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WASHINGTON-CUNA and NAFCU have both sent letters to Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Wayne Abernathy thanking him for his comments on a risk-based capital system for credit unions during a Consumer Federation of America conference last month. “While risk-based capital may not be the answer for every credit union’s capital concerns, NAFCU is pleased to know that the Treasury Department shares our concerns regarding credit union capital and is committed to examining alternatives to address this important issue,” NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker wrote. “We also believe that a risk-based capital solution will help address the problem for a majority of credit unions.” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote acknowledging that the trade association’s staff had been in contact with Abernathy over several months. “While I certainly understand that it is very early in the process, I am grateful that you have been willing to listen to our concerns and consider possible solutions, including risk-based net worth.” He also noted the introduction of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvement Act (H.R. 3579) in the House and NAFCU’s belief that it is a “solid step” toward addressing some credit unions’ capital challenges. In a somewhat surprising move, America’s Community Bankers Regulatory Counsel Krista Shonk said that the trade association would not be opposed to a risk-based capital system being applied to credit unions so long as it is sufficiently equivalent to what the bankers’ are subject to.

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