CU Buzz: What your Northwest Colleagues Say About S. 2155


Before Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 2155, Northwest credit union advocates were already rallying for it.

For many years, they’d been in conversations with regulators, Crapo, and other Members of Congress sharing examples of how regulatory overreach was hindering member service.

Once the Credit Union Movement had a regulatory relief bill they could enthusiastically support, they hiked the hallowed halls of Congress, tweeted, called, emailed, and hosted events where they, and their members could educate elected officials.

Now that S. 2155 has been signed by President Trump, they cite examples of how the legislation rips off red tape and facilitates even better service to members.

  • “This simple solution will make about $85 million available at OnPoint, which can be used to meet the needs of more local businesses in our community.” Veronica M. Ervin, SVP/Chief Compliance Officer at Portland, OR-based OnPoint Community Credit Union, commenting on the 1-4 parity clause.
  • “This bill is an important piece of legislation that we’re excited about for many reasons. This bill will allow us to approve more home loans for members dreaming of homeownership, make mortgages processing easier and increase our ability to lend to small businesses.” Jennifer Kutcher, President/CEO, Bellingham, WA-based WECU.
  • “Increasingly burdensome regulations forced us, as a small credit union, to stop offering mortgages… We may be able to make home loans again.” Valerie Brooks, President/CEO of Caldwell, ID-based Simplot Employees Credit Union, commenting on ways in which S. 2155 streamlines the mortgage process.
  • “For us, having an additional cushion of $10 million is significant, and will help small businesses in the communities we serve.” — Don Clark, President/CEO of Tacoma, WA-based Sound Credit Union, commenting on the capital the 1-4 provision could make available for business loans.
  • “Idaho’s own Sen. Mike Crapo led the effort to revise regulations pertaining to Main Street financial institutions. We believe this effort leads to a better competitive environment for community focused institutions like Idaho Central Credit Union.” Kent Oram, CEO of Chubbuck, ID-based Idaho Central Credit Union.
  • “In 1998, I sat in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on the day HR 1151 was passed and heard Representative Bonior from Michigan stand and say, “I love my credit union”. On that important day, many others in Congress spoke positively from the floor about their support for our movement. Not since then have we been able to pass significant legislation that benefits our effort to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations that impact our ability to serve members. S.2155 is a good start and with the continued leadership of Senator Mike Crapo, I hope we can build on this success in future years. Thank you, Senator Crapo!” Shane Berger, President/CEO, Rexburg, ID-based Beehive Federal Credit Union.

When credit unions advocate, the needle moves.

“Passage of S. 2155 is a milestone that could not have happened without Northwest credit union advocacy,” said Troy Stang, NWCUA President and CEO. “Congratulations to credit unions for their tenacity in making the case for this consumer-friendly legislation, and then working so hard to seeing it across the finish line.”

For his part, Sen. Crapo sent his enthusiastic message of thanks right back to Northwest credit unions.

“This bill has been years in the making, and is broadly supported for good reason,” said Sen. Crapo. “Many of the post-crisis rules that were intended for the largest financial institutions have had a negative effect on the smaller ones. As a result, our communities are sometimes deprived of important financial services. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act right-sizes regulation so that our local financial institutions can do what they do best—taking deposits and making loans to consumers, homebuyers, and small businesses. Troy Stang, the Northwest Credit Union Association, and credit union members have proven that grassroots efforts and advocacy can lead to successful, commonsense reform.”

Posted in Advocacy News.