Frank Keating, president /CEO of the American Bankers Association, said the group will do what it takes to keep new small business legislation from moving forward even if it means the death of a bill the ABA has pushed for.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) this week introduced a package of six bills aimed at helping small businesses. According to the ABA, the package includes a 500-shareholders bill (H.R. 4088), introduced by Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), that is similar to the ABA-supported legislation (H.R. 1965) the House passed, 420-2, on Nov. 2.

It would require 2,000 banks and bank holding companies to register with the SEC once they cross the 500-shareholder threshold. The ABA proposed that change in 2005, Keating wrote in an ABA newsletter.

“Now large credit unions are suggesting, in greedy and arrogant fashion, that if this clearly noncontroversial bill moves forward in the Senate, so should their very controversial proposal to increase credit unions’ business lending cap,” Keating wrote. “One has nothing to do with the other, and it should stay that way.”

 “We need to tell Congress – plainly and firmly – no deal,” Keating said.

Keating said the credit union industry’s request to make more business loans in an effort to help turn the economy around is disingenuous and dangerous. Only 30 credit unions, mostly large ones, would stand to benefit from a higher member business lending cap, he added.

“This latest ploy by credit unions is emblematic of their continuous desire for more rights without responsibilities” Keating wrote. “Don’t touch our tax special tax status – we’re different, they say. But let us offer the same products as banks and go after the same customers.”

Keating said credit unions shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.

“ABA will do what it takes – even if it means opposing a package with the SEC shareholder bill — to make sure they can’t,” he warned.