CUNA President Unveils Regulatory, Legislative Goals Credit Unions at NWCUA Annual Meeting

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney was featured as the keynote speaker of the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) first business meeting since the Oregon and Washington leagues merged. He discussed a number of legislative and regulatory issues the national credit union movement would be focused on over the coming months.

Touching on the strides made over the first year of his CUNA tenure, Cheney said the issue that is definitely heating up is member business lending (MBL).

“We got as close as you can get to making it into the jobs package President Obama put to Congress without actually making it into the package,” Cheney said to the nearly 400 guests in attendance. “But the National Economic Council member who called said that it could serve us better later.”

Cheney went on to explain that items will be removed and added during the bill’s negotiations, and it is during those negotiations that the MBL cap lift could be included.

“So, just because the MBL language isn’t in the package doesn’t mean it’s over,” Cheney added.

In addition to MBL, Cheney’s legislative discussion touched on capital reform, including supplemental capital and prompt corrective action (PCA).

“January 2012 is going to be big,” he said, “because immediately after the required up-or-down deficit reduction vote on December 23, we will get into capital reform.”

Hinting at a possible fight over the credit union tax exemption, the CUNA president talked briefly about a 535-seat strategy for credit unions to win in the future. According to Cheney, the plan to maintain credit unions’ tax-exempt status is part of a broader vision for the credit union movement.

“This is a plan that doesn’t take 13 years to fix MBL,” he said, referring to the 1998 law that placed a 12.25 percent of assets cap on credit union MBLs. “Our goal is to build political strength so we can create a better environment for credit unions.

Cheney said the plan will essentially be a single strategy that can be tailored for 50 states and will include best practices for political advocacy, assessment tools and tools that can be used by associations and credit unions to advocate more effectively.


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Posted in CUNA, MAXX Annual Convention, NCUA, NWCUA.