Bankers Take Aim At CURIA

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WASHINGTON - (05/27/05) -- The powerful banking lobby has begunworking the halls of Congress for defeat of the newly introducedcredit union regulatory relief bill, the CU Regulatory ImprovementsAct, or CURIA. In a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert thisweek, the American Bankers Association, Independent CommunityBankers of America and America's Community Bankers, said the CURIAbill is disguised as regulatory relief but really represents newefforts by credit unions to expand their powers, especially intothe traditional banking market of small business lending. "Grantingcredit unions even more business lending authority would only causecredit unions to further stray from the very mission for which theywere established -- serving the underserved," the bankers said,referring to CURIA's provision to raise the current cap on memberbusiness loans. In a separate e-mail sent to The Credit UnionJournal this week, Camden Fine, president of the ICBA, said, "wemust oppose the nonsensically-named 'Credit Union RegulatoryImprovement Act,' simply because it is not about regulatory reliefnor would it enhance the credit unions' mission of serving peopleof modest means." But representatives of the banking trade groupsfell short of saying they will oppose the soon-to-be-releasedregulatory relief bill for banks and credit unions based on thecredit union provisions, identical to those in CURIA, in it, asthey did last year.

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