WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of credit union advocates from across the country (including YOURS!) descended on Washington last week for the 2018 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference. From high-profile keynote speakers to lessons in advocacy, new ways to get the word out about credit unions, the conference concluded with face-to-face meetings with representatives about important issues that affect our membership and reinforcing the positive impact credit union’s make on their constituents’ financial lives.
Understanding Regulatory Burden
Credit unions accept that they operate in a regulated environment. However, since the financial crisis (which credit unions did not cause) there have been over 200 regulatory changes that have stifled our ability to serve our members. This over regulation favors the largest institutions who can afford to comply with the “solutions” dreamt up in Washington — the very institutions that caused the crisis in the first place.
Advocating for Common Sense Regulations
Member-owned credit unions like yours are focused on our local communities. We know what our members in our communities need better than any bureaucrat in Washington does. Yet the current government regulations limit consumer options and are rigged to favor the big Wall Street banks. It’s time to change that!
How We’re Making Change
Attendees wrapped up the conference with two days of Capitol Hill visits, meeting with representatives including the cosponsors of the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, & Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R). S. 2155 is the regulatory relief bill moving forward in the U.S. Senate this week, with key provisions that help credit unions.
If this bill becomes a law, credit unions and their members will benefit directly in a variety of ways. Credit unions will be able to make the process of getting a mortgage loan simpler and faster. Local communities will have better access to affordable housing as credit unions are able to provide more loans for rental properties. Finally, and most importantly, with less regulatory burden, smaller financial institutions like credit unions can concentrate more on serving their members, rather than spending hours complying with unnecessary regulatory burdens originally intended for Wall Street.
“CUNA, leagues and credit unions have been advocating for common-sense regulation for over a year now and this is the week where we get a crucial vote in the Senate. Our voices helped get this bill to the floor, and now it’s time for Congress to fight for the 110 million Americans who depend on credit unions,” said CUNA President, Jim Nussle. “S.2155 is bipartisan legislation that will protect seniors from elder abuse, make mortgage processing easier and quicker, increase affordable rental housing in our communities and help credit unions provide better service to their members, common-sense solutions that will benefit consumers.”
Regulatory burden currently costs each credit union member household an average of $115 per year. That’s money that could be returned to you by your credit union in the form of:
- lower interest rates
- Higher saving yields
- fewer fees
- better services and products
- more access to modernized technology
Now We Need Your Help!
It is essential for stakeholders (credit unions members!) to contact your representatives in support of this bill. Tell Congress we need common-sense regulations that allow local institutions like credit unions to make decisions that best suit our communities. Together, we can protect and enjoy the benefits of the #CUdifference!