Hunt to Congress: Credit unions deliver meaningful impact

America’s Credit Unions Chief Advocacy Officer Carrie Hunt followed the hundreds of congressional meetings at the 2024 Governmental Affairs Conference with a message to Congress highlighting credit unions’ meaningful impact despite concerning proposals and misleading bank attacks.

“Our top advocacy priority is protecting the interchange system from bad proposals in Congress and the Federal Reserve,” she wrote. “Research shows the current interchange system works. Small businesses, consumers, and financial institutions rely on it to ensure secure payments, affordable financial products, and access to credit.”

Hunt added “limiting interchange fees is a proven failed policy: After the Durbin Amendment restricted debit interchange, only 1% of retailers passed these ‘savings’ on to consumers.”

She also noted—in advance of bank visits to Capitol Hill this week—that despite banks’ flawed and misleading arguments, credit unions:

  • Step in when others leave, as banks have closed 19,301 net branches since 2012, while credit unions have opened 1,373;
  • Provide loans when others won’t, as call report data shows a 30% loan growth at credit unions since before the pandemic, compared to just 15% growth at banks;
  • Serve financially challenged borrowers, consumers with lower credit scores save up to $10,000 over the life of a car loan and as much as $50,000 over the life of a home loan when using a credit union;
  • Benefit members (who are also constituents) with more than $21.5 billion in economic benefit last year for the 12 months ending September 2023; and
  • Help people improve their financial lives, including 79% of credit unions that offer secured, credit card programs to help consumers build credit.

Relatedly, America’s Credit Unions President/CEO Jim Nussle and MD|DC Credit Union Association President/CEO John Bratsakis published an article on LinkedIn Tuesday to address attacks on the credit union tax exemption. America’s Credit Unions will continue to advocate for credit union priorities and set the record straight on the credit union difference.

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