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Nussle Refutes ‘Factually Incorrect’ Banker FOM Claims
Thursday, January 28, 2016 6:45 AM

The Credit Union National Association wrote to Congressional leadership Wednesday to combat factually incorrect attacks from bankers on the National Credit Union Association’s field-of-membership proposal. In the letter, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle not only corrected the erroneous information put forth by the bankers, but expressed dismay at the reasoning behind it.

“Simply put, the letter provided by the American Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers Association is factually incorrect and exposes a disturbing perspective on the part of America’s bankers that consumers should have less access to affordable financial services,” Nussle wrote.

“The loose analysis of NCUA’s field-of-membership (FOM) proposal articulated by the bankers’ letter is as disappointing as it is inaccurate,” Nussle added. “Here are the facts: Nothing in the proposal would allow credit unions to expand their fields of membership in an ‘unchecked’ manner. If this proposal is adopted, federal credit unions will still face limits on whom they may serve under the Federal Credit Union Act."

Nussle highlighted how the Federal Credit Union Act gives the NCUA authority to implement FOM requirements, and how the current proposal modifies changes made by the agency in 2010 that added a number of restrictions not required by law.

Nussle also said that, not only has the NCUA not exceeded its statutory authority, but the agency has not gone nearly far enough. “While we support the proposal, NCUA could have proposed much more relief and still remained consistent with the law,” Nussle wrote. “The bankers seek to limit consumer access to credit unions, but Congress should be doing more to expand access to credit unions.”

CUNA’s letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Send Your Comment on FOM via PowerComment before Feb. 8 Deadline.

Credit unions are encouraged to send an email to NCUA and their members of Congress through Voter Voice, a form letter for the purpose of increasing numbers. Unique letters from the CEO are also highly appreciated and will make an even bigger impact, but the form letter is a quick and easy way to make a numbers impact. Multiple employee letters from the same credit union are allowed and encouraged.

Please refer to Cornerstone's Regulatory Grid Summary or CUNA's Comment Calls page for more details about this proposal and writing your comment letter. Don't forget to copy Suzanne Yashewski so the league can track participation.

If you need help in crafting your own letters, or if you have questions, please contact Cornerstone Credit Union League SVP Regulatory Compliance Suzanne Yashewski at syashewski@cornerstoneleague.coop or 512-853-8516.