Published on 06-14-2018
Categories: From Chuck
Belonging to a credit union certainly has its benefits, and in previous letters I talked about some of the ways that Coastal has given back to members. While it’s great to think about how we can individually benefit from membership, I want to take this opportunity to talk a bit about what happens when we’re all aligned toward a common goal.
On May 24th, the Coastal Credit Union Foundation hosted our 3rd annual Power of Sharing event, an evening designed to showcase the amazing work being done by the nonprofit organizations in our community.
During the event, Coastal, our foundation, and several of our local business partners recognized 25 area nonprofits, and awarded more than $600,000 in grants. The foundation honored 16 Hometown Heroes, one organization in each of the 16 counties that we serve, with a $5,000 grant each.
It also marked the one millionth dollar that our foundation has donated since being formed in 2011. Those grants are made possible thanks to members like you who choose Coastal for your everyday financial needs. A penny from each debit or credit card transaction goes to the foundation, and helps fund more than $300,000 in community projects each year.
That night, the United Way of the Greater Triangle and Leadership Triangle announced a new ’10 to Watch’ initiative created to develop the leaders and organizations who represent the future of the Triangle. The United Way has committed to investing $500,000 into the selected ’10 to Watch’ organizations. I’m proud to announce that Coastal made the initial grant of $25,000 to help launch the program.
Overall, Power of Sharing saw more than a million dollars committed to worthwhile community initiatives. You can check out the highlights of the event in the video link below.
Last month, Congress passed S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on May 24th. I want to thank those of you who supported us by contacting your senators and congressional representatives while the bill was being considered in both houses. The bill was co-sponsored in the Senate by North Carolina’s Thom Tillis and passed with the support of Senator Burr and nine of North Carolina’s congressional representatives.
S.2155 is a major victory for credit unions, and particularly for the members who rely on us for loans. It provides much-needed relief from some of the unintended negative consequences of the Dodd Frank Act that was passed in 2010. While that act was intended to help protect consumers and reform the nation’s banking industry, several of the regulations have proven to be excessive, harmful to small banks and credit unions, and ultimately a hindrance to many borrowers. The new reforms will enable credit unions like ours to make the mortgage process simpler and faster, increase lending for affordable and rental housing, and simply provide better service to members by being able to dedicate more resources to you. The law also provides some new protections to seniors, veterans, students and homeowners.
This victory is proof that credit unions and our members may be small voices individually, but when we band together we can be an influential force, even in Washington, DC.
Speaking of influence in Washington… Our industry peers over on the for-profit banking side are once again whispering in Congress’ ears about the prospect of taxing credit unions. Perhaps they didn’t learn from the overwhelming pushback during the Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign a few years ago, which saw millions of credit union members calling and emailing their elected representatives. Or perhaps they missed the fact that credit union taxation was discussed during the most recent round of tax reforms, and quickly dismissed because of our cooperative structure and the important role that we play in the financial lives of people of modest means.
Or, just perhaps, they’ve already forgotten their own massive tax break that was handed down when Congress slashed the corporate tax rate at the end of 2017. It would be nice if they used those savings to offer consumers better rates and lower fees instead of lobbying to attack us.
Fortunately, taxation talk doesn’t seem to be gathering much steam at this time. However, we plan to remain vigilant, and when the time comes, we hope you’ll rally with us once again to let Congress know that 100 million voices won’t be quiet. Our tax status has a real benefit to our members, as evident in our $23.5 million Member Giveback, part of the $14 billion positive impact that credit unions have for financial consumers. Every dollar of a hypothetical credit union tax is a dollar out of the pockets of our members.
In each of the topics I discussed above, I hope you see a trend emerging. Each of us individually makes a small impact on the world around us. But, when we can pool those efforts together for a common goal, we can do incredible things. After all, isn’t that why a credit union exists?
One final note: I’m excited that Inc. Magazine recently named Coastal one of the Best Workplaces of 2018. We put a high priority on taking excellent care of our employees, and honors like this help us attract and retain top talent, which ultimately leads to better serving members like you.
Until next time, have an enjoyable summer.
President & CEO
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