Reg Relief Bid Dead For TheYear

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WASHINGTON - (07/21/04) -- In what amounts to a dress rehearsalfor next year, credit union representatives called on CongressTuesday for their support for more than a dozen regulatory reliefprovisions included in the CU Regulatory Improvements Act, known asCURIA. But Rep. Spencer Bachus, the Republican chairman of theFinancial Institutions Subcommittee of the Financial ServicesCommittee, said during a hearing on the bill it is too late in thecongressional session to pass the measure this year and the purposeof yesterday's hearing was to set the stage for next year. A morecomprehensive regulatory relief package that includes bank andS&L provisions, is also likely to die at the end of thisCongress, observers said. During yesterday's hearing NCUA ChairmanJoAnn Johnson asked lawmakers to act on at least one pressingconcern, a pending accounting rule that will bar credit unions fromaggregating capital after mergers, thereby acting as a disincentivefor combinations. Johnson said it is important for Congress to actbefore the Jan. 1, 2006 effective date of the new accounting rule.Johnson also asked Congress to give NCUA legal authority overthird-party vendors that play a growing role in the operations ofcredit unions. Also testifying before the panel wererepresentatives from NASCUS, CUNA and NAFCU.

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