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One more stop for Ill. league-backed balanced-exam law
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (6/5/14)--Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly last week overwhelmingly passed an Illinois Credit Union League-backed bill that would provide consistency in the regulatory examinations of state-chartered credit unions.
House Bill 5342 was sponsored by longtime credit union supporters Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). The Illinois league worked with the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to draft guidelines that ensure all state regulatory examinations are conducted in a procedurally and substantively consistent manner. 
"This measure will help ensure we maintain a consistent exam protocol in Illinois for the benefit of all parties concerned," said Stephen Olson, league executive vice president/general counsel. "There will now be standards that state-chartered credit unions can reference and rely upon with respect to the entire regulatory examination process."
League President/CEO Sean Hession said, "The contents of the bill, as well as the rules and guidelines to promulgate it, are cause for celebration and will serve as a model across the country for state and federal regulators."
The bill passed in the Illinois House by a vote of 109-0-1 on March 21 and then in the Senate 56-0 on May 28. It is awaiting signature by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Key elements of HB 5342 include:
  • Board members must have a basic understanding of the credit union's financial statements, services and products offered to the membership, operational risks and internal control structures;
  • Supervisory committee members must receive annual training with respect to their statutory duties;
  • Authorization for credit unions to forego the burden of procuring a new appraisal in connection with a mortgage loan renewal, refinancing or restructuring, when no new money is advanced (other than closing costs).
  • By written agreement, credit unions can share daily operational services, correspondent services and fixed assets to achieve improved economies of scale.
  • Establishment of charitable donation to buttress credit union charitable giving efforts in the current low-yield environment. These accounts, which may include otherwise impermissible investments, will give a credit union the opportunity to achieve a higher yield provided that at least 51% of the return from the account is donated to a recognized charity.

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