Credit unions applaud Gov. Walker for veto of payday lender provisions in state budget

PEWAUKEE, WI (July 13, 2015) — The Wisconsin Credit Union League was joined by a diverse coalition of business groups recently to request a veto of provisions included in the State Budget Bill in a ‘wrap-up motion’ which, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau would, “Expand the types of financial products and services a payday lending company may provide to include: (a) the sale of insurance, annuities, and related products; and (b) any financial or consumer finance services subject to regulation by statute or rule.”

“We tip our hats to Governor Walker today for standing with consumers and rejecting what would have been an overnight expansion of authority for payday lending outfits in Wisconsin,” said Tom Liebe, Senior Vice President of Advocacy for The League. “We strongly agree with Governor Walker’s assertion that legislation of this nature should be addressed as separate legislation where the implications can be carefully explored in a transparent and public fashion.”

The Governor’s budget veto message explained that the nearly unlimited expansion of authority for payday lenders, provided through a last-minute motion in the budget, was “overly broad and significantly exceeds that of any other financial institutions” and could “create regulatory ambiguity and consumer uncertainty.”

The League signed a joint letter, along with the Wisconsin Council of Life Insurers, the Wisconsin Bankers Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, opposing the expanded authority for payday lenders as drafted because it would have offered them unlimited authority to operate any business provided they obtain necessary licenses, would not be subject to consumer protection provisions in Wisconsin’s Administrative Code and was never subject to public or stakeholder scrutiny.

“The League asked for the veto because of the lack of public involvement and awareness of the changes and also to fulfill our obligation to follow the guiding principles established by our membership in support of consumers,” said League President & CEO Brett Thompson. “Our position is in line with credit unions’ obligation to encourage improved financial wellness for their 2.6 million members using REAL Solutions, which have returned well over $1 billion to Wisconsin citizens since 2007.”


More News