March 11, 2020

Berger outlines CU response to coronavirus, how Congress can help

BergerNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in letters to President Donald Trump and Congress Tuesday, shared how credit unions are prioritizing the health and safety of members and employees and providing financial assistance in the wake of the coronavirus, as well as how lawmakers can strengthen these efforts.

Berger's letters were also in response to one from Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee asking how financial trade groups and member institutions are supporting consumers as the threat of the virus increases.

"Similar to the immediate response we saw when credit unions stepped up to help members during the government shutdown, we are pleased to report that credit unions across the nation are working to proactively assist their members that are being impacted by COVID-19 uncertainty," Berger wrote.

Berger outlined steps credit unions provide to members such as financial assistance through the waiving of fees, low- or no-interest loans, loan modifications, and more. In addition, as credit unions frequently work with members on an individual basis to find the right solution for their needs, Berger asked Congress to encourage regulators not to penalize institutions for these efforts during examinations.

Financial regulators have released pandemic preparedness guidance as well as a statement to encourage financial institutions to support affected consumers. A new NAFCU Compliance Blog post out today further details this guidance.

On the policy side, Berger urged the President and lawmakers to support legislative efforts that would allow credit unions to better address coronavirus concerns and similar situations in the future, including:

NAFCU will continue to closely monitor the impact of the coronavirus on consumers, credit unions, and economy as a whole.