NC credit union advocates converged on Capitol Hill Wednesday, spending time with the NC Congressional Delegation and their staffs. The 85 representatives from NC zeroed in on the Member Business Lending issue, as well as supplemental capital.
The day kicked off with meetings with Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan. Both Hagan and Burr updated the groups on what's happening in Washington, their legislative priorities, and then heard from the credit union group.
"It was a great exchange of information on a variety of topics," said NCCUL SVP of Association Services, Dan Schline "and our credit unions got to share their concerns on issues of importance."
Raising the Member Business Lending Cap was first on the agenda for credit unions. Coastal FCU EVP/COO Chuck Purvis related to Hagan that the credit union was just $46 million away from the 12.25% MBL cap, with $45 million in loan applications currently in the pipeline.
"Information like that is vital in conveying the urgency of the situation," said Schline. "Truliant, Allegacy and Marine FCUs are also closing in on the lending cap, and raising it would ensure that the flow of credit to small businesses would not only be maintained, but enhanced."
While the MBL issue has been around for years and has been widely discussed, an emerging issue also made its way into the dialogue. Truliant FCU President/CEO Marcus Schaefer highlighted the need for supplemental capital for credit unions to Hagan. Schaefer noted that allowing credit unions to raise alternative sources of capital would help them better serve their members without altering the member-owner dynamic that is central to the credit union structure.
After concluding the sessions with Hagan and Burr, the group fanned out across the legislative office buildings for meetings with NC members of the US House of Representatives. "Overall the tone of the meetings was positive and credit union representatives updated their elected leaders about how issues before Congress impact credit unions and their ability to serve members back home," said Schline.
Following the afternoon flurry of meetings, the League hosted a reception for the NC Congressional Delegation and their staff members. "The League really appreciates everyone taking the time to make the trip, and for being so engaged in the political process," said NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh.