Removing Barriers Blog

High Level of Credit Union Awareness as State Lawmakers Visit America’s Credit Union Booth at NCSL
Posted September 01,2015 by CUNA Advocacy

The CUNA-League partnership was alive and well today in Seattle as the National Conference of State Legislatures opened its exhibit hall for the first time at this year’s legislative summit.  Dozens of state lawmakers from across the country visited the booth and met with credit union advocates.  They learned about the credit union difference, and in many cases, shared their own credit union story.  The familiarity that lawmakers and staff have with credit union and league officials “back home” came through crystal clear!

America's Credit Unions Booth at NCSL 2015NWCUA's Samantha Beeler with Legislator

Outside the exhibit hall, committees and breakout sessions convened.  Of particular interest to credit unions was the meeting of the Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee which renewed the banking and financial services policy directive.  This policy directive includes language supporting the dual chartering of credit unions:

NCSL believes that state credit union supervisors have the primary responsibility for assuring the safety and soundness of credit unions chartered by and operating under state law and regulation. NCSL supports the authority of state governments to determine how state financial institutions must be insured and opposes any efforts by the federal government to preempt states’ authority to govern state deposit insurance requirements. NCSL also acknowledges that states have a responsibility to provide a credible regulatory environment where powers can be exercised in a way that does not endanger the financial solvency of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). NCSL additionally acknowledges that federal deposit insurance agencies, like the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), have a legitimate role to play if state authorized powers lead to unreasonable risks for NCUSIF. However, NCUA regulations and policies should be crafted in a way that minimizes the preemption of state authority. NCSL opposes any effort by the Administration and Congress to erode the dual chartering system for credit unions by preempting state credit union laws and regulations that do not adversely impact the financial well-being of state chartered credit unions and thus the NCUSIF. Any preemption of state credit union laws or regulatory authority must be justified only by a clear and certain threat to the credit unions' share insurance fund by those credit unions that are federally insured.

In addition to the booth and our work on ensuring credit unions are appropriately represented in NCSL policy, the collaboration between CUNA, the Leagues (lead by the host League, the Northwest Credit Union Association), and CUNA Mutual has helped raise awareness of credit unions through an ads at baggage claim at the Sea-Tac International Airport, placement America’s Credit Unions logo on volunteer shirts and convention center escalators, and the sponsorship of free wifi in the convention center.  

America's Credit Unions at Baggage ClaimAmerica's Credit Unions Logo on Volunteer ShirtAmerica's Credit Unions Logo on Escalators

Every person attending this conference and many travelers entering the area will have multiple exposure opportunities to the credit union message.