Jim Nussle
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle talks the future of credit unions on the ACUC stage Friday.

Nussle tells ACUC: CUs need to ‘control our destiny’

June 29, 2018

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle presented attendees at America’s Credit Union Conference in Boston with ideas meant to move the credit union system into the future of financial services.

“I want credit unions to control our destiny, using our cooperative superpowers, like we did this year in advocacy,” Nussle said. “Everywhere I go working with credit unions I’m asked the same question: Will credit unions still be relevant in the future, in five, 10, 20 years? My answer, is emphatically ‘Yes!’ But only if we commit to owning our future and using our cooperative superpowers to make it happen.”

Nussle said that, based on his numerous conversations with stakeholders around the country, credit unions are concerned with internal, external and existential troubles. Between data security and compliance (internal); one-size-fits-all legislation, tax attacks and frivolous lawsuits (external); and disruptive competition and the challenge to maintain relevance (existential), credit unions need to take steps to ensure they stay relevant.

“Credit unions use our special credit union cooperative super powers, for one another and our members every day,” Nussle said. “CUNA is on a mission, as the champion for credit unions, to harness these cooperatives superpowers in order to determine the future for credit unions and our credit union members.”

This mission is to deliver:

  • Fierce, bold 360-degree advocacy offense to revolutionize the operating environment for credit unions by expanding powers and removing barriers to serving consumers and businesses;
  • Best-in-class credit union solutions to foster growth, improve operations, manage compliance and enrich member service; and
  • Awareness building consumer engagement to create and enhance consumer awareness of credit unions as their best financial partner.

Nussle pointed to successes that include defending the tax status in Iowa, defending credit unions from frivolous lawsuits and the more than 100 members of Congress calling for a solution from the Department of Justice, closing the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, pushing the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to put a moratorium on new regulations and of course, the signing into law of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155).

“S.2155 is a CUNA and league-led advocacy victory, the first credit union legislation and regulatory reform in a generation. It grants credit unions one-to-four, non-owner occupied residential member business lending relief, and makes positive changes to qualified mortgage status, as well as escrow exemptions and Home Mortgage Disclosure exemptions,” he said. "It's a really good start. We have more to do, but you have to get a good start. And what did we do? Together we conducted 2,000 meetings with policymakers, saw 200,000 visits to our campaign website, sent 56,000 messages to Senators, saw more than 100 million digital impressions nationally, placed 63 op-eds across the country in targeted newspapers and we took our case to the White House and to the President.”

Nussle said these victories are leading to increased future influence for credit unions as momentum builds for future regulatory relief.3

National Journal, in their most recent survey and analysis of Washington policymakers, ranked CUNA as the best advocacy association in all of financial services, and now CUNA is in the top 10 of all national trade associations, Nussle added.

Going forward, Nussle said the goal is to “deliver the credit union difference to a whole new generation of people in America who don’t know who we are, or aren’t giving us a chance to serve them.”

CUNA’s Creating Awareness Initiative was founded to achieve that goal. Nussle said the initiative’s goal is to raise and deploy $100 million over the next three years for a sustainable, equitable and transparent program. Complete details of Nussle’s awareness presentation can be found here.