Credit union restrictions, lending cap are barriers to financial access

March 3, 2022

Credit unions’ field of membership restrictions and the member business lending cap shut out those that need access to mainstream financial services, CUNA wrote to Congressional committees this week. CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and House Financial Services Committee this week for their hearings on monetary policy and the state of the economy.

“One of the most important things that Congress could do to close those disparities, promote financial inclusion, and help small businesses would be to ensure that federal law permits all federal credit unions to serve underserved areas,” the letter reads.

It notes CUNA’s strong support of draft legislation, the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act., which would

  • Allow all federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership
  • Exempt business loans made by credit unions in low-income areas from the credit union member business lending cap.
  • Expand the definition of a low-income credit union to include any area that is more than 10 miles from the nearest branch of a financial institution.