Update to Oregon Credit Union Act Passes Senate 29-0

The bill makes four improvements to the Act.

Legislation modernizing Oregon’s Credit Union Act was passed by the Senate May 2.

In late April, the bill won approval of the Senate Business and Transportation Committee. The measure was approved in the Oregon House of Representatives February 16, by a vote of 56-0.  The bill next heads to Oregon Governor Kate Brown for her signature. The Act updates are scheduled to take effect January 1, 2018.

HB 2161 is the result of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) and member credit unions’ continuing work to update the Act. The measure will strengthen the attractiveness of the Oregon state charter for credit unions and enhance their ability to serve the nearly two million consumers who are members, according to Pamela Leavitt, NWCUA Policy Advisor, Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots.

The legislation would streamline the Credit Union Act by:

  • Allowing state regulators to set the minimum number of board meetings each year, by taking the specific number of required meetings out of the statute. Currently, at least 10 meetings in 10 separate months are required. The NWCUA recommends a required minimum of six meetings per year, in alignment with Washington’s state charter;
  • Discontinuing the requirement for approval of bylaws changes by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). The legislation allows changes to take effect unless denied by the DCBS within 30 days;
  • Allowing a credit union to expel a member engaged in activity likely to cause a loss for the credit union; and
  • Refreshing the parity provision, allowing Oregon credit unions to exercise federal powers under the new or updated federal credit union regulations, in the same manner that federally-chartered credit unions can.

Testifying in favor of the legislation at the April hearing was Scott Burgess, President/CEO of Beaverton-based Rivermark Community Credit Union.

“We recognize that, as member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions, we need to be proactive in making sure the Oregon Credit Union Act is reflective of the current financial environment and consumer needs,” Burgess said. “In other words, as our members are confronted with a changing financial landscape, it’s critical that we have laws that are responsive to those changes. In fact, the real value of a state charter, when compared to a federal charter, is that of responsiveness to our member needs.”

The date for the Governor’s signing ceremony has not been determined yet.