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ICBA: NCUA Sidesteps Congressional Debate Over Credit Union Business Lending

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 18, 2016)—Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released this statement on the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) approval of relaxed business-lending rules for tax-exempt credit unions.

“Today’s vote by the NCUA to dramatically expand lending loopholes for tax-exempt credit unions while relaxing regulatory oversight represents a blatant disregard for Congress and the thousands of concerned citizens who sent in comment letters to the agency. Member business lending is a controversial issue that has been debated in Congress for more than a decade. The NCUA has chosen to ignore this policy debate and sidestep Congress in a bid to satisfy the demands of large, growth-oriented credit unions that are subsidized by the American taxpayer.
“Not only does the NCUA’s plan place undue risk on U.S. taxpayers and expand government-sponsored advantages for credit unions, it also jeopardizes the safety and soundness of federally insured credit unions. Expanding loopholes to the 12.25 percent cap on business-lending authority would replace strict commercial lending standards with abstract principles, weakening loan standards and allowing large credit unions to flout the cap set by Congress.
“ICBA and the nation’s community bankers remain deeply concerned with the tax-exempt credit union industry’s continued mission creep, which has been led by a regulatory agency that has repeatedly shown itself to be captive to the industry it is charged with regulating. ICBA and the nation’s more than 6,000 community banks continue to believe that the credit union industry should not expand its business-lending authority as long as it remains exempt from taxation and the federal financial regulations that taxpaying community banks are obligated to meet.”

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.

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