Credit union leaders continue to highlight the movement’s pro-consumer attributes in the pages of local publications, most recently in Massachusetts, Michigan and Florida. The pieces reinforce the work of CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation, a bipartisan, pro-consumer campaign to achieve regulatory relief through legislative and regulatory advocacy.
In MassLive, Cooperative Credit Union Association President/CEO Paul Gentile responded to bankers’ criticism of credit union growth. Gentile points out that consumers, even bank customers, benefit from the credit union presence in the marketplace.
“Do consumers want to live in a financial world where their only option is a bank? Massachusetts credit unions are a terrific option for consumers and small businesses to consider and rather than the Massachusetts Bankers Association railing against ‘unchecked’ credit union growth, they should focus on serving their customers,” Gentile wrote. “Credit unions do not want to put banks out of business. We believe in a strong banking system and also a strong credit union system.
“We are well aware that consumers and small businesses benefit from competition between banks and credit unions and we welcome it,” he added.
In Grand Rapids Business Journal, Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO Dave Adams calls for the repeal of harmful legislation such as the Durbin Amendment, which required the Federal Reserve to limit fees charged to retailers for debit card processing.
“Credit unions have lost more than $1 billion dollars since the Durbin Amendment went into effect--and this is just from interchange revenue alone. We’ve also seen our compliance costs increase by at least 39% due to regulations in Dodd-Frank, including the Durbin Amendment’s routing provision,” Adams wrote. “This loss of income has real-world impact for smaller community-based financial providers. While some institutions were forced to reduce the number of free checking accounts, there also have been cuts to debit card rewards and higher fees for services.”
Adams also cites multiple studies conducted since the Durbin Amendment was implemented that indicate retailers have failed to pass along their $6 billion-$8 billion “annual windfall” from the Durbin Amendment to consumers.
Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates, laments the one-size-fits-all style of regulating in Florida Politics this week, and highlights how credit unions not only serve their members, but serve as a balance to the Florida economy.
“Protecting consumers from the irresponsible behavior we saw from big banks makes sense. It was not reasonable, however, for [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] to blanket all financial institutions with the exact same regulations, regardless of size,” he wrote. “It is not common sense for Florida credit union members, to pay for the mistakes of the big banks. Something must be done.”