SACRAMENTO, Calif. (4/16/14)--The collective voice of California credit unions was heard loud and clear in Sacramento April 7-8, as industry leaders from throughout the state took part in the California Credit Union League's (CCUL) 2014 Government Relations Rally.
More than 75 participants traveled to the state capitol to meet and build relationships with the state's lawmakers (
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Among other issues, card security and consumer protection headlined discussions between industry leaders and legislators during the event, as, of course, problems with data breaches persist.
"It's important for the credit union industry to come together and be a stronger voice for consumers," said Donna Bland, CEO, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, with $8.2 billion in assets. "I would hope that today's issue regarding card security would be common ground for all financial institutions. It's not a political issue, it's about consumer protection."
Several bills, including those concerned with the 2015 Europay-Mastercard-Visa (EMV) chip deadline for card issuers and retailers; personal privacy protection; tax credits; and the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) loan payments, also received considerable attention.
"If we don't show up, we could face the unintended consequences of bad legislation," said John Cassidy, CEO, Sierra Central CU, Yuba City, with $671 million in assets. "Our capacity of communicating our message to legislators has never been better, but it needs to continue to grow. Engaging with lawmakers is the way to accomplish this."
"It's crucial you are here and tell your story," added Jan Owen, California Department of Business Oversight commissioner, before the event kicked off (
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Deputy Commissioner of Credit Unions Erick Orellana, in a session co-hosted with Owen, spoke about the financial health of state-licensed credit unions.
While the state-licensed credit unions carry a bit more risk than the average California credit union, Orellana said, they continue to be stable and strong. Financial data keeps improving as well, he said.