Wisconsin CUL Disappointed After Governor Declines To Veto Conversion Bill

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MADISON, Wis.-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a budget bill that includes a controversial provision on credit union charter conversions that was fought fiercely by the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

The provision allows CUs to more easily convert to a banking charter, eliminating some of the traditional requirements, including member approval. The league ran an extensive lobbying effort to get Gov. Walker to veto that provision. Walker vetoed 50 other elements when the bill came to his desk.

League President Brett Thompson said that the league was disappointed with the result and was reviewing its options, though he was not sure what that would mean in the short term.

"This is clearly part of the budget bill and clearly it will become law," he said. "The impact of it is what we're trying to get a better feel of."

Thompson said that the league is not anticipating a surge in charter conversions at this point, but emphasized that chartering wasn't the big issue; rather, he said, what's important is the process by which CUs convert and the "very weak, non-consumer-friendly conversion language" in the law.

Moving forward, he said that the league "will look into other options we may have to minimize [the law's] impact to make it better for Wisconsin's 2.2-million members of credit unions."

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