The Idaho state Senate is in the process of making several updates to modernize the Idaho Credit Union Act.

Among the changes being contemplated are provisions relating to:

· Meetings (both annual membership meetings and special meetings)
· Member voting procedures
· Election process for boards of directors
· Qualifications for directors
· Powers and duties of boards of directors
· Fiduciary duties for credit union officials
· Appointments of credit committees and supervisory committees
· Duties of supervisory committees
· Suspension of members of board and/or supervisory committees for cause
· Bond coverage for credit unions

The Northwest Credit Union Association, which recently said it will be merging with the Idaho Credit Union League effective Dec. 31, 2018, told Credit Union Journal the bill pending in the Idaho senate is a “modernization plan driven by the collaboration of our member credit unions, which contributed to the process through the Idaho Governmental Affairs Conference.”

Because the updates to the Idaho CU Act call for technical improvements, the NWCUA said it will not do any media interviews while the legislation is working its way through the process.

Northwest CUs thank Sen. Crapo

In a unified show of support for legislation they say will “right size regulation for credit unions,” the Northwest Credit Union Association and Nampa, Idaho-based Northwest Christian Credit Union joined Sen. Mike Crapo (R -ID) at a recent Boise news conference in support of S. 2155. The Idaho Bankers Association represented community banks at the event, also.

Despite ongoing gridlock on numerous other issues in the beltway, S.2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, passed with bipartisan support out of the Senate Banking Committee, which Sen. Crapo chairs. The bill now has 26 Senate co-sponsors: 13 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

“Unfortunately, community banks and credit unions across the country have long struggled to keep up with ever-increasing regulatory compliance and examiner demands coming out of Washington,” Sen. Crapo told reporters and a delegation of financial industry leaders who attended the event at the Idaho state capitol. “In local economies, this places a strain on small businesses looking to open or grow.”

“We recognize that Congress’ initial intent when they passed the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, was to place well-intended restrictions curbing the practices of Wall Street’s ‘bad actors’ who contributed so heavily to the economic downturn leading into the recession,” said Troy Stang, the NWCUA’s president and CEO. “But, it was always recognized during the time leading up to the recession, that credit unions and community institutions did not engage in the same practices as those Wall Street actors.”

Joining Stang in representing the credit union movement was Brad Swartzentruber, president and CEO of $57 million Northwest Christian Credit Union. He shared an example of what regulatory overreach looks like in local financial institutions.

The CU says it has made church loans for more than 20 years. Despite having no losses, foreclosures, or credit risks during or since the recession, Swartzentruber said, “today’s post-recession regulatory structure paints our credit union with the same brush as the regulations that are needed to oversee large, Wall Street financial institutions.”

Stang and Swartzentruber praised Sen. Crapo for his leadership in garnering bipartisan support of the bill, which is making its way through the Senate.

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