Bankers Bid A Boon To CURIA

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WASHINGTON - (05/06/05) -- The credit union regulatory reliefinitiative--known as CURIA--got a hand from an unexpected sourcethis week--the bankers. A regulatory relief bill for banksintroduced in Congress, which would deliver billions of dollars innew tax breaks for banks, is expected to help the credit unioneffort. "We think it's a real benefit because it clearly enablesmembers of Congress who feel torn between two constituencies tohelp both the banks and credit unions," John McKechnie, chieflobbyist for CUNA, told The Credit Union Journal. Further, saidMcKechnie, it will be difficult for the bankers to lobby againstregulatory relief for credit unions while they are working fortheir own relief package. "If that's their argument, that they needregulatory relief, it will be hard for them to argue that weshouldn't get it too," he added. NAFCU's chief congressionallobbyist Brad Thaler said the bankers' bill could also add momentumto an overall regulatory relief bill for banks and credit unionsexpected to be introduced in Congress any day by encouraging thedivergent interests to support the overall package. CURIA--for CURegulatory Improvements Act--is expected to be introduced over thenext few weeks and will include 16 provisions, including severaleasing membership restrictions; giving NCUA more authority to setinvestment and loan rules; and establish a risk-based capitalsystem for credit unions.

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