CUNA Effort to Enhance Credit Union Charter Bolstered by Bills on Business Lending, Capital Reform

02/15/2013
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Patrick Keefe – CUNA Communications; (202) 508-6765; pkeefe@cuna.coop

WASHINGTON, DC (02/15/2013) - Two key pieces of legislation that would enhance the credit union charter – a key goal of the cooperatives in their efforts to foster service excellence to their members – were introduced in the U.S. House today. Both are strongly supported by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and state credit union associations nationwide.

The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act, and the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act – both introduced today – would enhance the credit union charter by giving credit unions more authority to make business loans and allow well-capitalized local and community-based credit unions access to additional capital so they may continue to meet the needs of their growing memberships.

The business lending legislation was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif. and Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY.

The capital access bill was introduced by Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

“Credit union membership grew by at least 2.4 million in 2012 – the greatest membership growth in 15 years,” said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney. “These two key pieces of legislation represent tools that will give credit unions greater options for serving their growing memberships – including small business owners in search of credit to keep their businesses and their communities thriving.”

The business lending bill would raise the amount credit unions can make in loans, relative to their total assets, to their members for business purposes. When the legislation becomes law, credit unions could lend more than $17 billion in the first year, creating nearly 160,000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers.

The capital access bill recognizes that “capital is king” at financial institutions, and allows well-capitalized credit unions to match a growing deposit base (from a growing membership) with capital from sources other than retained earnings – currently the only type of capital that counts at a credit union.

“Our thanks to Reps. Royce and McCarthy, as well as Reps. King and Sherman for bringing these important measures forward,” CUNA President Cheney said. “More than 4,000 credit union representatives will be in Washington the week of Feb. 25 for the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, and these bills will be at the top of the lists for many as they discuss legislation for credit unions in the 113th Congress.”

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About CUNA

With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America's 6,900 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by more than 96 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit www.cuna.org or follow @CUNA on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visit www.aSmarterChoice.org and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter.

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