85th Anniversary Celebration of the Federal Credit Union Act


Mark: Good afternoon everybody. Wow, you got quiet quick. Excellent. Must be the acoustics. Welcome to our celebration of the 85th anniversary
of the Federal Credit Union Act. I’m executive director, Mark Treichel, and
I’m thrilled you are here to celebrate with us in person and via live stream. Now, go back in time with me for a moment. It’s 1934. If you’re a baseball fan, you watched Yankee
Great Lou Gehrig hit for the triple crown. Dizzy Dean wins 30 games and lead the cardinals
to the world series. If movies were your thing, in 1934, you were
blessed with the tremendous screen presence of Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich and Laurel
and Hardy. And music lovers of 1934 swooned for Benny
Goodman, Duke Ellington, and Bing Crosby. Time magazine was in its prime in 1934 and
it gave its Man Of The Year Award to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for his many, many
achievements this year. These achievements included FDR signing the
Federal Credit Union Act. I’d like to read a paragraph from the agency’s
oldest maintained annual report, which states on its first page, the Federal Credit Union
Act became effective June 26 1934 and as bylaws could be prepared and an accounting system
prescribed charter number one was issued to the Morris Sheppard Federal Credit Union of
Texarkana, Texas, which was named in honor of the sponsor of the law, the late senator
from Texas. The organizational meeting for the first Federal
Credit Union was held on October 1, 1934 and it may be said that the financial history
of Federal Credit Unions began with a gathering in of the very few dollars which made up the
assets of this group of municipal employees at the close of their credit union that first
day. The signing of the Federal Credit Union Act
in 1934 coupled with the creation of both the insurance fund and NCUA propelled credit
union growth, bringing us to today’s America where credit unions safely serve 117 million
credit unions — 117 million members and have provided many Americans with rewarding careers. Now, before we hear from the chairman, please
stand for our national anthem, which will be performed by NCUA staff member, Glad Amir
Rivera Varella. Mark: Now we might lose you to American idol
here coming up, especially if this video gets out. With that, it’s my pleasure to introduce the
11th Chairman of NCUA, Rodney Hood. Rodney: Happy 85th anniversary NCUA. They’re here. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so very much
for joining us all here today. I want to especially thank a lot of our invited
guests and I want to thank you all. First, I want to thank Federal Housing Commissioner,
Brian Montgomery. We all recognize you. We also have a number of folks visiting us
today from the White House, from the US treasury and from the small business administration
and also a lot of the folks with whom we work from the federal home loan bank system. So let’s thank them all. If you could raise your hands, if I just [inaudible]
your groups. Thank you. I am delighted to welcome all of you as we
commemorate the signing of the Federal Credit Union Act by President Franklin D Roosevelt,
which occurred on this day, June 26, 1934. Now 85 years later, federally insured credit
unions are stronger than ever with nearly $1.5 trillion in assets offering a variety
of financial products including mortgages, consumer loans, and member business loans
to tens of millions of Americans. The rise of the credit union movement is a
story of expanding economic opportunity and it indeed is a wonderful story to tell because
it was not always the case. These innovative financial institutions emerged
in response to our great need and at a time of great national trial. A century ago, many Americans had trouble
getting access to capital. If you are from a working or even a middle
class background, if you had a small business you hope to see grow or if you had a family
farm where you needed to get your crops and livestock to market, access to credit was
tough to come by. Rodney: Moreover, even if you could get capital,
it often came with high interest rates or the loan was structured in ways that made
repayment difficult, if not impossible. Then when the stock market crashed in 1929,
what credit might’ve been readily available, suddenly dried up. Thousands of businesses of all sizes closed. Millions of people were out of work and the
nation sank into a devastating economic depression. Difficult times demanded creative thinking,
and that was the backdrop, ladies and gentlemen, when Congress drafted the Federal Credit Union
Act. But the most important story to tell, it’s
not about legislation or credit or quite frankly even financial institutions. Instead, it is the story about people helping
people and their own local communities. It’s also important to note that credit unions
arose and grew not out of government fiat. Instead, they grew from a grassroots movement
of people who were forgotten about and were being left behind. Rodney: Credit Unions, a national system of
cooperative credit offered through locally based member owned financial institutions
that could provide affordable credit and savings services to those in need. That is what would be the one-key solution
to the problem that was facing America to that time. At every step, it was about the promise of
people helping people. It, however, was not completely a new idea. Credit unions did exist prior to the federal
law. They were charted by the states, but the Federal
Credit Union Act laid the groundwork for the comprehensive system we now have today. That regulatory framework would lead to increased
trust, confidence, and accountability, which allow these vital local institutions to expand,
to thrive and to give back to the communities they serve. Overseeing the credit union system to ensure
safety and soundness is the NCUA’s critically important mission. Every day our people are responsible for ensuring
that credit unions live up to the values embedded in its original conception. Rodney: With the stroke of a pen, President
Roosevelt made it possible for teachers, police officers and firefighters, military personnel
and their families, skilled trades people, and so many other hardworking people across
the country to combine their resources collectively and organize credit unions. Loans could be provided to members based on
the consideration of their character as well as their ability to repay. The grassroots movement led to a further democratization
of banking and credit and contributed to the economic rebirth of America following the
Great Depression. Through times of conflict and times of relative
calm, through economic booms and busts, through societal and technological challenges, credit
unions have carried on that noble tradition of serving their members and their local communities. They have indeed kept their promise of people
helping people. Many of the people here today play a role
in making that possible. I’d like to now recognize and give my thanks
and appreciation to the current NCUA board members in attendance. May I please introduce board member, Todd
Harper if you could stand and let everyone see you, please. Rodney: And Board member, Mark McWatters,
if we could also thank you as well. Gentlemen, your leadership has contributed
greatly to the strength and success of the federally insured credit unions within our
care. I thank you for your commitment and your service. But most importantly of all, I want to thank
our employees, past, present and future. I want to thank those past employees because
they’re the ones that laid that great foundation for the institutions that we get to work with
and oversee today. But I would be certainly remiss if I didn’t
think the 1,128 employees who we have here today or watching. Because of you, the credit unions are able
to achieve great results through our regulatory framework. I want to thank you all 1,128 who according
to my wishes bring your best true and authentic selves here to this agency every day. And I also want to thank the future — I saw
some interns earlier. I don’t know if Kennedy is here and the others
I’ve been talking to, but you all are the future that I want to thank because I think
you all are perhaps going to be the future of NCUA as well. Rodney: So it’s because of you that we get
to have a great robust system. I salute your service to this agency, to the
credit union system, to their members and to the citizens of this great nation. Just as the drafters of the law and President
Roosevelt envisioned 85 years ago, credit unions are continuing to help people. I believe that they would all be proud of
how far we’ve come since that auspicious beginning. Since that auspicious beginning, credit unions
now have over $1.5 trillion in assets. They have loans outstanding of over $1 trillion
and they’re serving a third of the American people with a net worth of 11.3%. I think it’s safe to say that those founders
would be pleased to see the results that are being generated today, and I’m pleased to
serve as the chairman that gets to lead this great agency every day. With that being said, happy anniversary. Rodney: And also ladies and gentlemen, join
me in also welcoming our CFPB Director, Kathy Kraninger and Tom Workman who is with me on
the Financial Stabilization Oversight Committee. So you all welcome. You honor us with your presence. Now ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to
welcome our keynote speaker Jovita Carranza, the United States Treasurer. Jovita has had a distinguished career in public
service and the private sector and hers is a textbook American success story. She rose from a part-time job for UPS to become
a high ranking UPS executive. She later founded her own company, the JCR
Group. She has been active in philanthropy and has
served her country as the deputy administrator of the small business administration and now
as treasurer. It is a pleasure to have a kindred spirit
here today for our 85th celebration. Thank you, Madam Treasurer. The podium is yours. Jovita: I got a double-decker on that one. Thank you. Thank you very kindly for this very generous
introduction and for the invitation to join all of you today as we commemorate the 85th
anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act. I’d like to commend all of you in this room
for facilitating the NCUA’s mission of maintaining public trust and ensuring the safety and soundness
of our credit union system. To carry out this significant role, a skilled
and diverse workforce is critical, especially one that functions with the highest standards
of coordination and commitment characteristics that define the heritage of the NCUA. Through rulemaking initiatives, financial
literacy resources, innovative consumer assistance programs, and membership services, you are
transforming access to credit and creating opportunities for consumers and communities
to achieve prosperity for themselves and for the future generations. Our country has long embraced the dynamic
between hard work and economic mobility and resilience. Work hard and you will prosper. I have learned that success and achieving
the relationship between hard work and prosperity largely depends to the extent that people
have access to economic opportunity. Jovita: As treasurer, I serve as a principal
advisor to Secretary Mnuchin on community economic development and financial security. In my role, I hope to bring the American dream
more in reach to boost economic growth to promote financial security in our country. This administration is committed to doing
exactly that by pursuing a daily imperative to broaden economic participation to reach
its fullest expression, to create conditions for everyone, to benefit from the wealth that
comes from economic growth. To achieve this, I’d like to share several
policy objectives I know are important to many of you. We are pursuing an agenda that unlocks economic
potential by overturning anti-competitive restrictions and burdensome regulations. Dodd Frank imposes a series of costly regulatory
requirements on banks and credit unions. Treasury released a comprehensive report recommending
a regulatory framework that will be more conducive to encouraging safe and sound lending by credit
unions, including small-dollar lending without restricting access to credit through burdensome
regulation. Jovita: It is important for all of us to work
together to increase access to safe and affordable financial services and products so that more
Americans will be part of the economic mainstream. One critical incentive that will bolster community
investment is the opportunity zone tax incentive. This vital tax incentive provisioned under
the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts holds the promise of uplifting and transforming our nation’s
communities leading to new business formation, enhanced job creation and sustained economic
growth. The goal of the program is to provide meaningful
investment in areas where the unemployment rate is about 1.6 points higher than average
to invest in communities where the path to prosperity has been underdeveloped. Working with our partners in state and local
governments, treasury designated 8,700 census tracts as opportunity zones. Opportunity zones or I should say approximately
58% of the minority population are in opportunity zones. And so this is a unique chance for minority
communities to advance through private sector engagement. Jovita: The program works by offering capital
gains tax relief to encourage long-term investments in businesses located in economically disadvantaged
ones. The incentive is not intended to shelter gains
without providing tangible benefits and immediate community impact. The Treasury Department and the administration
as a whole are committed to making the opportunity zone tax incentive, a powerful business and
community development tool. Importantly, we cannot achieve full participation
in our economy without establishing a financially well-educated population. The connection between financial literacy
and economic opportunity in terms of quality, mobility, stability and resilience is consequential. Financial literacy and capacity building is
key to unlocking the foundational aspects of economic opportunity. Under the direction of Secretary Mnuchin,
my office was asked or tasked with elevating the importance of financial capability and
deploying policy actions to support a financial literacy. Jovita: Against the backdrop of a strong economy,
we are in a position now more than ever to expand access to quality financial literacy
tools necessary to properly manage economic prosperity. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission,
which the Secretary asked me to help lead as treasurer comprises 23 entities including
the NCUA. We are in the process of developing guidance
and resources to enable financial institutions and private sector organizations to implement
research based strategies into their financial education activities that include measurements
of effectiveness. I have a couple of reports to distribute with
me. Treasury recently released a report on behalf
of the [inaudible] entitled “Best Practices For The Financial Education At Institutions
Of Higher Education”, which provides recommendations for academic institutions that teach financial
literacy skills and to provide resources to students to help them make more informed financial
decisions. The report will address recommendations for
improving the transparency of student borrowing costs and preparing students for repayment
responsibilities. Jovita: Additionally, the report focuses on
strategies for effectively delivering financial literacy tools to the student population broadly,
our future workforce. Treasury will soon release a separate report
addressing best practices for improving the financial health of consumers and recommendations
for reforming the federal government’s approach to promoting financial literacy. The report recommendations seek to better
coordinate existing financial literacy and education programs and policy proposals for
basic financial capability. This will include savings and credit, retirement
and investor education. Despite differing views on how financial service
providers can and should contribute to financial knowledge and skill building, there is agreement
that financial education is important to community economic development and that these institutions
should play an important role in this work. I am incredibly optimistic about our nation’s
future and honored to have the opportunity to engage with you all here today. I’d like to again acknowledge all of you in
this room for carrying out the important work of enabling economic opportunity and helping
others become productive and prosperous. Creating effective and ambitious public policy
requires big minds and big hearts. I look forward to continuing to working together
in improving financial outcomes for our society. Thank you very much. Rodney: Thank you once again, madam treasurer. Thank you
Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to introduce Rebekah Goshorn Jurata, special
assistant to the President for financial policy at the National Economic Council who is bringing
us a presidential message. Rebekah has served as a deputy assistant secretary
at the Treasury Department, as a senior counsel to the House Financial Services Committee
and counsel to the Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those experiences led to her current posts
where she advises the President and the National Economic Council Director, Larry Kudlow. Rebekah, thank you for joining us today. Rebekah: Thank you, Chairman Hood. It is a truly honor and a privilege to be
here on behalf of the administration as we celebrate this significant anniversary. And so with that, I’d like to read a letter
on behalf of the President of the United States. I send my warmest greetings to those celebrating
the 85th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Credit Union Act. In 1934 President Franklin D Roosevelt enacted
the Federal Credit Union Act to authorize the formation of federally chartered credit
unions in all states. Today, the principal mission of credit unions
remains the same, providing financial services to Americans who are seeking a brighter and
more secure financial future. As an independent federal agency, the National
Credit Union Administration plays a critical role to helping those and protect the hard
earned savings of more than 116 million credit union members. The national credit unions efforts to mitigate
risk, ensure deposits, and identify future challenges facing the financial services industry
are vitally important to the millions of hardworking men and women. As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the
passage of the Federal Credit Union Act, my administration will continue to work with
lawmakers to implement policies that will unleash the full potential of our nation’s
economy and help more Americans achieve the American dream. I commend you for your hard work and wish
the National Credit Union Administration much success in the years to come, signed by the
President of the United States. Rodney: Well, now ladies and gentlemen, I
know for the moment that many of you been waiting for long and long, it’s time to have
the celebratory cake. So with that being said, I’d like to ask my
fellow board members, Harper and Mr. McWatters to join me over by the cake and we’ll do a
ceremonial cut. And then after that, you’re free to have cake
and I think there are some other dessert items along the corridor there. So why don’t we do that? And after we do our ceremonial cut, let’s
all have a rest of
the celebration.

One comment on “85th Anniversary Celebration of the Federal Credit Union Act”

  1. Oak Tree Business Systems, Inc. says:

    What a monumental anniversary! 🙂 #CUfamilies #CUdifference

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