WASHINGTON (2/25/14)--During the Credit Union National Association's annual general meeting Monday at the 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference, President/CEO Bill Cheney reflected on a year by highlighted the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign, a grassroots effort that generated millions of contacts with lawmakers.
"Advocacy remains our top priority and protecting the credit union tax status is at the top of the priority list," Cheney said.
Among the 2013 highlights Cheney shared at the meeting:
CUNA, the leagues and credit unions were instrumental in making progress in protecting credit unions from patent trolls. The House passed a bill with several CUNA-supported provisions. Similar Senate action is pending.
Overall in 2013, CUNA testified seven times before six different congressional full committees and subcommittees, on issues including regulatory relief for credit unions, reform of Dodd-Frank, financial literacy and housing finance reform.
The first stand-alone credit union regulatory relief bill in 15 years was reported out of the House Financial Services Committee. It provided parity for credit unions with banks in respect to federal insurance coverage of lawyer trust accounts and other similar accounts.
The Credit Union Legislative Action Council raised more than $2.1 million in 2013, a record for net receipts.
CUNA was among the first groups to call for no more corporate credit union assessments--as early as last summer--arguing that losses had fallen dramatically. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) followed up by announcing in November that there wouldn't be an assessment for 2014.
The CUNA regulatory advocacy team filed 60 comment letters in 2013, to a variety of regulators, including: NCUA, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve Board, Small Business Administration, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Department of Defense, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Department of Housing and Urban ,and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Cheney also noted CUNA ability to work with NCUA, when it must regulate, citing the recent rule on loan participation as example. CUNA, representing its membership, preferred no rule at all but working with leagues and credit unions, Cheney noted, "we submitted strong comment letters outlining our suggestions for change."
"Fortunately, the final rule included many recommendations we sought and is a vast improvement from what was proposed," Cheney said. "It shows what we can do when we effectively voice our concerns."