U.S. Sens. Smith & Sasse introduce bipartisan bill to improve credit union employee safety, simplify operations
ST. PAUL, MN (February 26, 2020) — St. Paul, Minn. As almost one hundred credit union advocates from Minnesota join others from around the country in Washington D.C., U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) introduced bipartisan legislation—the Credit Union Governance Modernization Act. The Minnesota Credit Union Network, the Nebraska Credit Union League and CUNA engaged directly with the Senators on the bill, which would make credit unions safer for employees and members, and simplify rules for credit union operations. The measure would allow federal credit unions to expel members for violations of credit union policies, without requiring a vote of membership. Under current law, a federal credit union must hold of a vote of its entire membership before it can expel a member who engages in unacceptable, sometimes dangerous behavior.
Minnesota credit unions have shared stories of members who have robbed credit unions, smashed ATMs, and sexually harassed tellers. Despite this behavior, it can be burdensome and slow for credit unions to expel these members because current law requires the credit union to call a vote of membership to expel a member, even when the member has been in engaged in egregious conduct. Sens. Smith and Sasse’s bill would fix this problem by simplifying the expulsion process, with protections to prevent unfair expulsions.
“For too long, Minnesota credit unions have had to endure members who rob them, harass employees, or destroy credit union property,” said Sen. Smith. “The Minnesota legislature voted unanimously to fix this problem for state-chartered credit unions in 2018, and our bipartisan legislation would take what we’ve learned in Minnesota and apply it to credit unions that are federally chartered. And I’m glad to be working across party lines with Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.”
“This bill is an important step to update the federal credit union charter,” said Mark Cummins, President & CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. “We appreciate Senator Smith’s commitment to the safety and security of Minnesota credit unions.”
“We thank Sens. Smith and Sasse for their bipartisan bill that would provide and important modernization to the Federal Credit Union Act,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We look forward to working with them to move this bill forward, and with other legislators on other needed legislation that would bring credit union governance into the 21st century.”
About Minnesota Credit Union Network
The Minnesota Credit Union Network is the statewide trade association that works to ensure the success, growth, and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With over $39 billion in assets, Minnesota credit unions are local, trusted ﬁnancial cooperatives that serve over 2.1 million members at 404 branch locations, employing 5,841 people around the state. As not-for-proﬁt institutions, credit unions give back to the communities they serve. For more information, visit mncun.org.