Bankers Want Regulatory Relief, But NotFor CUs

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WASHINGTON - (10/19/05) -- The banking lobbyists called onCongress Tuesday to expand its proposals for regulatory relief forbanks and thrifts, but asked lawmakers at the same time to reject abroader relief initiative proposal for credit unions, known as theCU Regulatory Improvements Act, or CURIA. "(Independent CommunityBankers of America) strongly opposes new powers for credit unionsso long as they have an unfair tax and regulatory advantage overcommunity banks," David Hayes, president of Dyersburg, Tenn.-basedSecurity Bank and chairman of the ICBA, testified before the HouseFinancial Services subcommittee on Financial Institutions. At thesame time, the bankers asked lawmakers to pass a slew of reliefmeasures for community banks, including expanded powers onnon-banking activities; exemptions from annual consumer privacynotices; expanded ability to lend to bank officers and directors;and elimination of various reporting and exam requirements. BradleyRock, president of Bank of Smithtown (N.Y.) and vice chairman ofthe American Bankers Association, also urged the lawmakers toreject CURIA, which he said would exacerbate competitive inequitiesbetween banks and credit unions, and raise safety and soundnessconcerns about credit unions, by increasing credit unions capacityto make business loans and reforming the current minimum capitalrules for credit unions. Representatives from CUNA and NAFCUtestified on behalf of a dozen credit union provisions currently inthe regulatory relief ill, and also asked Congress to add aprovision to enact a risk-based capital system for credit unions,that is already in CURIA.

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