The New York Credit Union Association has called on the Senate Armed Services Committee — and is currently calling on members of the House of Representatives — to continue the practice of allowing qualified credit unions to serve military and federal personnel on military bases at nominal rates.
Although the provisions can help credit unions advance financial well-being, the Association is concerned about overextending them to non-qualifying for-profit institutions, said William J. Mellin, Association president/CEO, writing to U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee members – including New York state’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Elise Stefanik and Joseph Morelle — on behalf of member credit unions regarding the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
“Banks have argued for access to this provision for ‘parity’ between credit unions and banks,” Mellin stated. “While we do believe in a level playing field with our for-profit counterparts, we hold that this is not route to obtain it.”
Rather, under the Military Leasing Act, banks can obtain discounted leases if they can demonstrate they provide value to service members, Mellin stated. Banks have failed to utilize this appropriate avenue and instead have sought to use the defense credit union’s provisions in spite of its incongruence.
“We hope that the Senate Armed Services Committee will see the importance of reserving these benefits for institutions that best serve our military members,” Mellin concluded. “In doing so, we can continue to prioritize service member wellness ahead of all else.”