WASHINGTON (3/2/15 UPDATED 1:15 p.m. ET)--CUNA welcomes the reintroduction today of a bill that would raise the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL) to 27.5% of assets. Introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (H.R. 1188) is identical to a bill introduced by Royce in the last Congress.
"I thank Reps. Royce and Meeks for their strong leadership and support of credit unions and small businesses," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "This common sense legislation would allow credit unions to do so much more to help small businesses grow, creating jobs for hard working Americans and boosting our economy."
To qualify for the higher MBL threshold, credit unions must be well capitalized, have a history of MBL experience, be operating at no less than 80% the cap for the previous year and receive approval from the National Credit Union Administration.
CUNA estimates that raising the cap from the current 12.25% of assets would create 150,000 new jobs and allow credit unions to lend an additional $14 billion to small businesses, with no cost to taxpayers.
"Current regulations arbitrarily cap the ability of our nation's credit unions to lend to small businesses. Main Street businesses looking to expand and hire more workers have suffered as a result," said Royce in a statement. "The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act removes this obstacle to lending and ensures that qualified credit unions are better able to support Americans who need loans to start, sustain, or grow their businesses."
Raising the MBL cap is a major legislative priority for CUNA, due to the regulatory relief it would achieve. CUNA will send a letter of support for the legislation.