TUKWILA, Wash. (3/22/12)--Credit unions are an important source for consumer financial services and private sector lending, and need access to more supplemental capital, Gary Oakland, president/CEO of BECU in Tukwila, Wash., wrote in a blog entry Tuesday on The Huffington Post.
"Credit unions serve more than 90 million Americans and play a key role in supporting our economic recovery by extending much needed credit in communities across the country," Oakland wrote. "And our numbers are growing. Nationally, more than 1.3 million Americans opened new credit union accounts in the past year.
"Unfortunately, current law imposes inflexible regulatory capital requirements on credit unions which unfairly penalize healthy credit unions for growing to meet the needs of their members," he added. "As a result, many credit unions are being forced to consider discouraging deposits, limiting new memberships and scaling back member services. This is a disservice to the communities we serve," he said.
The Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act, H.R. 3993, bi-partisan legislation, would allow "credit unions to accept additional forms of capital to supplement their retained earnings in a manner that is consistent with their status as a not-for-profit financial cooperative," Oakland wrote.
He concluded by urging Congress to support the legislation.
The Credit Union National Association is asking Congress to allow credit unions to strengthen their ability to manage risks through the use of supplemental capital.