Along with First Source Board Member and President of JAY-K Lumber Dean Kelly, I had the opportunity to visit with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer when he visited JAY-K Lumber this past week. I had a brief chance to mention a letter I sent to him recently on behalf of First Source and other credit unions.
At First Source, we’re committed to promoting and protecting all credit unions, to make sure we can continue to provide excellent service to our Members. With that commitment comes an obligation to educate our elected officials in Washington and Albany about the difference between credit unions and banks, and to share our point of view on legislative issues that affect us.
During the past several years, we’ve seen a constant stream of news about problems in the financial services industry. Problems that have hurt millions of consumers across America.
How does this bring us to Senator Schumer? Congress has responded by introducing legislation that would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with sweeping new regulations whose sole purpose is to protect consumers from unscrupulous lenders and others who take advantage of them.
While we generally support the new legislation, we don’t want credit unions, which did not cause the mortgage crisis or other problems that led the country into recession, to be subject to new regulations prompted by the actions of other, less-responsible financial services firms. Credit unions, by their very nature, work to protect consumers and only offer products and services that are in the best interests of their Members.
Senator Schumer has been a long-time supporter of credit unions. The Senior Senator from New York has even been working to raise the limit on the number of business loans credit unions can make so they can make more loans to small businesses. We’ve asked him to consider an amendment to the new bill that would exempt credit unions from the additional consequences and costs that banks have earned. This would reward credit unions for our responsible financial practices (before, during and after the bail-out), and allow us to keep fees low and save money for our Members.
Join me in thanking Senator Schumer for his continued support and consideration of this amendment!