WASHINGTON (2/25/13)--The National Cooperative Business Association last week stepped up to back credit union priorities, announcing its support for a trio of bills that would enhance the credit union charter and ease regulatory issues.
NCBA President/CEO Mike Beall wrote U.S. House leaders to support:
- The Credit Union Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 688);
- The Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act (H.R. 719); and
- The Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (H.R. 749).
Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney has noted that H.R. 688 and 719 "represent tools that will give credit unions greater options for serving their growing memberships--including small business owners in search of credit to keep their businesses and their communities thriving."
H.R. 688 would increase the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level. The bill, if enacted, would help credit unions lend an additional $14.5 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create around 158,000 new jobs. The bill was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) earlier this month, and has 41 co-sponsors.
H.R. 719, which was also introduced earlier this month by Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), would permit the National Credit Union Administration to allow credit unions to raise capital from sources other than retained earnings. That bill has 14 co-sponsors
Sherman also teamed with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) to introduce H.R. 749. CUNA also supports this bill, which would eliminate repetitive privacy notices that are often ignored by consumers. This privacy bill has 18 co-sponsors.
In another development, the NCBA last week announced a new online program to help credit union staff gain financial counselor certifications. The NCBA said the online program will train credit union staff to recognize signs of financial distress and educate them on how to work directly with members to avoid financial catastrophe.
For more on the program, which was created with the help of CU Strategic Planning, use the resource link.