Bill Cheney, CUNA's CEO, brought a message of opportunity mixed with peril to the "Reality Check" conference of the New Jersey Credit Union League where he served as the luncheon speaker.
The peril, Cheney said Tuesday to a room packed with several hundred senior credit union executives, is continuing pressures by banks to eliminate the tax exemption presently enjoyed by credit unions.
Cheney also pointed to an atmosphere of regulatory oversight which sometimes has officials in the regulator telling credit union executives they know more about how to run the credit union than do the executives.
"You don't need to be told how to run your credit union," said Cheney, who added that a high CUNA priority is pushing for regulatory reform.
That remark brought loud applause.
Later, in an exclusive interview with Credit Union Times, Cheney indicated that attitudes towards the credit union industry inside Congress and the White House remain largely positive. He added: "We need to do a better job communicating what we are doing right."
As for the recent departure of Apple FCU from CUNA, Cheney said, "We are sorry to see anyone go." He stressed that the CUNA membership trend is "stable, to positive."
Cheney also chafed at recent reporting that quoted an Apple FCU executive on the fact of NCUA naming him personally in a suit against onetime board members at WesCorp. While that is true, Cheney suggested the picture would have been more accurate if it had included the other fact that the presiding judge in the case, George Wu, had dismissed the cases against all outside directors, Cheney included.