Business Politics

Credit Union National Association

Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

What they represent

Founded in 1934, CUNA is a national trade association representing credit unions throughout the United States of America. It has provided lobbying services, service management, and professional development services to its members.

Major issues

In the year 1998, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that corporate credit unions couldn’t accept outsiders as members. CUNA launched a campaign for legislation that would overrule the Supreme Court’s decision. During the said campaign, CUNA doubled its campaign contributions to federal parties.

Currently, the Credit Union National Association has been increasingly announcing its support to revise the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA). The last changes were made in 1998 but CUNA has deemed that some revisions ought to be made, even stating that ‘common sense’ requires that changes in the said legislation are sorely needed.

CUNA has also asked the US Congress to make two provisions in the Economic Stimulus package. The first provision suggested that the lending cap of a small business owner should be increased from 12.5% to 20% of the total assets. The second provision says that the minimum threshold of a business loan for a qualifying member should be increased from US$50,000 to US$100,000. CUNA stands that such provision would greatly help business owners that need assistance, with no cost to the taxpayers.

CUNA is also a staunch supporter of the FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act. The said law aims to help homeowners who are facing house foreclosures for unpaid loans. CUNA has voiced out that the organization is more than willing to help owners who are trapped in their mortgages by providing financial aid to them. If the law is approved and enacted, CUNA will seek to get FHA-approved status to be able to participate in the program — at present, only FHA-approved lenders are allowed to take part in the said act and the FHA does not recognize most members of CUNA.

CUNA strongly opposes the Credit Card Fair Fee Act. Under the said proposal, the United States government will have a greater role in regulating the interchange rate setting. CUNA points out that consumers will be subject to fee increase in other costs associated with their credit or debit cards. Aside from credit cad users, the proposed act will also harm all participants in the market – the consumers, retailers, and the large and small finance institutions.

CUNA is also active in promoting financial literacy and awareness throughout the United States. CUNA recently held the National Credit Union Youth Week in an effort to teach children and their parents on how to manage their finances, including how to make finances work for them. In addition, CUNA, along with the Washington Credit Union Foundation, Public Broadcasting Service, the Junior Achievement Worldwide and other credit unions have funded the Biz Kid$ Television series – a 26-episode TV series projected towards the youth about the importance financial management and financial awareness. CUNA also reaches out to students personally by conducting forums regarding student loans and sponsoring personal finance camps for teenagers.

The Credit Union National Association represents 90% of the United States 8400 credit unions and has 87 million credit union members.