WASHINGTON (11/4/15)--As a bill to give federal savings associations rights and duties equal with national banks passed a U.S. House committee, a series of lawmakers said Congress should also focus on relief for credit unions, which have a superior safety and soundness record.
The House Financial Services Committee passed the bill, H.R. 1660, during a markup Tuesday.
During the markup Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) expressed concern that credit union relief was not on the day’s agenda.
“Credit union regulatory relief should be front and center when we’re talking about relief for community financial institutions,” Royce said, just before submitting a letter from CUNA into the record. “I am hopeful this committee’s agenda will encompass a discussion in the near future on how to provide credit unions greater flexibility to underwrite small biz growth to underwrite job creation.”
Royce’s sentiments were echoed by Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Waters also urged the committee to take action on legislation that would increase credit unions’ member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25% cap, in “the near future.”
“We appreciate the support that members of the committee, including Reps. Waters, Sherman and Royce, gave to credit unions and we thank Chairman Jeb Hensarling [R-Texas] for his support of credit union regulatory relief legislation in recent years,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “We look forward to working with the committee to advance more credit union legislation in the near future.”
CUNA opposes the consideration of H.R. 1660 in absence of similar legislation affecting the flexibility of the credit union charter.
Credit unions have a consistent history of providing commercial credit in a safe and sound manner, while savings and loan charge-offs on commercial loans have been more than four times that of credit unions since 2007.