Placing Credit Unions Under CRA Harms Consumers

September 25, 2018


CONTACT: Lauren Williams – CUNA Communications; (202) 626-7642;   

Washington, DC (September 25, 2018) – Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act that would require credit unions to be examined for compliance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is speaking out against the proposed bill as it would ultimately harm America’s credit unions.   

Over the past 40 years, Congress has considered whether CRA should apply to credit unions, and consistently maintained the determination that such application is not only unnecessary, but counter-intuitive given the member-owned nature of credit unions.   

“Credit unions have not and do not engage in the discriminatory lending activity that prompted Congress 40 years ago to enact the Community Reinvestment Act.  Therefore, it makes no sense to subject them to the type of punitive requirements that banks with a history of redlining must follow,” said President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions who deliver $15 billion in benefit to consumers every year.  Make no mistake: this bill would jeopardize this benefit and the ability for credit unions to serve their members.  It will make it more difficult for low and moderate-income borrowers to access credit from credit unions.” 

The argument that CRA should apply to credit unions has been largely driven by Wall Street banks, in an effort to undermine the credit union tax status, and ultimately, eliminate the credit union charter as a form of banking competition. Placing credit unions under CRA would also increase regulatory requirements, causing the National Credit Union Administration to increase its staff and resources for examination.  

CUNA implores Congress to consider the nature of credit unions who offer traditional retail, consumer-facing financial services – unlike bank holding companies, broker-dealers, investment or private banks who provide funding for high net worth individuals. Credit unions are financial cooperatives that exist solely to provide pooled funds for member-owners.   

Recent data from CUNA provides a snapshot of the consumer-focused operating system of credit unions and further demonstrates that credit union lending has continued through troubled economic times.  


About CUNA:        

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 110 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