CUs must be designated essential services on state, local level

March 23, 2020

It is vitally important credit unions be designated essential services during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, CUNA wrote to state leadership organizations Monday.

The Treasury issued guidance earlier designating financial services as essential critical infrastructure last week, and CUNA’s letter urges state leadership organization members to include credit unions in any policy their state or locality might enact to ensure they are designated as essential services.

“Credit unions continue to help their members and communities through this economic uncertainty. From suspending loan payments to providing low interest short term loan options and financial counseling, our credit unions are proving real solutions and critical services to many who have been caught off guard by this crisis,” the letter reads. “More than 2,100 credit unions, serving nearly 46 million members, have a primary field of membership that includes school, military, health care, police, fire, transportation, utilities, and government employees. These credit unions and others are serving members who are on the front lines of helping to keep others safe during this crisis.”

CUNA’s ongoing dialogue with Leagues and credit unions has shown that many credit unions have already implemented emergency programs such as modifications to existing loans, fee waivers, new loan products, financial counseling, debt consolidation; as well as also increasing ATM/debit card limits and offering new lines of credit for small business borrowers.

The letter was sent to heads of the National Governor’s Association, National League of Cities, National Association of Attorneys General, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of State Treasurers and American Legislative Exchange Council.