Credit union-specific regulatory relief included in Senate bill

A bipartisan group of Senate Banking Committee members have released a bill that includes credit union regulatory relief. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Banking Committee members Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), along with other senators, announced an agreement on legislative proposals to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth.

“This bill includes credit union-specific provisions that provide meaningful regulatory relief, a sign that policymakers are paying close attention to the needs of credit union members,” CUNA’s Jim Nussle said. “We thank Sen. Crapo and his colleagues for working across party lines to advance regulatory relief legislation that benefits community financial institutions, and look forward to continuing to work closely with them as the bill moves through the legislative process.”

The credit union provision would grant credit unions parity with banks by classifying residential loans on one-to-four non-owner occupied units as real estate loans. Currently these loans, when made by credit unions, are classified as business loans; similar loans made by banks are considered real estate loans. Bipartisan standalone legislation containing this language has already been introduced in both the House and Senate.

“Our bill is an example of how if Democrats and Republicans put partisanship aside and work together, we can reach real compromises that support the country,” said Senator Heitkamp. “Every day I come to work in the U.S. Senate, I’m fighting for rural America – and that’s what our bipartisan bill is about. It would provide needed relief to community banks and credit unions, so they can continue enabling small businesses to get financing to operate, helping farmers get loans to support their farms, and allowing families to buy homes in rural communities across our state. And it does all of this while strengthening protections for consumers. In the past 30 years, the number of community banks and credit unions have dropped by about two-thirds, yet more than 80 percent of North Dakota deposits still go to community banks, reinforcing that small financial institutions remain a key resource for North Dakota families. And with our bill, it will stay that way.”

Original co-sponsors:

 

Republicans: Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

 

Democrats: Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and Gary Peters (D-Michigan).

 

Highlights of the agreed-upon package include:

  • Improves consumer access to mortgage credit;
  • Provides regulatory relief for small financial institutions and protects consumer access to credit;
  • Provides specific protections for veterans, consumers and homeowners; and
  • Tailors regulations for banks to better reflect their business models.