<p>ARLINGTON, Va. – Reg-relief legislation may not have a chance of making it through Congress this year, but NAFCU is ready to be patient for the time when federally insured CUs will see some relief from the 12.25% of assets cap on member business loans “Member business lending reg relief may very well turn out to be a long term project like bankruptcy legislation,” said NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman, “but all legislation starts somewhere, even the Glass-Steagall Act took decades. Rarely is legislation introduced at the beginning of a congressional session and wind up becoming law by the end.” Zimmerman said if there’s strong opposition by some members of Congress to changing the member business lending restrictions, as evidenced by the remarks recently made by Senate Banking Committee members Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Phil Gramm (R-Texas) about credit unions getting involved in commercial lending (CU Times, March 27), “that just goes to show that we have to continue to work on this.” With all that’s on Congress’ and the Senate’s plate, however, Zimmerman conceded “member business lending isn’t high on their list of priorities.” He offered that, “There was a time Congress could have said the same thing about credit unions getting involved with mortgage lending, share drafts and credit cards as some of them are saying now about credit unions making member business loans. Credit unions have to be able to do whatever is necessary for them to compete and survive, and for some credit unions member business lending is a way for them to do just that. The member business lending may not apply to all credit unions now, but it opens the opportunity for credit unions to get into the service if that’s what they want to do and their members ask for it. Credit unions may not be clamoring to do business lending now, but it should be available for them if they want to do it later on.” Zimmerman opined that mortgage lending and new and used auto loans will remain the bulk of credit unions’ loan portfolio, but he recalled that “it wasn’t that long ago real estate lending made up zero percent of credit unions’ loan portfolio. ” -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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