In early January, CUNA, our league partners, and credit unions across the country launched the Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation.
The campaign aims to take advantage of a favorable political climate by activating the full breadth of the credit union industry—CUNA, leagues, credit unions, and their members—to target and reduce excessive regulations promulgated by regulators in Washington that harm your ability to fully serve members.
The new Congress and administration have been vocal about creating regulatory relief. As an industry, we must be ready to leverage this environment to make a difference for our members.
That’s why we’re marshaling our collective resources for this campaign. We have a great opportunity— unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory—to improve the credit union operating environment so you can serve your members in an even greater way.
Together, CUNA and the leagues already lead the charge on Capitol Hill. We have been meeting with top congressional leaders and new White House staff for months to communicate issues of importance to credit unions and their members.
While we canvass D.C. to organize additional support for credit union priorities, what the Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation needs most right now is your participation.
Beyond CUNA/league advocacy, we need credit union CEOs, board members, and employees to attend events such as the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, league Hike the Hill visits, and any other opportunities throughout the year to interface with lawmakers.
Just as important, we need your members to understand how regulatory burden affects them. The better you can educate members about the issues facing your credit union, the greater the chance they will support our advocacy work.
Let me tell you, when I served in Congress, no message influenced my decision making more than when I heard from my constituents—whether by mail, phone, or in person.
That’s why it’s critical for you to tell your story about the serious need for regulatory relief right now.
As part of this campaign, we’re urging credit union leaders to write op-eds in local publications to publicly call for Congress to curb the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s flawed rule making and to ensure lawmakers understand that excessive regulations strain the consumer-friendly products and services credit unions provide.
Share with the people you serve every day how credit unions can do more to meet member and community needs if Congress enacts measures that protect credit unions from the one-size-fits-all regulations written for the big banks.
When possible, encourage members to get involved in this campaign. CUNA’s Member Activation Program, a tool designed to help you educate and activate your members, is the right place to start.
Through this program, we’ll send you informative messages you can pass along to your members about how excessive regulations cost them money. Then, we can send them directions on how to get involved and make a difference for the movement, of which they are a crucial part.
In the end, this advocacy campaign’s success will depend squarely on widespread industry engagement, from credit union members to CUNA and league advocacy staff. We need millions of credit union voices raining down on Capitol Hill.
To begin laying the groundwork, late last year I met with Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking Democratic member of the Senate Banking Committee, to discuss channels through which we can, together, push legislation that will achieve substantive relief for credit unions.
When Congress begins to work in earnest on regulatory relief proposals this year, we need to be ready because others will attempt to block these common-sense reforms. That’s why we need your involvement. This is our big chance.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO of CUNA.