As many credit union leaders and staff may know, a Politico opinion piece published this week is making its rounds: “Credit Unions Are Making Money Off People Living Paycheck to Paycheck.”
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are monitoring the situation in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). CUNA is aware that this article could be reaching the eyes and ears of some members in Congress, state lawmakers in California, regulators, and other policymakers.
The author’s hit job specifically targets state-chartered credit unions in California using overdraft and non-sufficient funds fee data collected by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). It incorrectly insinuates credit unions are involved in abusive practices.
The “news” isn’t new, as the Leagues alerted credit unions to the DFPI’s first annual report of income from fees on non-sufficient funds and overdraft charges this past April. The DFPI report — covering 2022 data on all California state-chartered banks and credit unions — is myopic in viewpoint and does not paint the entire picture when it comes to credit unions’ comprehensive services to their members.
The Leagues are always on the lookout when persuasion pieces are published, as well as their impact that can potentially lead to unintended consequences for credit union members and consumers. Going forward, the Leagues will keep credit union leaders informed of anything they need to know regarding this delicate issue.