WASHINGTON (7/14/15 UPDATED 12:30 p.m. ET)--Consumers lose when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) keeps credit unions from serving them. That’s the message CUNA sent to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in advance of its Wednesday hearing with CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
Cordray will give the bureau’s semiannual report to the committee at the hearing.
“Despite promises to ‘level the playing field’ between regulated and unregulated financial product and service providers, the impact of nearly every CFPB rule to date has been to make it more difficult and more expensive for credit unions to fully serve their members,” the letter reads. “In fact, many credit unions have limited or eliminated certain financial products and services traditionally provided to their members as a direct result of the CFPB’s rules.”
CUNA noted that credit unions’ regulatory regime, coupled with their cooperative structure, protects credit unions against ever contributing from a financial crisis.
Since the bureau has proven “unwilling and unable” to pursue its mission without significantly and adversely impacting how credit union members receive services from their credit unions, CUNA told the Senate Banking Committee that it supports structural changes at the bureau.
“We are acutely aware that on Capitol Hill the issues surrounding the bureau are hyper partisan,” the letter reads. “What we hope the Committee, the Congress and the bureau understand is that for credit unions these are not political questions or problems; the actions the bureau takes have very serious consequences on the provision of financial services to credit union members.”
CUNA recommended that Congress expand and specify the CFPB’s exemption authority, so the bureau can go much further than it has to exempt credit unions from its rulemaking. CUNA also pushed for the CFPB to be funded through the appropriations process, which would provide an additional later of supervision over the CFPB’s activities.
In addition, CUNA also asked Congress to enact several pieces of legislation that would provide additional oversight over the CFPB, including: