GoWest Spring DC Hike a Success
Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on June 27, 2023
Last week, a group of over 20 credit union leaders and GoWest staff from across its region traveled to Washington, D.C. for a legislative and regulatory “Hike the Hill.”
The group spent a full day on Capitol Hill, delivering the message that credit unions are safe and secure for members and that they remain consumers’ best financial partner now more than ever. They also delivered important asks around data security, interchange, and charter enhancement opportunities.
The group sat down for nearly 40 meetings with our collective congressional delegation. With all the recent events in the financial services industry, it was a perfect time to remind lawmakers of the profound difference credit unions make due to their structure as not-for-profit, cooperative financial services providers.
In addition, credit union leaders voiced their opposition to the misguided Credit Card Competition Act, which would limit access to financial services, weaken data protection and privacy efforts, and ultimately hurt consumers. Those conversations resulted in several GoWest members of Congress committing to oppose any movement on the bill, while also giving attendees an opportunity to do an in-depth discussion into the problems with the legislation with newer members and staff.
There are already positive results from those conversations as representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) and Diana DeGette (CO-1) signed on as co-sponsors of the SAFE Banking Act. They join the original sponsor in the 118th Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), and 11 other bi-partisan members of the GoWest congressional delegation.
Advocates also attended the June meeting of the NCUA board and spent time with senior NCUA leadership, including board Chairman Todd Harper. Several leaders met with CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, leaders at FHFA leading the FHLB review, and Noel Poyo, deputy assistant secretary for community and economic development for the U.S. Treasury.
Discussions with the NCUA were focused on topics like the Central Liquidity Facility, loan-to-share ratios, and the Share Insurance Fund. With the Treasury, the group discussed the Emergency Capital Investment Program and other programmatic topics. At the CFPB, the conversation was centered on shared values around protecting consumers from predatory institutions and the importance of relationship banking. In addition, GoWest leaders provided feedback and recommendations on recent and upcoming rules.