Oregon Rep David Wu Co-Sponsors HR 1418

Member Business Lending. Yesterday, Oregon Congressman David Wu added his name to the list of co-sponsors of H.R. 1418, the House bill to increase the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5 percent. A co-sponsor of similar legislation last Congress, Wu expressed understanding of the capital crunch in his district and his support and trust of credit unions.  Wu joins Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) as a co-sponsor, and we hope to see more Northwest representatives from the Northwest jump on board soon.

The Senate Banking Committee last week held a hearing on credit unions member business lending. A video archive of this hearing can be found here. During the hearing, NCUA Chair Debbie Matz testified in support of S. 509, which would raise the Member Business Lending cap for credit unions to 27.5 percent of assets.

When asked by senators if arguing in support of increasing the cap was counter-intuitive to her role as the regulator, Chair Matz effectively explained the importance of credit unions diversifying their loan portfolios, which this legislation would help achieve.

In a separate panel, CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney testified on behalf of credit unions about the continuing credit crunch for small businesses across the nation and the readiness of credit unions to increase lending when the cap is raised. As expected, representatives from the American Bankers Association and the Independent and Community Bankers Association argued that raising the business lending cap for credit unions will cause them to lose business and that the cap should remain in place while credit unions hold an unfair advantage to banks due to their tax structure.

S. 509, introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), has 19 co-sponsors including Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden. This hearing was an important step requested by leadership before the bill’s supporters look for a moving vehicle to attach it to on the Senate floor.

 

Interchange. The Federal Reserve Board announced that it will unveil its final rule on debit interchange next Wednesday, June 29. The board will hold a public meeting to consider the final rule governing debit card interchange fees and routing provisions. We will get word out when the final rule is released.

 

Data Breach Legislation. In the wake of recent data breaches at Michaels, Sony and others, legislation is beginning to pop up that would change how companies currently handle breaches. In the House, Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, introduced draft legislation that would require companies that experience a breach to tell law enforcement within 48 hours and to begin notifying consumers within 48 hours of when the company completes an assessment of the hack.

The legislation would also require companies to begin erasing customers’ personal data once it is no longer needed. Similar legislation was dropped in the Senate and today, the Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a hearing on “Cybersecurity and Data Protection in the Financial Services Sector.” 

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