CRA requirements for credit unions would create costly burdens, no benefits

Placing Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements on credit unions could reduce access to credit for vulnerable consumers, America’s Credit Unions President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. Friday. Cleaver—while discussing discrimination in financial services during a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing—has mentioned his support for expanding the CRA to other non-bank entities.

“We firmly believe that placing CRA requirements on credit unions would create new costly regulatory burdens without public benefit—a solution in search of a problem,” Nussle wrote. “This could lead to such changes having the impact of actually reducing access to credit for those in vulnerable communities. As such, we strongly oppose any effort to extend the CRA to credit unions.

Nussle noted that the CRA was enacted due to banks’ discriminatory practices, while credit unions have a long track record of serving traditionally underserved communities.

“Credit unions have been coming to Congress for years asking to do more to help the underserved, only to be stymied and opposed by the banking lobby,” he added. “Banking representatives have traditionally opposed efforts for credit unions to expand in underserved areas, and even have previously sued the NCUA to prevent more credit unions from adding underserved areas.”

In the letter, Nussle noted that America’s Credit Unions welcomes the opportunity to work with Cleaver to address his concerns and work on solutions that promote access financial services and end discriminatory practices in banking.

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