Spur Change Through Legislation

The more things change, the more they are the same. “Banks want new powers. But they want credit unions to remain under the same restraints imposed in the 1930s,” wrote Ed Callahan, former Patelco CEO, in 1998.

 
 

The more things change, the more they are the same. “Banks want new powers. But they want credit unions to remain under the same restraints imposed in the 1930s,” wrote Ed Callahan, former Patelco CEO, in 1998.

Ed Callahan stated that credit unions need to push for legislation to make them less vulnerable to attacks by banks and safeguard their core values. The following observations from his Feb. 1998 article of “The Callahan Report” still ring true today.

Time for a Credit Union Modernization Bill
Banks want new powers. But they want credit unions to remain under the same restraints imposed in the 1930s. Their view about us might be summed up as, “Credit unions are all right so long as they do what they were created to do, which in our opinion is:” and then espouse a very strict interpretation of the 1934 Act. They know they are dead if they do not change, and they know we are dead if they can keep us frozen in 1934.

Of course, they have had quite a bit of legislative and regulatory reform over the past few years and we have had little. And what little we have had, they have used to roll back other prowers.

If we were to be content with incremental regulatory improvements, we would be continuous targets of future banking litigation and obfuscation. Better to take the bull by the horns...so that banking lawyers can’t challenge the rights we believe credit unions and credit union members should have in the 21st century.

What We Should Ask For

1. Primarily, we want the freedom of Americans to choose a credit union as a financial services provider.To us, this seems inalienable. It would improve the lives of millions of Americans and strengthen the American economy.

2.We also want the freedom of credit unions to provide the services that their members need for more prosperous financial lives.

This, of course, includes non-insured products such as insurance, annuities and mutual funds.

3. We also want the freedom to organize ourselves to the betterment of the members. The restrictions now placed on us keeps us in a 1930s environment, exactly where banks want us to remain.

Unshackle Our Chains
Credit unions for too long have been considered second-class citizens in the financial services world. Outsiders have regarded us as afterthoughts, as places for the destitute. This has infected our own members with a sense of second-classness and our regulators and Congress with myths that have retarded our movement. We have been second-class citizens long enough.

If given the kinds of freedoms we want, we will act for the improvement in the lives of our members...If we are to improve the lives of our people, we have to have the ability to organize to their benefit.

To learn how your credit union can act effect legislation attend our webinar this Thursday, Oct. 7 on Mobilizing Membership to Get Out the Vote.

 

 

 

Oct. 4, 2004


Comments

 
 
 

No comments have been posted yet. Be the first one.