IGNITE Panel Discusses CU Issues, Concerns at State, National and International Levels
Credit unions are facing challenges from the state level to the international stage. IGNITE 2023’s programming included a panel discussion of the top-of-mind advocacy issues with panelists Carrie Hunt (Virginia League) Elissa McCarter LaBorde (World Council of Credit Unions), Daniel Tucker (Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions), Alex Shelton (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond), and Robb Bohannon (Hunton Andrews Kurth).
LaBorde noted that more than 1 million Virginians are foreign-born or have parents who are foreign-born, meaning Virginia’s credit unions are already serving a culturally diverse member base.
In addition, instant payments, which are now mandated across the European Union; cybersecurity; sustainable financing and climate risk mitigation are key issues that WOCCU is closely tracking and which deserve Virginia credit unions’ attention.
Shelton noted that current economic conditions do pose a significant challenge to credit unions and strongly encouraged credit unions to look into liquidity risk management tools like the Discount Window and the new Bank Term Funding Program.
He also noted findings in five recent bank examinations in which audit “had kind of fallen asleep to liquidity risk management and had not been that appropriate third rail to guide the institution through the process. … This seems to be a systemic issue.”
Turner noted that while the Commonwealth’s credit unions remain strong and well-capitalized, the current economic environment will require vigilance on the part of senior credit union leaders, noting that liquidity, credit and interest rate risks are rising.
Other issues discussed as state-level topics of interest included the authority for credit unions to hold municipal deposits and to purchase banks. Your League has worked on both of these issues at the state level.
Bohannon noted that the political environment in Virginia is undergoing a sea change, with this year’s General Assembly elections guaranteed to see at least one-third of the legislature’s 140 seats occupied by new lawmakers.
“In an unpredictable environment like this, one of the best things you can have are clients who are engaged and active. What we do is integral to the work of the League, but you being out there and knowing the people who represent your communities, that is incredibly important.”
He said, too, that 529 years of collective legislative experience will be gone on Day 1 of the 2024 session, and that’s only if everyone running for re-election wins.
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