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New relief bill based on CURRA introduced in House
WASHINGTON (6/20/08)--A bill that would allow all federal credit unions to apply to serve underserved areas and exempt member business loans (MBLs) made in underserved areas from a statutory cap moved to the legislative fast track Thursday night. The new bill, H.R., 6312, the Credit Union, Bank and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act of 2008, would also grandfather previously approved underserved fields of membership for credit unions.
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The measure is based on provisions of the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act (CURRA, H.R. 5519)combined with some provisions of a banking relief bill. The new legislation--introduced by Reps. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), and Edward Royce (R-Calif.)--is expected to be placed on the House Suspension Calendar for a vote, perhaps as early as next week. The measure then could be considered by the Senate. “We have worked hard throughout the 110th Congress to identify how credit unions and financial institutions of all types can better serve their members and customers, and this bill represents a real consensus on these matters,” said Rep. Kanjorski. “This legislation, among other things, will allow credit unions of all types to expand into underserved areas and support community development. It also will allow interest to be paid on business checking accounts, a change for which I have long advocated,” Kanjorski said. “During this time of economic uncertainty, we need to take action in Washington not only to help those individuals who live and work in underserved areas, but also the businesses that create jobs. Both of these provisions will help to achieve that goal. I look forward to moving this legislation quickly on the House floor,” Kanjorski added. The bill received the support of key Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank said, “I appreciate the hard work and bipartisan cooperation of Reps. Kanjorski, Moore and Royce on this important legislation, as well as the constructive engagement of both the banking and credit union industries. This bill will advance financial institutions’ ability to serve their consumers, and I look forward passage by the House very soon.” Bachus said the legislation “is an example of a bipartisan effort to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens on our financial institutions. Increasing our regulatory efficiencies will allow banks and credit unions to devote additional resources to better serve their customers.” Moore noted that “reducing regulatory burdens on businesses and consumers is simply the right thing to do. I’m pleased that this bipartisan package, which will do much to keep our financial services and business communities competitive in the global market, includes provisions that I have long advocated to reduce the burden on our small banks and thrifts. And, the bipartisan support for this bill shows just how important it is that Congress pass meaningful regulatory relief legislation soon.” Royce said the bill’s introduction “is a major step toward achieving our ultimate objective: providing significant regulatory relief for our financial institutions. This bill gives both credit unions and banks greater flexibility in their day to day operations, thereby allowing them to better serve their customers.” To see a video of Ryan Donovan, the Credit Union National Association's vice president of legislative affairs, comment on the bill, use the link.


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