ARLINGTON, Va. – NASCUS sent Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) a list of six key recommendations in response to a request the association received from the chairman asking for NASCUS' list of legislative priorities for possible inclusion in new regulatory relief legislation in the 108th Congress. In Oxley's Jan. 8th letter to NASCUS President/CEO Doug Duerr, he stated that "the Committee intends to include legislative items that would alter or eliminate statutory provisions to lessen the regulatory burden on insured depository institutions and improve productivity, as well as make needed technical corrections to statutes." NASCUS' recommendations included supporting amendments to the Federal Credit Union Act that were provided for in H.R. 3951 that would provide reg relief for federal credit unions and those provisions in the bill that would allow privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Banks. "A viable dual chartering system requires that federal credit unions be empowered to serve their members' changing financial needs," Duerr wrote. NASCUS also recommended that the committee expand CUs' member business lending authority, that the statutory cap be raised from 12.25% to 20% of assets, and that CUs receive similar regulatory relief as savings associations regarding SEC broker/dealer registration requirements. The association further urged the statutory definition of member business loan be changed from the current $50,000 figure currently stipulated in the FCU Act. Duerr offered that one way to do this would be to define as credit union member business loans those that exceed the Fannie/Freddie conforming loan limit, a "well-established and readily understandable index that has served lenders and the public interest well for many years." Duerr also stated that NASCUS supports broadening the definition of credit union "net worth" to include supplemental capital from the one currently included in the Federal Credit Union Act that is limited to retained earnings. Lastly, Duerr wrote that after the GAO releases its study of the performance of the credit union industry and the NCUA and submits it to Congress, NASCUS may want to propose additional reforms in the organization and structure of NCUA that would separate the agency's share insurance functions from its federal credit union regulatory responsibilities. -


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