NCUA Snubbed In New Reg ReliefBill

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WASHINGTON - (07/29/05) -- The House Financial ServicesCommittee introduced its latest version of a regulatory relief billfor banks and credit unions Thursday, but suspiciously left out anNCUA-backed proposal to enact risk-based capital system for creditunions. The bill, like the one passed by the House in the lastCongress, includes about a dozen credit union priorities, includingallowing credit unions to keep their select groups after convertingto community charters; letting them provide limited services tonon-members; and allowing privately insured credit unions to jointhe Federal Home Loan Bank System. But the lawmaker drafting thebill left off NCUA's risk-based capital proposal, which has becomethe top credit union priority and had been endorsed by severallawmakers. Some observers wondered if the omission was a pay-backby Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who drafted the billand who represents the Dallas area where Community CU is based.Hensarling has been one of the most vocal congressional critics ofNCUA's actions in the Community CU case and even organized aletter, signed by 22 Texas House members, to NCUA in opposition tothe agency's actions rejecting the vote to convert the $1.4 billioncredit union to mutual savings bank. But credit union lobbyistssaid the omission of the new powers by NCUA to set its ownrisk-based capital standards simply reflects a lack of consensus onthe issue on the Financial Services Committee, where the leadershipwants to present non-controversial bill in order to ease itspassage.

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