Many of the credit union CEOs being appointed this month to those newly formed advisory panels of Federal Reserve district banks said Wednesday that they are eager to become CU advocates while also planning to raise the debit interchange issue in hopes of gaining new support.
The CEOs representing CUs from Oregon to New Hampshire all being named to the so-called Community Depository Institutions Advisory Councils of the 12 regional Fed banks said also they looked forward to facing their community bank counterparts who outnumber CUs on the panels.
"I believe the bankers will be surprised at how similar many of our interests are," said William J. Rissel, president/CEO of the $930 million Fort Knox FCU in Radcliff, Ky., and a member of the CDIAC of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Apart from interchange, Rissel said he is also eager to discuss "compliance and the huge cost we are all bearing" and what the Fed intends to do about it. "I know it will be a great learning experience for me and hopefully a learning experience for all concerned and beyond that, I certainly hope bringing a credit union voice can make a difference," said the Kentucky CEO.
Glenn Barks, president/CEO of the $1.6 billion First Community CU of St. Louis and also on the St. Louis Fed panel, said he, too, was "certainly looking forward toward representing our industry and I sure will be eager to hear what the bankers have to say."
The first meeting of the St. Louis CDIAC is scheduled Mar. 1-2 and among the issues he intends to discuss will be debit interchange plus "the delinquency problem, mortgage refis and what we're going to do about Fannie and Freddie."
Randy Smith, president/CEO of the $4.2 billion Randolph Brooks FCU of Live Oak, Texas, and named to the national CDIAC serving the Fed Board in Washington, said CU representatives "can provide a unique perspective-especially as it pertains to serving low and moderate income consumers."
As for confronting bankers, Carl Ratcliff, president/CEO of the $350 million APNB FCU of Chesapeake, Va., said that although he does not personally know any of the community bank CEOs on the Richmond Fed CDIAC, "some of these guys are the most adamant about stopping credit union expansion and when you do meet up with them they say 'I don't like what you do' and we say the same."