The Nussle Report – Stay active in districts

By Jim Nussle, CUNA President & CEO08.11.2017

Stay active in-district and share your story: As August rolls on, I urge credit unions across the country to stay engaged in our grassroots advocacy efforts while members of Congress are at home on recess. New Hampshire credit unions joined together for a strong meeting with Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) last week to discuss the need for regulatory relief, among other credit union priorities. Thanks to the Cooperative Credit Union Association and the credit unions in attendance for their leadership. It will take efforts like these to pass regulatory relief legislation in the Senate. And if you meet your lawmaker, please share your story!  

CUs now possess 2nd-largest branch network: I was excited to learn that, thanks to CO-OP Financial Services, credit unions now boast the second-largest network of branches in the United States. At 5,671 branches we recently topped No. 3 Chase. The next step is ensuring consumers know the convenience of credit union membership no matter where they live. We hope to accomplish that with our Credit Union Awareness Initiative, which continues to make progress toward establishing a program that creates top-of-mind consumer awareness of credit unions and all they offer.

CUs standing out at massive lawmaker event: Credit unions are on full display this week at the National Conference of State Legislators Legislative Summit in Boston. CUNA, leagues, credit unions, AACUL, and CUNA Mutual are all on hand to raise awareness of our movement and the issues we face. Credit union leaders have also participated in several panel discussions during the event, including Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer, who spoke about our Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation. Thanks to the Cooperative Credit Union Association for spearheading this year’s efforts.

CUNA’s response to the CFPB’s overdraft research: Treating credit union overdraft products the same as bank products—as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done in a recent report—is incredibly inappropriate and yet another example of the Bureau’s problematic one-size-fits-all approach to regulations. The CFPB conducted a study of only the largest banks for this report without considering services offered by other financial institutions. We will work closely with the Bureau to illustrate the differences so as not to create more regulatory burden for our industry.

Our concerns with NCUA’s merger proposal: We submitted our concerns to NCUA about its proposal to amend merger rules for federal credit unions this week. We strongly believe that any new rules should not amplify the burden for either the merging or acquiring credit union. We certainly believe members must have all the information necessary to make informed decision about mergers, but NCUA’s proposal was overly prescriptive and does little to help members in making those decisions. Thank you to the Small Credit Union Committee for their work and input on our comment letter.  

CUNA backs NCUA changes to appeals, SRC processes: CUNA generally supports the new rules proposed by NCUA that would change the appeals process for the NCUA Board and for the supervisory review committee. We wrote in response to those rules this week. Ultimately, we believe the new procedures would lead to greater consistency and clarity for credit unions in how they appeal regulations, which is certainly a positive goal.  

Thank you, Bill Hampel: After nearly 40 years of service, longtime credit union champion and advocate Bill Hampel, CUNA’s chief policy officer, will retire next week from the Credit Union National Association. Since beginning his career with CUNA in 1978, Bill has proceeded to improve and shape the credit union industry in remarkable and innumerable ways, including as CUNA’s interim president/CEO before I joined the organization. The credit union movement is stronger and more vibrant because of your service, Bill. Thank you.

Shoutout of the week: Congratulations to the coalition of credit unions, facilitated by the National Credit Union Foundation, that raised funds to launch the sixth season of the award-winning financial education program Biz Kid$. This effort by the Foundation and credit unions nationwide will bring all episodes of the series back into rotation on public television, demonstrating to a wide audience credit unions’ dedication to financial education and raising greater awareness of our movement.

One final note, Thursday marked the 83rd anniversary of the Credit Union National Association! We are so proud of our work promoting, supporting, protecting, unifying, and advancing the credit union movement over all these years. Stay engaged with us as we drive the movement to even greater heights for years to come.