Congress has preserved consumersí rights to belong to a credit union by overwhelmingly passing H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act. The law, which has the effect of overturning a recent Supreme Court ruling that curtailed credit union membership, says credit unions--with regulator approval--may enroll members from outside their original membership groups.

Until the courtís ruling, credit unions coped with competitive and economic pressures--such as sponsor closings or financial hardships--by adding new member groups to their original core groups in order to remain viable. H.R. 1151 reinstates credit unionsí ability to do just that: grow when itís in the best interest of the credit union and its members.

Thanks to the:

Nearly 7,000 credit union supporters--from all 50 states--who came to Washington on short notice, took over Capitol Hill, and battled the heat and humidity on a July afternoon to rally lawmakers and show them how important consumer choice and credit unions are to their financial well-being.

Thousands of credit union members, volunteers, and employees who signed petitions, wrote letters, and called lawmakers to rally behind the cause in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. From coast to coast, the credit union spirit of cooperation continues to make a difference--for everyone.

503 members of Congress who voted for the bill. The House passed it by a vote of 411-8; the Senate, 92-6.

Hundreds of national and local newspaper editorials in favor of credit unions and consumer choice urging lawmakers to pass H.R. 1151.

Thanks from the:

Sixty-three million working Americans no longer denied access to affordable financial services through credit unions. These are employees of companies too small to start their own credit unions. These businesses, having 500 or fewer people, employ more than 62% of the American work force.

Nearly 11,000 credit unions as they continue to be able to offer affordable financial services. With the opportunity to grow to support their operations, credit unions wonít have to pull back or hold the line on services they offer.

Millions of bank customers whoíd pay even more for their banking services without credit unions. Because credit unions are member-owned cooperatives and donít pay profits to shareholders and compensate boards of directors as banks do, they recycle earnings into low loan rates, high savings rates, and new and improved products and services. Credit union competition keeps interest on savings higher and bank fees and loan rates lower than they would be without the credit union presence.

For more information, check the Credit Union National Association and Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice Web sites.

©1998 Credit Union National Association, Inc.