WASHINGTON -- CUNA and NAFCU have stepped up efforts to reintroduce the U.S. Treasury Department to credit unions and the unique niche they fill in the financial services market, according to executives with both associations. Last week, the department released a proposal which included eliminating both the credit and thrift charters and both the NCUA and the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal regulator for mutual banks.
Both CUNA and NAFCU plan letters to the department this week, reminding the Treasury of the work credit unions do helping consumers otherwise without financial services and how their particular governance and capital requirements mean they need an independent regulator. Executives from CUNA in particular seemed almost bewildered at how Treasury, an agency which appeared to have had a strong relationship with the credit union industry in past, could have apparently misunderstood credit union's so badly.
CUNA associate general counsel Mary Dunn pointed out to reporters this morning that former Treasury Secretary John Snow was a regular attendee at CUNA Government Affairs Conferences and that the Treasury Department had a strong relationship with the credit union industry under the previous years of the Bush Administration.
"We are concerned that some of the people who came in with the current Secretary might have swallowed banker rhetoric about credit unions," Dunn said. In addition to the letters, Dunn said CUNA would also likely seek meeting with Treasury officials as has become one of its frequent approaches to contact with federal agencies.