Pennsylvania's largest credit unions gather to discuss issues
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Leaders of the largest credit unions in the state - $100 million and more in assets - met in Hershey to discuss issues facing their CUs. The main topic of discussion, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union League, was the status of the bankruptcy bill and the letter of attack from the Consumers Union on credit unions. Among the speakers who addressed the conference were CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica, NCUA Board member Deborah Matz, and Filene Research Institute Executive Director Bob Hoel. Mica acknowledged that politics is hurting the chances of the bankruptcy bill being passed due to the amendments. Unfortunately, said Mica, everything is "pure politics" since this is a pivotal election year. Mica stressed that "credit unions need to be involved in the political process. Credit unions have the potential to be a force in advocacy, if we stay united." Mica also said credit unions need to do more to serve the underserved and develop ways to substantiate their efforts. Matz also stressed serving the underserved, and also addressed the issues of the disappearance of small credit unions, the increased dependence on advanced technology, and the need to explore new markets to serve more consumers and increase earnings. She also stated that she supports the dual-chartering system, and expressed concerns as a regulator that state-chartered, federally-insured credit unions pose a risk to NCUA because many state budgets are being cut to ease state budget crises and this is resulting in less supervision by state regulators. Hoel facilitated a roundtable discussion on topics such as credit card portfolio sales, business and consumer lending, and check cashing.