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ICBA: New Study Proves Credit Union Legislation Unnecessary, Harmful to the Economy and Financial System


Nov 27 - The Independent Community Bankers of America has highlighted a new study that disputes the claims made by the credit union industry as part of its push to expand its business-lending authority. The study by Ike Brannon, president of Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Capital Policy Analytics and affiliated with the American Action Forum, finds that additional business lending powers given to tax-exempt credit unions would reduce tax revenues and pose new risks to the health of the credit union industry and financial system as a whole, in addition to providing no practical positive effect on the economy.

“This new study conclusively shows that supporting controversial legislation to expand tax-exempt credit unions’ business-lending authority will do little to improve access to credit while posing serious risks to our financial system and federal revenues,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “Expanding the business-lending authority for taxpayer-subsidized credit unions would widen budget deficits at the federal, state and local levels and increase the risk of failures throughout a credit union industry neither equipped nor designed to do wide-scale commercial lending.”

The paper, titled “An Analysis of the Impact of Expanding the Ability of Credit Unions to Increase Commercial Loans,” studies controversial legislation that would increase the statutory cap on credit union business lending from 12.25 percent of total assets to 27.5 percent. The study found that:

ICBA continues to oppose any legislation to raise the credit union business-lending cap, which would benefit a select few credit unions while harming taxpaying community banks.