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Sen. Udall introduces MBL bill, Sen. Nelson co-sponsors

On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, which increases the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent. The bill was introduced by Sen. Udall along with 13 other senators including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

The specifics of the bill include raising the MBL cap to 27.5 percent of total assets for credit unions which are well capitalized; are at or above 80 percent of the current MBL cap for one year prior to applying for the higher cap; have five or more years of MBL experience; can demonstrate sound underwriting and servicing based on historical performance; have strong management, adequate capacity and have policies to manage increased MBLs and receive approval from the NCUA.

Legislation to increase credit union member business lending is a top legislative priority for the League and CUNA, and we will be working with the other three senators from Alabama and Florida to encourage their support of the bill. The League will be issuing an Action Alert as soon as the bill is entered into the senate’s legislative system and assigned a bill number. We will provide phone numbers for our members of the senate as well as a link to the Capwiz system so you and your staff can send emails asking for support.

In the mean time, it is important that credit unions in Florida contact Sen. Nelson and thank him for again co-sponsoring this bill. We can be sure that the banks will be contacting him demanding that he withdraw his name as a co-sponsor. We need to make sure he hears from credit unions who appreciate his stance. You can call his Washington office at (202) 224-5274 or by fax at (202) 228-2183.

Be on the lookout for the MBL Action Alert later this week. Credit unions have made significant progress on this issue, raising it as an important topic in the halls of Congress. The last session saw the most progress to date, and we came very close to passage. With the introduction of the bill in the new Congress, it will be critical that we have a strong grassroots showing right out of the gate in support of the bill if we are to get it to the finish line.

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