WASHINGTON (4/2/08)—U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) raised strong concerns this week about the U.S. Treasury Department’s long-term plan to consolidate regulation of credit unions with other financial institutions.
“There is a need to put credit unions on a level playing field with other financial institutions in areas like capital standards and business lending,” said Kanjorski, who chairs the House Financial Services Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee. “But it should not come at the expense of eliminating the current regulatory system, which has worked well and serves the financial needs of more than 90 million Americans.” Kanjorski was responding to the Treasury’s financial regulatory overhaul announced this week, which would consolidate federal credit unions, national banks and federal thrifts into a single "federally insured depository institution" charter. Treasury’s long-term recommendations ultimately would phase out the National Credit Union Administration and place banks and credit unions under one regulator's oversight. “We must preserve and protect the unique cooperative nature of the American credit union system,” said Kanjorski, who is sponsor of two credit union bills now pending before the House of Representatives—the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) and the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act of 2008 (CURRA, H.R. 5519). Kanjorski did express support for some of Treasury’s proposals, including the creation of a federal insurance regulator and an optional federal charter for insurers, which he said would “respond to the global competitive pressures of the insurance marketplace.” The congressman also welcomed a proposed commission to establish uniform minimum licensing qualification standards for mortgage originators. Use the links below to review Treasury's Regulatory Blueprint and access related stories.