Patrick La Pine: Credit unions work to protect consumers’ interests, balance Florida economy

As a member-owned cooperative, a credit union’s success is directly related to the financial health of the people who use its services every day. This symbiotic structure is why credit unions remain the safest and most consumer-friendly option for financial services.
This is the reason the government was not bailing out credit unions after the 2008 financial crisis. Washington seems to have forgotten who was responsible for that crisis. Regulations written and created to police the bad behavior of Wall Street and big banks have been slapped onto credit unions, too.
These massive one-size-fits-all regulations have been detrimental to many Florida credit unions, with limited resources as not-for-profit financial institutions. It is simply not reasonable to treat behemoth financial institutions the same way as not for profit, member-owned and governed credit unions.
How can the big banks collapse the economy and emerge in even better shape than the credit union industry that safeguarded its members all along? This is unjust.
Certainly, Congress was not ill intended when they created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Protecting consumers from the irresponsible behavior we saw from big banks makes sense. It was not reasonable, however, for this agency to blanket all financial institutions with the exact same regulations, regardless of size.
It is not common sense for Florida credit union members, to pay for the mistakes of the big banks. Something must be done.
As the 115th Congress works on these and other issues, credit unions need support from our elected officials for legislation that will rectify these problems. We need legislative fixes that will direct the CFPB to treat credit unions like credit unions, and not like big banks. We need more oversight at the CFPB, such as the installation of a multimember board instead of one, single-minded director.
Since the financial crisis, more Americans have chosen credit

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