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Washington
Matz to Treasury Wed closely monitor increased MBLs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/26/10)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz earlier this week said that the NCUA would “promptly revise” its regulations if legislative changes that increase or eliminate the current member business lending (MBL) cap of 12.25% of a credit unions assets were written into law. In a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Matz said that the NCUA would work to ensure that the “additional capacity in the credit union system would not result in unintended safety and soundness concerns.” The NCUA has “long exercised caution in monitoring MBLs” for safety and soundness, and regularly issues guidance “to ensure the credit union community and agency staff understand the risks associated with MBLs.” The NCUA is also increasing the amount of MBL training given to its staff in the near future, and is already strengthening “the regulatory qualifications that credit union officials must have to qualify as member business lenders,” Matz added. Member business lending legislation is currently awaiting action in both the House and the Senate. Each of the bills would allow credit unions to lend as much as 25% of their total assets to members that own small businesses and would raise the “de minimis” threshold related to these loans to $250,000. The Credit Union National Administration has estimated that lifting the current restrictions on member business lending would result in over $10 billion in new loans within the first year of enactment and create as many as 108,000 new jobs, stimulating the economy at no cost to taxpayers.
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