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Alabama CUs among those taking case to Congress
WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--Credit unions took their case to Congress on Wednesday, much like representatives from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and various credit unions within the state of Alabama who met with key legislators on Capitol Hill. The group reiterated the need for changes to the current member business lending (MBL) structure, telling the congressmen that while credit unions did not create the current economic problems, they can be part of the solution if the MBL cap is lifted.
Click to view larger image Representatives from Alabama-based CUs and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions pose with Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), center. (CUNA Photo)
H.R. 3380, which was introduced earlier this year and may be added to developing jobs legislation, would, among other things, increase the credit union MBL cap to 25% of a credit union's total assets. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said that lifting the MBL cap would inject over $10 billion into the economy in the first year, and help create more than 108,000 jobs – at no cost to taxpayers. Listerhill CU President Brad Green said that his credit union could provide as much as $50 million in new loans if the MBL cap was lifted, and the Alabama group estimated that 17,000 jobs could be created statewide as a result of the MBL cap lift. Responding to the comments, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said that he was aware that the credit union MBL issue “is a problem that needs to be dealt with.” The credit union representatives also sought support for a managers’ amendment, offered by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), that would exclude credit unions with $10 billion or less in assets from the examination and supervision authority of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The Alabama delegation also covered hot button issues such as overdraft protection, interchange fee legislation, and the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency with Aderholt, and, later, with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Addressing the group, Shelby said that while he is working with Democrats in anticipation of the regulatory reform debate moving to the Senate, he believes strongly that regulatory authority over credit unions and other financial institutions should remain with their prudential regulators. The Alabama group was one of 42 state-based credit union groups taking part in CUNA's National Hike the Hill.

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