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NM Credit Unions' Long Road to Consumer Protections and Community Financial Health

Data Breach & CDFI Legislation Sails Through NM House & Senate

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwired - March 20, 2017) - This week, New Mexico CU's celebrated two major victories for credit unions in the New Mexico House and Senate. On Thursday and Friday, the NM Senate passed The Data Breach Notification Act (HB 15) to help stop fraud and identity theft, and The Community Development Financial Institution Act (HB 342) to help grow jobs and communities in the state.

The Data Breach Notification Act (HB 15) specifically requires retailers and any other entity that gathers and stores personal information to notify affected parties within 30 days if the entity believes there is a serious risk of identity theft or fraud. Businesses that do not comply could be fined up to $150,000.

"This week, all New Mexicans are safer with the passage of the Data Breach Notification Act. For too long, New Mexico has been a target for identity theft and fraud because we have not previously had any method to alert consumers when their personal information has been compromised," said Paul Stull, President/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico. "New Mexico Credit Unions have fought for this protection for four years and, thanks in large part to our partnership with Leverage Point and support from NM citizens and credit union members, the 40-0 passage is a strong warning to fraudsters that New Mexico is now on alert."

And, responding to the growing concern that economically distressed communities in New Mexico require additional and direct support, The Community Development Financial Institution Act, carried by Rep. Georgene Louis -- D, would allow the State of New Mexico to invest in these communities throughout the state that need it most by leveraging public/private partnerships. These partnerships have the ability to help create jobs, provide affordable financial services to financially disadvantaged communities and help small businesses with seed capital. CDFI funds are uniquely positioned to create jobs, spur economic growth, and revitalize neighborhoods in New Mexico's low-income, economically distressed and underrepresented communities simply by providing affordable credit and capital.

"As the national CDFI advocate for the credit union industry, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions congratulates the New Mexico legislature for this groundbreaking legislative action that creates a framework to support the community development and financial inclusion work of CDFIs across the state," said Pablo DeFilippi, Vice President Membership and Network Engagement, National Federation of CDCUs. "We applaud the leadership of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico in bringing this visionary initiative to fruition and hope to see this replicated in other states in the future. We look forward to working closely with CUANM to engage more credit unions in these efforts."

These are major political victories for credit unions and clearly establish the power of NM CU's working together for positive change. Both bills will now go to the Governor for signature.

About CUANM: The Credit Union Association of New Mexico is a trade organization that helps credit unions address member needs through services, products, education and advocacy. First established in 1958, CUANM has been helping credit unions help their members for more than 50 years.

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