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Texas Sunset hearing goes well for state-charter CUs
AUSTIN, Texas (9/25/08)--The Texas Credit Union Department (TCUD) presented a staff report Tuesday on state-chartered credit unions at the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission public hearing with good results, according to the Texas Credit Union League.
Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, testified before the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission on areas of concern for state-chartered credit unions.
The commission agreed that the TCUD should continue operating for another 12 years and discussed on two issues that had been of concern to credit unions and the league--continued consolidated filing of the Internal Revenue Service form 990s and the addition of monetary fines to the powers of the Texas Credit Union Commissioner. League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler testified on behalf of credit unions and was the only public witness before the commission. “We would like to commend the Sunset staff for the fine work they did in their review of the Texas Credit Union Department and the report they have issued,” Ensweiler said. Ensweiler then laid out the league's reasoning on two of the recommendations for continued filing of the consolidated 990. “Many credit unions have limited resources, both financial and in terms of personnel--often only a few employees work in a credit union,” he said. “Transferring this regulatory burden to each individual credit union will increase the cost and demands on the 218 credit unions who are included in the consolidated filing by the department. “With six different enforcement mechanisms available, the commissioner has had the tools needed. Clearly, the current system works,” Ensweiler continued.
Texas State Reps. Linda Harper-Brown (D-105) and Dan Flynn (D-2) listened to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission state report and brought up issues with some of the recommendations.
The commission appeared to be receptive to league. There seemed to be no interest in consolidation, the league said. “I just want you to know that you have done an outstanding job,” said Commission member Rep. Dan Flynn. “The department is very well run and I appreciate the way you've protected members even though I've spent my entire career fighting credit unions.” Flynn is a former banker and former banking commissioner. State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (D-105) focused on the 990 issue, questioning the burdens and costs to small credit unions by forcing them to file individual 990s when the joint filing runs $7,500 for the entire state.
Texas State Rep. Carl Isett (D-84), chair of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, invited testimony on the Texas Credit Union Department and the Sunset staff. (Photos provided by the Texas Credit Union League)
State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-20) voiced a similar concern. “Won't that cost be borne by the members?” he asked. The public member of the commission, Charles McMahen, noted his concerns about recommendations on monetary penalties. The former president of Compass Bank suggested that monetary penalties could be misused. Flynn confirmed with staff of the Sunset Commission that the Banking Department has no such monetary penalty power either. “It was a good day for credit unions,” said Jeff Huffman, league vice president for governmental affairs. “Clearly the Sunset Commission understands our concerns, and we hope they will incorporate them into their final report.” The Commission's decision hearing will be held on Dec. 16-17.


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