Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced today that he will introduce legislation next week to allow more lending flexibility for credit unions to better serve their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID–19 Crisis Act builds on Wyden’s work to help under-banked and under-served small businesses receive equal access to federal small business relief.
“Our banking system has left the mom and pop shops on Main Street behind during this crisis. These small businesses are desperate for relief. They want to pay their employees, and they want to pay their bills so that when it’s safe they can reopen their doors. They shouldn’t be denied relief because they don’t have an account at a big bank,” Wyden said. “Congress needs to do more to help community lenders better serve our small businesses as they weather this storm. The next COVID stimulus package must include this help for credit unions.”
For over twenty years, credit unions have been subject to a federal member business lending cap, limiting credit unions from lending no more than 12.25% of their assets to small businesses. Given the urgent financial needs of so many small businesses because of the COVID-19 crisis, the Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID–19 Crisis Act would provide a one-year exemption to the member business lending cap for loans made by credit unions to aid in COVID-19 crisis relief and recovery. There is a House companion bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
A copy of the legislative text is available here.
A web version of this release is here.