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WASHINGTON – The Coalition For Credit Union Charter Options will try to broaden the debate over credit unions changing their charters to mutual banks by seeking help from “free enterprise-oriented think tanks,” the coalition announced in a Jan. 4 press release. “To serve as a reality check on the anti-conversion rhetoric from those within the industry who have a vested interest in impeding charter choice, the coalition will actively educate and seek support from free enterprise-oriented think tanks and other public policy organizations that support open market principles,” the CCUCO said. The coalition also pledged not to reveal its member credit unions’ names “to avoid harassment from the anti-conversion zealots” or to “keep their own plans to convert charters secret from premature exposure from the competitive marketplace.” Much as might be expected from any Washington association, the coalition also pledged to support HR 3206, the legislation introduced by freshman Republican Patrick McHenry (N.C.) that would strip NCUA of much of its authority to regulate the credit union-to-bank conversion process and to oppose any legislation, such as CURIA, which would make the process more difficult. When involved in any credit union member vote contests, the coalition pledged to “demand transparency concerning the motives of outside agitators and the funding sources of any dissident credit union member groups that may attempt to disrupt membership votes.” It also claimed to have raised a “six-figure budget” in several fundraising efforts and that 80% of its support came from credit unions.

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