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Credit Union Advocates Meet with U.S. Rep. Billy Long in Springfield

A roundtable with U.S. Congressman Billy Long (R-District 7)  brought together more than a dozen credit union advocates from southwest Missouri on August 25. The meeting took place in Springfield at BluCurrent Credit Union and included staff and volunteers.  

Credit union advocates highlighted a number of topics during the hour-long meeting, starting with data security. The group provided specific examples of the impact data breaches are having on credit union unions and their members, and asked for his support of the Data Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 2205 and S. 961).  The bill addresses a number of data security concerns discussed with Congressman Long.

"What most of our members don't understand is credit unions bear the brunt of the costs associated with data breaches," said Craig Tabor, President/CEO of BluCurrent Credit Union. "As a service to our members, credit unions reimburse them for any loss incurred as a result of a data breach. On top of that, it costs about $4 to replace the card, and those costs add up quickly."

Attendees also emphasized the need to provide credit union members access to business loans. Credit unions are capped at 12.25% of assets on member business loans.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in members wanting access to commercial loans," added Tabor. "Unfortunately, our credit union is up against the cap and we have had to turn down members in good standing who want to start a business."

The group asked Congressman Long for his support on several bills dealing with member business lending, including H.R. 1133, which exempts business loans to veterans from the 12.25% cap and H.R. 1422, which classifies loans for 1-4 unit non-owner occupied residential properties as residential rather than a business loan.  H.R. 1422 would bring parity with other financial institutions in how these types of loans are classified.

Advocates also addressed the need for regulatory relief and updated Congressman Long on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) intention to propose rules on overdraft protection. The discussion concluded with the group reiterating the credit union difference, the importance of credit unions' tax status and questions about potential tax reform legislation.

Roundtable attendees included:

  • Cindy Atteberry, Joplin Metro Credit Union
  • Judy Hadsall,  CU Community Credit Union
  • Craig Tabor, BluCurrent Credit Union
  • David Kent, Missouri Credit Union Association
  • Gene Harris, BluCurrent Credit Union Board Chair  
  • Jim McGee, BluCurrent Credit Union Board Vice-Chair  
  • Howard House,  BluCurren Credit Union Board Secretary/Treasurer
  • Mary Arnold, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member
  • Ralph Tate, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member
  • Mike McFarland, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member
  • Scott Rose, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member
  • David Phelps, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member
  • Frank Romines, BluCurrent Credit Union Board member

Click here for the briefing materials shared with Congressman Long.

Lawmakers head back to Washington, D.C. this month.  Make plans now to attend the Missouri Credit Union Association's Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C. on October 20 - 22, held in conjunction with the Kansas Credit Union Association. Credit union advocates will have an opportunity to meet with lawmakers one-on-one and discuss legislative issues and concerns. Click here to register today.

Photo top:  Judy Hadsall talks with Congressman Billy Long during a roundtable discussion.

Photo middle:  Cindy Atteberry welcomes Congressman Long prior to the start of the meeting.

Photo bottom:  Credit union advocates from Congressional District 7 pose with Congressman Long.