Letter to Representative Joe Baca regarding International Remittances
May 10, 2004
The Honorable Joe Baca
328 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Baca:
On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and our nation's nearly 85 million credit union members, I would like to offer our endorsement on legislation you are introducing that would expand credit unions' ability to offer wire transfers, money orders and check cashing services in the communities they serve.
As you know, CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) offer credit unions a remittance product called IRnet (International Remittance Network), that offers safe, reliable and affordable wire transfer services to over 40 countries worldwide. For example, IRnet allows individuals to send up to $1500 for $10 to Mexico, offering guaranteed exchange rates on both the sending and receiving ends. More than 225 credit unions are signed up for the IRnet service, with over 1,000 points of service available throughout the United States.
Removing field of membership restrictions on these important services will allow credit unions to reach many individuals in the underserved and immigrant communities that typically do not use formal banking institutions and are forced to use high-priced money transmitting businesses. Credit unions would then have an opportunity to educate and build trusting relationships with these individuals, encouraging them to join a financial institution so they have access to all benefits, including loans to help build small businesses and create jobs.
CUNA and its member credit unions greatly appreciate your efforts to help credit unions provide greater access to remittance, money order and check cashing services to the underserved and immigrant communities. We look forward to working with you on this important legislation.
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO