September 07, 2016

ICBA sues NCUA over MBL rule

The Independent Community Bankers of America today said it is suing NCUA over its final member business lending rule issued earlier this year, stating that the rule would put consumers and the financial system at risk.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said this suit raises to a new level the banking trade's campaign of misinformation and attempted intimidation in its effort to hinder credit unions' ability to serve their member small businesses.

"NCUA's revised member business loan rule is a well-considered approach to making it possible for more credit unions to serve their members' needs by eliminating red tape and remaining within the letter and the spirit of the law," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "During the crisis, the banks weren't complaining about MBL, they were avoiding new business loans altogether. Credit unions, by contrast, stepped up.

"If the banks had put this much effort and money in policing themselves, maybe they could have helped prevent the financial crisis they caused that harmed consumers and our country's economy," he continued. "NAFCU will continue to vigorously defend credit unions' ability to provide member business loans."

NCUA's final rule eliminated credit unions' personal guarantee requirement and, effective Jan. 1, 2017, will eliminate the waiver process. NAFCU praised the rule for easing the regulatory burden on credit unions and allowing them the independence to safely and soundly address the needs of their small-business members.

ICBA is claiming that rule provides credit unions with a "huge loophole" that they can use to increase their lending "in violation of the law."

The lawsuit, Independent Community Bankers of America v. National Credit Union Administration, was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. The legal complaint is available here.

NCUA is reviewing the complaint and plans to respond, said agency spokesman John Fairbanks.