While NACUSO has beat the drum to rally support on pressing industry issues, for the first time in its 26-year history, the association is putting together a plan of action for advocacy that takes aim at legislation and regulations that impact CUSOs and credit unions.
NACUSO's new seven-member legislative and regulatory advocacy committee will focus on issues that touch four pillars: credit union opportunity, collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship. The team will also identify those issues that impact CUSOs and their credit unions, determine what role NACUSO as an organization can play in those issues, and bring a recommendation before the board for actions to be taken.
"The environment within our industry has heightened the importance for NACUSO's role in advocacy. CUSOs are a crucial part of the system and our voice needs to be heard," said Lisa Renner, chairman of the committee and CEO of CU Holding Co., the parent company of five CUSOs.
Most recently, NACUSO penned a letter to the NCUA warning the regulator of the possible consequences if a provision within the proposed corporate credit union rule requiring CUSOs that use a corporate credit union's services to pay a voluntary payment to the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund goes through. One consequence is that CUSOs may go outside of the industry to search for liquidity sources.
"In the current environment it has become increasingly important for credit unions to find new sources of noninterest income in order to pay their assessments, build capital, cover loan losses and grow," Renner said. "CUSOs are a natural solution for many credit unions in that they provide an entrepreneurial environment perfect for innovation, plus they offer a business model that is built to take advantage of the many benefits of collaboration."
NACUSO's advocacy team had its first meeting Jan. 6. Renner said the committee is developing a three to five point legislative and regulatory advocacy agenda that will serve as a road map in advocacy to pursue support of its pillar issues. In the next few months, more details on the agenda will be released after the plan has been finalized by the committee and approved by the NACUSO board.
"The regulatory environment either spurs or inhibits new investments by credit unions in CUSOs more than any other single factor," Renner said. "We will be very deliberate about what issues we determine are important to our membership and selecting the ones we want to try to influence."
Renner praised the industry's other advocacy groups and said NACUSO looks forward to working with each of them to "turn up the volume on the credit union industry voice as a whole," particularly on the issues impacting how CUSOs can play a key role in the industry's future. "We have a highly committed group, desiring to move the needle for NACUSO on advocacy."