One Credit Union's CUSOs & What They Do

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SALEM, Ore.-Here are the CUSOs MaPS Credit Union's wholly owned or partially owned CUSOs:

CUWireless-Provides affordable wireless phone plans to members, and to members of other CUs, by buying in "bulk" and reselling services at a discount. Plans range from $9.99 a month to $34.99 for 400 minutes. CUSO generates income for MaPS CU, and CU partners, which earn a commission. Also offers a text banking product.

Willamette Business Group-Business lending CUSO, including loan participations. Originally a wholly owned CUSO of MaPS, the MBL cap led to creation of multi-owned CUSO that now has 11 investor credit unions, while MaPS is the majority shareholder.

Advanced Reporting-An employment and tenant background screening company that offers services to credit unions, property management companies and other employers in need of third-party background screening.

Fi-Linx-A MaPS-owned CUSO whose primary product is deposit reclassification software that allows CUs to limit their reserve requirements by analyzing depository accounts and classifying them as Transaction or Savings accounts based on Reg D. MaPS said most credit unions "over reserve" due to the fact they classify all checking accounts or accounts with debit cards attached as transaction accounts, when in fact the accounts do not qualify as transaction accounts. MaPS itself was able to free up approximately $30 million in reserve requirements, which in turn earned an additional $120,000 in interest income per year.

Member Building Partners. A CUSO that gives MaPS' members the opportunity to increase their ownership of the credit union by actually owning a share of the building. Members earn a return of 6.5%.

MaPS Insurance Services-Offers consumer insurance lines.

Credit Union Insurance Alliance-An insurance brokerage designed to provide insurance and fee income solutions to its investor/owners (including other CUs) via two primary mechanisms: shared brokerage commission with investors in a 75/25 split, with 75% being returned to the credit union whose products are being placed through the Alliance. Second, it aggregates insurance lines and fee income products in order to gain leverage in the negotiation of rate and product. Currently the Alliance has more than 17 credit union investors, with a combined asset size of $8.6 billion and 844,400 members.

MaPS Advisory Services-Offers investment advisory services.

MaPS also is part-owner of other CUSOs, such as Ongoing Operations (NACUSO's CUSO of the Year) and Co-Operative Payroll Solutions, a payroll processing CUSO based at Allegacy FCU in Winston-Salem, N.C., which offers discounted payroll processing services. As an investor, MaPS receives a patronage dividend for using the services and also shares the net income. MaPS CU is saving approximately 50% off what its former payroll processor charged.

Descriptions courtesy of Jill Nowacki, VP of development for MaPS CU, and David Deckelmann, VP of operational subsidiaries for MaPS Service Agency, a holding company that operates many of MaPS' CUSOs.

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