NCUA Endorses Bank Bill

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WASHINGTON – In an eleventh-hour endorsement delivered just as members of the House are poised to vote final passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, NCUA threw its weight behind the bank reform bill, now opposed overwhelmingly by the credit union lobby.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz told House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who crafted the landmark 2,300-page legislation, she strongly supports the bill’s reforms. “I am confident that this measure will strengthen the American financial services sector, benefitting credit unions and credit union members in multiple ways,” Matz wrote in a letter hand-delivered to the Massachusetts Democrat last night as Frank was preparing to manage a vote on the bill on the House floor as early as this afternoon.

Matz cited provisions of the bill extending a temporary federal guarantee of all non-interest-bearing transaction accounts to credit unions; making permanent the increase in federal deposit insurance to $250,000 per account; an NCUA seat on a new Financial Stability Oversight Council and the creation of a consumer financial protection bureau as reasons the agency supports the bill.

She did not mention the interchange amendment which will set the Federal Reserve up as a regulator of debit card fees and has caused the overwhelming majority of credit unions to oppose the bill.

The NCUA endorsement comes as Senate Democrats are grappling with a narrow vote to pass the bill and are expected to put off a final vote on the measure until after next week’s Fourth of July congressional recess.

The House is expected to agree to final passage of the bill on a party-line vote later today.

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