Co-Ops for Change Offers Regulatory Agenda to Lead Industry Forward

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Co-Ops for Change, a grassroots effort dedicated to raising awareness of the need for credit union regulators to lead from cooperative principles, has created an innovative plan to address lessons learned from the financial crisis.

Regulatory oversight is not a recipe book of rules that, when followed, brings success. It requires interaction to monitor individual credit union performance and the system’s responsiveness to consumers’ changing circumstances.

Co-Ops for Change, a grassroots effort dedicated to raising awareness of the need for credit union regulators to lead from cooperative principles, has created an innovative plan to address lessons learned from the financial crisis.

One such priority is to restore a comprehensive, cooperative liquidity solution to enhance the industry’s financial stability in light of NCUA’s dismantling of the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF).

“The CLF has become a casualty of the financial crisis – an inappropriate reaction to corporates’ investment issues,” said Chip Filson, Chairman of Callahan & Associates and Founder of Co-Ops for Change. “Credit unions still need a cooperative liquidity solution.”

Filson says effective regulation calls for a constant dialogue, based on mutual respect, between the regulator and the regulated. “Regulatory oversight is not a recipe book of rules that, when followed, brings success. It requires interaction to monitor individual credit union performance and the system’s responsiveness to consumers’ changing circumstances. This agenda serves as a starting point for a cooperative blueprint.”

To model cooperative principles, as well as advance member-owned solutions for community needs, the agenda includes initiatives such as the following:

  •     Develop a network-wide, real-time examination of regulatory findings to help credit unions better serve their members through self improvement.
  •     Create a cooperative governance structure for the oversight of National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) and the CLF
  •     Collect and publish examples of credit unions’ cooperative practices that create member value and advance public policy priorities

“These agenda items align well with the seven cooperative principles, which we are encouraging regulatory leadership to put into practice,” said Filson. “Doing so will move the public debate on the importance and need for a cooperative regulator from talk to action.”

The Agenda also recommends joint research projects to stimulate innovation, such as developing a cooperative means for aggregating and selling loans to the secondary market and enhancing ways for cooperatives to partner with universities, foundations and government units to provide affordable education financing options.

The full document is available at Coops4Change.org.

About Co-Ops for Change
Co-Ops for Change is a grassroots movement to increase awareness both within the credit union community and among elected policymakers that our regulatory leadership should understand and support the seven cooperative principles. The regulatory process should consider credit unions’ cooperative character, as well as the shared economic value they create for people and communities. Credit union members, volunteers, professionals and industry supporters can learn more about the campaign at http://www.Coops4Change.org.

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Jennifer Rosenbaum
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