FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2019
CUNA to FDIC: Credit union-bank merger concerns are inaccurate and misinformed
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) today wrote to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman (FDIC) Jelena McWilliams to express concern regarding remarks made during the December 4, 2019, House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) hearing. McWilliams sated that credit unions buying bank assets could cause negative impact on communities due to the credit union corporate income tax status and the fact that credit unions are not subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
“While still extraordinarily rare relative to the number of bank mergers, credit union-bank transactions take place because they are good business decisions for the parties involved, as well as the consumers, small businesses and communities involved. Consumers benefit by gaining access to strong, responsible community-focused financial services,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote. “Communities benefit because credit unions provide more than $4 billion in indirect consumer benefits, especially in underserved areas that often have no other affordable option for financial services. And, clearly, bank investors benefit, or why would the bank sell in the first place?”
Of the 30+ credit union-bank transactions since 2012, more than 80% have been conducted by credit unions that have a specific focus on low-income families.
In response to McWilliams’ concerns over credit unions and the CRA, Nussle clarified Congressional rationale to exclude credit unions from the law that was enacted in 1977.
“Simply put: banks were redlining and credit unions weren’t. This law was enacted to encourage banks to meet the needs of consumers in their communities that had been intentionally ignored and to reduce discriminatory lending practices, or “redlining,” the ramifications of which still plague our country today,” Nussle wrote. “Since their inception over 100 years ago, credit unions have continually offered full and fair service to their members, including those at low- and moderate-income levels.”
CUNA previously worked with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to alleviate her concerns over credit unions not falling under the CRA, which resulted in a revised CRA reform bill from Warren that did not place credit unions under its authority.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit cuna.org. To find your nearest credit union, visit YourMoneyFurther.com