WASHINGTON (7/7/09)—In an influential biweekly publication aimed at association and nonprofit executives, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica was featured as the vigilant “watchman for the credit union industry” amid such challenges as the current push in Washington for regulatory reform, as well as ever-present threats from the banking industry. The interview, which occurred just minutes after Mica attended the White House’s much-anticipated announcement on financial reform late last month, covered a broad range of topics. Among them, CEO Update, sought Mica’s comments on the just-announced administration plan to institute a new financial regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Mica said that some of the reforms the Obama administration has proposed have been “on the tips of the tongues of leaders for some time.” Not so, Mica noted, of the new consumer protection bureau. The CUNA leader said attached to this idea are the biggest concerns, as well as the biggest potential. Mica noted that key people in the banking industry have said they will fight the proposal “tooth and nail.” But Mica cautioned that given the support for the concept among House and Senate leadership and the makeup of Congress, conditions are aligned for “this or something like it” to happen. So what is CUNA’s strategy, the interview queries. Mica responded that the proposal will evolve as it moves through Congress. Instead of going on an all-out attack, CUNA and credit unions should become “a player,” offer input” and “try to find some common ground.” He said credit unions are the likely candidates to help define good public policy to meet both consumer and financial institution needs. “Credit unions are much closer to that than any other group of financial institutions,” Mica said. On the topic of the bad economy’s effect on CUNA’s financial situation, Mica underscored for CEO Update that CUNA’s system ensures that members’ dues dollars, which have remained stable, are directed to core advocacy functions. He acknowledged losses, but noted that they have been experienced though CUNA’s reserves and its defined benefits plan. CEO Update took note of CUNA’s strong track record over the 13 years since Mica took the helm of an almost bankrupt organization and built it into a premier national trade association. Others recently profiled in the CEO Update's "Association Leaders" series have included Dawn Sweeney of the National Restaurant Association and Tracy Mullin of the National Retail Federation.