WASHINGTON – The community banking lobby is refusing to budge in its opposition to the credit union member business loan bill and says Congress should wait to see the impact of NCUA’s recent move to exempt an additional 700 credit unions from the MBL cap before considering the long-sought legislation.

"Congress has very wisely avoided enacting the controversial tax-exempt credit unions' commercial lending power grab legislation for the past decade,” Paul Merski, executive vice president for the Independent Community Bankers of America, told the Credit Union Journal today. “It's simple, lawmakers know a vote for the tax-exempt credit unions' member business lending legislation is a vote against the taxpaying community banking sector so there is no compromise option.”

The bankers have collected 13,000 signatures on a petition urging Congress to reject the MBL bill, Merski said.

He noted that a recent initiative by NCUA added almost 700 credit unions to the list of low-income credit unions, making 1,800 credit unions exempt from certain regulations, including the 12.25% of assets cap on business loans. “At a minimum Congress can wait and see how this aggressive move by the credit union regulator plays out before even considering a divisive vote,” said Merski.

The bankers renewed position is a reflection of the difficulties the credit union lobby will have in finally getting Congress to pass the MBL bill, as lawmakers return for a brief post-election lame duck session. CUNA is flying in 500 credit union executives and allies in the days after Thanksgiving for one final lobbying push on the bill.


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