RICHMOND, Va. (3/3/15)--Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe last week signed into law two pieces of legislation backed by the Virginia Credit Union League, including one that would allow credit unions to offer prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts.
PLS accounts encourage savings by offering members entries into cash raffles each time they put away a set amount of money into savings. Members don't risk anything because, even if they don't win, they keep all the money they have saved.
"It's been a good General Assembly session for credit unions and we're pleased that our bill to allow credit unions and banks to offer prize-linked savings programs has been signed by the governor," league President Rick Pillow told
. "Credit unions still embrace our mission to promote thrift and savings and the authority to offer prize-linked savings programs is simply another opportunity to help our members develop and maintain a savings habit."
Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer, highlighted the passage of the two bills in his weekly "
." (See related story: On CUNA's radar: CFPB report to Congress, cybersecurity hearings.)
PLS accounts so far have been approved in 11 states. The other 10 states include Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington.
In Minnesota last week, two bills sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network allowing credit unions to offer prize-linked savings were introduced in both the Minnesota House and Senate.
Since 2009, credit unions offering PLS accounts have helped more than 50,000 members save $94 million.
The second law in Virginia will ease regulatory burden for credit unions related to ATM services, the league said. Previous Virginia law required state-chartered financial institutions to notify state regulators any time they want to place or remove an ATM, something federally chartered institutions and ATM providers were not required to do. The new law eliminates that notification requirement, creating parity for state-chartered institutions.
"We appreciate the good work of our credit unions in lobbying for these two bills during our Credit Union Days at the General Assembly," Pillow said. "When lawmakers hear their constituents care about specific legislation, they pay attention. It makes our job at the Capitol that much easier."