LLC, which helps broker, process and deposit the funds.
Under a strategic partnership agreement with the Minnesota trade group, ADM said it has already started advising credit unions in the state on optimum procedures to gain the deposits at favorable rates acceptable to school districts, city and county bodies, water utilities and other entities. The firm said it provides full FDIC/NCUA insurance through its network.
ADM, which already serves a nationwide clientele of banks with a smaller number of credit unions, said the Minnesota pact is a noteworthy expansion of its efforts as it seeks to reach credit unions in other states as a registered municipal adviser.
“We understand the current condition of the economy with many credit unions flush with deposits but this kind of climate will change and we are ready to help those smaller credit unions that simply may need the deposits right away to fund loans,” said Kelly Brown, owner and managing partner of ADM, which has headquarters in Milwaukee and a satellite branch in the Twin Cities.
Brown acknowledged that her firm helped play a key role in the passage by Minnesota lawmakers last April of the Public Deposits Bill. The measure, which clarified the acceptance of public funds by credit unions, passed both houses by overwhelming margins.
Brown said her firm services 500 financial institutions, 10% of which are credit unions, also has received top vendor status from the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
“We are very indebted to the Wisconsin League for their expert work in helping credit unions on public funds and directing us to the Minnesota League to assist in lobbying that legislature” said Brown. The firm now expects to contact other leagues across the U.S. on similar deposit placement services.
In the current economic environment, she said fund safety trumps rate among public agencies making deposits in financial institutions. That makes it all the more important that credit unions understand the basics of deposit solicitation and acceptance, she said.
In Wisconsin “five school districts lost millions in 2008 after investing in risky funds,” she said, noting the negative political fallout has engendered more conservative attitudes by the agencies which might have shied from using credit unions.
“It was a public relations nightmare for them and scared those public agencies about how they invest taxpayer moneys,” Brown said.
MnCUN said four of its credit unions currently used the service: the $3.6 billion Wings Financial CU, Apple Valley; the $739 million TruStone Financial CU, Plymouth; the $244 million Richfield-Bloomington CU, Richfield; and the $44 million Star Choice CU, Minneapolis.