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Letter to Representative Bob Ney in Support of H R 2796 the Federal Home Loan Bank Membership Act of 2001

Letters to Congress

Letter to Representative Bob Ney in Support of H.R. 2796, the Federal Home Loan Bank Membership Act of 2001.

December 4, 2001

The Honorable Bob Ney 1024 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Ney:

We are writing to thank you for introducing H.R. 2796, the Federal Home Loan Bank Membership Act of 2001. The Credit Union National Association supports this legislation.

This is a bi-partisan bill that is co-sponsored by Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. The legislation would allow privately insured credit unions to apply to become members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

We understand that in Ohio there are 99 privately insured credit unions with assets of $1.4 billion. Throughout the United States a few hundred similar institutions operate in eight different states. Their membership comprises all walks of life, such as fire fighters, postal workers, teachers, healthcare and agriculture workers. Under current law, these credit unions cannot access the Federal Home Loan Bank System in order to provide mortgage funding for their members. This bill would do nothing more than permit these institutions to apply to join the Federal Home Loan Bank System and provide a new source of housing funds for these financial institutions and their members.

It is estimated that 1.3 million credit union members belong to privately insured credit unions. In order to advance home ownership options for these credit union members, we think passing H.R. 2796 is in order. It is important to remember that this bill provides no special treatment for these institutions. Before joining the Federal Home Loan Bank System, any institution covered by this bill would have to be subject to approval by the appropriate Federal Home Loan Bank. Advances from the Bank System would be on the same terms as any other similar institution.

This bill is consistent with CUNA policy, recently reinforced by the adoption of the enclosed Renaissance Vision Statements, to promote not only the option of private insurance, but also the strength of the dual chartering system. Credit unions must be given the choice of equally viable federal or state chartering alternatives. H.R. 2796 helps promote that option.

We thank you for your strong support of credit unions in the past, and for your sponsorship of H.R. 2796.

Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO

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