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Credit unions remove barriers via the comment process

by Christine Henzig, Director of Communications Nov 06, 2018

Influencing legislation isn’t the only way credit unions can shape the environment in which they operate.

After laws are passed, agencies write regulations spelling out how laws will be implemented and enforced. This regulatory drafting process offers a precious window of opportunity to help shape how the law will work in action.

Over the past year, Wisconsin credit unions have weighed in through The League and CUNA on dozens of regulatory changes that affect how credit unions operate and serve their 110 million members nationwide.

The League offered input to state and federal agencies’ calls for comments when regulations are being written or revised. While credit unions can offer their insights directly to the agencies, The League prepares comment letters that factor in the viewpoints credit unions have shared with Paul Guttormsson, VP Legal & Compliance for The League. Our regulatory advocacy web page points to the latest proposals open for comment and includes links you can use to offer input on each.

2018 comment letters from The League have focused on:

Success improving regulations

"Credit unions’ participation in the comment process strongly affects outcome on regulatory issues," Guttormsson said.

He points to the recent successes credit union advocacy has had prompting regulatory improvements, including The League securing a legal opinion letter from the NCUA preserving credit unions' right to use terms like "bank" or "banking" to talk about themselves.

In sending The League its letter, the NCUA was responding to a request by The League in 2017 seeking a legal opinion that the Federal Credit Union Act and the NCUA's advertising regulations preempt two Wisconsin statutes that the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) said barred credit unions from using "bank" or "banking" in any form (with very limited exceptions).

The NCUA's letter not only provides clarity for Wisconsin's federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs), but may also help FISCUs in other states where bankers may try to impose limitations on the use of such terms.

Guttormsson also notes that our Movement's big win this year in passing common sense regulatory reforms at the federal level had its early start in the comment process.

"The legislation we advocated for and passed was literally the product of input from credit unions across the country who helped identify regulatory priorities that could be packaged into legislation," Guttormsson added. 

By removing barriers through the comment process, we help credit unions become Americans’ best financial partner. 

Your input is critical!

CUNA and The League work in concert with credit union Activists year-round as part of a 360-degree advocacy approach that seeks legislative and regulatory improvements to credit unions’ operating environment. 

Visit The League's regulatory advocacy page for more resources to aid your regulatory advocacy.

Questions? Contact Paul Guttormsson at (608) 640-4052.

Wisconsin credit unions come together as a single League to Unite for Good; we remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence. All of these steps help more Americans to see credit unions as their best financial partner and regard their credit union as their primary financial institution. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.