WASHINGTON — CUNA said it continues to work behind the scenes with the Securities and Exchange Commission to include credit unions in certain brokerage activities without having to register with the agency.

On Sept. 19, the SEC voted on a rule that would allow banks and thrifts to engage in certain brokerage activities without having to register. Those most applicable to credit unions include networking arrangements with broker-dealers, sweep accounts, investments undertaken for the credit union's own account or as a trustee or fiduciary and granting an additional exception for safekeeping and custodian activities. Credit unions were included in the SEC's 2004 proposal but not in the agency's latest updated proposal.

"Our understanding is [the SEC's] primary focus has been only on banks and thrifts. Now that they've done that, they can take a breather and focus on credit unions," said Jeffrey Bloch, senior assistant general counsel at CUNA.

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