ORLANDO, Fla. — One thing was clear from Credit Union Times recent conference on Non-Interest income: credit unions will not be relying on net interest margins as heavily as they have in the past.

While economists thought briefly that the yield curve might be up righting itself, that does not appear to be the case, Wescom Credit Union CEO Darren Williams, the keynote speaker, observed.

He said of his credit union and others, “We need to increase non-interest income in the years to come.” He expressed strong concerns over various potential legislative and regulatory maneuvers that could take that opportunity away.

Williams specifically noted not sufficient funds and overdrafts as a target of the Democratic Congress. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation, expected to be picked up again next year, that would place overdrafts under the Truth-in-Lending Act. This would require reporting overdraft fees as an APR, which would create statutory issues for credit unions given the 18% usury ceiling.

With an overdraft under TILA, credit unions would not even know if they were violating the Federal Credit Union Act until after they did it. Additionally, calculating an APR would be impossible until after the amount of the overdraft and the length of the term could be determined.

Williams also pointed out that interchange fees have been driven out of Australia.