ARLINGTON, Va. (11/17/08)--The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) on Friday urged Congress to pursue “legislative and regulatory amendments” allowing credit unions access to supplemental capital. The group said its primary emphasis for the action is on credit union safety and soundness. “Given the current unpredictable economic conditions, allowing credit unions access to supplemental capital will bolster safety and soundness and provide further stability for the credit union system,” wrote NASCUS in letters to Senate and House leaders. “Unlike other financial institutions, credit union access to capital is limited to reserves and retained earnings from net income,” said NASCUS. “Since net income is not easily increased in a fast-changing environment, regulators recommend additional capital-raising capabilities for credit unions.” In its letter, NASCUS emphasized that while credit unions remain safe and sound in this troubled and volatile market, supplemental capital will enhance their ability to react to market conditions, grow into the future and serve their members in times of economic trouble. “Further, supplemental capital will allow credit unions to protect their liquidity as well as empower them to respond proactively and efficiently in a constantly changing financial environment,” said NASCUS.