The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy July 1!

In case you missed it, how about a special shout-out and congratulations to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Huron, SD, and to Capital Credit Union, Bismarck, ND for making the second annual Forbes' list of America's Best Credit Unions in Each State. This is the second year that Forbes conducted the study that takes a broad look at whose members have the highest opinion of them. According to the Forbes article, credit unions were measured on overall recommendations and satisfaction levels as well as trust, terms and conditions, branch services and digital services and financial advice. There are over 5,000 credit unions in our country and 71 here in the Dakotas that are improving the financial lives of over 115 million members every day. All of you are making a difference! Nice work and well done.

Last Chance for North Dakota credit unions to comment on Temporary Waiver of Appraiser Certifications.

The lack of appraisers and the delay in providing financial services has led Governor Doug Burgum, the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, and the North Dakota Bankers Association to formally request a temporary waiver from the Appraisal Subcommittee. Essentially, the waiver would eliminate the appraiser credentialing requirements for appraisals on federally related transactions under $500,000 for 1-to-4 family residential real estate transactions and under $1,000,000 on agricultural and commercial real estate transactions in the state Dakota for five years.

Many of our members have shared instances where the lack of appraisals in certain markets has caused stress for their credit union and their members. Specifically, our rural markets and the western region have experienced long delays in getting timely appraisal services. Some of it can be attributed to the extraordinary growth and expansion of the energy production industry and the high volume of real estate transactions. The lack of certified appraisers has some of our credit unions seeking appraisal services from several states away, such as Idaho.


Based on your feedback this year, the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas supports the request and believes a waiver is necessary based on the scarcity of certified and/or licensed appraisers available to many of our rural and western members. As of this morning, only one credit union and one bank in North Dakota have submitted supportive letters. Based on March 2019 Call Report information, there are 34 credit unions in North Dakota with 30 offering some form of real estate secured lending. Combined there are 121 main office and branch locations serving over 209,000 North Dakota credit union members, and many of these branches are located in very rural regions of North Dakota.

Please reach out to Amy Kleinschmit at if you any assistance in writing your waiver comment letter.

Upcoming CUAD events to keep in mind!

With the summer flashing by, several of our events will be here before you know it. Please keep in mind these CUAD offerings and their dates:

The Small Credit Union CEO Roundtable will be held on September 5th in Fargo. This is a great opportunity to share, network and have open dialogue with other small CU executives. We’ll have more details on this event in the Memo once registration opens, but for now, don’t forget to save the date September 5th. Hotel and event information is available here.

I hope you have included our annual Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas (CUFD) Golf Scramble in your summer plans on Friday, August 16th at the Jamestown Country Club in Jamestown, ND. All proceeds raised from this event go directly to the CUFD to be used for high school and college scholarships, grants for financial literacy, and to Dakota charities such as Habitat for Humanity, local Red Cross organizations, and more. More information and registration can be found here.


Also coming soon - our CU Professionals Roundtable on August 28 - 29. This event is open to all credit union professionals regardless of title, and it’s a great opportunity to expand your network and bounce ideas and issues around a group of your peers. Amy Kleinschmit leads this meeting, feel free to contact her with any questions. Registration and more details can be found here.

Have a great week, and a happy and safe 4th of July celebration.






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