Oregon’s NWCUA to defend credit unions from bank-backed legislation

nn110910_6The Oregon-based Northwest Credit Union Association plans to fight three bills that would subject credit unions to a new tax, as well as extra reporting and community outreach requirements.

Lynn Heider, the director of communications at NWCUA, said that banks had emailed state legislatures outlining each bill, adding that the banks said that they looked forward to discussing the legislation with lawmakers, Credit Union Times reports.

“We are always in contact with legislators about any kind of legislation floated by bankers or others that would attempt to hinder services to 1.4 million consumers who belong to Oregon credit unions,” Heider said, according to Credit Union Times. “Our lawmakers have long understood and supported the value that credit unions provide Oregonians and they continue to feel that way, and so we are prepared for any such legislation.”

One bill, H.B. 2484, would require credit unions to file periodic reports with the Department of Consumer and Business Services that provide member business loan details, services provided to low- and moderate-income families, and the total deposits held at the main office and deposit-accepting locations.

H.B. 2485 would require credit unions to consistently meet the credit needs of their communities by implementing new examinations for credit unions. The Department of Consumer and Business Services director would be required to adopt rules that define measurement standards, and the director would be required to periodically evaluate whether a credit union meets its community obligations.

H.B. 2486, which was introduced during a 2011 session but never saw the floor, would impose a corporate excise tax on credit unions holding more than $250,000 in customer deposits. The tax would apply to tax years beginning this year.

“We are well-positioned to defend the credit union model and our cooperative structure,” Heider said, according to Credit Union Times. “They have been upheld at every turn every time the banks challenge us.”

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