Jeanne Kucey is far from the first credit union representative to call for regulatory relief for CUs, nor will she be the last, but the newest chair of the board for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions says she will do whatever she can to make it happen in the year ahead.
“My greatest goal is regulatory relief,” Kucey told Credit Union Journal. “We need to roll back some of the burdensome regulations so credit unions can do their real work – leading their members down the road to prosperity.”
As is the case with many in the credit union movement, Kucey fills multiple roles. She is president and CEO of $200 million-asset JetStream Federal Credit Union in Miami Lakes, Fla., and is NAFCU’s Region III director. She has been on the trade group’s board for seven years, including serving as vice chair 2017-18. She became chair at the adjournment of NAFCU’s recent 51st Annual Meeting in Seattle.
The regulatory burden is “felt deeper” by small credit unions, which do not have the resources to expand compliance teams or engage in outside counsel, Kucey explained.
“Those of us who run small credit unions wear a lot of hats, work long hours and rely on the NAFCU compliance team. They provide a lot of regulatory guidance and answer questions by phone,” she said. “Thankfully, the representatives from bigger credit unions who are on the board are aware of the challenges facing small credit unions.”
Asked for her vision as chair, Kucey said the board and senior management team at NAFCU have “charted a great course.”
“I really appreciate the laser focus on advocacy, compliance and education,” she said. “Adding state charters has helped us grow as an organization.”
During her time on the board, Kucey has testified in front of Congress, and represented NAFCU on the Hill and at the Democratic National Convention.
“It has been a great opportunity being on the board,” she said. “We all need to step up, not just rely on other people to do the work. We ask our members and volunteers to reach out to lawmakers when there is a piece of legislation that is important to credit unions.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be NAFCU board chair, and I look forward to the opportunity,” she added.