Washington Credit Union Modernization Bill Clears Legislature

The Washington Legislature passed HB 1165, signifying an advocacy win for Washington credit unions and more than 4.7 million consumers who’ve chosen them as their preferred financial services providers.

“Credit union advocates should be very proud of their cooperative efforts to develop and pass this forward-thinking bill modernizing the state Credit Union Act,” said Joe Adamack, NWCUA Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Washington. “Legislators recognize the incredible impact of all the work credit unions are doing to serve their members and communities, every day.”

The legislation stems from recommendations the State Issue Working Group made in 2020. Members of the Governmental Affairs Committee and an engaged group of credit union advocates then helped to raise awareness and bring the bill across the finish line.

One of the key provisions of HB 1165 increases credit union and member access to emerging financial technology and services, by giving credit unions more flexibility to make equity investments in businesses developing or providing these services.

“Given the digital transformation currently underway in financial services this critically important investment authority will allow credit unions to be early adopters of fintech solutions, to be directly involved in the development of relevant products, and provide startup funding that will help these products and services benefit members sooner,” Adamack said.

The legislation also addresses other key issues learned or highlighted during the pandemic and:

  • Removes the primary occupancy and move-in timeline requirements for buildings or property owned by credit unions;
  • Enables the state regulator to provide flexibility for small credit unions; and
  • Increases underserved peoples’ access to financial services by allowing credit unions to provide basic services such as cashing paycheck or pandemic assistance checks.

The Act modernizations take effect in June.

Posted in Advocacy News.