WASHINGTON (6/12/09)—As the financial services world awaits an expected June 17 announcement by the Obama administration regarding details of its regulatory reform plan, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) representatives met with new U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael Barr to discuss credit union issues. Regulatory restructuring, corporate credit union stabilization issues, increased member business lending authority and access to secondary capital were among the topics CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica raised with Michael Barr. Mica emphasized that the credit union system overall is strong and well-capitalized, but noted the economy has affected credit unions in several states. The CUNA leader also stressed the importance of an independent regulatory agency for credit unions, with a workforce that is well-trained, professional and highly competent. He discussed a number of other issues, including avenues for additional capital for some credit unions in need. "As a former official at Treasury in the Clinton administration, the author of a number of consumer financial publications and a financial institutions law professor, Mr. Barr returns to the agency with a keen understanding of the financial marketplace,” Mica said following the meeting. He added, “I was pleased that he wanted to hear about our concerns and wants to engage CUNA in an ongoing dialogue on significant issues impacting financial institutions and the credit union system.” The Treasury Department can play a critical role in credit union legislation and, sometimes, regulation. “Maintaining a positive relationship with the agency is a high priority for CUNA,” Mica noted. Other Treasury officials at the meeting included new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection Eric Stein, and Mario Ugoletti, recently named as director of the Office of Financial Institutions. CUNA senior staff accompanying Mica were General Counsel Eric Richard, Chief Economist Bill Hampel, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn and Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan.