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Mass Credit Union League Endorses Warren

Friday, July 27, 2012


US Senate hopeful, Elizabeth Warren (D), visited the Worcester Credit Union to receive an official endorsement from the Mass Credit Union League. The Senate candidate spoke about the advantages of credit unions for working families and the importance of using local credit unions.

“Credit unions have been out there as partners for American families for more than a century now. Credit unions are member owned, so, the people who are a part of credit unions really have built their own financial services, and it’s really about building strength in the American family,” she said.

Warren said that unlike her opponent, Scott Brown (R-MA) who has been accused of standing with Wall Street, she’s helping the people who need it.

“Scott Brown is out there working for Wall Street, and I’m here in Worcester working with the credit unions,” she said. “It seems pretty simple to me.”

With Warren to announce the endorsement was Daniel Egan, President of Mass Credit Union League.

“Credit unions are unique financial institutions that focus on the consumer,” he said, adding that credit unions began in Massachusetts in 1909 and came from humble beginnings, creating a “feeling of comfort” with their customers.

“Credit unions have grown in popularity lately because of the dissatisfaction with large financial institutions at the cost of the consumer,” Egan said.

Warren discussed her background and work with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

Building Things That Work

Warren said that the true benefit to belonging to credit unions is seen by families and small businesses and that she’s willing to start the conversation about why they’re important.

“One of the best things we can do is get out and talk about what credit unions can do. I’ve talked about credit unions in the past, and want to continue to in the future,” she said.

She said that big banks are guilty of luring customers in for “predatory mortgages.”

Responsibilities of Congress

The Senate hopeful held the US Congress responsible for the mess created by the big banks that have been “tricking its customers into buying products they didn’t want and paying for things they didn’t sign up for,” she said.

“If you want to turn me into a Wonk for just a second, to ask the question about what happens in Congress, this is really the difference between what it means to have a big powerful lobbyist in Washington and not,” Warren said. “And the way I see it, Washington is rigged to work for those who have an army of lobbyists.”

She added that banks have been hammering Congress to pass loopholes and “exceptions that only apply to them and to building a business model that has tricked their customers, trapped their customers, fooled them about how much the products cost.”

“It’s important – Congress has a piece of the responsibility in that because Congress has certainly gone along with it, but that’s why I think this is about leveling the playing field again,” she said. “What I want to do is push harder for simple regulations, push harder for transparency, push harder for a cop on the beat to make sure even guys are following the rules because I think that when that happens, people have a better chance to see what credit unions are doing and see the good value in credit unions.”

Leveling the Playing Field

Warren discussed the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on this issue, saying that she has been fighting this for years.

“It’s about simpler regulations which work much better for smaller financial institutions. It’s not about loopholes for the big guys, it’s about simple regulations that apply for everyone. When the products are easier to read and understand, the advantages of credit unions become clearer,” she said.

She cited the Bureau’s recent success and first enforcement in taking on one of the largest credit card companies in the country, Capital One.

“The company is now going to have to pay 100 cents on the dollar, with interest, and millions of dollars in fines,” she said. “I see this as we now have a watchdog who’s not afraid of the Wall Street banks, and that’s good for consumers. That’s what I’ve been working for. I think it’s good for consumers and it’s good for credit unions and those who serve those consumers.”

Campaign Expense

In keeping with the subject of finance, Warren answered a question regarding the Senate race, which has been declared the most expensive in US history.

“It is possible that the race here will determine whether the Democrats or Republicans control the US Senate, and I think that’s why a lot of people are interested,” she said. “And I think in talking about this race, it’s important to say why I’m so proud to be standing here today with the 206 credit unions of the Commonwealth and with their two and half million members. They are a large part of this campaign and a central reason for this campaign.”


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