[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 7, 1998]
[Page 1413]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the Credit Union Membership Access Act
August 7, 1998

    Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 1151, the ``Credit Union 
Membership Access Act,'' which will ensure that millions of Americans 
have the choice of getting consumer financial services from a credit 
    Our credit unions are special institutions. Providing primarily 
consumer loans--for cars, education, home improvement and home 
purchases--and other financial services, like checking accounts and 
certificates of deposit, they are democratically controlled, member-
owned cooperatives, with volunteer, unpaid directors. Because they are 
not-for-profit organizations, credit unions often can charge lower fees, 
require lower minimum deposits, and provide more personalized service.
    Early this year, a decision by the Supreme Court created uncertainty 
about the future of credit unions in a case about how credit unions 
could draw their membership. This bill will restore membership 
flexibility to credit unions, allowing, for example, employees of a 
number of smaller companies or members of a number of churches to join 
together to form a credit union. The bill also provides important new 
safety and soundness reforms. Unfortunately, the bill does not include 
some important reforms to reaffirm the responsibility of credit unions 
to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income persons, and to assess 
their performance in meeting that goal. However, on balance, this bill 
will significantly strengthen credit unions, which provide so many 
benefits to consumers.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

August 7, 1998.

Note: H.R. 1151, approved August 7, was assigned Public Law No. 105-219.