WASHINGTON (2/18/08)—Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) signed on to the
Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) last week to become the 143rd official backers of that bill. In 2007 Ellsworth, a freshman congressman and a credit union member, unseated his Republican opponent, Rep. John Hostettler, who cast one of only eight votes paced against H.R. 1151, the 1998 Credit Union Member Access Act. Key features of CURIA include proposals to:
* Increase the current cap on loans to members for business purposes (MBLs) from 12.25% to 20% of assets, allowing credit unions to assist more members start and expand small businesses and to promote economic growth. The bill would also exempt loans under $100,000 and those to nonprofit religious organizations from the MBL calculation; *Reform the National Credit Union Administration's original prompt corrective action system to a risk-based approach more closely resembling the current Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. capital standard for banks; * Clarify the 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act to allow all credit unions, regardless of charter type, to serve those in underserved areas. The bill would also update the definition of an underserved area, incorporating definitions from the Community Development Financial Institutions Act and the New Markets Tax Credit; and *Establish additional consumer safeguards in the event of a credit union conversion to another form of financial institution.
For more CURIA details, a complete list of co-sponsor, and related stories, use the resource links below.