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News Now

Washington
CUNA testifies today on community bank bill
WASHINGTON (11/16/11)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney will tell members the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions today that community-based institutions need to be able to "spend more time and resources serving their members or customers, and less time complying with burdensome regulations that have been the result of negligence and misdeeds perpetrated by the largest banks or unregulated financial services providers."

Cheney is scheduled to testify on the Communities First Act (H.R. 1697), which would loosen some community bank regulations and expand the ability of certain banks to incorporate under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code.

In prepared testimony, Cheney notes that the same bank representatives that are aggressively lobbying to increase the bank tax advantages under Subchapter S also are working to impose additional taxes on credit unions, arguing that credit unions' federal tax status provides a competitive advantage and that imposing additional taxes on credit unions would "level the playing field."

This type of banker opposition to credit union priorities, which often comes in the form of banker testimony at credit union hearings, helps bank shareholders, but ultimately harms consumers and small businesses, according to CUNA  testimony.

Further, banker opposition to credit union legislation to raise the credit union member business lending cap "has meant that hundreds of thousands of jobs that could have been created through additional credit union business lending have gone uncreated," Cheney is expected to tell the subcommittee.

Cheney is also expected to call for greater credit union access to supplemental forms of capital.

The CUNA CEO is scheduled to appear before the subcommittee at 2 p.m. (ET). Other scheduled witnesses include National Association of Federal Credit Unions CEO Fred Becker, academics, and bank trade group representatives.


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