A CUNA-led charge to remove language putting credit unions on military bases at a potential disadvantage was successful with the removal of Section 2808 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. Specifically, the provision was removed in the conference report of the bill released Monday.
Section 2808 of the House version of NDAA was designed to treat Federal and State chartered insured depository institutions equally, but the legislative definition excluded credit unions. CUNA wrote a letter opposing the provision.
"While we believe this was an unintended drafting error, the blanketed term may have put hundreds of military credit unions in jeopardy," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "Because of their cooperative, not-for-profit structure, credit unions should continue to receive unrestrained but discretionary access to military installations."
Under the Federal Credit Union Act, on-base credit unions are exempt from the costs associated with leases, utilities and services – which includes the furnishing of office space and/or land and ATM placement.
"We are satisfied with the decision of the committee and thank the members of the conference committee for listening to our concerns," said Defense Credit Union Council President/CEO Anthony Hernandez. "As we have stated, this is a complex issue and there are a number of affected parties who have not had adequate time to study the amendment's impact and potential unintended consequences. We look forward to working with the Armed Services committees in the House and Senate in preserving the overall Military Banking Program so that Defense Credit Unions can continue to serve our military members and their families while protecting them from predatory lending practices outside the gate."
"Credit unions provide safe and affordable products to help meeting the needs of America's servicemen and women," Nussle said. "We thank members of the conference committee in helping resolve this issue and look forward to working with Congress to continue to move this forward."
The NDAA could be passed by both chambers as early as this week.