Northwest Credit Union Leaders Make Case for Movement in D.C.

Thousands of advocates are in Washington, D.C., to support the credit union movement at this week’s Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), and several Northwest delegates have made their voices heard in support of credit union issues.

On Tuesday afternoon, Gary Oakland, president and CEO of BECU, published a piece in the Huffington Post entitled, “Why Credit Unions Matter,” using the platform to introduce the issue of supplemental capital for credit unions to a wider audience.

“Supplemental capital is a tool that would help well-managed credit unions, large and small, meet their members’ demand for affordable financial services,” Oakland wrote. “Expanded capital authority will enhance credit unions’ ability to serve their members, promote safety and soundness of the credit union system, and benefit the broader economic recovery by facilitating job growth.”

Oakland further explained that BECU is one of “many credit unions across the country that support the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act, H.R. 3993,” saying the bill “would permit credit unions to accept additional forms of capital to supplement their retained earnings in a manner that is consistent with their status as a not-for-profit financial cooperative.”

The Credit Union Times, meanwhile, reported Wednesday that Laura Illig, vice president of marketing at SELCO Credit Union in Eugene, Ore., is working on behalf of the credit union member business lending (MBL) bill, telling the story of her credit union’s hamstrung ability to issue loans to small businesses.

“We have small business owners come to us all the time because the banks have turned them down,” she said, “and then we also have to turn them down because of the cap.”

“Illig said her contingency will share the story of a new hotel SELCO funded through loan participations, the only way it was able to do so,” the article said. “The hotel was the first for Eugene in 30 years, and Illig estimates it has brought 75 to 100 new jobs to the city, in addition to new tourist dollars.”

Jean Wheat-Palm, president and CEO of Valley Credit Union and a member of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) board, also spoke Tuesday afternoon about the NWCUA’s legislative advocacy and political efforts through her role as part of a CUNA National Election Panel.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

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Jean Wheat-Palm, president and CEO of Valley Credit Union and a member of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) board, also spoke Tuesday afternoon about the NWCUA’s legislative advocacy and political efforts through her role as part of a CUNA National Election Panel.

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