CUNA launches next phase of middle class campaign

Campaign launches in advance of first presidential debate

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2016) — CUNA is launching the next phase of its innovative Strong Credit Unions, Strong Middle Class campaign as the 2016 election season enters the presidential and vice presidential debate season. CUNA is working with its state league partners and member credit unions to create an online presence that will be picked up by debate organizers who are using Facebook to identify and compile voter concerns about which to ask the candidates. Credit union members are encouraged to tell the candidates that any discussion of the middle class during the debates should include credit unions, and getting commitment from the nominees that they will support credit unions by protecting the not for profit tax status and easing regulatory burdens facing these consumer-owned financial institutions. 

“Both major party presidential nominees are focusing their messages on how to grow and strengthen the middle class,” said Richard Gose, CUNA’s Chief Political Officer. “Credit unions are not endorsing or promoting any candidate in the Presidential election. We want the next administration to understand and support credit unions’ mission because we know strong and healthy credit unions are central to a strong middle class. The Strong Credit Unions, Strong Middle Class campaign gives credit union members the opportunity to make their voices heard so we are part of the national conversation around the middle class.”

CUNA’s key points in the Strong Credit Unions, Strong Middle Class campaign include:

  • As member-owned, not-for profit financial institutions, credit unions save middle-class consumers hundreds of dollars each year. Middle class credit union members saw $8.4 billion in direct financial benefits for the year ending March 2016, and the average credit union household saved $160 during that time. Since 2007, those benefits total more than $70 billion;
  • By offering middle-class families a lower-cost choice for financial services, credit unions help keep big banks honest. Independent research finds that credit unions’ presence in the marketplace has a moderating influence on bank pricing through higher deposit rates and lower loan rates;
  • Credit unions help middle-class consumers weather economic storms by avoiding risky behaviors pursued by big banks. The cooperative structure discourages excessive risk- taking, which means they tend to be less affected by the business cycle. They serve as an important counter-cyclical economic force in local markets, softening the blow of economic downturns in local economies; and
  • Credit unions put people ahead of profits. As member-owned and governed institutions, credit unions focus on providing exceptional member service. This too places competitive pressure on banks to follow suit.

The first phase of Strong Credit Unions, Strong Middle Class was launched last year, and resulted in more than 30,000 messages sent to the candidates. The campaign’s website, has several new features that allow the credit union community to take action and share their message.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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