[Title, Name and Address of Legislator]
It is altogether fitting that the Communications, Financial Services, and Interstate
Commerce Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures consider for
readoption its policy on the dual chartering of credit unions this year, in which the credit
union movement is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first
credit unions in America. The first credit unions were all established under state
statutes; the chartering of credit unions under federal law commenced almost three
decades later. The resulting dual chartering system has evolved into a dynamic,
innovative, well-regulated, and essential source of cost-effective financial services for
over 90 million Americans.
The value and strength of this system of member-owned financial services cooperatives
have never been more needed than they are today, as our nation and its citizens
confront severe economic stresses and challenges. While credit unions have not been
unaffected by prevailing economic conditions, their traditional prudent practice of
making loans that their members could afford led them to avoid irresponsible subprime
mortgage lending and have permitted them to continue meeting their members’ credit
needs while many other financial institutions have dramatically curtailed their lending to
Credit unions’ value to their members and their vital contribution to maintaining liquidity
in the financial services marketplace are illustrated by these facts:
According to an article in the March 15, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal,
as banks cut back on lending, credit union loans rose by 7% in 2008 to over $575
billion, up $35 billion from the previous year. The article also noted that bank
loans in the country declined about $31 billion during the same time.
Auto loan lending by credit unions has increased to the point that credit unions
now make about 50% of all new and used car loans in the nation.
Credit unions' share of U.S. mortgage originations doubled between 2006 and
On behalf of credit union members in [state, or city, or region of state], we urge
you to support readoption of the credit union dual chartering policy at the
NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Philadelphia. If you should have any questions or
would like any information about credit unions’ service to your constituents,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
[Personalized statements, as appropriate.]
[Signature, Name and Title of League Representative]