House Financial Services Dems Push for $8.5 Million Boost for Credit Union Community Development Fund

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee are asking congressional budget writers for an $8.5 million increase for the National Credit Union Administration’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund in FY22.

That represents an increase of almost 567% over the $1.5 million the program received during the current fiscal year. The Democrats said that 40% of the CDRLF funds should be set aside for Minority Depository Institutions.

House Passes Marijuana Banking Bill as NAFCU, CUNA Endorse Measure

The House passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would provide banks and credit unions with a regulatory safe harbor if they provide financial services to marijuana related businesses in states where cannabis is legal. The bill also stops a possible “Operation Choke Point,” prohibiting financial regulators from requiring an institution to stop doing business with a company solely based on the company’s reputational risk. The fate of the bill in the Senate is not clear.

Loosely Regulated Fintech Companies Pose Risks to Credit Unions, CEO Tells House Panel

The House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee held a hearing on trends in institutional charters that highlighted the different views on proper regulation of fintech companies and how the current regulatory arrangements may be becoming disadvantageous to credit unions. Carlos Pacheco, CEO of Premier Members Credit Union in Boulder, Colo., gave a credit union’s perspective to the legislators.

House Sponsors High on Marijuana Banking Passage

House supporters of marijuana banking legislation are feeling confident that their bill, named The SAFE Banking Act of 2021, will pass the House (as it did in the last session) and then a version of it, unlike last session, will be considered in the Senate. The bill would provide a safe harbor for credit unions and banks that provide services to cannabis-related businesses in states where marijuana is legal. Currently those businesses are forced to operate on a cash basis.

House Passes PPP Extension Bill, As IG Reports Duplicate Loans Made by SBA

The Small Business Administration’s Inspector General has issued a report finding that in the first batch of Paycheck Protection Program loans last year, 4,260 borrowers got two PPP loans when they only should have received one. The SBA intends to not forgive those duplicate loans, but to prevent duplication from happening again, the SBA has added controls that are causing delays and a logjam in loan processing this cycle, raising concerns that businesses will be caught without a loan when the program ends on March 31. The House has now passed legislation that would extend the PPP to the end of May.

House Members Introduce Legislation to Lift MBL Cap During Crisis

Two House members have introduced legislation that would lift the member business lending cap during the pandemic in an effort to allow credit unions to make more loans during the economic crisis.

Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced legislation Monday that would lift the cap of 12.25% for up to one year after the national emergency has ended. The exemption prohibits any business loan that would undermine the safety and soundness of a credit union.