For Immediate Release
November 19, 2015
ABA Media Contact: Jeff Sigmund
(202) 663-5439
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

ABA Statement on NCUA Field of Membership Proposal

By Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO

“We’re very concerned that NCUA’s proposal will enable credit unions to move even further away from the common bonds that define their missions.  When credit unions are allowed to have so-called common bonds like ‘lives in Montana,’ or advertise that ‘anyone can join,’ the common bond ceases to be a meaningful requirement.  The fact is there is an enormous inequity in the law that allows multibillion-dollar credit unions to function just like taxpaying banks, but without paying any federal taxes.  
“This proposed overreach by NCUA is under the guise of ‘regulatory relief.’  Bankers have joined with credit unions to support regulatory relief measures in Congress and at other agencies.  But let’s be clear – regulatory relief doesn’t mean charter enhancement or promoting the explosive growth of a trillion dollar industry at the expense of taxpayers, hometown banks and the communities those banks serve. 
“All taxpayers should be concerned that NCUA continues to find ways to hijack the authority of Congress, which has set appropriate limits on credit union activities in return for a tax-exempt status – that no other trillion-dollar industry enjoys.  This proposal undermines the very purpose of the credit union tax exemption, already worth a whopping $25.39 billion over ten years.  In an era when Congress is looking for ways to pay for every major piece of legislation, we urge lawmakers to take a close look at whether the credit union tax exemption remains justifiable.”
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $16 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $12 trillion in deposits and extend more than $8 trillion in loans.
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