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Three-Fourths of House Lawmakers Sign King-Meeks Letter on Risk-Based Capital
Monday, May 19, 2014 7:00 AM

New York Reps. Peter King (R) and Gregory Meeks (D) sent a letter on May 15 to NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz regarding the agency's risk-based capital proposal. Included were the signatures of 322 of their colleagues, or three-quarters of the U.S. House of Representatives. In their letter, King and Meeks call on the agency to:

  1. take into account the cost and burden of implementing new risk-based capital requirements beyond the current leverage ratio;
  2. provide justification and more clarity as to why the proposed risk weights differ from those applied to other community financial institutions; and
  3. give credit unions more time than the proposal's allotted 18 months to come into compliance after it is finalized.

To view this letter and signatures, here’s a link for viewing and downloading.

The effort to gather this many signatures took an impressive two weeks, far shorter than the two months it took to recruit 199 House members to sign a letter to federal banking regulators about proposed Basel III concerns for community banks in 2012. The near-equal split of co-signers by party, at 54.3% Republican and 45.7% Democrat, reveals the strong bipartisan view on this proposal. Also 52 of the 60 members in the House Financial Services Committee strongly supported the intent of the letter.

CUNA reported that, while King and Meeks did an outstanding job reaching out to their colleagues about the letter, individual legislators contacted them as well. Credit unions in their home districts, along with the state leagues, had made concerted efforts to ensure their lawmakers were well aware of the issues at stake with the RBC proposal.

Adding to the growing number of lawmakers voicing concern about the risk-based capital proposal, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) sent a letter last Wednesday, May 14, to Chair Matz urging her to consider the input of Minnesota's credit unions. Franken wrote, "Minnesota credit unions have contacted me with a number of concerns regarding the proposed rule. Capital rules must be tailored to the circumstances of credit unions and their customers."