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2013 CUNA Priorities

With a defined mission of supporting, protecting, unifying and advancing the credit union movement – all focused on a vision of consumers choosing credit unions as their best financial partner – the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has developed a broad scope of priorities for 2013, which are:

Protect and defend the credit union tax exemption
No one will be more vigilant or committed to protecting the tax exemption than will be CUNA; at the federal level and working with the leagues on state tax protection. We know that eliminating the tax exemption effectively eliminates credit unions. It is that simple. Credit unions are the best option for consumers to conduct their financial services – but taxing credit unions eliminates this option entirely.

Reduce the burden -- and improve the environment – of regulation
Credit unions need and deserve regulatory relief. CUNA will work doggedly to press regulators and Congress to contain restrictive rules while urging flexibility for well-managed credit unions. NCUA’s rules will be the focus for a number of our efforts, including seeking improvements in the examination and appeals processes, field of membership and operational enhancements, regulatory reform and authority for well-capitalized credit unions to hedge interest rate risk. As the improving financial health of credit unions continues, CUNA will be in the forefront of urging any new safety and soundness rules, such as the pending loan participation proposal, be applied strategically to address well-documented problem areas, rather than implemented on a system-wide basis.

With regard to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), we will continue to seek improvements in the array of rules Congress directed it to write and to push as vigorously as possible for credit unions to be exempt from new regulatory requirements in areas in which they are already regulated. We are also advocating that the CFPB turn its attention to unregulated entities, such as predatory lenders, and we support changing the criteria and voting threshold by which the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) can overturn a CFPB regulation.

Ensure comprehensive compliance support
Working closely with the leagues, we will assist credit unions in complying with all the new regulatory demands that affect the movement’s continued delivery of high-quality service to members. With a comprehensive program of information and training, CUNA and the leagues will cover the scope of compliance challenges in 2013, and help credit unions deal with those challenges accordingly.

Enhance the credit union charter
Supplemental capital, member business lending and more will be the radar screen for the 113th Congress; and, we will be working with leagues to protect and enhance state charters. With regard to capital issues, we will continue to educate and generate support within the credit union system and raise the issue in the context of Congress’ consideration of bank capital issues (Basel III). With regard to MBLs, we will seek reintroduction of legislation in both chambers to permit experienced credit unions to continue to lend to their small business members; however, we also will consider whether there are legislative and regulatory alternatives that could achieve the same end.

Maintain marketplace flexibility
Credit unions’ ability to set the price points that match the needs and capacities of their members is crucial to their independence as financial institutions. We will oppose new price caps in any aspect of credit union operations, including interchange.

Engage in housing finance reform
A key subject of discussion and debate in the 113th Congress; CUNA will be working to ensure that credit unions have continued access to the housing finance marketplace on terms that are fair and reasonable for credit unions.

Build credit unions’ ‘Plan to Win’
With the leagues, we are implementing a system that will allow the passage of important pro-credit union legislation in the future by adopting a “535-seat” strategy in which credit unions effectively reach out to all members of Congress.

Unveil a new “Strategic Vision” for movement
All of us committed to this movement can unite for good – and that’s the aim of the strategic “Vision” we will unveil this year, by removing barriers, creating awareness, and fostering service excellence.

Enhance our communications to credit unions
CUNA has done a solid job of engaging credit unions and others about what we do – but we want to get better at it by helping all in the movement understand and participate in the three-tier system of CUNA, leagues and credit unions.

Work hand-in-glove with leagues at the state level
Legislative and regulatory advocacy must be pursued at all levels to remove barriers and enhance competitiveness of credit unions; not only state charters but federal charters are impacted by state laws and regulation.

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