Bankers Mass Against MBL Hike

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WASHINGTON – Community banks across the country are lobbying Congress against a proposal to add an increase in the member business loan cap for credit unions to the pending job bill, leaving the long-sought credit union initiative in increasing doubt.

The banking lobby’s efforts appear to dim chance the Senate will add the amendment to the bill, according to several Capitol Hill observers.

The Independent Community Bankers of America and 29 of its affiliated state community banking associations urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Lader mitch McConnell to pass the bill without the credit union amendment, sought by credit unions ever since the 12.25% of assets MBL cap was enacted as part of HR 1151, the 1998 CU Membership Access Act.

“We urge prompt enactment of the Small Business Jobs Act with the (Small Business Lneding Fund) and without the dangerous (MBL) amendment,” the bankers said in a letter to the two Senate leaders.

The bankers assault comes just weeks after the ICBA and its state affiliates teamed with the credit union lobby to unsuccessfully fight the interchange amendment in the bank reform bill and signals a truce between the two traditional rivals is at end.

The jobs bill, which would create a $30 billion fund to invest in community banks for small business loans, is probably the last chance for the MBL initiative in this Congress.

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