WASHINGTON-Before leaving public life at the end of this congressional session, House Financial Services Ranking Member John LaFalce (D-N.Y.) told attendees of a luncheon at NAFCU's Congressional Caucus that he plans to introduce a bill to ease certain credit union restrictions. NAFCU presented LaFalce with a resolution thanking him for all his hard work for the credit union community as a legislator. The out-going congressman said he realized the bill would not pass this Congress but hoped it would raise discussion for future efforts. When asked whom he had in mind to follow up on the bill, he glibly stated he had about 435 people in mind. Two items that credit unions are likely to rally around are easing of restrictions on community charter conversions and voluntary mergers. LaFalce also said the legislation would also help with adding underserved areas, allow broader latitude for member business lending, and expand credit unions' ability to provide check cashing and wire transfers. However, LaFalce said some matters require stricter laws, such as thrift conversions and excessively permissive state regulation. He pointed out that colleges are "selling their souls to the highest bidder" for exclusive marketing privileges from credit card providers, which he said is wrong. Therefore, LaFalce's legislation will also help credit unions better serve college students and initiate a code of conduct for those marketing to students. "I hope to leave you with a bill you will be able to discuss considerably in the future," LaFalce concluded. [email protected]

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