Legislature Amends Credit Union Act
SEATAC, WA --Washington's 91 credit unions are the state's only cooperative, not-for-profit financial institutions owned and driven by their 3.58 million members. Fifty-five of those credit unions are chartered by the State of Washington, and just-approved legislation updating the Credit Union Act will help them to better serve their members.
"Washingtonians have entrusted credit unions to protect $47.6 billion in assets," said Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). "Credit unions reinvest those assets into the members, and into the communities they serve. A modern Credit Union Act removes unnecessary red tape and that ultimately benefits members."
A key improvement enabled by this legislation provides state-chartered credit unions a more efficient pathway to so-called, "Low-Income Credit Union (LICU)" designation. That grants some financially challenged credit union members access to mainstream financial products and services, which they may not otherwise be able to get.
The other amendments, which are technical in nature, streamline the duties of the member-driven boards of directors and Supervisory Committees.
Bert Fisher, president and CEO of Shelton-based Our Community Credit Union, believes the updates to Washington's Credit Union Act will help member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions to continue to "do some extraordinary things in our communities."
"We recognize that we need to be proactive in making sure the Washington Credit Union act is reflective of the current financial environment and consumer behaviors," Fisher said. "As our members are confronted with a changing financial landscape, it's critical that we have laws that are responsive to those changes."
Governor Jay Inslee signed the legislation April 19.
Nearly all Washingtonians are eligible for credit union membership. Own your money. To find a credit union that's convenient for you, please visit www.asmarterchoice.org.
The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing over 180 credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 6 million consumer members. Northwest Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, owned by their members. Credit unions help members achieve their financial goals. All earnings in excess of operating expenses and required reserves are returned to members in the form of better loan rates, lower fees, and higher interest paid on savings.