Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Writes to Committee Prior to Hearing on Wells Fargo and Consumer Abuse
Posted March 12, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the Committee’s hearing, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo's Pattern of Consumer Abuses.” In the letter, CUNA ensured that the Committee is aware of the credit union difference.

 “The importance of having not-for-profit credit unions as vibrant and viable alternatives in the financial services marketplace is as significant today as it has ever been. The fact that this hearing is happening at all provides ample evidence of the need for this alternative in the marketplace. Credit unions provide accessible and affordable basic financial services to people of all means and encourage the equitable distribution of capital across all individuals, families, communities and small businesses.”

During the hearing, both parties focused on consumer abuses and how the bank is addressing them.  Both Republicans and Democrats thought Wells Fargo could do more to make impacted customers whole. 

The letter also addresses the effect of past rulemakings from the CFPB that have had negative impacts on consumer access to financial services.

“Credit unions are the original consumer financial protectors. Because of their not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative structure, credit unions are not subject to the same revenue-driven motives that are characteristic of for-profit financial services providers,” the letter reads. “Instead, credit unions’ member-centric focus means they approach their members differently than other market participants approach their customers.

On behalf of America’s credit unions and their 115 million members, CUNA will continue to advocate that one-size-fits-all regulations force credit unions to pull back safe and affordable options from the market, pushing consumers into the arms of entities engaged in the very activity the rules were designed to curtail.