Credit unions applaud agency merger withdrawal

MADISON, WI (May 11, 2015) — Governor Scott Walker released a statement today asking lawmakers to remove provisions from the State Budget Bill that would have merged the Office of Credit Unions (OCU), Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). He also requested lawmakers pull back on stand-alone bills containing measures identical to the budget proposals. Wisconsin’s Credit Unions® appreciate and applaud this move.

“Governor Walker and lawmakers should be applauded for their ongoing efforts to review the organization and operations of state government in search of potential efficiencies and savings,” said League Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Tom Liebe. “The Governor’s Budget Bill merger proposal – along with the two stand-alone bills – offered stakeholders the opportunity to engage public officials and share their satisfaction with the effective, efficient and accountable operations at the OCU and DFI.”

Through the process, stakeholders and the public learned that compared to other states, Wisconsin’s financial institution regulators spend fewer dollars, have fewer employees and yet achieve superior results. The Wisconsin Credit Union League, Cooperative Network and others questioned elements of the merger proposals and urged lawmakers to withdraw the proposals from the Budget Bill and maintain the status quo.

“Wisconsin’s financial regulators do it right and they do it efficiently, today,” commented Liebe. “Even though we opposed this multi-agency merger, we can certainly appreciate why some elected officials would want to bring the OCU/DFI culture of effectiveness and transparency to other areas of state government.”

Liebe characterized the merger proposals as a rapid and meaningful investigation of potential benefits of a multi-agency merger, led by earnest and thoughtful members of the Governor’s team and legislators. Ultimately, maintaining independent, efficient and accountable regulators will continue to be a high priority for the credit union industry.

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