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WASHINGTON-Senator John Corzine (D-N.J.) and three other Democratic senators have introduced legislation to expand remittances, check cashing and money order services to non-members in a credit union’s field of membership, as well as additional disclosures on the exchange rate and fees for all financial institutions. CUNA applauded the Money Wire Improvement and Remittance Enhancement Act (S. 1344), particularly for expanding credit unions’ ability to reach out to the underserved. “CUNA strongly supports the provision that would allow credit unions to offer remittance, checking cashing and money order services to non-members within the field of membership. Expanding these services will allow credit unions to reach many individuals in the underserved and immigrant communities that typically do not use formal banking institutions, enabling credit unions to educate and build trusting relationships with these individuals,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote. But credit unions’ efforts to serve the underserved do not end there. “The intent is to bring these individuals into the credit union as members, providing them access to all benefits, including loans to help build small businesses and create jobs,” the letter read. CUNA’s letter also pointed out that CUNA, in partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions, has established an international remittance program for credit unions to offer reliable and affordable remittance services to more than 40 countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The legislation also requires the banking regulators and Treasury to perform a joint study of price comparisons one year after enactment.

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