WASHINGTON (10/22/08)—As the U.S. Congress begins consideration of economic recovery legislation, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica this week wrote to remind federal lawmakers they should increase credit unions’ ability to be part of the solution for problems faced by consumers and small businesses. In letters to the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, Mica highlighted several regulatory changes that he said should be considered as part of an economic recovery plan. The Oct. 15 letter said the recommendations “focus on maintaining credit unions’ strong capital levels by implementing robust regulatory tools and restoring credit unions’ ability to fully meet the needs of their small business members during and after the credit crunch.” The letter urged changes that would:
* Allow the National Credit Union Administration to implement a risk-based capital system for credit unions—similar to that of banks-- to help credit unions to better manage unexpected circumstances; * Eliminate the 12.25 % of assets credit union business lending cap as a means to provide much needed credit to America’s small businesses without costing taxpayers a dime; and * Permit all credit unions to accept secondary capital.
Mica wrote: “As the economy recovers from this crisis, credit unions will continue to be there for our members. We know credit unions cannot be the entire solution to the problems our economy faces, but we remain an important resource to credit union members; and data suggests that the existence of a strong credit union movement benefits all consumers.” CUNA sent the letter to the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), and the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), as well as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who is that panel’s ranking member.