WASHINGTON — Credit unions are on the rise, thanks to unprecedented media attention and recovering financials, CUNA President Bill Cheney told a full general session Monday at the trade organization’s Governmental Affairs Conference at the Washington Convention Center.
“I can’t remember a time when credit unions have received so much media attention,” Cheney said, adding that the phones at CUNA are “ringing off the wall” with calls from reporters. The CUNA leader briefly brought Bank Transfer Day Founder Kristen Christian to the stage, calling her the industry’s “secret weapon” in gaining attention from the media and consumers.
Credit unions are well positioned financially to gain market share from a renewed interest from consumers, he added.
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cheney said, referring to corporate assessments that are expected to drop from 25 basis points in 2011 to as little as 8 basis points this year. CUNA anticipates credit union net worth will rise to an average of 10.6% by year end, loans will grow by 6%, and the industry will reach $1 trillion in total assets.
Cheney directed attendees to speak to their congressional contacts about Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) bill to raise the credit union business lending cap, the primary legislative agenda for this year’s GAC event. Last week, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised a vote on the bill, he said.
“So, this week our job is to get the votes needed to pass that bill, and I know you will,” Cheney said.