What are the key legislative and regulatory priorities for CUNA and credit unions? CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney highlighted these goals recently in Credit Union Magazine.
• Obtaining supplemental capital for credit unions. Capital for all financial institutions will be a hot topic for this Congress, as policy makers seek ways to avoid future financial crises by requiring financial institutions to hold more capital than they did before the meltdown.
But CUNA believes the time is ripe to bring forward supplemental capital, and continues to make it clear--through the press and direct communication with policy makers--that credit unions didn’t cause the economic crisis. Credit unions were collateral damage and as the recovery continues, rebuilding capital ratios is vital.
• Expanding business-lending authority for credit unions. CUNA helped build support on this issue with the previous Congress, building support from senators on both sides of the aisle--including the majority leader.
• Encouraging Congress to reconsider the interchange rule. Under the Federal Reserve’s proposed interchange regulations, consumers will end up paying more for financial services from credit unions. CUNA has asked the House Financial Services Committee to hold hearings on the law and the regulations.
In addition, CUNA will focus on addressing NCUA’s budget increases, corporate restructuring, dealing with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and strengthening credit union grassroots outreach.
Another important priority remains: defending the credit union tax exemption. Although there’s no immediate threat, it’s important to pay close attention to all of the discourse about addressing the budget deficit the country faces, which includes discussion about expanding the tax base, and lowering tax rates.
The president’s deficit commission didn’t talk specifically about the credit union tax exemption--but it did touch on tax expenditures, which is how the credit union exemption is translated into the federal budget’s language.