February 26, 2021

NAFCU reiterates necessary CU tools as House considers COVID relief package


Ahead of today's expected House consideration of the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler outlined some key provisions in the bill that NAFCU supports, as well as several tools and flexibilities that will allow credit unions to continue to support their members and communities amid the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Thaler highlighted several ways in which credit unions have stepped up to help their communities amid the crisis and reiterated additional measures to support these efforts, including:

  • capital flexibility under the Federal Credit Union (FCU) Act similar to what banks were provided in the CARES Act;

  • additional investment authorities for federal credit unions;

  • relief under the member business lending (MBL) cap;

  • extending credit unions' loan maturity limits under the FCU Act;

  • allowing all credit unions to add underserved areas to their fields of membership;

  • modernizing the E-SIGN Act; and

  • protecting credit unions with liability protections.

Thaler also urged the House to consider expanding or extending several key provisions from past relief efforts, which include:

  • access to the NCUA's Central Liquidity Facility (CLF);
  • changes to Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs to improve access; and

  • relief from the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard.

Additionally, Thaler cautioned against some efforts that could hinder credit unions' abilities to serve their members, including legislatively mandated blanket loan forbearance, overbroad restrictions on first-party debt collection, the elimination of courtesy pay programs, and major changes to bankruptcy provisions.

NAFCU will continue to work closely with the Biden administration, Congress, and regulators to seek tools that allow credit unions and their members to recover from the pandemic and thrive. Stay tuned to NAFCU Today for updates.