WASHINGTON (4/27/15)--CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle took to the airwaves Friday to highlight the massive costs facing credit unions due to the increasing number of merchant data breaches. Nussle also explained the consumer benefits of regulatory relief measures for credit unions and how easing regulatory burden would help credit unions serve their members even better.
Nussle was interviewed by Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Advantage."
The CUNA leader explained to Quinn and her national audience that merchants are the weak link when it comes to data security.
He highlighted CUNA's efforts, both in Congress and in the courts, to push for stronger merchant standards that protect consumers as well as credit unions and other financial institutions.
"We're saying that somebody has got to put the merchants into a more responsible position, they should be responsible for the data if people are coming and using their credit cards, that needs to be protected," he said. "The same way every credit union and bank must protect the information of its customers, merchants need to do the same."
Nussle added that few breaches occur at credit unions and other financial institutions because of the standards laid out in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but merchants have no such standards.
"This is a situation where the bad guys are getting to the data through merchants, they're not getting into the data through credit unions and banks," he said. "The only way for us to protect it is to make sure merchants have the same standards we have."
Quinn asked about the general outlook for credit unions, and while Nussle said demand for loans is going up, easing of regulatory burdens is essential for credit unions to meet that demand.
"We'd obviously like to see a reduction in the regulatory burden that just adds costs and paperwork and sometimes doesn't allow us to make a student loan or do a mortgage because of the costs," Nussle said. "But we're working with other small financial institutions to work with Congress to try and lessen some of those regulatory issues so we can get more capital out into the marketplace to create jobs."