SALT LAKE CITY (2/26/08)--A bill that would result in some legislative changes to ease restrictions on Utah’s state-chartered credit unions passed a state Senate committee last week, but still must pass the state House and Senate. Senate Bill 296, sponsored by State Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo), would create several changes to the state charter. It would:
* Increase the amount a credit union can loan to its members to 4% of assets from the current 1%; * Eliminate a requirement that borrowers must be members of a credit union for six months before receiving a business loan, and make them eligible immediately after joining; and * Maintain the current $250,000 cap on business loans, but allow the cap to increase with inflation--pegged to the Consumer Price Index--beginning May 5 with an increase each year on Jan. 1 (Deseret Morning News Feb. 22) .
Originally, credit unions had wanted the business loan cap to be raised to 10% of a credit union’s capital and surplus, and the $250,000 business lending cap to be lifted to 12.25% of a credit union’s loan portfolio--similar to the cap for federally chartered credit unions. “I’m encouraged that several members of legislative leadership have been willing to provide meaningful relief for our state-chartered credit unions,” Scott Simpson, president of the Utah League of Credit Unions, told News Now
. “It’s a step in the right direction for credit unions. It rolls back some setbacks sustained in prior state legislation in 1999.” The league and the Utah Bankers Association (UBA) have promised Bramble and leaders of both houses of the state legislature not to return to the legislature seeking changes to the law for five years, the newspaper said. While not supporting the change for credit unions in the bill, the UBA pledged not to oppose the bill, as part of the compromise solution, Howard Headlee, UBA president, told the paper.