Credit union trade associations laid out their legislative priorities for 2014, which include preserving the industry's tax exemption, maintaining access to the secondary mortgage market and supporting member business lending.
“NAFCU’s 2012 landmark study on the economic benefits of credit unions confirmed the tax exemption is vital for credit unions’ survival and a significant benefit for the country’s economy as a whole,” the group said Thursday in a press release.
CUNA also vowed to continue educating members of Congress on the importance of the credit union tax-exempt status.
“In 2013 alone, credit union advocates sent 1.3 million messages to members of Congress to tell them with a unified voice, ‘Don’t Tax My Credit Union,’” said CUNA in The Cheney Report.
The housing finance reform debate will continue in 2014 and CUNA said it is prepared for involvement in the legislative process.
“We all have real concerns about a world in which the secondary mortgage market is occupied by a handful of very large banks. We know it is imperative that any new system facilitates credit union lending so we can continue to be a source of reliable mortgage credit for members,” CUNA said in the release. “Continuing our efforts in 2013, we will be deeply engaged in this discussion on Capitol Hill, both by testifying at key hearings on housing reform issues and working with our members across the country to impress our message on Capitol Hill to maintain credit union access to the secondary market.”
NAFCU also pledged to continue advocating that any reform of the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and housing finance overall, ensures unfettered and guaranteed access for credit unions to the secondary mortgage market and fair pricing based on loan quality instead of loan volume.
Both trade organizations are also focused on the risk-based capital rule, which the NCUA is expected to propose in the first quarter of 2014.
“We will be working as hard as we can to minimize the impact of whatever NCUA proposes, which NCUA has indicated will likely be in the first quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, we are urging NCUA to work with the credit union system to continue to support statutory capital reform,” CUNA said.
“This approach could appropriately address risk management but in the context of a system that also accommodates well-managed credit union growth.”
NAFCU said it supports legislation that creates a risk-based capital system for credit unions.
“NAFCU will also continue to steer the National Credit Union Administration away from a framework that divides the credit union industry into two separate categories as the agencies continues to consider implementing their capital rules. NAFCU believes any potential rule should reflect risk appropriate,” NAFCU said in a release.
CUNA also pledged to continue its work to increase limits on member business lending.
“CUNA is encouraging Congress to enact the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act, which would allow well-capitalized credit unions operating near the business-lending cap to increase their business loan offerings to 27.5% of total assets, an approach that has been endorsed by the Obama administration,’ CUNA said.
NAFCU said it also supports increasing the business lending cap for credit unions and related bills introduced in Congress.