As the year winds down, your 1CUNA team is busy developing our agenda for next year.
We’ll build on this year’s strong foundation, using core ideas to guide our work on your behalf. CUNA’s purpose continues to be to support, protect, unify, and advance the best interests of credit unions.
Credit union advocacy is job one for us and a united CUNA/league system can amplify our individual strengths to achieve even more. It’s also true—and I know we can do better here—that we must understand, anticipate, and respond to the needs of our members.
You deserve value, results, and accountability from us.
It’s in this spirit that I offer a report card on our advocacy work:
• Field of membership: Based on a strong CUNA push, NCUA reduced by two months the process for expanding community credit union charters. We’re expecting a more significant and comprehensive proposal from the agency.
• Trade bill tax reporting: We opposed congressional efforts to assess fees and a new regulatory burden on credit unions to pay for the trade bill. Legislators removed those provisions from the bill.
• Member business lending (MBL): As a result of our outreach, NCUA removed all business lending requirements not required by law, a big win in the name of regulatory relief. We keep pushing for Congress to pass a number of bills to raise the MBL cap that’s limiting many credit unions.
• Regulatory relief: Seventeen CUNA-supported pro-credit union bills passed the House Financial Services Committee with more on the way.
The Senate Banking Committee approved a significant regulatory relief bill with 15 pro-credit union provisions, three specific to us. And the Senate Financial Services appropriations bill also included this relief bill.
• Credit union tax status: The push to reform the tax code continues in public policy debates.
Thanks to CUNA’s strong 360-degree advocacy approach at every turn in this debate, there’s no mention of changing credit unions’ not-for-profit status.
• Risk-based capital (RBC): CUNA’s partnership with leagues and credit unions brought about significant changes from NCUA’s first RBC proposal in 2014.
The second proposal, while still a solution in search of a problem, minimized the effect the agency’s action would have on credit unions.
• Supplemental capital: While we advocated for supplemental capital to be part of NCUA’s RBC work, we expect a major separate proposal on this from NCUA soon.
• Transportation network companies (TNC): CUNA/league advocacy led to positive changes on Capitol Hill and many state capitals to better protect credit unions whose members use their vehicles to drive for TNCs.
• CFPB Advisory Council: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Credit Union Advisory Council includes six of eight CUNA-recommended nominations. This representation will bring valuable perspective to the bureau and, hopefully, will influence CFPB decisions.
• Overdraft protection: Working ahead of anticipated new rules from regulators, our advocacy efforts continue to educate policy makers about how credit unions offer these benefits in ways that are fundamentally different from other financial service providers.
• A grassroots network of 8,000 credit union activists: CUNA’s achievements depend greatly on the strong engagement you have with public officials in Washington and back home.
Between Hike the Hill events, the GAC, and other direct contacts with state and federal lawmakers, nearly 8,000 CUNA/league credit union activists met with public officials, bringing grassroots credit union voices to Capitol Hill and state capitals throughout the year.
Thank you for your continued engagement with and membership in CUNA and our united league system.
JIM NUSSLE is CUNA's president/CEO.