CUs from Rhode Island Bring Key Credit Union Issues to Congressman Cicilline’s Office

Congressman David Cicilline (center) paused for a photo with credit unions of Rhode Island yesterday afternoon.


Credit union professionals from the state of Rhode Island descended upon Congressman Cicilline’s office late Tuesday afternoon to discuss a myriad of credit union issues with Clayton McCuskey, Legislative Aid to the Congressman. Although new to Congressman Cicilline’s office, McCuskey told the group that he was familiar with credit unions, having been a member for many years, but that he welcomed additional information on the ‘credit union difference.’

As the group delved into each of the key issues, McCuskey was attentive - asking thoughtful questions to clarify points and gain a deeper understanding of the issues. Lively discussion on data security ensued, with McCuskey gaining an appreciation of the costs to both credit unions and their members when a data breach is discovered. The rising trend of privacy breaches also received a lot of discussion, and the fact that it could be years before a member could be impacted by such a breach received a lot of attention. McCuskey realized quickly that having national data standards was imperative, and that the standard had to incorporate both financial data and personal information to be truly effective.

Student loans often deter younger members from applying for and securing home mortgages. How HR 1661, which would provide NCUA with the flexibility to increase federal loan maturities, could help credit unions provide their members with additional loan options that could reduce their monthly was also discussed. McCuskey was curious about the demographics of credit union membership, including the percentage of members in the state.

The credit unions discussed cannabis banking and how federal law, which prohibits credit unions from providing banking services to businesses that are connected with cannabis and cannabis-related products and services. As more states legalize recreational marijuana, the confusion over federal legislation needs clarification. The credit unions expressed their gratitude for the Congressman’s action on the SAFE Act to attempt to alleviate the issue.

The credit unions shared how they came to the aid of their members during the recent government shutdown, providing low-interest loans, waiving fees, and educating their members impacted by the shutdown – without being told to do so.

It was also shared how the unique structure of credit unions provides an opportunity to educate members on the growing epidemic of senior fraud and financial abuse and how credit unions in New Hampshire have risen to the challenge and introduced CU Senior Safeguard to their members to stem the growing trend. McCuskey, sharing how his credit union assists and ‘looks out’ for his elderly grandmother, acknowledged the public service provided to our senior citizens.