Cheney Assesses CUNA’s Role, Goals and Achievements
CUNA President Bill Cheney took time last week to answer questions in advance of this week’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington. Below are edited excerpts of the Q&A session.
Credit Union Times: The credit union industry has had a rough time the last few years, but it hasn’t all been bad. What do you think have been some of the highlights?
CU Times: While CUNA has helped to curb some legislation that could be harmful to credit unions, such as the $10 billion institution threshold in the debit interchange fee cap, some credit union executives have complained that there has not been a pro-credit union legislative win since HR 1151 in 1998. How do you plan to change that or change their minds about credit unions’ legislative successes?
Cheney: I understand entirely the frustrations of credit unions.
CU Times: Following the financial meltdown, the NCUA obviously tightened up examinations, which has many credit unions complaining. What has CUNA done to help credit unions through tighter examinations? How has CUNA worked with the regulator to ease up in areas where they may not need to be as strict? Can you provide some specific examples?
Cheney: We opened 2011 by introducing our Credit Union Exam Bill of Rights. It is designed to give credit unions assurance that they have options in responding to most supervisory issues. Further, when they feel an examiner has overstepped his or her authority, this document points out how they are entitled to question an examiner’s findings and directives, suggest alternatives in most situations, and appeal decisions credit unions feel are unwarranted, arbitrary, inconsistent with laws and regulations, or may jeopardize their ability to serve their members.