May 15, 2020

NAFCU pushes back on banker efforts to limit CU service to low-income individuals, military members 

millitaryNAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler yesterday pushed back against bank trade associations’ criticism of the NCUA's recent effort to allow certain members of the military to be considered when determining a low-income credit union (LICU) designation. 

"It is disappointing that banking trade groups, in their efforts to stifle competition and maximize profits, would oppose efforts to maximize financial assistance for these vulnerable individuals during the current public health and economic crises," wrote Thaler in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee.

Last week, the NCUA announced it is taking a new approach as it relates to military personnel. The NCUA will now consider military personnel without a street address "in a similar manner as students attending colleges, universities, vocational or technical schools."

In the letter to Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Thaler noted that this decision "is an important step toward promoting financial inclusion that fits with the goals of the low-income designation for credit unions."

In response to NCUA’s announcement last week, bank trade groups continued their campaign against the credit union industry and its commitment to putting people over profit by advocating against the NCUA’s new policy, including in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee in conjunction with NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood’s testimony before the committee this week.

"While banking trades choose to attack efforts to do more to help our nation’s military members during these uncertain times, credit unions will continue their focus on providing the best products and services to American consumers. We hope that the banks will refocus their efforts and do the same," Thaler said in yesterday’s letter.

NAFCU will continue to defend the credit union industry from the banking industry’s baseless attacks, and the association’s advocacy team will continue to work with Congress and federal regulators to advance important relief measures helpful to credit unions and their 120 million members.