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Cheney provides national insights at MnCUN meeting
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (4/19/12)--Offering a national perspective on the credit union movement's current issues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney provided Minnesota credit unions insight into successes and opportunities during the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN's) annual meeting April 13-14 in Bloomington.

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney speaks at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's annual meeting April 13-14.
Speaking on topics including membership growth, member business lending (MBL) legislation, supplemental capital, and growing regulatory burden, Cheney encouraged attendees to remain engaged credit union champions and advocates.

Credit unions experienced tremendous growth in 2011 and have an opportunity to further distinguish themselves in communities nationwide and on Capitol Hill, Cheney noted. He explained that credit unions' legislative initiatives now are more aggressive and focused on furthering the issues important to the movement, regardless of potential backlash from the banking industry.

"For too long, we let the bankers set the tone," Cheney said. "We're not going to do that anymore."

Cheney outlined how MBL legislation would distinguish credit unions as a strong political force to be respected. Legislation being considered in the U.S. Senate would raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. The bill would allow credit unions to provide more capital to small businesses nationwide.

"MBL isn't a bank versus credit union issue. It's about small businesses. The passage of this legislation is important--even if your credit union has never made a business loan and never plans to make a business loan," Cheney said.

During the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN) annual meeting, Bill Cheney (left), Credit Union National Association president/CEO, provided career insight, wisdom and advice to young credit union professionals who are a part of MnCUN's Crew group. (Photos provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
CUNA and credit unions are urging Congress to increase the MBL cap to open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers.

Cheney also outlined CUNA's efforts to lessen credit unions' compliance burden by representing their interests in conversations with several regulatory agencies, including the National Credit Union Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Throughout the weekend, Cheney participated in conference events focused on further developing Minnesota credit union professionals and volunteers. During a luncheon on Friday, he sat on a panel of cooperative leaders who discussed how credit unions and cooperatives can more effectively work together.

Cheney stressed the importance of cooperatives developing mutually beneficial relationships that help members. He also cited CUNA's involvement with the National Cooperative Business Association and how their activities help further the development of the cooperative movement.

Also, Cheney provided wisdom, advice and insight to young professionals during a Crew event held in conjunction with MnCUN's annual meeting. The Crew is Minnesota's informal networking group for credit union professionals age 35 and younger looking to grow in their career. Cheney was part of a network of experienced credit union professionals who answered Crew members' questions and provided insight into how young adults can develop and advance their careers.


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