WASHINGTON — The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is asking the Independent Community Bankers of America to "immediately cease and desist" use of the credit union trade group's name in reference to support of a controversial bill to extend a crisis-era account guarantee program.
The ICBA distributed a list on Friday morning of supporters of the bill, S. 3637, sponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid, that would extend the Transaction Account Guarantee program. The list included NAFCU, presumably after the group had repeatedly made known its support of proposals to combine a TAG bill with legislation to raise the credit union business lending cap to 27.5% of assets. Both issues have come to a head during the lame duck session, pitting bankers and credit unions against each other in a final push to get critical legislation passed by yearend.
But NAFCU said the list erroneously implies that it supports a TAG extension without the credit union measure.
"I am writing on behalf of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) to request that Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) immediately cease and desist the use of the name, in any form, of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions as supporting S. 3637," said the NAFCU letter, signed by Fred Becker, the group's president and chief executive. "I would further request that in any and all future communications with the Congress, the Administration, or the public that ICBA not infer in any manner NAFCU's support of any legislation to extend the TAG program that does not include both credit union member business lending and [Interest on Lawyer's Trust Accounts] coverage."
The letter was addressed to Camden Fine, the ICBA's president and CEO. Fine also tweeted on Friday morning that NAFCU stands "with ICBA and small banks" to extend TAG.
Becker added in his letter that the group would still "welcome the opportunity to work with ICBA" on a package of combined legislation that included the TAG extension and the credit union lending bill, along with coverage on IOLTA for credit unions.
The ICBA, along with the American Bankers Association, said it opposes combining TAG legislation with a credit union business lending bill in a letter to Senate leaders late last month.