Each day, credit union representatives - from board members and CEOs to front-line staff - have the opportunity to advocate for the credit union movement. Patrick Adams, president/CEO of St. Louis Community Credit Union, did just that in a Letter to the Editor in The Wall Street Journal. Adams' letter, "U.S. Credit Unions Need Relief Too" was published online September 16 and appeared September 17 on page A18 in the U.S. print edition. The letter is shown below.
U.S. Credit Unions Need Relief Too
Wall Street Journal - originally published September 16
George Shultz and Madeleine Albright's "A Nobel Prize Winner Under Siege" (op-ed, Sept. 6) expressing concern for excessive government intervention into the banking system is refreshing. Unfortunately, their commentary is limited to intervention by the Bangladesh government into the Grameen Bank. Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in during her visit to Bangladesh in May 2012 against any step that "would undermine or interfere in the operations of the Grameen Bank or its unique organizational structure."
But the virtues aren't exclusive to Grameen Bank. There is an entire not-for-profit, member-owned credit-union industry doing the same thing in the U.S. every day and we, too, are overrun with government regulation.
Thanks to Dodd-Frank, regulation and compliance within the U.S. banking industry is much more onerous than what Bangladesh is proposing for Grameen. Unfortunately, regulation is eroding our impact in the middle- and lower-income communities we work so hard to help.
Not a single one of America's 7,000 credit unions is the same size, scope and scale of Grameen Bank. Piling more regulation onto smaller institutions will ultimately manifest itself in the increased likelihood that people will have fewer choices in financial services. Such an occurrence ultimately serves to hurt the consumer.
The Journal should run this op-ed again, only this time change a few words, replacing "Grameen Bank" with "credit union." You will have taken a giant step forward in helping us fend off the suffocating regulation coming out of Washington. I'm not an isolationist, but a little love for those of us toiling inside the borders would be greatly appreciated.
Patrick K. Adams
President and CEO
St. Louis Community
Click here to access the letter online.