Donovan tells credit unions how to achieve advocacy success

WASHINGTON, DC (March 2, 2021)

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan took to the main stage at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Tuesday to urge credit unions to demonstrate how they improve members’ financial well-being and advance the communities they serve. Donovan noted that policymakers listen when credit unions “show their work.”

“The work you do to improve your members’ financial well-being and advance the communities you serve makes our advocacy progress possible. It helps advance our system’s advocacy agenda, and frankly, makes the work of executing our 360-degree advocacy strategy that much easier,” Donovan said. “But we face challenges ahead, and we need to redouble our efforts to tell the story and show the impact. We need to maintain our progress and take advantage of opportunities to advance our agenda in a fundamentally different political environment.”

Donovan expects that the new Congress and administration will focus on financial inclusion and equity as they return to normal legislative activity. This gives credit unions an opportunity to be the “ready-made people-over-profit solution” for consumers across the country.

During his speech, Donovan added that with new leadership at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the credit union message must be clear.

Donovan will lead CUNA’s 2021 advocacy efforts to ensure:

  • Future coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery packages include provisions that give the NCUA the ability to offer prompt corrective action flexibility for credit unions impacted by the pandemic.
  • Credit unions aren’t penalized with new regulatory or supervisory requirements because balance sheets have been inflated by pandemic-related stimulus.
  • Regulators adopt a “do no harm” approach to regulatory review.
  • Congress takes a fresh look at modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act in ways that help credit unions promote financial inclusion and economic equity.

  • Congress enacts a national data security and privacy law with a strong security standard that applies to all entities that hold consumer data and is a single rule for the road, preempting state law.

  • Congress preserves the credit union tax status since credit unions are fulfilling their mission and deliver financial benefits that are nine times the “cost” of the exemption to the government.

Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews@cumagazine@CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page.

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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