Bill Would Expand Powers of Oregon-Based Credit Unions
A legislative committee is expected to review a proposed bill that would permit Oregon-based credit unions to exercise powers available to out-of-state credit unions that are doing business in the state.
Senate Bill 520 was referred to Oregon’s House Committee on Business and Labor April 23 after it had been unanimously passed by the state Senate April 15. The House Committee has not yet scheduled a hearing for the proposed bill.
Harold B. Scoggins III, a Portland, Ore., attorney representing the Northwest Credit Union Association, said it is increasingly common for state-chartered credit unions from other states to serve Oregonians. Some of these credit unions are also operating branches.
“By our conservative count, there are 114,832 credit union members living in Oregon that are members of a credit union chartered outside the state,” Scoggins told Oregon’s Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection.
“These credit unions are competing directly with Oregon credit unions for business with Oregon members. If such (out-of-state) credit unions have powers not available to Oregon credit unions, they may have a competitive advantage over Oregon credit unions in serving those members,” Scoggins said.
To remain competitive in an increasingly national financial marketplace, Scoggins added, Senate Bill 520 would give Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services the authority to permit Oregon credit unions to exercise the same powers available to out-of-state credit unions doing business in Oregon.
“This will offer the competitive parity with such credit unions in the same way that the federal parity power equalized competition with federal credit unions,” Scoggins said.
According to the NWCUA, the bill also would:
- Clarify the role of the supervisory committee in governance-related matters;
- Extend additional liability protection to credit union directors and officers;
- Remove the wording in Oregon law which requires the board to “perform other duties as the members of the credit union from time to time direct and perform or authorize any action not inconsistent with this chapter and not specifically reserved by the bylaws for the members;”
- Remove language in Oregon law which permits a credit union to employ officers other than the president/chief operating officer and a security officer;
- Make the declaring of dividends a delegable power under Oregon law; and
- Increase the limit on loans to one borrower to the larger of $100,000 or 15% of a credit union’s equity.