Credit Union National Association (CUNA) president and CEO Jim Nussle took to the main stage at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Monday morning to address the more than 5,000 credit union advocates in attendance during his keynote speech.
“Credit unions advance communities and empower financial well-being,” Nussle told a record-breaking number of attendees during his speech, which was streamed live over Facebook and viewed live by an additional 750 Facebook users.
Nussle signified how credit unions fulfill their “people helping people” philosophy by advancing communities, fostering financial resilience and investing in main street.
He particularly highlighted the important role credit unions play in empowering financial well-being for millions of Americans, saying:
- Credit unions provide $18.9 billion in total financial benefits to consumers every year and save members $13.6 billion annually;
- Credit union short-term loans typically have a 400 percent lower APR than payday loan companies; and
- Credit union commercial loans created over 386,000 jobs in the last year.
Nussle also outlined two key industry challenges that lie ahead for credit unions and how CUNA will lead the charge to implement solutions across the movement.
“Americans’ financial well-being is threatened when credit unions can’t do their job,” Nussle said in a discussion regarding efforts from banking lobbyists to undermine the federal tax status of credit unions. “The financial well-being of our members is hurt when their data is hacked,” he added regarding the recent rise of data breaches that have impacted credit union operations.
Placing the power of financial choice in the hands of consumers served as the focal point for the keynote address.
Nussle closed with a nod to the rapid growth of the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign which launched in January 2019, and currently has funding commitments of over $46.9 million from more than 1,000 organizations.
“The campaign has regularly outperformed its benchmarks and landed in front of consumers more than 465 million times,” Nussle said.