Sinema Introduces Bipartisan Bill Lowering Costs for Rural Credit Unions, Helping Arizonans Continue to Access Critical Banking Services

May 26, 2022

Senator’s bipartisan legislation modernizes board meeting requirements for credit unions – reducing costs and maximizing efficiency to help rural Arizonans access banking services

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced bipartisan legislation – backed by Senators Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) – that lowers costs for credit unions, particularly those in rural areas, by modernizing board meeting requirements so they can continue serving the Arizonans who rely on their banking services.
“Modernizing board meeting requirements for Arizona credit unions will lower costs and support local credit unions Arizonans rely on – especially in rural areas,” said Sinema.
“I want to thank Senator Sinema for introducing legislation that will provide a great benefit to credit unions headquartered in smaller communities across Arizona,” said Carol Roby, CEO of Mohave Community Federal Credit Union which serves roughly 5,000 members in Mohave County. “This change will reduce our operational expenses and allow us to expand access to credit to people in our community.”
“Thank you to Sens. Sinema, Hagerty, Padilla, and Tillis for their bipartisan leadership on this important issue,” said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle. “This legislation will give credit unions flexibility when setting board meeting schedules, allowing additional time and resources to go toward serving local consumers.”

Sinema’s bipartisan Credit Union Board Modernization Act reduces the frequency of board meetings required to lower costs for credit unions, particularly those in rural areas. Sinema’s legislation makes this modernization in a responsible manner that aligns meeting requirements with credit union risk profile and ensuring that new credit unions meet frequently enough to succeed.
Currently, all credit union boards must meet at least once a month. Sinema’s bipartisan bill revises the frequency of board of director meetings required. This legislation specifically requires monthly meetings for new credit unions during their first five years and for credit unions with a low soundness rating. All other credit unions must hold at least six meetings annually, with at least one meeting held during each fiscal quarter.
Board meetings are costly for credit unions, particularly smaller credit unions in rural areas. A board meeting typically requires hundreds of hours of staff time to pull together, in addition to travel, per diem, and other related logistics costs for credit unions. These expenses directly trade off with the ability for a credit union to offer services and extend credit.