The credit union story is powerful, but it needs everyone’s voice to resonate, Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) told a record-breaking number of attendees Monday at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
More than 5,200 credit union leaders from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and worldwide are in Washington, D.C., this week for the largest credit union event in history.
While each person in the credit union sector makes a difference every day, “when we all get together and make our voice heard, it’s a pretty powerful thing,” Nussel said.
In fact, “we have superpowers—cooperative superpowers, ” he said. “When we solve problems together, you cannot touch the impact that credit unions have on their members and on America.”
“CUNA is on a mission to be your champion, to be your guide, to be your strongest advocate, and I think we have the reputation to back it up,” he added, citing legislative victories last year that included keeping NCUA out of appropriations, convincing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to tailor its payday lending rule and supporting repeal of the bureau’s arbitration rule.
In 2017, credit unions helped 750,000 homebuyers get mortgages, made 2.2 million new and used car loans, helped 175,000 students get loans for college, and helped create 110,000 new jobs across the country.
In addition, Nussle highlighted how credit union members saved $10 billion in better rates than banks, and credit unions were responsible for $13 billion in economic activity in 2017.
“We’re big enough to solve any problem that a member walks into our offices to deal with, yet we’re small enough to know their name and to be their partner in whatever comes along,” he said.
Nussle’s speech was streamed live over Facebook and has been viewed more than 1,900 times as of Tuesday afternoon.