May 19, 2022

NAFCU-sought FOM, CDFI bills advanced by HFSC

CapitolThe House Financial Services Committee Wednesday voted to advance two pieces of NAFCU-sought legislation: the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act. The advanced bills now move to the full House for consideration.

The NAFCU-backed Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act would allow all types of federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership and adds "banking deserts," areas not within 10 miles of a branch of a financial institution, to the definition of an underserved area.

In addition, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act provides a valuable line of long-term capital to community financial development institutions (CDFIs) through the Federal Financing Bank. The program – enacted in 2010 to provide long-term, low-cost capital to CDFIs – has been extended on a year-by-year basis since its authorization lapsed in 2014. This necessary legislation would provide certainty to make this program permanent.

NAFCU advocated on behalf of the credit union industry ahead of the markup, citing the benefits of these critical bills.

“Today, lawmakers chose to put credit unions and the consumers they serve first. Advancing the NAFCU-backed Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act is a step forward in helping the credit union industry expand support to underserved communities, especially those hit hardest because of big banks’ declining presence in these areas. Moving the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act closer to law will allow the program to continue its important work of helping fund the economic development activities in underserved communities. NAFCU is proud of our member credit unions for championing these issues and we will continue to work with Congress as these bills progress,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger.

The committee also voted to advance the NAFCU-opposed Strengthening Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector Act, which could give the NCUA authority to examine credit union vendors. The association has consistently outlined concerns with the bill, most recently ahead of a House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Artificial Intelligence hearing where NCUA staff served as a witness.

NAFCU will keep credit unions up-to-date on the movement of the bills via NAFCU Today.