In a victory for the Virginia Credit Union League, a House panel voted 20-0 Thursday to pare down a banker-backed bill allowing banks to buy credit unions into a measure enabling state CUs to convert to mutual charter.
The substitute bill, drafted by the league, now heads to the House while a similar bank-buy-CUs measure, written by the Virginia Bankers Association is slated for a possible hearing Monday.
Citing a vigorous e-mail and phone campaign to amend the VBA bill, Rick Pillow, president/CEO of the league, hailed the unanimous vote by the House Commerce and Labor Committee as vindication of the league stance of "protecting the rights of members" against predatory Virginia banks.
"Credit unions were successful in transforming this legislation from a merger and acquisition bill into a credit union charter choice bill," said Pillow. "The original language in this bill would have been disastrous for credit union member-owners in Virginia, because it failed to protect member rights in cases of a conversion or acquisition to or by a for-profit bank."
Now the bill offers state-chartered credit unions "a clear path for conversion to a mutual savings bank charter, if that is the will of members," said Pillow as Virginia lawmakers headed home in advance of a powerful winter storm shutting down government offices on orders of Gov. Bob McDonnell.