Our cooperative superpowers make us different, CUNA CEO Tells Conference Attendees

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Jim Nussle took to the main stage at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Monday morning to address from the more than 5,000 credit union advocates in attendance during his keynote speech.

“The key to the credit union difference is our cooperative superpowers,” Nussle told a record-breaking number of attendees during his speech, which was streamed live over Facebook. 

In 2018, credit unions delivered roughly $16 billion in direct and indirect financial benefits to consumers. Credit unions reported growth statistics as they: 

  • Credit unions provided $16 billion in total financial benefits to members and non-members. 
  • Credit unions added nearly 5 million members 
  • Credit union growth was 5X higher than U.S. population growth. 

More than 5,200 credit union leaders from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and worldwide are in Washington, D.C., this week for the largest credit union event in history. Nussle highlighted the efforts from credit unions during the federal government shutdown.  

“When 800K innocent federal workers are used as nothing but hostages in a 35-day senseless government shutdown, our credit union people are there,” Nussle said.  

CUNA surveyed over 500 credit unions, and over 60,000 federal employees turned to their credit union for support. Credit unions provided more than $46 million in low- or no-interest loans while over 11,000 members were afforded loan extensions and other modifications, often with associated fees waived.  

“Our survey also revealed that more than 3,000 joined a credit union to help them get through the shutdown's financial challenges,” Nussle added. “Time and time through history, but especially in 2018, when people needed real help that only can come from other real people, our credit union people are there.” 

Nussle outlined three industry challenges that lie ahead for credit unions and how CUNA will lead the charge to implement solutions across the movement. 

“We face three big challenges that are attacking our industry,” said Nussle. First, the model attack – bank hypocrisy and over-regulation threatens our very existence. Second, the market attack – the marketplace is changing, and credit unions need to get on board to keep our relevance. And third, the ‘heart’ attack – if we don’t cooperate with each other we will never overcome our collective challenges.” 

Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews@cumagazine@CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page