Member Business Lending

Four pieces of legislation have been introduced this Congress that would help support credit union member business lending.

  • H.R. 5061: Introduced July 10, 2014 by Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL). The bill would exempt loans made to "veterans" (including anyone who served on active duty, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable) from the member business lending (MBL) cap. This legislation would help to ensure that veterans have more resources to aid their success after their service. If enacted, Miller's MBL measure would advance a key element of NAFCU's five-point plan for credit union regulatory relief.
  • The "Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act" (H.R. 688): Re-introduced in February 2013 by Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). The bill would lift the arbitrary member business lending cap from 12.25 to 27.5% of total assets. Similar legislation (S.968) was introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and a bipartisan group of Senators in May 2013. Under these bills, credit unions would need to meet the following criteria to be deemed eligible:
    • Must be considered well capitalized [currently 7% net worth ratio]
    • Must have at least 5 years of member business lending experience
    • Must be at or above 80 % of the current 12.25% cap for at least 1 year prior to applying
    • Must be able to demonstrate sound underwriting and servicing based on historical performance and strong leadership management 
  • The "Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act" (H.R. 4226): On March 13, 2014, Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced legislation to exempt certain residential loans from credit unions' federal statutory cap on member business lending.  The bill would exempt loans for non-owner-occupied, one- to four-unit dwellings from credit unions' statutory MBL cap, making it possible for credit unions to lend more to small businesses without running up against the current cap.

NAFCU's Position on Member Business Lending

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 However, due to the outdated member business lending cap, their ability to help stimulate the economy by providing credit to small businesses is hampered.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. 

Issue Background Information

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.

Recent Media Outreach

NAFCU has stayed at the forefront of this issue and continued to champion credit unions in major media nationwide.

NAFCU Hails Royce's New Member Business Lending Bill (March 13, 2014)

NAFCU: Outdated Artificial Member Business Lending Cap On Credit Unions Hurts Small Business (December 5, 2013)

NAFCU Hails Sen. Udall's Introduction of Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (May 16, 2013)

NAFCU Applauds Rep. Maloney's Introduction of MBL Cap Lift for Disaster Assistance (April 19, 2013)

Recent Policy Letters

Read recent letters from NAFCU to members of Congress on member business lending issues that affect credit unions and their members.

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

12-6-12 Reid McConnell letter on MBL/TAG/IOLTA

12-3-12 Johnson-Shelby letter on MBL/TAG

3-14-12 Reid-McConnell If Not Now, Then When? Letter Supporting MBL

2-29-12 Member Business Lending Support Letter to President Obama

2-29-12 Boehner-Pelosi Member Business Lending Support Letter

2-7-12 Reid-McConnell Small Business Lending Enhancement Act

1-31-12 Graves-Velazquez Member Business Lending for Job Creation

View all NAFCU Policy Letters

Recent Regulatory Comment Letters

March 5, 2014 - MBL amendments and improvements letter to NCUA

View all of NAFCU's Regulatory Comment Letters

Updated September 2014