WASHINGTON (5/6/08)—Each member of 110th Senate is being sent a letter from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) urging them to support and co-sponsor S. 2957, the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA). The key credit union legislation was introduced for the first time in the Senate last week by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.). A House version of the regulatory improvements package carries the names of 149 official backers. In urging Senate support, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica wrote that by co-sponsoring CURIA, lawmakers will be “helping credit unions continue their mission of serving working families, making needed services available to lower-income or underserved consumers, and helping promote economic growth and well being in our nation’s communities.” Beyond that, Mica noted, CURIA will also improve the quality of services to credit union members by updating or removing other burdensome regulations. The letter included an attachment with specific information about important reforms within CURIA. “Credit unions work every day to help improve the lives of millions of Americans from all walks of life. At a credit union, every customer is a member and owner,” Mica told each Senator. “ The mission of credit unions is to serve their members, and as our economy struggles, this mission is more important than ever. We appreciate your past support of credit unions and urge you to show your continuing support by co-sponsoring CURIA,” the letter concluded. Specifically, CURIA proposes, in part, to:
* Modernize credit union capital standards to permit more efficient capital management while allowing more earnings to be returned to members in lower costs and expanded services; * Expand the ability of credit unions to make loans to finance their members’ local small businesses; and * Permit more credit unions to offer needed services in lower-income communities that are not adequately served by other depository institutions.