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WASHINGTON – CUNA’s first attempt to block a legislative effort of their for-profit brethren has raised the ire of the bankers considerably.

Upon learning that an elimination of the commercial lending ceiling for thrifts was on the table in the regulatory relief negotiations between the House and the Senate, CUNA wrote Senate Banking Committee leaders that this would be a deal-breaker for their support of the bill that has been about a decade in the making. The “inclusion of Section 212 among the nine House bill sections to be added to S. 2856 makes the proposed compromise unacceptable to credit unions,” CUNA’s letter read. “Section 212 would eliminate the current 20 percent of assets limitation on business lending by thrift institutions while leaving a more restrictive 12.25 percent of assets limitation on small business lending by credit unions. This would severely damage the tenuous balance between federal thrift and credit union charters without comparable and offsetting benefits for credit unions either in the proposed compromise or in the broader Senate legislation.”

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