CUNA began 2016 by implementing an advocacy strategy aimed at working with Congress to work with regulators to reduce regulatory burdens on credit unions. The strategy has seen some success this year, with more work to do, but also positions CUNA to work further on this strategy in the years ahead.
“We used our unparalleled grassroots efforts, as well as the first-of-its kind regulatory burden study to help credit unions and leagues bring together an unprecedented 399 members of Congress—a bipartisan supermajority of both chambers—to send a strong message that regulatory burdens are impeding credit union service to members, and that regulations should be tailored to reduce that” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer.
CUNA undertook this effort with the hope of improving current proposals, such as the NCUA’s field-of-membership rule, as well as impact forthcoming rulemakings from agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
“After CUNA, credit unions and the leagues loudly and publicly pushed for it, the CFPB has acknowledged that it has some exemption authority, although we continue to push for broader and more widespread use,” Donovan said. “The NCUA went from saying ‘no’ to our pleas for examination fairness efficiency to undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of its supervisory process.”
CUNA and credit unions also urged the CFPB to further study overdraft protection and first-party debt collection, and the bureau has yet to issue either proposal. CUNA has also seen a number of other victories in the regulatory, legislative and judicial fronts.
Still, a number of upcoming proposals threaten to add to credit unions’ regulatory burden.
“This makes our advocacy strategy, which has seen some success this year, all the more important as we approach an election that’s guaranteed to deliver a new administration that will come in with its own agenda and priorities,” Donovan said. “What we do in Washington in September, while Congress is here, into October, November and the first part of next year, is critically important in setting that stage for the new administration.”