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CBA Ramps Up Advocacy Efforts on Credit Union Lending, TAG and Basel III

Last week CBA president & CEO, Rod Brown, who was in Washington, D.C. for the ABA’s Government Relations Council Administrative Committee meeting, met with Rep. Maxine Waters and two key staff officials from the offices of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Kevin McCarthy to discuss two important banking-related issues that are currently before Congress: attempts by the credit unions to expand their business lending authority, and the possible TAG extension.

Brown also had an opportunity to express our industry’s continued concerns over Basel III. Rep. Waters, who just last week was named the Democrats’ ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, expressed a willingness to hear banker concerns on all three issues as well as an openness to continuing to build a relationship with the CBA in her new role. Rep. McCarthy’s aide indicated that he would like capital standards and risk ratings associated with the current version of Basel III addressed in the House Financial Services Committee as part of a broader review of Dodd-Frank.

Despite efforts by the CBA, the ABA and many state banking associations, prospects for obtaining a TAG extension appear dim. The conversation with Sen. Feinstein’s aide centered primarily on Sen. Udall’s bill, S. 2231, to expand the business lending authority of credit unions. The senator, who is a co-sponsor on the bill, has previously defended her support for the bill citing that an increase in the cap would allow credit unions to extend more credit to small businesses. Brown, and CBA members who have also advocated on this issue, noted that the vast  majority of credit unions are nowhere near their current cap, and also stressed the competitive disadvantage credit unions, who pay no taxes, enjoy over banks.

While recent press reports suggest that the Senate does not currently have the votes to pass Udall’s bill, the CBA will continue to actively advocate and press our message on this issue.

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