WASHINGTON–A delegation of credit unions that met with President Trump at the White House said they were quite pleased with the president’s understanding of the regulatory burden facing CUs.
The meeting has been long requested by both CUNA and NAFCU, and representatives of both organizations were on hand for the approximately 30-minute long exchange.
NAFCU CEO Dan Berger described the approximately 30-minute long meeting as “terrific.”
“We talked about the landscape and the regulatory burden on community financial institutions and the things we need,” said Berger.
The discussion moved around among the CEOs in attendance describing how regulatory issues are affecting their specific institutions.
The president, said Berger, has a “clear understanding of the value of credit unions.” Berger said Trump pointed to the appointment of Mick Mulvaney to interim director of the CFPB as one example of how the administration is working to provide regulatory relief.
There was no discussion of when a full-time director might be appointed, if NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters is in the running for the post, nor any talk related to the credit union tax exemption, according to attendees. The group expressed to the president support for the job McWatters has been doing at NCUA.
A 'Great' Meeting
“We had a great meeting today,” said CUNA President Jim Nussle. “It was a meeting long in the making. It helps when you have 5,000 credit union advocates in town; It gets people’s attention.”
Maurice Smith, the CEO of Local Government Employees FCU in North Carolina and CUNA’s new chairman, said the trip was his first to the White House and that he had paused to take in the “magnitude of the moment and the significance of the place.”
“I thought it was a rich experience for all,” said Smith. “I found the president’s interest in credit unions warm and genuine. He was informed. He asked questions. He was well read on the credit union issues.”
Lisa Ginter, CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Missouri, also said Trump expressed a genuine interest in regulatory challenges. She noted the president also wanted to know where each person was from and the asset size of their institutions.
“We shared our dissatisfaction with the regulatory burden, and that our goal is to continue to help our members in their journey and to put them in homes and cars,” said Ginter. “The president was very, very interested in wanting to help us to continue to do that.”
Pointing to Specifics
Dallas Bergl, CEO of INOVA FCU in Indiana, said he specifically pointed to the impact of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule on the ability of smaller credit unions to get loans made.
Both Nussle and Berger told CUToday.info that there was no specific announcement of a position on regulatory relief legislation currently before Congress.
Others in attendance at the White House meeting were NAFCU Board Chair Richard L. Harris (president and CEO of Caltech Employees FCU); NAFCU Board Vice Chair Jeanne Kucey (president and CEO of JetStream FCU); NAFCU Board Member Jim Kenyon (president and CEO of Whitefish Credit Union); Tyrone Muse (president and CEO of Visions FCU); Angie Owens (president and CEO of American Airlines FCU), and Lynette Smith (president and CEO of Washington Gas Light Federal Credit Union).