How NAFCU Worked for You in 2022

By Greg Mesack, NAFCU SVP of Government Affairs

Greg Mesack, NAFCU SVP of Government Affairs

What have you done for me lately?” This seems to be the biggest question facing service providers daily—be it a credit union, car insurance company or internet provider. In today’s world, with sky-high inflation and every dollar stretched to its maximum, we have to prove the value we provide. For NAFCU, it is no different. We expect our members to ask us what we have done for them lately and we are prepared to answer. NAFCU’s advocacy team is constantly at work fighting for our members in Washington, D.C. and we are proud of what we have done to help credit unions grow.

As you will see below, NAFCU covers all facets of advocacy. From the basics of educating key policy makers about the benefits credit unions provide to their members and communities, to fighting off attacks from banking trade groups, to securing the passage of legislation to help credit unions better serve their members, NAFCU is constantly working for the credit union industry.

Nearby in this issue of The NAFCU Journal is NAFCU’s 2022 Accomplishments piece, which lists some of the many advocacy achievements in the past year. We are proud of what our team has done, and I’d like to highlight a few of those wins to show what we are doing to help not only our members, but all credit unions.

In Congress, one of our biggest wins involved putting a stop to legislation that would require credit unions to report almost all member account transactions to the IRS on a yearly basis. This incredibly burdensome requirement would have been an unprecedented intrusion on the financial privacy of all Americans and would have been an operational nightmare for credit unions. However, NAFCU launched a widespread grassroots effort to involve credit unions in the fight against the legislation, worked hard to build relationships with key lawmakers and coordinated with a powerful coalition of trade groups to stop the bill in its tracks. Our focus wasn’t only on stopping burdensome legislation, but also advocating on behalf of bills that would provide credit unions with meaningful relief. We shepherded into law the Credit Union Governance Modernization Act (CUGMA), which updates the Federal Credit Union Act’s member expulsion provision so that a credit union’s Board of Directors can vote to expel problematic members that are a risk to the credit union, its employees and its members. CUGMA was signed into law this spring and we are working with the NCUA to ensure it is quickly implemented.

Of course, NAFCU is always on guard to fight back against baseless attacks from the big banks and their trade associations. These misguided attacks are relentless. In late 2021, NAFCU launched the award winning “Big Bank Bullies” campaign to show policymakers the hypocrisy of the big banks, with their billions of dollars in fines and stock buy backs, attacking not-for-profit credit unions. This digital campaign targeted key policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the Administration. We have also fought back against the banks’ misleading attacks on credit unions merging with community banks. Bankers, who are closing 200 branches a month in rural and underserved communities, are fighting to keep credit unions from expanding into these areas and providing Main Street America with safe, affordable financial products. NAFCU will not stand for such a double standard, and we will continue to educate lawmakers with the facts.

But we aren’t just fighting for you in Congress. We are constantly working with federal regulators to make life better for credit unions. With the NCUA, we worked to achieve real wins like expanding field of membership rules so that credit unions can serve more Americans who lack basic financial services. We also worked with the agency to provide key information in a number of areas where our members need additional guidance. Pointedly, credit unions must continue to innovate to meet the demands of a changing environment, and NAFCU worked with the NCUA to secure guidance allowing credit unions to partner with third-party broker-dealers to offer digital asset services. We also worked with the agency to secure guidance allowing credit unions to use distributed ledger technologies as they create new systems to better manage their members’ assets. Finally, we recently secured guidance from the NCUA to update the interest rate risk supervisory framework so that credit unions are not unfairly punished for high levels of deposits coming out of the pandemic.

There almost aren’t enough pages in The NAFCU Journal for me to list all the successes that our advocacy team has achieved with your help over the past year. We are proud every day to wake up and fight for credit unions. By serving you, we help over 133 million Americans who trust their financial well-being to credit unions. 

NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center allows credit unions to easily find their polling location, search for local candidates, and more. Take advantage of this resource ahead of the upcoming election by visiting www.nafcu.org/grassroots.

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