The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) issued a statement this week on a housing reform bill introduced in Congress as it relates to credit unions.
While the bill, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2021, would allow some credit unions to add underserved areas to their fields of membership, it would also subject them to new statutory requirements.
“NAFCU appreciates policy changes that would allow credit unions to proactively serve our nation’s underserved communities,” NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt said. “However, adding reporting requirements and putting into statute that a credit union’s charter can be revoked for failing to hit arbitrary benchmarks is completely counter to good public policy.
The legislation would not subject credit unions to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations — as was the case with a previous proposal introduced in the last Congress. However, it would create new regulations in the form of what officials called “CRA-lite” for some community-chartered credit unions and credit unions that seek to add underserved areas. NAFCU is opposed to having these new regulations placed on credit unions.
“The answer to serving the underserved is simply allowing the credit union model to thrive, not creating new burdens,” Hunt said.
NAFCU will continue to review the proposed legislation and its concerns with lawmakers.