SAN ANTONIO — Credit unions have many opportunities for extensive growth but face signifcant legislative and regulatory obstacles CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said Monday.
"The time (for making great strides) has never been better because of the work you did for your members during the finamcial crisis," Cheney said during his speech at America's Credit Union Conference. He said that despite high unemployment and assessments to pay for the rescue of the corporate credit unions the trends in areas such as return average assets and membership growth are heading in the right direction. He lamented the negative loan growth but predicted that will improve this year.
Cheney said the industry faces challenges such as the impact of the new Fed rule regulating interchange fees and the difficulties getting lawmakers to allow more business lending. If credit unions are able to win these uphill battles they will be able to have better earnings and serve members better.
He noted that it was the unfair Senate rules -which require 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to pass most bills- that caused the loss on the effort to delay the implementation of the Federal Reserve's interchange rule since credit unions received the votes of 54 senators.
Cheney said the industry had received positive feedback from lawmakers about raising the cap on member business lending biut didn't predict the outcome of the legislative fight.
He noted that CUNA is working on a plan to improve the interaction of credit unions with all members of Congress to improve the industry's legislative track record.