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News Now

Washington
Realtors CU application fans lobbying alliance buzz
WASHINGTON (3/21/08)--The National Association of Realtors (NAR) efforts to launch a credit union has raised the ire of bankers and hinted at a brewing powerful lobbying alliance on Capitol Hill, according to a newspaper report. The story in the March 20 American Banker newspaper sprouted after NAR last week applied to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for a federal credit union charter to serve its 1.3 million members and their families nationwide. NAR in November voted to fund the credit union initiative with a $10 million grant (News Now Nov. 28). The Internet-based credit union would offer a complete array of services, including mortgages, auto loans and deposit accounts. The American Banker story surmised that a Realtors’ credit union could unite NAR and credit unions behind similar issues, creating “an even more potent lobbying force on issues such as expansion of credit unions' fields of membership and regulatory relief.” That theory apparently was bolstered after House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) reportedly said last week at an American Bankers Association conference, “Realtors and credit unions both have better grassroots organizations than banks do.” Bank lobbyists indicated they may oppose NAR’s application to form the credit union, according to the report.


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