Editor’s Column: Lots to Be Thankful For
Credit unions have a lot to feel good about, and this time of year makes it easier to recognize even when times are tough in general. Credit unions are beginning to distribute member dividends and new membership signups are rolling in at a pace credit unions have not experienced in a very long time.
According to data from the California Credit Union League, 160,408 new members joined between Oct. 1 and mid-November. In the first nine months of the year, new member signups in California were 15,500 per week, but reached 26,735 since then, an increase of 72%.
Retailers, however, don’t want you to be able to make any money it seems. They’ve now filed suit against the Federal Reserve claiming the regulation restricting debit interchange fees to 21 cents didn’t go far enough. To them, I say, good luck. Suing a regulator must be an incredibly arduous feat. I’m surprised the retailers haven’t moved on to credit card interchange yet, another thing to feel good about. For now. Issuers are likely safe at least until the 2012 elections. Unfortunately, the same is likely for the legislation to repeal the Durbin amendment as well.
Also on the Washington front, Barney Frank, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, announced that he would not seek re-election in 2012 after 30 years in the House. Frank was a general supporter of credit unions. As CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney pointed out, he often said that if all financial entities had acted like credit unions, the financial crisis might have been avoided.