Connecticut’s credit unions welcome lawmakers and economic experts
MERIDEN, CT (June 7, 2016) — The Credit Union League of Connecticut (CULCT) hosted its Governmental Affairs Conference and Economic Forum on Monday, June 6, at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. These typically separate annual events were combined for the first time this year. Credit union leaders from around the state showed up to hear from national and local lawmakers, policymakers, and economic experts. Speakers included Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Commissioner Jorge Perez, of the Connecticut Department of Banking (DOB), and Ralph Monaco, chief economist at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Kicking off the day was Elizabeth Eurgibian, deputy chief advocacy officer at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Eurgibian highlighted regulatory challenges facing credit unions as well as the successes the CUNA-League system has had at removing barriers and generating regulatory relief. A shocking number from a study commissioned by CUNA was the impact of regulatory burden on credit unions. In 2014 alone, regulatory burden cost credit unions $7.2 billion. This figure comprised of $6.1 billion in regulatory costs and $1.1 billion of lost revenue to member-owned cooperative credit unions.
The second speaker, Governor Dannel Malloy, acknowledged the sales tax exemption measure for state chartered credit unions, a parity measure with federally chartered credit unions that takes effect on July 1, 2016. Governor Malloy also highlighted that housing starts and home prices are up in the state, while foreclosures are down.
Commissioner Jorge Perez, from the DOB, greeted Connecticut’s Credit Unions as the third speaker. Perez welcomed an open dialogue between the agency and credit unions for education and training resources on critical issues such as cybersecurity. The Commissioner also noted the DOB’s willingness to move to an 18-month exam cycle, on par with potential changes coming from the NCUA.
State Representative Eric Berthel addressed the audience about the budget situation in the state. Berthel, also an employee at Hartford Healthcare Federal Credit Union, shared his view of how he can best represent the people of Connecticut.
Credit unions also heard from Senator Richard Blumenthal and a video message from Senator Chris Murphy. Both senators voiced their support for credit unions and the work they do by providing access to financial services in their communities.
“The pairing of our advocacy and economic events demonstrate how closely credit union and economic performance are tied to the policies set forth by our lawmakers and policymakers,” said Jill Nowacki, president/CEO, CULCT. “Providing our credit unions opportunities to engage in the advocacy process is vital to our mission to remove barriers that allow credit unions to better serve their members.”
The second half of the day gave credit union leaders a deep dive into the current and future economic environment they face. Chris Barnes, senior vice president of research and consulting at Market Strategies International, provided credit unions a look at the potential economic policies for each of the presidential candidates. Ralph Monaco, chief economist at the NCUA, gave credit unions an in-depth look at how credit union performance correlates with economic performance, nationally and locally in the state. Finishing the day was Dr. Phil Lane, economics professor at Fairfield University, who provided an economic forecast for Connecticut.
Link to photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zn5mz3ukm8z1rdq/AAB9ld_KyqFDoPSijoPvotPoa?dl=0
About Credit Union League of Connecticut
The Credit Union League of Connecticut serves, advocates for, and advances the interests of Connecticut credit unions in order to support their growth and maximize the positive impact credit unions have on their members, communities, employees, and on all their relationships. For the past 85 years, The Credit Union League of Connecticut has helped its members position for sustainable success and growth through a variety of offerings including government relations, regulatory compliance, executive education, vendor partnerships, and marketing services.