CUs support efforts to protect seniors, serve underserved

March 17, 2022

CUNA strongly supports efforts to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and to encourage responsible decisions regarding financial management, it wrote to the Senate Special Committee on Aging Wednesday. The committee conducted a hearing on building financial inclusion.

“Many credit unions provide a full range of financial services, including financial management, retirement planning, and credit counseling to their members, including seniors and their families,” the letter reads. “Credit unions also provide elder abuse information and additional resources to help consumers, including on the credit union’s websites and with account statements. The member-owner relationship means credit unions dedicate substantial resources to assist members in living healthy financial lives and are in a key position to assist regulators and law enforcement in the deterrence of scams targeting seniors.”

CUNA added that the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act (H.R. 7003) would help credit unions continue to reach underserved areas and small businesses. The bill, introduced last week, would:

  • Allow all federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership,
  • Exempt business loans made by credit unions in low-income areas from the credit union member business lending cap.
  • Expand the definition of a low-income credit union to include any area that is more than 10 miles from the nearest branch of a financial institution.

The letter also notes strong CUNA-League support for the Senior Safe Act of 2018, enacted into law. It protects reporters of suspected elder financial abuse and encourages training to recognize elder financial exploitation.