California Credit Union League:
A Powerful Impact
Major Victories in California Legislature
Fighting for Your Credit Union
We consistently work with assemblymembers and senators to craft state laws that have a better impact on locally member-owned credit unions. To view all 20 Assembly and Senate bill wins and eight additional League-engaged bills, click here.
SB 1176, as introduced, would have created a California Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for credit unions and other state-chartered institutions. This state CRA would have gone well beyond the federal CRA and established extremely burdensome reporting requirements for credit unions. The League quickly engaged on the bill and utilized its Connect for the Cause action platform, with credit union supporters sending 1,835 messages to state lawmakers. With our movement’s amazing lobbying and grassroots efforts, the bill was defeated before it was heard in committee.
SB 449 would have created burdensome climate-related financial risk standards for credit unions and other lenders in the state. The League lobbied the bill heavily during our California Government Relations Rally (GRR)! It was defeated in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 269 has strengthened and modernized the charter for state-chartered credit unions. The bill was signed into law in October 2021 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. This new law is helping credit unions navigate an ever-changing landscape and aiding them in better serving their members.
AB 1436 moved from one senate committee to another and was a near repeat of the mortgage forbearance requirements credit unions had already defeated in AB 2501 in late June of 2020. The mortgage provision from then-defeated AB 2501 was dropped into a housing eviction/rent relief bill (AB 1436).
AB 2501 was introduced in 2020 after state legislators came back from an unexpected COVID-19 recess. The bill would have let any borrower request a mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months, and up to six months on an auto loan, without any proof of economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also included a year-long moratorium on foreclosures, meaning a borrower could go up to two years without making a payment.
With credit unions’ help, we rallied together during two intense Connect for the Cause campaigns, sending 21,125 messages to assemblymembers and senators to kill AB 2501 and AB 1436! Our combined efforts continue saving the industry from devastating financial and onerous requirements.
SB 1121 has clarified the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) exemption included in the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and continues protecting credit unions from large compliance costs related to updating information-technology systems for new consumer notices and opt-out requirements.
Huge Accomplishments in Congress
Staying Alert on Your Behalf
We proactively stay ahead of congressional legislation in Washington, D.C. and important legislative and regulatory conversations that have ramifications for your credit union. The League is alert on Capitol Hill so you can focus on what you do best — serving your members. (The congressional session had not concluded as of mid-November when these accomplishments were published here.)
The League directly crafted the language of H.R. 7003, the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act. The bill is authored by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). This legislation allows federally chartered credit unions to serve banking deserts in underserved and low-income communities regardless of charter type. It expands the definition of an underserved region to include any area that’s more than 10 miles from the nearest financial institution branch, and the bill also allows all credit unions unlimited business lending authority within these communities. Once H.R. 7003 passed the House of Representatives, the League worked with Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) to introduce the Senate version. Advancing this bill in the Senate is now the League’s top priority.
The League secured a letter from Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) requesting inclusion of a one-year extension of Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) borrowing authority in any potential year-end legislative package (originally in the pandemic-era CARES Act of 2020). Such action would provide another year of emergency liquidity through the CLF, administered by the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA). Senator Padilla’s important letter was addressed to chairs of our nation’s House of Representatives and Senate banking committees and specifically targeted member-agent authority, which would allow corporate credit unions to act as CLF agents.
The Overdraft Protection Act, which would have created a regulatory framework around overdraft protection products, was pulled from consideration during the bill mark-up process in the House Financial Services Committee. It eventually passed with the notion that consensus was lacking to advance any further. The League advocated heavily with members of Congress for an end-result that would not impact credit unions.
The League opposed and defeated House of Representatives legislation that would have given the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulatory authority over third-party credit union vendors. We are engaged on this issue and will be working to defeat it as the lame-duck congressional session commences.
The House of Representatives passed the Credit Union Board Modernization Act, a bill providing parity with state-chartered credit unions by allowing federally chartered credit unions to remove the monthly board meeting requirement and move to one per quarter (and no fewer than six per year). In total, 30 of 53 California members of the House co-sponsored this bill, as well as all four House representatives from Nevada. In the Senate, the bill has the support of four senators (two from California and two in Nevada) and continues gaining bipartisan support. This bill also exempts federally chartered de-novo credit unions in their first five years of operations, as well as federal credit unions with a low CAMELS score (Capital Adequacy / Asset Quality / Management / Earnings / Liquidity / Asset-Liability Management / Sensitivity to Market Risk).
The Credit Union Governance Modernization Act, an important piece of legislation addressing member expulsions, was included in the massive federal omnibus budget package in early 2022. This victory gave federal credit unions a streamlined process for removing dangerous members and will keep credit union members and employees safe by creating a framework for federal credit unions to swiftly remove a member for cause.
We are FULLY ENGAGED on your behalf:
The League has been playing steady defense against any harmful provision from potential credit card interchange fee legislation. With credit unions’ help through our Connect for the Cause grassroots platform, Senate lawmakers have been asked to not let the Credit Card Competition Act be attached to any “must pass” bill. This credit card interchange legislation would shift the interchange cost from big-box retailers to consumers by allowing merchants to route payments through an unaffiliated network, bypassing established secure payment networks at the expense of consumers. While there have been several defeats of attaching this legislation to any package, defeating this measure this session and going forward will remain a top priority.
The League doubled-down its efforts toward Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)-certification cure period efforts, sending our nation’s House of Representatives and Senate banking committees an aggressive letter requesting intervention with the CDFI Fund and the U.S. Treasury Departmentfor credit unions facing the end of the CDFI-certification cure period (effective Sept. 30, 2022). While the CDFI stated that credit unions with pending submissions or cure period requirements are considered certified until the fund provides official notification of change or termination of status, CDFI credit unions have reported significant challenges in the application process as the fund paused its acceptance of new applications for six months starting Oct. 1, 2022.
We continue advocating for: the Expanding Access to Lending Options Act (increasing maturity limits for federal credit unions on non-primary residential mortgage loans); the Member Business Loan Expansion Act (unlimited authority for member business lending in underserved areas); and the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (data security and consumer privacy).
Powerful Achievements: PAC & Grassroots
Supporting the Credit Union Cause
Directly connecting your credit union’s supporters to state and federal legislators through our Connect for the Cause action-alerts remains a top priority and is extremely valuable to our movement’s political voice.
Nearly 600 messages were sent through the League’s Connect for the Cause action platform in just 48 hours by California credit unions opposing SB 1323. This bill would have rendered the non-judicial foreclosure process useless by inserting a forced sale (potentially against a homeowner’s will) into the non-judicial foreclosure process, potentially increasing the cost of lending across the entire state.
More than 9,860 messages were sent through the League’s Connect for the Cause action platform by California credit unions telling Congress to leave the credit card interchange system alone and keep credit cards out of legislation dealing with national defense. Attaching the Credit Card Competition Act to the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would shift the interchange cost from big-box retailers to consumers by allowing merchants to route payments through an unaffiliated network. Doing so would bypass established secure payment networks at the expense of consumers and lead to less innovative and higher-risk transactions.
Fundraising & Meetings with Elected Officials
We are dedicated to educating elected officials and their communities about the credit union difference.
The California Credit Union League PAC (Political Action Committee) raised more than $715,000 toward state candidates and over $177,000 toward the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) federal PAC for federal candidates — the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) — through individual giving during the GAC Sweepstakes ($63,600), June CULAC Challenge ($6,200), one-time donations during REACH 2022 ($13,400), and ongoing payroll deduction programs. More than 540 leaders and professionals from 105 credit unions donated, averaging $31.10 per individual.
Over $28,000 was raised for House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters during GAC, and more than $100,000 was raised for multiple members on the California Assembly Banking Committee (Committee Chair Tim Grayson, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senator Anthony Portantino, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel). Additionally, the Multi-Chapter PAC Golf Tournament had another record-breaking year, raising more than $109,000 toward the state PAC.
Additionally, the California League’s PAC has interviewed more than 50 state and federal candidates, attended 72 fundraisers, and hosted 27 in-person and virtual state and federal district meetings, fundraisers and/or check presentations.
Big Wins in Regulatory Reform
Federal & State Impact
The League closely monitors regulatory issuances and provides vital information daily and weekly to help you stay informed on actions impacting your credit union.
The League hosted six exclusive meetings with regulators and credit union leaders to facilitate proactive and positive discussions:
- California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) Chief Deputy Commissioner Chris Shultz (during the California Government Relation Rally in Sacramento).
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra (his first meeting with credit union industry stakeholders).
- CFPB senior staff during Hike The Hill in Washington, D.C.
- NCUA Director of Office Examination and Insurance Kelly Lay (virtual meeting).
- National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Todd Harper (met during the Shapiro Summit conference in California and the Hike The Hill gathering in Washington, D.C.).
- NCUA Western Region Director Cherie Freed.
The League urged the NCUA to issue updated interest rate risk (IRR) guidance as federally insured credit unions continue navigating their way through the current economic and interest rate environment. The League also urged NCUA to issue an interim final rule regarding Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) to help ensure federally insured credit unions remain operational and liquid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through our continual advocacy efforts, overdrafts remain on the CFPB’s inactive calendar. We also have continued calling on the CFPB regarding tailored regulations and greater use of exemption authority for credit unions, as well as fostering a more collaboration and stronger relationship with the NCUA.
The League provided official comments on “junk fees” (CFPB), member expulsion (NCUA), the Debt Collection Licensing Act (California DFPI), and the California Consumer Privacy Act/California Privacy Rights Act (California Privacy Protection Agency — CPPA).
Compliance for Superior Performance
Oftentimes credit unions forego accessing their legal counsel because the League’s compliance resources provide the answer — quickly and efficiently. Compliance Hotline consultants and other League resources have the expertise your credit union needs.
CU PolicyPro has more than 200 model policies, and InfoSight offers both federal and state-specific compliance information. In 2022 (January – September), California and Nevada credit unions accessed InfoSight 4,840 times, made 1,735 calls to the Compliance Hotline, and benefitted from CU PolicyPro 1,369 times. About 99 credit unions used InfoSight, 175 used the Compliance Hotline, and 128 used CU PolicyPro.
Valuable & Engaging Educational Opportunities
Resources at Your Fingertips & Beyond
We leverage and harness the capabilities, conveniences, and unique environment of both virtual and onsite events to deliver a valuable set of high-impact educational and professional development options.
We are helping credit union leaders who wish to assist their members in their financial wellness journey. The League and the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation’s (RMJ) virtual Financial Counselor Academy will help credit union professionals become certified financial counselors (CCUFC), develop financial counseling programs, participate in roleplaying exercises, and uncover opportunities beyond counseling — all in just 13 weeks.
The League hosted Parts 1 – 3 of our Final Road to CECL virtual “live” webinar series, with the fourth installment taking place this coming February of 2023. Additionally, we hosted a virtual/live webinar on The Credit Union Difference: Better Serving Underserved Communities, which was a major hit as many credit unions continue looking to broaden their horizons in this area. Also, our THRIVE Data Institute series fostered deep insights into how credit unions can engage their members better.
Power Learner Passport (PLP) provides unlimited access to webinars, translating into thousands of dollars of value and savings that directly supports your credit union’s staff, skills and readiness. In 2022, 136 California and Nevada credit unions are PLP subscribers, with nearly 7,150 webinar orders placed by a grand total of 174 credit unions from January to September of 2022.
Additionally, more than 200 California and Nevada credit unions participated in various networking events benefiting thousands of professionals, with a number of innovative initiatives continually under development to serve you and your staff better. As credit unions move beyond the challenges coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and also discover new opportunities, we continue adapting and offering both in-person and convenient online/virtual events. Activity in our electronic delivery channels remains high as industry professionals continue finding great value in this new hybrid-remote environment.
Signature events such as REACH, Chapter Forum, Summit Roundtable, and Shapiro Summit were hosted in-person with great success, as well as five successful legal updates and regulatory seminars. Additionally, Your Economy — Your Credit Union continues to be a yearly favorite and grow in online/virtual audience size with CEOs, CFOs, board directors, and senior management.
Communications & Solutions with a Purpose
Whether it’s special communications and updates or effective business solutions, the League strengthens and shapes operations while supporting your credit union’s nimble leadership in a fast-changing world.
The League’s presence on social media continues serving as an invaluable resource to credit union leaders as state and federal policymakers’ decisions impact credit unions. We also empower member credit unions through Diana’s CEO Call Recap, From the Desk of Diana, A Message From the Leagues, CU Weekly, Education & Professional Development, CCUL.org, Advocacy Blog, Quarterly CU Performance Report, and localized/regional quarterly credit union trends. Local news-media relations and social media promoting the economic and membership benefits of “the credit union difference” remains a huge focal point.
Solutions are always being tailored to specifically support credit unions and their members. Insurance and lending, member growth and retention, revenue and rewards, and operational efficiencies are all part of this solution. Every partner is specially vetted by the League for its value to credit unions. In addition, our League-owned companies (ViClarity and Humanidei + O’Rourke) are specifically geared to support credit unions in the areas of compliance and human capital solutions.
The League remains agile as we pivot forward to deliver our annual REACH Conference, Chapter Forum, California Government Relations Rally (GRR), national Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), Summit Roundtable Conference (SRT), and Shapiro Summit. In 2023, we are excited to be bringing back in-person CEO Roundtables with Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra!
We continually bring together credit union leaders to pursue only the best for their members. Our bi-monthly CEO Calls provide a key outlet for briefings, regional perspectives, and industry strategy.