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Idaho's Risch adds voice to RBC concerns
WASHINGTON (7/21/14)--Concerned that credit unions in his state will be facing increased capital requirements under the National Credit Union Administration's proposed risk-based capital (RBC) rule, Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) became the latest lawmaker to submit a letter to the agency.

Risch's main concern is that the rule would be "unduly burdensome" to credit unions offering agricultural, small business and residential mortgage loans.

"Nationally, over 4,000 credit unions offer mortgage products that equate to a little over 6.5% of the entire mortgage market and enjoy loss rates well below the national average," he wrote. "The proposed rule could force credit unions to reduce the availability or affordability of loan products, restricting credit availability to their members, especially those that live in rural and low-income areas."

He went on to say that credit unions in Idaho would face increase capital requirements of approximately $44 million to remain well-capitalized. Several credit unions have suggested to Risch that the rule would prompt changes in the way they operate in order to maintain their capital buffers.

The NCUA concluded the last of three Listening Sessions Thursday, and RBC was the primary topic during every session. The agency said it will release wrap-up information on the sessions this week.

NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said during the sessions that "everything is on the table" as far as changes to the proposal, and has already indicated the 18-month implementation period spelled out in the proposal will change.


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