Credit unions advance communities, CUNA CEO Tells Conference Attendees

February 24, 2020

February 24, 2020
Washington, DC

Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Jim Nussle took to the main stage at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Monday morning to address more than 5,000 credit union advocates in attendance during his keynote speech.

“Credit unions advance communities and empower financial well-being,” Nussle told a record-breaking number of attendees during his speech, which was streamed live over Facebook.

While America is experiencing the longest economic growth period in history, statistics show that people across the socioeconomic spectrum are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling with debt.

“The average American has a total of four credit cards in their wallet,” Nussle added. “Americans now owe $14 trillion in debt – that's an average debt of over $136,000 per household.”

Nussle signified how credit unions fulfill their “people helping people” philosophy by advancing communities, fostering financial resilience and investing in main street.

  • Credit unions provide nearly $19 billion in total financial benefit to consumers every year and saved members $14 billion annually.
  • Credit union short-term loans typically have a 400% lower APR than payday loan companies.
  • Credit union commercial loans created over 386,000 jobs in 2019.

More than 5,500 credit union leaders from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and worldwide are in Washington, D.C. this week for the largest credit union event of the year. Nussle highlighted the important role credit unions play in empowering financial well-being for millions of Americans.

Nussle outlined two key industry challenges that lie ahead for credit unions and how CUNA will lead the charge to implement solutions across the movement.

“Americans’ financial well-being is threatened when credit unions can’t do their job,” Nussle said in a discussion regarding efforts from banking lobbyists to the federal tax status. “The financial well-being of our members is hurt when their data is hacked,” he added regarding the recent rise of data breaches that have impacted credit union operations. An estimated 11 billion records have been exposed since 2005.

Placing the power of financial choice in the hands of consumers served as the focal point for the keynote address. Nussle closed with a nod to the rapid growth of the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign which launched in January 2019. With funding commitments of almost $50 million from more than one thousand organizations, the campaign has regularly outperformed its benchmarks and landed in front of consumers more than 465 million times.

*Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews@cumagazine@CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page. 



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 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 To find your nearest credit union, visit