Magazine article American Banker

Small Banks Plan Major Attack for '95

Magazine article American Banker

Small Banks Plan Major Attack for '95

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON With some key members of Congress showing skepticism toward credit unions, the -Independent Bankers Association of America is planning to push for new curbs on the industry.

The community bankers' trade group is preparing a legislative package for next year that would impose taxes on credit union and bring them under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Though the IBAA ts sure 16 face a tough fight with the package, the group does have some grounds for thinking it can prevail.

"We recognize that it's going to be an uphill battle, that the credit union industry is a 900pound gorilla in this town," said Ron Ence, director of legislative affairs for the trade group. "But for the first time in many years' Congress is looking at the credit union industry. We felt it would be an opportunity to expand the field of inquiry."

He was referring to hearings held by Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez that focused on corporate credit unions and a hearing by Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy 2d that focused on extending CRA to credit unions.

Mr. Ence said the IBAA has several lawmakers in mind to introduce the legislation. but he declined to name them.

The overarching goal of the package will be to create a tougher level of regulation for larger credit unions, Mr. Ence said.

"There's a legitimate purpose for maintaining the traditional. mom-and-pop credit unions," he said. "We want to have two sets of rules, one for the small mom-andpop credit unions and another for the larger wanna-be-banks,"

Jeanne-Marie Murphy, a lobbyist for the Credit Union National Association, said the IBAA's move is doomed to failure. …

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