Credit unions nationwide continue their local media pushes to highlight credit unions’ pro-consumer mindset, while highlighting additional benefits that would come with common-sense regulatory relief. This efforts coincide with CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation, launched this year as a bipartisan, pro-consumer effort to push for regulatory relief on both legislative and regulatory fronts.
Brad Douglas, president/CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association, wrote to The Missouri Times explaining how ending the Durbin Amendment would help consumers. The Durbin Amendment requires the Federal Reserve to limit fees charged to retailers for debit card processing.
“Financial institutions dealing with interchange fee limits have faced hard choices to offset costs. As a result, many consumers have seen higher fees or the elimination of debit card rewards as a direct result of this amendment,” Douglas wrote. “Small financial institutions like credit unions were supposed to be exempt from the price controls part of the law. However, Federal Reserve data shows it impacts credit unions anyway. For credit unions, the Durbin Amendment has led to a $1.1 billion drop in funds available to provide needed loans, services and better rates to consumers. Once again, it is hard-working Americans who are affected.”
Douglas added that ending the Durbin Amendment is a “common sense solution to stopping the growing regulatory burden that hurts consumers instead of helping them.”
At Al.com, League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine continued his efforts to explain why credit unions shouldn’t be punished for the mistakes of big banks. He previously wrote to Florida Politics with a similar message.
“Massive one-size-fits-all regulations have been detrimental to many Alabama credit unions, with limited resources as not-for-profit financial institutions. It is simply not reasonable to treat behemoth financial institutions the same way as not for profit, member-owned and governed credit unions,” he wrote. “How can the big banks collapse the economy and emerge in even better shape than the credit union industry that safeguarded its members all along? This is unjust.”
La Pine cited CUNA research that estimates that Alabama credit unions provided more than $140 million in direct financial benefits to the state's 1,973,619 members during the 12 months ending September 2016. These benefits are equivalent to $71 per member or $135 per member household.
Should regulatory burden for credit unions be eased, Mark Kelly, president/CEO of Oklahoma Employees CU, Oklahoma City, Okla., said credit unions are ready to increase service to consumers.
During an interview with The Oklahoman, Kelly shared the story about how excessive regulations are harming his credit union’s ability to serve its members.
“The regs have tied our hands and hurt our relationships with borrowers. As just one example, we have a rural customer whose son is a farmer and she, on his behalf, repeatedly borrowed 50% of the value of her home, which she regularly paid back two years later,” he said. “But because of the new regs, we haven't had the manpower to send anyone out to do her house appraisal; it takes longer to appraise her home and get the loan and all the verification.”