If privileged to continue serving on the CUNA board, I have four priorities:

  • Target, advance and achieve regulatory relief for credit unions.
  • Modernize the Federal Credit Union Act to ensure parity for credit unions, that they may remain competitive with other financial service providers.
  • Promote retailer accountability for member and data security.
  • Preserve the credit union tax status.

In addition, I consider it my personal responsibility to meet with and engage in dialogue with elected officials to discuss topics significant to the credit union industry. I regularly attend the annual Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, and make additional visits to speak with our elected officials and appointed government leaders throughout the year. Just a few photos from my 2018 visits are included in the gallery.

Regulatory Relief

As a Class C Director, I am working as a CUNA Board member, to strongly advocate for common-sense regulation that would cut the billions of dollars spent to comply with rulings that do not pertain to or advance credit unions' fair and standard practices.

Regulatory burden costs each credit union member household an average of $115 per year. It also subjects our members to higher loan rates, longer wait time for loan approvals, less access to modernized technology, increased inconvenience on services, less available and more expensive services and products.

We know our members better than the regulators and must lobby to best serve them.

We need structural reform of CFPB to ensure consumers continue to have access to local credit unions. We need a modernized CFPB structure with a multi-person commission enhancing consumer protection by ensuring that diverse perspectives are included in final rules. We also need clear legislation exempting credit unions from CFPB rules unless the CFPB demonstrates credit unions are harming consumers.

Credit unions need consumer-friendly mortgage regulations to allow more members to receive these critical loans. We also need an easing of the regulatory burdens which make small dollar loans difficult and can drive our members and potential members to predatory lenders.

Together, we have the unified message, strong voices and regulatory environment to drive home our points and further solidify the expectation and trust of our over 114 million members.

Modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act

The Federal Credit Union Act has not been significantly updated since 1998, and the financial services sector looks much different than it did then. Congress should work to modernize the federal credit union charter to ensure it evolves so that credit unions remain competitive with other providers. It is also important that changes to other laws do not adversely impact credit unions. As congress considers housing finance reform legislation, it is critical that credit unions retain equitable access to the secondary mortgage market.

At the state level, credit union leaders must work with Leagues to pursue legislation that puts more competitive pressures on the federal charter, including interstate branching legislation and field of membership modernization.

Retailer Accountability

In 2017, 1,579 data breaches occurred in the United States, a 44% increase from 2016. In fact, nearly 60% of consumers expect to be a victim of data breach at some point. Merchant data breaches have compromised millions of American consumers' personal financial information, causing them to be at risk for identity theft and other fraud.

The CUNA Board will continue to pursue legislation that subjects merchants to strong data security and data breach notification requirements, and we will continue to work with policymakers to strengthen the cyber infrastructure to protect consumer data from attack. Importantly, we will continue to aggressively pursue entities that have allowed consumer data to be exposed.

Across the country, we will work with leagues that pursue data security legislation in their state capitols with the hopes that the pressure that can be put on them in the states will help us advance legislation in Washington.

Credit Union Tax Status

America's credit union members appreciate Congress for preserving the credit union tax status in the recently enacted tax law. Through the enactment of this legislation, Congress reaffirmed that the structure and mission drives the tax status and that credit unions are fulfilling their mission. As Congress considers adjustments to the 2017 law, we must urge our elected officials to maintain credit unions' tax status.

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"A credit union is not an ordinary financial concern, seeking to enrich its members at the expense of the general public. Neither is it a loan company, seeking to make a profit at the expense of the unfortunates. The credit union is nothing of the kind; it is the expression in the field of economics of a high social ideal."
- Alphonse Desjardins