US credit unions have reacted to the results of the mid-term elections, which saw the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans hold on to their majority in the Senate.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) said a credit union-friendly majority had been elected to Congress.
“Credit unions invested a record $7m into this election to help continue the positive momentum we’ve seen for credit union priorities in Congress,” said CUNA CEO and president Jim Nussle. “We’re pleased that we’ll have many friendly faces in the next Congress, and we’ll be working hard from now until then to connect with new members and engage with returning members to advance credit union priorities.”
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) said credit unions would continue to enjoy “a strong seat at the table”.
“Credit unions will continue to have a strong seat at the table as we enjoy bipartisan support in Congress,” said Dan Berger, NAFCU president and CEO.
“Whether working with Republicans, Democrats or independents, our goal is to achieve an appropriate regulatory environment that provides a tailored approach to regulation, a level playing field, and transparent and independent regulatory oversight for credit unions and the 114 million members they serve.”
In May, president Donald Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which will result in a reduction in regulatory requirements for small and medium-sized banks, including credit unions.
The legislation was welcomed by CUNA, which described it as a “monumental win for credit unions”.
But the now-split Congress could curb legislative activity. Leadership changes within some committees with jurisdiction over the financial industry and tax issues are also expected.
“Any legislation, other than must-pass items, will need to be strongly bipartisan to have a chance at passage,” warned NAFCU vice president of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler. “For credit unions, this means Congress may act on items including fintech, data security and personal privacy, and housing finance reform if bipartisan solutions can be found.
“Targeted regulatory relief for financial institutions is also still possible in areas addressing the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering. We expect that there could be a number of hearings, as each side seeks to stake out its position on issues, but getting something moving will take building bipartisan support.”
The association is calling on both chambers to address data security and regulatory relief measures.