New Hampshire credit union leaders talked about the importance of regulatory relief with Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) during a visit to St. Mary’s Bank CU, Manchester, N.H. last week. Shea-Porter has supported credit union-friendly legislation during her time on Capitol Hill.
"Congresswoman Shea-Porter is committed to helping small businesses grow and thrive,” said Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association. “She understands the important role they play in local communities. New Hampshire credit unions delivered a positive message for the need for regulatory reform that allows credit unions to do even more to better serve the financial needs of consumers and small businesses.”
During the meeting, credit unions urged Shea-Porter to support the CUNA-backed Credit Union Loan Residential Parity Act (H.R. 389), which would exempt credit union loans to purchase 1 to 4-unit non-owner occupied residential dwellings from the member business lending cap. A companion bill, S. 836, has also been introduced in the Senate.
“The credit unions stressed why credit unions need to see reform so 1-4 non-owner occupied loans are no longer classified as business loans and taking up valuable cap space that could be used to help more small businesses,” Gentile said. “It was a very positive meeting.”
Credit unions also discussed the need for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to set appropriate regulatory thresholds in their rulemaking to ensure credit unions are not facing unnecessary regulatory burden.
Shea-Porter acknowledged credit unions did not cause the financial crisis and the CFPB's focus should not be put credit unions and community banks under the same regulatory framework as Wall Street banks.
She also talked about current political climate in Washington, D.C., and touched on the challenges of small businesses, the opioid crisis, tax reform and health care reform.
CUNA is urging credit unions to connect with their elected officials over the August recess to discuss important issues including reg relief and the credit union tax status. CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation website features instructions on scheduling and hosting in-district meetings with lawmakers