Wisconsin Governor Signs Reg Reform
The Wisconsin Credit Union League praised a regulatory reform package signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker on April 16.
According to the league, the State Assembly Financial Institutions Committee's “Right the Rules” review process began the dialogue for Senate Bill 520, which amends a variety of credit union regulations, including permitted investments and incidental powers.
“Under the Office of Credit Unions’ current rules, credit unions may make investments in securities issued by hospitals, churches, dioceses and similar institutions (institutional investments), subject to various restrictions,” the bill said.
“Among the restrictions on these investments, an individual credit union may not invest more than $50,000 in securities issued by any one individual institution without OCU's prior approval. This bill increases this investment limit from $50,000 to $100,000 and provides that this amount increases biennially to adjust for inflation,” the bill also said.
“The overall regulatory burden – what some describe as a crisis of creeping complexity – is generally accepted as perhaps the single biggest challenge to Wisconsin's member-owned credit unions today,” said Tom Liebe, vice president of government affairs at the Wisconsin league.
“That's why introducing and passing a package of proactive, pro-credit union reforms and updates is only half the battle; having them become law is the real end-game for us,” he said.
State Reps. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) were the primary authors of the bill. The league said the reforms would allow credit unions to spend more time serving their members.
“Passage of reforms such as this yield regulatory improvements and allow operational changes that provide state credit unions a measure of relief and flexibility going forward,” said league President/CEO Brett Thompson.
“We applaud the legislature for passing and the governor for signing these common-sense reforms that let credit unions spend less time unraveling regulatory requirements and more time providing consumers and communities with services that have consistently earned them recognition for their social responsibility,” Thompson said.