(BEDFORD) – Congressman Trey Hollingsworth visited Hoosier Hills Credit Union Friday, April 12 to meet with Credit Union managers, Board, and Supervisory Committee members.
Following a tour of the HHCU facilities in Bedford, Representative Hollingsworth held a roundtable discussion over lunch, discussing with the group such topics as the economy, elder abuse and crimes against senior citizens, financial education and regulation of financial institutions.
“What I love most about credit unions is your perfect alignment with your members,” said Hollingsworth. “You care about your members and operate in their best interest.” He mentioned that nearly half of all community banking institutions have gone out of business, so it is very important – especially in more rural communities – for people to have more banking options.
“Every loan you make is about their business or their life. That’s what you’re there for, and you should be proud of that. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I see clearly that the banks in the big cities don’t know what it’s like for people in small towns. We need to push back against your zip code determining what you are and what you can do. People in small towns need banking options.”
Hollingsworth discussed a bipartisan bill in the Financial Services Committee that focuses on crimes against our senior citizens. He also mentioned bipartisan work on Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.
“We need to find a better way to lower costs and send fewer false signals to FinCEN.” FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
The group discussed that Congress needs to pay attention to the fact that “one size fits all” regulations don’t serve the needs of smaller financial institutions. “We need to have an economic system that works for everyone,” said Hollingsworth. “I understand that credit unions help get people into the business, and we need to empower you to empower local business. You look at their circumstances and give them a hand up.”
“We are very proud of our accomplishments,” added George McNichols, President, and CEO of Hoosier Hills Credit Union. “Being in small markets, we have had to leverage opportunities to help individuals and businesses in these communities. We also work with public entities to help them with their banking needs. Having just launched two new mortgage products that will allow more members access to an affordable mortgage, we’re trying to fulfill our mission of serving our members and the communities where we’re located,” Hollingsworth acknowledged it is a mission “I know you devoutly believe. You make a difference in Hoosier lives.”
When discussing employment issues, Katherine Beauchamp, HHCU Vice President Human Resources noted that Hoosier Hills Credit Union’s average tenure of 9 years is two times the national average of 4.5 years. McNichols added that the Credit Union is proud of the wages and benefits it offers employees so that they will remain in our local communities.
Hollingsworth noted that he regularly makes random calls to Hoosier residents to learn about what they need. “What resonates with businesses is to help them get their start, help them maintain their operations, and expand. What I find in my calls is that what is important to people are good jobs, safe communities, and to know that American values still matter.”