JANUARY 20, 2017
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U.S. Capitol Credit Union Loan Parity Bill Introduced Early in New Congress (Issue 1 of 4)
A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill in the U.S. House that would give credit unions parity with banks on certain real estate loans. The measure, if passed, could provide a boost to credit unions' member business lending efforts.

  State Legislative Activity of Credit Union Interest (Issue 2 of 4)
Activity this week in the Georgia Legislature that could affect the state's credit unions included filing of a bill that would exempt credit unions and others from new fees on wire transfers.

  What to Anticipate from NCUA with New Administration? (Issue 3 of 4)
While the incoming administration may see a third member appointed to the NCUA Board, and possibly a new chairman of the panel, early indications are that no major change in NCUA's policy direction is expected.

  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 4 of 4)
The credit union message continues to spread, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

U.S. CapitolCredit Union Loan Parity Bill Introduced Early in New Congress (Issue 1 of 4)

Amid the pomp and ceremony surrounding a new Congress and a new President, a bipartisan group of four representatives introduced a bill late last week that would provide credit unions and banks parity on certain types of residential loans. The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act (H.R. 389) was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Don Young (R-AK) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and has been assigned to the House Financial Services Committee.

The bill would remove loans made for the purchase of non-owner-occupied, 1-4 unit dwellings from the calculation of the 12.25% member business lending cap currently imposed on credit unions. Presently these loans are classified as a residential real estate loan for banks, but as business loans for credit unions, making them subject to the cap. H.R. 389 also maintains the ability of the NCUA to apply stringent underwriting and servicing requirements to these loans, which often depend on rent as a chief contributor towards repayment. CUNA CEO Nussle wrote a letter of support for H.R. 389 prior the bill’s introduction, citing that if enacted, the bill would allow credit unions to lend an additional $11 billion to small businesses, allowing additional private-sector financing for commercial businesses and rental housing.

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State Legislative Activity of Credit Union Interest (Issue 2 of 4)

Georgia CapitolThe state Legislature was not in session this week; however, they held multiple budget hearings during this timeframe. The budget is addressed early for good reason: While state legislators tackle multiple issues each year – some more controversial than others – the budget is the only bill they are required to pass annually. And, it historically takes them almost the entire session to come to an agreement and pass a budget in the House and Senate. While the Legislature is still in its early days where formalities and budget hearings are typical, there are already 32 bills identified as ones that are of interest to credit unions for monitoring, work and lobbying. The most recent activity:

  • Wire Transfer Fee Legislation: In addition to HB 12 by Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) that was pre-filed before the session began (which seeks to require a fee on all wire transfers), Rep. Jones introduced a substitute version of that legislation as HB 66 in an effort to exempt credit unions and others from collecting a new fee on wire transfers. GCUA has been in communication with Rep. Jones since he first announced his intent on this in the press back in October, and has expressed how the original bill would create added compliance burdens as well as operational disparities between state and federally chartered credit unions. While it is positive that this substitute bill has been introduced, much work continues as this may get wrapped into a much larger tax reform effort.
  • Disciplinary Actions on Real Estate Appraisers: HB 39 by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) seeks to outline disciplinary actions, sanctions and potential license revocation for any real estate appraiser found guilty of their required conduct in law. This bill will be watched closely through the process to ensure that credit union mortgage lending operations are not impacted.
  • Regulatory Bill: SB 2 by Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) seeks to quicken the process in which new businesses are authorized to operate in Georgia, and seeks to ensure that any examinations are done with ample notice – and that any regulatory rule is approved by the Attorney General’s office. Billed as “the Fast Act” regulatory reform bill to help small businesses succeed, this legislation will be monitored closely.
  • Sales and Use Tax: HB 61 by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) seeks to expand sales and use tax to retailers who are not paying it now in specific circumstances, or require the retailers to provide the consumer notice that they should be paying sales tax. This bill, and all tax-related bills that could inadvertently (or initially) wrap in credit unions, will be watched closely to ensure the industry is not implicated or taken off guard in the legislative process.

And while they have not been introduced yet, GCUA has been fielding questions on the credit union provisions slated to be in the Department of Banking and Finance’s pending housekeeping legislation. Stay tuned!

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Crystal ballWhat to Anticipate from NCUA with New Administration?
(Issue 3 of 4)

On the eve of a new administration with President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, what can credit unions anticipate out of NCUA? The NCUA Board currently has two members, and as he takes office President Trump may designate a third member who could also serve as a new chairman. But, a recent article in the Credit Union Times highlighted that it will likely be a “stay the course” persona for the federal regulatory board for credit unions.

Present NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger stated on January 12th that he does not expect any great change in policy direction. Metsger said he and fellow board member J. Mark McWatters have developed a strong working relationship and he expects for that to continue stating, "It still takes two to tango, and regardless of who has the gavel, our commitment to working together on behalf of a sound and progressive credit union system remains the same."

The NCUA board is also convening today (as of press time) with two items on its agenda:

  • an advanced notice of rulemaking dealing with alternative capital, and
  • a briefing on inflation adjustment of civil money penalties.
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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 4 of 4)

Credit unions continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it’s in a local newspaper, niche magazine or radio show, the credit union message is shared through a multitude of outlets across Georgia. Click here to see recent coverage of Georgia’s credit unions "In the News."

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