There’s a new sheriff in town to wrangle up support for credit union access to supplemental capital.

The Coalition for Credit Union Access was formed specifically to push for the passage of H.R. 3993, The Capital Access for Small Business and Jobs Act, and will not likely take on other topics, according to a spokesperson.

Talking points for the organization points out that credit unions can only grow net worth through retained earnings under current law.  “Because retained earnings often cannot keep pace with asset growth, otherwise healthy growth−such as growth resulting from taking deposits−can dilute a credit union’s regulatory capital ratio and trigger nondiscretionary supervisory actions under prompt corrective action rules,” the group explained. H.R. 3993 would alleviate that by permitting the NCUA to provide qualifying credit unions with access to supplemental capital

One of the members described the coalition as an informal group of like-minded credit unions committed to obtaining the changes in law necessary to permit credit unions to accept additional forms of capital to supplement retained earnings. 

“We view this issue as critical because the current law unfairly penalizes healthy credit unions by making it difficult for them to grow to serve their members’ needs,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of corporate strategies and government relations at $4.5 billion Bethpage FCU in Bethpage, N.Y.

“Our efforts are closely coordinated with the efforts of the national trade associations on this issue, but we recognize that they have a number of issues that they are focused on.  The coalition is focused exclusively on supplemental capital.  When we succeed in obtaining a legislative solution on supplemental capital there will no longer be a need for the coalition,” Armyn said. 

The group’s website, www.creditunionaccessforall.com, and some one-pagers it has produced explain the ins and outs of the legislation as well as why supplemental capital would be advantageous to credit unions and the communities they serve. The homepage also features a quote co-signed by both CUNA and NAFCU.