...because of support from CUNA
Seventh in a
series about the value of League membership
League & CUNA affiliation are a powerful support system for
League-member credit unions receive more than
just state-level support for their dues dollar; they’re supported
by CUNA, one of the strongest voices in Madison and Washington, D.C. And
that really matters when it comes to advancing credit unions’
political interests, strengthening credit unions’ voice in
regulatory advocacy and achieving greater visibility among
In 2011, for example, CUNA’s efforts
- Advance credit unions’ political
- A strategy of low-key but intense vigilance on Capitol Hill ensured
credit unions’ federal tax exemption was not targeted at a time of
intense focus in Washington on the debt and taxes.
- Aggressive support for credit union-friendly candidates through
CULAC (national PAC) contributions, partisan communications, and related
tactics achieved an 86% success rate during the last election cycle.
This support helped defeat five of seven challengers to CU-friendly
lawmakers in office, and helped win seats for 9 CU-friendly candidates
out of 13 using direct political involvement.
- The push for legislation to increase credit union member business
lending made significant strides, including support from a wider circle
of key coalition groups, the Treasury and NCUA, and gaining hearings in
both the House and Senate. The House and Senate bills now have
more than 130 backers in Congress.
- The credit union perspective – for the first time ever –
was front and center in a hearing on a bill relating only to banks. In
fact, CUNA testified before Congress nine times on issues related to
business lending, implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, interchange
fees, housing finance reform, and regulatory burden. CUNA President
& CEO Bill Cheney was recognized by The Hill newspaper as one of the
most powerful association lobbyists on Capitol Hill.
- Strengthen credit unions’ voice on regulatory
- CUNA’s efforts – along with The League and local
Activists - helped secure an exemption on the interchange fee cap for
credit unions below $10 billion in assets and significantly improved
Federal Reserve’s implementing regulations over what had been
- Countless meetings took place with regulators to champion credit
union concerns. CUNA did the same in more than 70 comments letters to 16
different regulatory agencies including NCUA, FTC, FinCen, Treasury,
SEC, FHFA and the Federal Reserve Board.
- CUNA has been in regular communication with staff of the new federal
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure the agency
understands credit unions, that credit unions’ pro-consumer
efforts are recognized and that the regulatory burdens of agency
decisions are minimized.
- Throughout the year, CUNA continued to interpret the complexities of
the Corporate Stabilization program and worked with The League to share
information to help credit unions manage their bottom lines.
- Achieve greater visibility among consumers
- CUNA worked with leagues to leverage "Bank Transfer Day" and other
publicity stemming from consumer anger over sky-high bank fees. Hundreds
of pro-credit union stories were carried by some of the biggest national
news outlets: the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal,
Huffington Post and many more in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
- Since last spring, CUNA also helped The League engage credit unions
in managing their own information on a new, premier CU-finder website,
in many Bank Transfer Day-related media stories, aSmarterChoice.org
experienced record traffic from consumers looking to join credit
- Perhaps most important: CUNA works closely with The
League to provide data used throughout our state’s REAL Solutions Scorecard to
showcase for lawmakers, media and others the tremendous value of credit
unions. This report makes the case for credit unions’ continued
corporate tax exemption, illustrates how credit unions fulfill their
social responsibility without additional costly regulations or mandates
and helps keep Wisconsin credit unions exempt from payday lending
Take a look at even more of CUNA’s achievements this year
as well as CUNA’s long-term record advocating on credit union
You can read more about how
The League supports and advocates for credit unions as part of a series
of articles called Membership Matters, all posted on The
League’s home page.