Va. league-backed prize-linked savings bill headed to gov.

February 18, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (2/19/15)--Two credit union bills in Virginia, including one that would allow credit unions to offer prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts, passed the Virginia House this week and now await the signature of Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

PLS accounts encourage healthy savings behavior by offering members entries into cash raffles each time they put away a set amount of money into savings. Members don't risk anything because, even if they don't win, they keep all the money they have saved.

The bill that would allow Virginia's credit unions to offer these accounts, SB 737, passed in the House unanimously.

"It's been a good General Assembly session for credit unions, and we're pleased that our bill to allow credit unions and banks to offer prize-linked savings programs is headed for the governor's desk," Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League, told News Now. "Credit unions still embrace our mission to promote thrift and savings, and the authority to offer prize-linked savings programs is simply another opportunity to help our members develop and maintain a savings habit."

The second bill, SB 875, will ease regulatory burden for credit unions related to ATM services, the league said.

"We're also pleased that we're approaching final passage of a bill introduced on our behalf to cut red tape with regard to the placement of ATMs," Pillow said. "Current law requires state-chartered financial institutions to notify state regulators any time they want to place or remove an ATM, which is something federally chartered institutions and others were not required to do. Our bill eliminates that notification requirement, creating parity for our state institutions."

Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) and Dels. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem) and Kathy Byron (R-Forest) introduced the bills in the House and the Senate for the league.

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