House passes measures to expand credit unions

The House on Tuesday passed legislation to expand credit unions' ability to provide loans.

Passed 395-0, one measure, H.R. 3584, would permit privately insured credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. 

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The Federal Home Loan Bank System is comprised of 12 government-sponsored banks that provide funding to financial institutions for home mortgage and small business loans. Members of both parties agreed it would help boost Americans' access to lending opportunities.

"It would help give members and businesses greater access to credit in a tight credit market," said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio).

Another bill passed by voice vote, H.R. 3468, would expand coverage from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to credit union members holding money on behalf of a nonmember in an escrow account. Under current law, the coverage is allowed for bank accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but not credit unions.  

"This bill is designed to create parity to accounts held in credit unions and accounts held in FDIC-insured banks," said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.).

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the bill's sponsor, said it would help credit unions expand their clientele. 

"Part of the mission of credit unions from the very beginning has been to reach out the community around them, especially to reach out to the underserved, maintaining a strong commitment to the IOLTA [Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts] community and removing a barrier to greater participation sustains that mission," Royce said.

The House also passed the following bills under suspension of the rules:

- H.R. 4292, 388-4, to clarify that certain art exhibitions from foreign countries allow other activities in association with the display to not be considered as commercial.

- H.R. 4386, by voice vote, to allow the Treasury secretary to use state examinations for certain financial institutions instead of federal reporting requirements.

- H.R. 3329, by voice vote, to direct the Federal Reserve to propose a revised regulation to expand the Small Bank Holding Company Policy statement to bank holding companies and savings and loan companies with consolidated assets of less than $1 billion, instead of limiting it to companies with assets of less than $500 million. 

- H.R. 2919, to direct the Administrative Conference of the U.S. chairman to provide an annual report to Congress on the expenses awarded to prevailing parties in certain administrative proceedings and civil action court cases.

 

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