Achieving regulatory relief for credit unions requires alliances and teamwork, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in a Credit Union Journal op-ed Friday. Nussle noted that the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), passed by the Senate and awaiting House consideration, is supported by such an alliance.
“From a show-of-force perspective, a coalition succeeds on the united front, moving in concert, and fails on the irresolute weakest link,” Nussle wrote, adding that the thoughtfully crafted, bipartisan bill “reflects a starting point from which the financial services industry may begin to see some degree of regulatory relief,” from the post-financial crisis regulatory climate.
“The vast majority of financial services trade associations support the legislation, not only because it proffers sound solutions for a number of constituent groups, but also for the bipartisanship that has carried through from the drafting process to ultimate passage in the upper chamber,” Nussle wrote. “The notion that any financial services trade association would foolishly attempt to hold hostage the legislation as a scheme to secure something mythically “greater” is not only irresponsible, but — to use the “Battleship” scenario — treasonous, akin to handing over the location data for the fleet.”
He pointed to last year’s discussions on NCUA proposing to close the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, ensuring credit unions get refunds starting this year. CUNA was the only national trade association to agree with NCUA’s plan, which it eventually finalized, and refunds are expected to go out in the third quarter of this year.
“An industry trade actually about-faced and advocated against such regulatory action,” Nussle wrote. “Fortunately, their reckless tactic did not result in sinking the ship, but in a broader arena, like the loose alliance supporting the financial regulatory reform bill, it very well could signal game over.”