Rothfus Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Help Community Banks Better Serve Their Customers
Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Keith Rothfus [PA-12] and Congressman Jim Himes [CT-04] today reintroduced the Federal Savings Association Charter Flexibility Act (H.R. 1426), which will allow federal savings associations (“thrifts”) to better serve their communities and adapt to changing economic circumstances.
Under the Home Owners’ Loan Act (HOLA), mutual savings banks, cooperative banks, and other similar institutions must undergo an expensive and time-consuming process to change charters in order to offer a broader range of services similar to a national bank. H.R. 1426 establishes a simple election process for such an institution to become a newly-created Covered Savings Association, and it includes important safeguards to prevent fire sales of assets and subsidiaries during the transition process while also preserving the ability of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to enforce the law and prevent evasion.
“This bill ensures that institutions that have played a vital role in their communities for generations will be able to grow and evolve to serve their customers for years to come,” said Congressman Rothfus. “Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and families rely on their services to conduct their everyday business, which is why this proposal has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and the backing of the OCC.”
“Federal savings associations already play an integral role in helping many Americans buy their homes,” said Congressman Himes. “Allowing them to expand the way they serve their communities will give Americans the option of using an already trusted institution for commercial or consumer loans as well. By easing the process through which they can offer a broader array of services, this legislation will create value for families and businesses.”
Congressmen Rothfus and Himes introduced identical legislation during the last Congress, which passed the Financial Services Committee by voice vote. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) also introduced this legislation today in the Senate.