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CUNA NAFCU No support for lop-sided reg relief bill
WASHINGTON (2/13/08)--A broad regulatory relief effort being considered by the Senate Banking Committee was scrapped late last night after the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Tuesday said credit unions could not support the lop-sided language. In a rare joint letter, sent to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), CUNA and NAFCU applauded Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and other panel members for taking the lead in the Senate on regulatory relief for financial institutions in 2008. But the credit union groups said they could not back an amendment as drafted because it would not provide balanced regulatory relief for all financial services providers. For instance, the package proposes to increase business lending limits and auto lending investment limit for thrifts, but does not address the credit union member business lending ceiling or modification of the credit union prompt corrective action (PCA) system to a risk-based approach. “The credit union and bank amendments to this legislation are not in balance and we cannot, consequently, support them,” said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica Tuesday. “We applaud and thank Sen. Crapo for this leadership on the overall issue of regulatory relief for financial institutions, especially credit unions. However, regulatory relief among financial institutions must be in equilibrium in order for all to have the same opportunities to thrive,” Mica said. “We will be working with senators to achieve regulatory relief that is balanced and we appreciate this opportunity to broach this issue in the Senate,” he added. The Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537), with 142 official supporters in the House, proposes to increase the member business lending cap to 20%, up from the current 12.25%, and also to modify PCA to a risk-based system. “Credit unions are well suited to help during these difficult economic times when credit is becoming scarce. We believe that providing balanced and meaningful evenhanded regulatory relief to all financial institutions would provide significant economic stimulus at no cost to taxpayers. We urge you to support such efforts,” the CUNA-NAFCU letter said. Sen. Crapo was expected to introduce his financial institutions regulatory relief provisions as an amendment to an industrial loan company bill that is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. Late Tuesday evening, Crapo's office announced it would not offer the amendment.


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