On September 7, 2016, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) filed a lawsuit against the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) challenging the agency's member business lending rule. ICBA's complaint alleges that NCUA violated the Administrative Procedure Act by carving out new commercial lending exemptions not expressly authorized by the Federal Credit Union Act. NAFCU will continue to advocate for implementation of the rule which will ease regulatory burdens and allow credit unions to safely and soundly address the needs of their small-business members.
On February 19, 2016, the NCUA Board unanimously approved a final member business lending rule that amends Part 723 of NCUA's Rules and Regulations regarding the ability of federally-insured credit unions to make Member Business Loans (MBLs). The majority of the rule is effective January 1, 2017, while the personal guarantee requirement is eliminated 60 days after the rule's publication in the Federal Register.
Download NAFCU's Final Regulation summary and full text of the rule (member-only; login required).
The rule removes the prescriptive underwriting criteria and personal guarantee requirements of the current regulation, thereby eliminating the current waiver process. Instead, the rule allows credit unions to implement a principle-based risk management policy related to its commercial and business lending activities. Addressed as part of NCUA's regulatory modernization initiative, the final rule:
This rule comprehensively overhauls the way that NCUA approaches commercial lending, from both a regulatory and supervisory perspective. Currently, Part 723 considers commercial lending as synonymous with the member business lending definition under the Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act). The final rule, however, will expand Part 723's scope to apply to commercial loans as newly defined under the proposal. The rule will also delineate which loans are subject to the statutory MBL cap and those which are subject to certain safety and soundness policy and infrastructure requirements.
Read NAFCU's comment letter on Member Business Lending.
Legislation has, again, been
introduced in the 114th Congress that would provide relief from the credit
union member business lending cap. NAFCU
will continue to pursue support and passage of legislation to increase or
remove the arbitrary business lending cap that currently applies to credit
unions. MBL related measures introduced so far in the 114th Congress include:
While recovery from the financial crisis remains fragile, credit unions have the capital to help America's small businesses thrive. However, due to the outdated member business lending cap, their ability to help stimulate the economy by providing credit to small businesses is hampered. Removing or modifying the credit union member business lending cap would help provide economic stimulus without costing the taxpayer a dime. In addition, it is worth noting that officials at the Treasury Department and the NCUA have expressed support for lifting the MBL cap. Several outside groups from all sides of the political spectrum have also endorsed the legislation including the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).
NAFCU has a strong history of supporting credit union member business lending and has testified before the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees on the importance of this issue. NAFCU would also support alternatives to a straight member business lending cap lift such as raising the minimum loan amount that would count against the member business lending cap.
We are committed to pursuing all legislative avenues to maximize the possibility of this issue being considered moving forward.
When Congress passed the Credit Union Membership Access Act (CUMAA) (P.L.105-219) in 1998, they put into place restrictions on the ability of credit unions to offer member business loans. Congress codified the definition of a member business loan and limited a credit union's member business lending to the lesser of either 1.75 times the net worth of a well-capitalized credit union or 12.25 percent of total assets. Also pursuant to section 203 of CUMAA, Congress mandated that the Treasury Department study the issue of credit unions and member business lending.
A January 2001 study by the Treasury Department and a 2011 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, both found that bank lending was largely unaffected by changes in the credit unions' business lending, and that credit unions have the ability to offset declines in bank business lending during a recession.
NAFCU has stayed at the forefront of this issue and continued to champion credit unions in major media nationwide.
Credit Unions Kick Lending Up a Notch (TheMReport, June 6, 2016)
More House Leaders Support Legislation to Raise MBL Cap (Credit Union Journal, May 24, 2016)
CFPB OKs Rule for Mortgage Lenders in Rural, Underserved Areas (Credit Union Journal, March 23, 2016)
The Case for Raising the Credit Union Lending Cap (Forbes, September 16, 2015)
SBA Calls for More CUs: Onsite at NAFCU Caucus (Credit Union Times, September 15, 2015)
MBL Legislation Introduced In The Senate (CUtoday.info, September 10, 2015)
NAFCU Applauds Sens. Paul, Whitehouse Introduction of Bill to Raise Member Business Lending Cap (September 10, 2015)
Bankers Vow 'Vigorous' Opposition to Expanded MBL; NAFCU Responds (CUtoday.info, June 23, 2015)
NAFCU Statement In Response ICBA's MBL Attack
(June 22, 2015)
Trade Associations Weigh In On MBL Proposal (CUtoday.info, June 18, 2015)
NCUA Proposes Drastic MBL Regulation Changes (Credit Union Times, June 18, 2015)
NAFCU Statement on NCUA Board Proposal To Eliminate MBL Waiver Process
(June 18, 2015)
NAFCU Applauds Reps. Royce and Huffman Introduction of H.R. 1422, the "Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act"
(March 18, 2015)
Credit unions mean business (The Hill, March 11, 2015)
MBL Relief Bill Introduced (Again) in Congress (CUtoday.info, March 2, 2015)
MBL Bill Reintroduced (Credit Union Times, March 2, 2015)
NAFCU Hails Rep. Miller's Reintroduction of Legislation Excluding Veterans' Loans From MBL Cap
(March 2, 2015)
NAFCU Applauds Reps. Royce, Meeks Reintroduction of the 'Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act of 2015'
(March 2, 2015)
NAFCU, SBA Agreement Aims to Expand Small Biz Loans (CUtoday.info, February 26, 2015)
Small Business Administration and National Association of Federal Credit Unions Join Forces to Solve the Entrepreneurial Credit Crunch (Yahoo! News, February 25, 2015)
Small Business Administration and National Association of Federal Credit Unions Join Forces to Solve the Entrepreneurial Credit Crunch (MarketWatch, February 25, 2015)
SBA Creates Another CU Alliance (Credit Union Times, February 25, 2015)
SBA, NAFCU Signs MOU To Encourage Loans To Entrepreneurs (Credit Union Journal, February 25, 2015)
Read recent letters from NAFCU to members of Congress on member business lending issues that affect credit unions and their members.
4-13-16 NAFCU Letter on Removing Barriers Preventing Credit Unions from Serving More Small Businesses
2-18-2016 NAFCU Letter on NCUA's Final Member Business Lending Rule
2-3-2016 NAFCU Letter on Removing Barriers Preventing Credit Unions from Serving More Small Businesses
NAFCU Letter on Tomorrow's House Ways and Means Hearing entitled
"Reaching America's Potential: Delivering Growth and Opportunity for All
11-16-2015 NAFCU Letter on Tomorrow's Hearing, "National Entrepreneurs' Day"
9-11-2015 NAFCU Letter in Support of S. 2028, the "Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2015"
5-18-2015 NAFCU Letter on How Credit Unions are an Important Source of Capital Access for Small Businesses
3-2-2015 NAFCU Letter in Support of the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act of 2015 (H.R. 1188)
5-12-2014 NAFCU's Letter to the House in Support of Member Business Lending (H.R. 688)
5-12-2014 NAFCU's Letter to the Senate in Support of Member Business Lending (S. 968)
6-15-2013 NAFCU letter regarding MBL
6-6-2013 NAFCU letter to Small Business
View all NAFCU Policy Letters
March 5, 2014 - MBL amendments and improvements letter to NCUA
View all of NAFCU's Regulatory Comment Letters
Updated September 2016