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League Joins With National Trades on Amicus Brief in Critical Federal Court Case Involving Virginia-Based Credit Union



Lewis Wood, lwood@vacul.org (Virginia Credit Union League)
Molly Safreed, msafreed@nafcu.org (NAFCU)
Paula Morales, pmorales@cuna.coop (CUNA)

NAFCU, CUNA, Virginia Credit Union League Join Amicus Brief for 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Case, Studco Buildings Systems v. 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union

ARLINGTON, Va. – Today, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and the Virginia Credit Union League (VACUL) filed an amicus brief in support of 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union in its 4th Circuit Court of Appeals case Studco Buildings Systems v. 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union.

At the center of the case is a rapidly growing and increasingly costly type of fraud – a business email compromised to fraudulently misdirect payments via ACH.

“Credit unions support their members but there must be a limit to liability for fraud that is out of the credit union’s control,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle, and VACUL President and CEO Carrie Hunt in a joint statement. “We maintain that the judge got it wrong in this case. Financial institutions rely on automation to sort through billions of ACH transactions each year. For perspective, some 30 billion payments moved through the ACH network operators in 2022. While the ACH system is designed to flag transactions that warrant closer scrutiny, it is unrealistic to think any financial institution handling a significant volume of ACH transactions can manually monitor fraud. While fraud is on the rise and unfortunate, credit unions cannot be held accountable for events out of their control. Our financial system would collapse if that were the case.”

In the brief, the associations highlight the regulatory burdens credit unions face and the clear indication that reducing those burdens would benefit the 138 million Americans who use credit unions for their financial services needs. In a 2017 survey of credit union CEOs asking where they would reallocate funds earmarked for regulation, many of the respondents focused on items that would increase member benefits.

There are critical policy questions at the heart of the case that warrant the attention of every credit union, including protecting the ability to rely on automation to make possible the processing of payments across a wide number of platforms. This case is further evidence of the growing legal threats to financial institutions, including frivolous lawsuits, issues arising from the expansion of the depth and breadth of regulation, and the challenges presented by technology and fraud.


The Virginia Credit Union League is the state trade association representing the 104 member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions headquartered in the Commonwealth. The League’s many services include regulatory, political and public advocacy; professional development; and a wide range of informational and operational resources. Organized in 1934, the League is the voice of Virginia’s credit unions and works to ensure a thriving credit union industry. Learn more at vacul.org.

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally-insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance. For more information on NAFCU, go to www.nafcu.org or @NAFCU on Twitter.

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) advocates on behalf of America’s credit unions, which are owned by more than 137 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit cuna.org. To find your nearest credit union, visit YourMoneyFurther.com.

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