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ATLANTA – Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) recently told AACUC annual meeting attendees that he’s aware of the often-contentious relationship between credit unions and banks, having played referee a few times when colleagues were “at loggerheads.” “You want to keep your tax-exemption status,” Scott said. “You want to ensure that every member of your credit union has a vote and you want to provide access to credit when larger financial institutions won’t.that (access) must not be harmed.” Scott mentioned the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA) or H.R. 3579 and reviewed what’s at stake including increasing limits for member business loans. According to a spokeswoman from Scott’s office, he is “still reviewing the details” of the proposed bill and has not yet endorsed it. AACUC Chairwoman Helen Godfrey said the Coalition’s main mission is to be a resource for Scott should he need assistance deciphering portions of CURIA or any credit union-related bill. “We invited him to the conference to let him know about the uniqueness of credit unions and that there is a large contingency of African-Americans in the credit union movement,” Godfrey said. “When the time is right, we hope that we will have his support.” Switching gears, Scott lamented the lack of diversity in management at financial institutions. Minorities also hold only 12% of directorships at Fortune 500 companies, he said. “From the recent scandals, we (learn) that the more homogenous the boards were, that’s the way the company will run,” Scott told attendees. “But if you have a more diverse board, that’s the way the company will run.” Financial institutions and other companies should also take notice of the 60% purchasing power that African-Americans have, Scott said. Scott also spoke on how credit unions can help raise financial literacy levels. He is sponsoring the Financial Literacy Act, a bill that would require age-appropriate financial literacy program for k-12th grade students. Eighty million dollars could be available from an SEC global fund to help schools. The U.S. Treasury has also set aside funds for financial literacy, Scott said. A staunch critic of predatory lending, Scott has also proposed a bill that would set up a toll-free telephone number targeted at the most vulnerable who may have questions. State and local grants could help the NAACP, National Urban League and the AARP promote the hotline. With a little over two months left until the election, Scott encouraged attendees to remember many issues including personal safety and security and building international coalitions to advance those causes. [email protected]

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