Pub. 12 2022-2023 Issue 2

A Word From CBA’s Chairman: The Value of Membership

Colorado Bankers Association focuses on the needs and goals of its members, resulting in high membership satisfaction. Another benefit is the team at CBA produces exceptional results on behalf of its membership. There is a sustaining value to the CBA membership.

Colorado Bankers Association advocates for economic opportunities for the financial services industry through a sound and competitive banking environment by advocating supportive public policy and enhancing banking skills, image, and unity. In our current political environment of one-party rule, it is challenging to defeat legislation that stifles business and hampers economic development. The CBA staff understands the political realities of collaborating with business coalitions to reach compromises for the best outcome possible. When others are ready to throw in the towel and agree, CBA remains on the front line advocating for the membership.

Your CBA membership protects your business interests and saves you money. CBA provides legislative and regulatory advocacy at the state and national levels. Jen Waller’s successes through the years, in Colorado and nationally, are well known. Today, the government relations team, directed by Ms. Waller, is well respected, and their successes continue in her footsteps.

This last year, CBA successfully defeated legislation to authorize a credit union to accept public deposits. If banks were forced to compete with credit unions, not only are the state funds less protected, but the cost of funds would be increased. Defeating this bill continues the protection of tax dollars and ensures bank competition for tax deposits is fair. This is the third time in 20 years the CBA thwarted efforts by credit unions to gain a greater foothold in Colorado’s financial interests.

This distinguished record of stopping the expansion of credit unions is unique among state associations. At the same time, the CBA team blocked the credit unions’ efforts to introduce legislation to buy a bank. Banks stand little chance of outbidding a credit union when wanting to acquire another bank. Credit unions use their subsidy (tax exemption) to offer a higher price than banks can afford. Blocking this measure ensures banks are not competing with tax-exempt entities when wanting to acquire another bank. This is an incalculable value of membership.

On the national level, CBA lobbied the Colorado congressional delegation to oppose the nomination of Professor Saule Omorova as Comptroller of the Currency. Professor Omorova expressed a lack of trust in the banking industry and desired to drastically change it. Stopping her nomination saved banks numerous regulatory headaches. Even banks not nationally chartered would have felt the negative impact of her nomination. (Note: the Comptroller of the Currency also serves on the FDIC Board.)

And CBA was at the forefront — with an aggressive grassroots campaign — in the fight against the IRS reporting requirement for all deposits over $600. Ms. Waller worked the phones speaking to the Colorado delegation and educating them on the realities of the recklessness of this plan.

Recently, member banks contacted CBA about unsafe conditions on light rail trains in the Denver metro area. Ms. Waller facilitated a meeting with RTD officials to listen to our members’ concerns for staff who ride light rail to work, and to press for additional safety measures for all light rail riders. This is just a small value add-on that CBA provides.

Members should be planning for the September fall trip to Washington, D.C. Ms. Waller has secured a private meeting with CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity not available to bankers without CBA membership.

Our staff wants opportunities to grow and develop. CBA has a convenient and cost-effective professional development program. CBA members receive the privilege of membership pricing to all conferences and training. The Center for Banking Advocacy — the tenth year begins next month — provides a hands-on curriculum for bankers to gain the needed tools to positively influence colleagues, legislators, and regulators. As I have mentioned previously, I am a graduate of the Banking Advocacy Program and a supporter of its work and value.

In our fast-paced environment, issues arise at a moment’s notice. CBA provides timely and valuable information regarding emerging issues and news of the day through Actions Alerts, CBA News of the Week, and the Colorado Banker.

This coming year, members will have more opportunities to meet with policymakers and regulators, network with other members, and attend professional development seminars on relevant issues of the day.

CBA strives to preserve your trust and respect and enhance the value and benefit of your membership.