Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney encouraged Congress to take a balanced approach to regulatory relief that would aid both credit unions and community banks, and called on them to combine credit union member business lending (MBL) legislation with community bank regulatory relief legislation during a Wednesday hearing before the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions.
Cheney (pictured testifying to the left) said CUNA supports portions of the Communities First Act (H.R. 1697), which would loosen some community bank regulations, but added that credit unions will not let any regulatory relief legislation for banks move forward absent similar relief for credit unions.
He suggested that adding provisions of H.R. 1418, which would lift the credit union MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets, to provisions of H.R. 1697 would result in a bill that could “be embraced by all who serve businesses on Main Street.” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who is a main sponsor of H.R. 1418, also supported combining portions of the two bills.
Some in Congress have recently questioned the need for a credit union member business lending cap increase, citing a lack of demand, but Cheney in Wednesday’s hearing said he has heard first hand of the demand for these types of loans. He also noted that the original mission of credit unions was to lend to small businesses, and added that restricting small business lending is harming overall economic growth.