News : DCUC Insights

The Importance of DCUC’s Defense Matters Forum

Thursday, February 21, 2019  
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Early next month, the Defense Credit Union Council will host our “Defense Matters Forum” on Sunday morning, March 10, in conjunction with CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference starting the next day. While this forum plays an important role in terms of our developing and implementing our advocacy goals, it is also a key component of our history.

DCUC’s roots go back to 1957 when several representatives of military credit unions approached CUNA leaders at various conferences and events asking more emphasis on the militaryside of the industry. In 1959, Defense Credit Union Leaders started holding a series of meetings called the “Annual Educational Conference of Defense Credit Unions.” These annual meetings took place over the next four years. Finally, in 1963 the Defense Credit Union Council was officially formed, and our first annual conference was held on September 17–19, 1963, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. We continue this tradition at our 56th Annual Conference later this summer in Chicago, IL (August 18–21, 2019).

However, the heart and soul of a trade association is its advocacy effort in terms of legislative and regulatory strategy. This is the purpose of our Defense Matters Forum and why we established our Military Advocacy Committee made up of Senior Executives from many of our member credit unions. In preparation for our Defense Matters Forum, we have asked our Military Advocacy Committee to evaluate and comment on the following legislative proposals and regulatory events:

  • Veteran Business Lending Exemption from MBL caps
  • CFPB Oversight on Military Lending Act (MLA) Compliance
  • Upcoming Changes to 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 230 Changes (Jun 2019)
  • Public Comments on DoD’s Military Lending Act — 3-year Mandatory Review (Oct 2019)
  • Comment on CFPB’s Payday Lending Rules (as they relate to Predatory Lenders on Military Bases and Defense Credit Union programs to educate/protect servicemembers)
  • Banker Interests in Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act
  • Interchange Fees in the post-Durbin Amendment Era

A full report on these proposals will be discussed during our Defense Matters Forum. The timing is perfect as several CUNA Councils convene Sunday afternoon and the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference starts the next day (March 11). We expect to provide defense-related topics to augment meetings with Congressional leaders during CUNA’s “Hike the Hill” days on Wednesday and Thursday. We hope to repeat this process at the NAFCU Congressional Caucus later this fall.

As we have emphasized in our communications with member CEOs and sister trade associations, DCUC is not looking to compete with any of the larger trade associations on advocacy issues. In fact, we believe DCUC can and should complement those efforts. However, there are many unique opportunities and challenges Defense Credit Unions can lead the industry on, which is what we propose to do in 2019.

Thus, it is important for our members attending the GAC to also attend our Defense Matters Forum. In fact, we already have several first-time attendees signed up—which is wonderful news! We would like to encourage you to register and attend not only for the legislative and regulatory update, but to form and build a professional (and social) network with peers in the same military space. We see DCUC becoming a stronger organization as a result.

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