Last week’s historic House vote to advance the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was an example of what can happen when the financial services sector works together, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in The Hill Tuesday.
Donovan says the story of how the bill advanced represents some of the best practices in financial services lawmaking, starting with the tenacity of the bill’s sponsors, Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Denny Heck (D-Wash.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio).
“Their efforts were supported by a unified financial services sectors led by credit unions, banks and their associations working together to help Congress and their industries understand that the cannabis banking legislation wasn’t about making cannabis legal, but rather about making sure that legal cannabis business can bank safely,” Donovan writes. “Credit unions and banks working together on Capitol Hill might sound novel, and it certainly makes lawmakers take notice, but it’s not new. We’ve worked together to enact regulatory relief legislation; we stood side by side at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; we’ve even been on the same side of data breach litigation.
“And when we’ve worked together, we’ve almost always achieved a positive outcome for the institutions we represent and the consumers and small businesses they serve,” he adds.
Donovan notes that the success achieved with last week’s vote shows that credit unions and banks working together can tackle “something equally insurmountable, not just ‘run of the mill’ trade issues.”
“Neither banks nor credit unions are strangers to the reputational and financial costs associated hacked accounts and identity fraud,” he writes. “Can our combined efforts pave the way for a long-past-due national data security and privacy package?”
In the weeks leading up to the vote, CUNA President/CEO Nussle and American Bankers Association President/CEO Rob Nichols cosigned an appeal in FOX Business to Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, and the two appeared at a rally celebrating last week’s House passage of the bill. CUNA and the Leagues will continue to work with banking trades to shepherd the legislation through the Senate.