Advocacy focus on CU members’ financial wellness in 2020

January 13, 2020

The victories won by CUNA, Leagues and credit unions in 2019 have paved the way for 2020, says CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. Speaking on the latest episode of the CUNA News podcast, Donovan noted that credit unions will look to highlight the credit union difference in 115 million American lives to policymakers.

“We take two things into account when developing our advocacy agenda. The first is what we’re hearing from credit unions, and we try to balance that with the political realities we’re working with,” Donovan said. “In 2020, we’re trying to build our agenda on the foundation of financial wellness, we want to talk to policymakers about how credit unions are working to address financial insecurity, improve financial health and advance financial inclusion.”

Donovan noted that this is a shift away from the previous emphasis on simply alleviating costs or pushing for “common sense” regulation.

“Right now, members of Congress are concerned about how policy will affect their constituents, so we want to make sure we’re talking about how credit unions are the solution to the financial problems facing millions of Americans,” he said. “We’re looking at policy proposals through the lens of: will it help credit unions continue to be a solution, or will it make it harder to be that solution?”

The four pillars of CUNA’s advocacy agenda in 2020 are:

  • Reduce regulatory burden so that credit unions have access to more efficient and affordable financial services from credit unions;
  • Expand and protect credit union powers and opportunities so that consumers and small businesses can more easily access the credit union services they need and demand;
  • Enhance information security to ensure credit union member data is protected from cyberattacks and data breaches; and
  • Preserve the credit union tax status so that credit union members continue to enjoy not-for-profit cooperative financial services.

Donovan also noted, since 2020 is an election year, CUNA, League and credit union advocacy efforts will take advantage of the election process to both educate candidates and voters.

“We want all candidates to come into office with a strong understanding about what makes credit unions different and why it’s critical to have credit unions in the marketplace,” he said. “We’ll be partnering with Leagues and credit unions to make sure we know the candidates and that they learn about what we do and how we do it.”

Hear Donovan go into detail about this year’s advocacy agenda, and discuss 2019 victories, the upcoming CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and more in the latest episode of the CUNA News podcast.