Removing Barriers Blog

House Financial Services Committee Passes S&L Lending Expansion Bill
Posted November 04, 2015 by CUNA Advocacy
Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee passed HR 1660 by voice vote in its markup session. This bill would allow federal thrift institutions to operate more like commercial banks by allowing them to expand their portfolios in new areas, particularly business lending.

We opposed this legislation with a letter to the Committee, and used its consideration as an opportunity to highlight the need for consideration of legislation to increase the credit union member business lending cap.

As a result of our efforts, credit union concerns with the legislation were very publicly discussed—and advanced. Ranking Member Waters, Rep. Sherman, and Rep. Royce all spoke in favor of the committee passing a MBL cap increase for credit unions. Rep. Royce accurately pointed out that thrift business lending has actually shrunk in recent years, while credit union business lending has grown.  Additionally, Ranking Member Waters praised the growth of credit union business lending, and urged the Committee to take up the MBL legislation “in the near future.”  Chairman Hensarling agreed that parity made sense for credit unions, but indicated, correctly, an amendment to this effect was not germane to this thrift bill.  Chairman Hensarling also noted the litany of bills that CUNA has successfully maneuvered through committee over the last several years. We feel that yesterday’s markup gives us momentum to further the MBL issue in the near future.

In the coming days, we’ll be renewing our efforts with Committee members to leverage yesterday’s action to generate more support for our bills.  We plan to send a new letter to Committee members, hold meetings with staff, and encourage them to support HR 1188 which raises the MBL cap from 12.25% to 27.5%.  Every member of the committee is now on record in support of eliminating the commercial lending cap for savings and loans. We will  keep the pressure on all Committee members to stand up and support credit unions, as they did today for S&Ls.