As CUNA’s bipartisan, pro-consumer Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation gets underway, CUNA and state leagues are taking to publications across the country to highlight the number of ways credit unions are fighting to better serve consumers. League efforts in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio have led to recent articles on how credit unions can better serve consumers through regulatory relief.
Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, wrote an op-ed that appeared on MassLive.com decrying bank efforts to undermine the NCUA’s recent regulatory relief efforts.
“Their efforts against credit unions is nothing more than a money grab at the expense of consumers,” Gentile wrote. “Credit unions were founded to allow designated groups of individuals to pool their savings to provide each other safe and affordable credit, particularly when banks were unwilling or unable.”
Gentile goes on to highlight how the overall health of the credit union industry has allowed credit unions to continue to lend through various financial crises, offering lower fees and higher interest rates. He also adds that the rules approved by the NCUA are meant to help credit unions keep pace with changing demographics, including an estimated growth in population by 200 million since the 1934 passage of the Federal Credit Union Act.
David Frankil, president/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League, takes a similar position in an op-ed published in the Daily Record. Frankil takes issue with bank challenges to the NCUA’s regulatory relief rules, and the negative effects the challenges have on consumers.
“Here is what [bankers] are really afraid of losing: A world in which they control most of the marketplace, charging exorbitant fees, and inflating interest rates without fear of an alternative putting pressure on them to treat their customers properly,” Frankil wrote. “That is why their lawsuit against these new rules is meritless, and can only be construed as an affront to consumers.”
Patrick Harris, vice president for government affairs for the Ohio Credit Union League, called for additional regulatory relief from the Dodd-Frank Act in an article published in Columbus Business First. Harris highlighted the negative effects stemming from the Durbin Amendment, part of the Dodd-Frank Act that limits fees charged for debit card processing.
“While institutions with less than $10 billion in assets were ‘exempt’ from the amendment, the Durbin price controls imposed significant additional costs on smaller financial institutions due to the volume of debit transactions they handle,” Harris wrote. “It’s more difficult for credit unions and other smaller financial institutions to absorb the costs of maintaining the payments system and various other services when their revenue from interchange was essentially cut in half.”