I am writing to provide greater context to two statements in the April 19, 2010 article entitled, "NCUA Unlikely to Press Congress for Capital Relief," which could leave readers with the incorrect impression that capital reform is dead and that CUNA and NCUA have abandoned their efforts on this issue.
No one has abandoned the important issue of credit union capital reform. Our efforts have been-and continue to be-aimed at laying the foundation for Congress to consider alternative capital in the context of a broader debate on capital reform for banks and other financial institution in the next Congress.
The recent white paper issued by NCUA Board Member Hyland is an indication that this is an issue on the NCUA's agenda; CUNA will be issuing a white paper on alternative capital in the coming months as well. These documents represent continuing commitment to pursuing this issue and are contributions to the broader effort of educating Congress and the administration on the importance of alternative capital to credit unions.
With a short legislative calendar, the issue has always been one of timing, not viability. And, in fact, the discussion of the need for changes in capital requirements in recent weeks has ramped up several notches. Congress is talking about it; the Administration is talking about it. And so, too, is the international community. These latest developments suggest the possibility of actions on Capitol Hill such as hearings, and that creates new opportunities for us to lay additional groundwork and for input. CUNA and the leagues stand ready to act at the earliest opportunity on an issue that we continue to deem critically important to the credit union movement.
Dan Mica, President & CEO
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