Overview - Advocacy
Credit unions operate within strict legal and regulatory frameworks. The success of individual credit unions and the credit union movement is dependent on maintaining open lines of communication. The Association is committed to preserving a legal/regulatory environment that is conducive to the success of credit unions and to helping credit unions function within that environment.
The Association's role is multi-faceted. First it reaches out to credit unions in order to identify and prioritize the legislative and regulatory matters that are of greatest concern to member credit unions. Then Association staff researches how to best represent the interests of credit unions. The next step is making certain that the needs of credit unions and their members are well known and clearly understood by lawmakers and regulators. When it is required, the Association will prepare legislation and propose rules that will enhance the ability of credit unions to serve members and the community. Once the legislation is drafted, the Association will begin working to have it introduced, considered, and enacted.
Defending credit unions from legislative assaults mounted by competitors who seek to use the Legislature in order to gain advantages in the marketplace is an equally important function. This function requires close coordination with member credit unions. The local relationships that credit union executives and directors have established in their own communities are the pathways to a real and meaningful dialogue with them about credit union issues. The opportunity to combine the established credibility of a long time relationship with careful research and industry knowledge yield the results that credit unions have grown to expect.
Working with the NCUA, state credit union regulators, and the numerous other regulatory bodies that credit unions interact with is an equally important function for the Association. Key activities include: commenting on pending regulatory changes, establishing dialogue with regulators concerning important industry issues and trends, and assisting credit unions in interpreting existing regulations.