Charter Change Coalition Lobbying CURIA Sponsors
WASHINGTON - The Coalition for Credit Union Charter Choice, the banker advised group that seeks to make it easier for credit unions to change their charters to those of mutual banks, has written a letter to all the CURIA co-sponsors to try to convince them not to back the part of the bill that seeks to require that at least 20% of a credit union's membership must participate in a charter change vote. Under current law a credit union seeking to convert to a mutual bank charter need only convince a majority of members who vote to go along with the idea. "We have no quarrel with most of the Act [CURIA]," explained Lee Bettis, a former banker and credit union CEO who is the Coalition's executive director. "However, there is one provision that has nothing to do with regulatory relief and everything to do with preserving the status quo of the credit union industry at the expense of charter choice." Bettis argued in his letter that overall participation rates in all sorts of voting are down and that it would be unfair to keep credit unions from changing into banks merely because of voter apathy.