Service To Non-Members Addressed In Legislation

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The issue of credit union services to non-members has emerged again in the 109th Congress, where a handful of lawmakers have re-introduced a bill that would allow federally chartered credit unions to provide a limited amount of services, mostly check-cashing and wire transfers, to non-members within their fields of membership.

A similar bill was introduced in the last Congress and the concept was also included on the regulatory relief bills that died without a final vote. Those bills, an overall regulatory package for credit unions, banks, thrifts and others; as well as the CURIA relief bill aimed solely at credits unions, are expected to include that non-member services provision.

The major hook for the credit union lobby, which is increasingly battling congressional perceptions that credit unions are shedding their common bond, is that the beneficiaries of these services would be low-income people, especially immigrants, many of whom are often ignored or exploited by providers of these services.

Meantime, a half-dozen states have adopted these allowances for state-chartered credit unions.

This is likely to build momentum for the allowance on the federal level.

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