Credit union regulatory reform package signed into law

MADISON, WI (April 16, 2014) – A comprehensive package of regulatory reforms and updates for Wisconsin credit unions is now law with Governor Scott Walker’s signature of Senate Bill 520 (SB 520) today.

“The overall regulatory burden – what some describe as a crisis of creeping complexity – is generally accepted as perhaps the single biggest challenge to Wisconsin’s member-owned credit unions today,” said Tom Liebe, Vice President of Government Affairs at The Wisconsin Credit Union League. “That’s why introducing and passing a package of proactive, pro-credit union reforms and updates is only half the battle; having them become law is the real end-game for us.”

In Wisconsin, lawmakers, regulators and the private sector accomplish positive things for consumers and businesses by sitting down together and working in good faith to find opportunities to streamline, update and improve laws and regulations. SB 520 is a case-study in that good-faith public/private sector collaboration.

Senate Bill 520 makes modifications to a dozen different areas of credit union regulations, including permitted investments and incidental powers. Initial dialogue that led to this legislation was the State Assembly Financial Institutions Committee’s ‘Right the Rules’ review process. Rep. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and ranking member Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) were the primary authors in the Assembly where they spent several months reviewing credit union regulations with League staff and the Director of the Office of Credit Unions.

“Passage of reforms such as this yield regulatory improvements and allow operational changes that provide state credit unions a measure of relief and flexibility going forward,” said Brett Thompson, League President and CEO. “We applaud the Legislature for passing and the Governor for signing these common-sense reforms that let credit unions spend less time unraveling regulatory requirements and more time providing consumers and communities with services that have consistently earned them recognition for their social responsibility.”

As a consensus package developed by stakeholders, regulators and legislators, the Assembly and Senate ultimately passed the bill on unanimous, bipartisan votes.

“Wisconsin’s lawmakers and the Governor have again shown that they understand, appreciate and support credit unions across the state by adopting reforms that facilitate credit unions’ continued service to their 2.4 million member-owners,” concluded Liebe.

Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned by their members and do not have stockholders. Because they are not-for-profit, they return earnings to members via more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. The Scorecard, at, explains how Wisconsin credit unions serve their communities and how they’ve saved their members more than $1 billion since 2007. Around 2.4 million Wisconsin residents belong to credit unions, of which nearly half are open to the local community. Find a credit union to join by visiting


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