CUNA Finds `Something for Everyone' in CURIA
WASHINGTON-CUNA has developed a new, eight-page booklet detailing the benefits of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 2317) for all types of credit unions. The free booklet, available on CUNA's Web site (www.cuna.org), outlines how every type of credit union would benefit from the passage of CURIA, from state charters to smaller institutions to community-chartered credit unions. It also explains why the credit union movement needs the bill and provides a general overview of its key benefits. "There have been regulatory improvements over the years for our cooperative, member-owned financial institutions," CUNA Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs John McKechnie said, "but there has not been a broad piece of proactive legislation for the movement in decades." He added that the primary purpose of the booklet is to help credit unions explain to their lawmakers why CURIA is important to them. McKechnie pointed out that the last significant legislation to be enacted for credit unions was the Credit Union Membership Access Act (H.R. 1151) in 1998. He emphasized, however, that was not a regulatory relief bill and did nothing to modernize credit unions' capabilities to serve their members in the evolving financial services marketplace. "Bankers received their modernization with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill for banks in 1999 - which credit unions did not oppose," McKechnie said. "Credit union members deserve the same level of 21st century service for their members, too - and CURIA opens the door to that service." CURIA would establish a risk-based capital framework for credit unions, similar to the banks, and expand credit unions' member business lending opportunities. The bill, which has 78 co-sponsors in the House, has been widely opposed by the banking trade associations. CUNA's booklet is available at http://www.cuna.org/download/curia_sfe_ booklet.pdf.