CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to members of the U.S. House Wednesday to urge passage of the CUNA-backed Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.
The bill would require that Congress approve any new major rule before it can be enforced. “Major rule” is defined as any rule that Office of Management and Budget finds may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity or innovation.
“While there is much more Congress needs to do in order to improve the regulatory environment for local, member-owned credit unions and their members, this legislation is a step in the right direction towards bringing balance to the regulatory environment,” Nussle wrote. “We encourage Congress to enact this legislation.”
Nussle cited the substantial increase in federal regulations imposed on local, member-owned credit unions in recent years.
“It is not any one specific regulation that is the problem. Rather, the accumulation of regulation, some overly burdensome and others simply duplicative, and the frequency with which these rules change, make it difficult and in some cases impossible for credit unions to serve their members,” Nussle wrote. “As member-owned, democratically-controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperatives, every dollar that a credit union spends on new regulation is money not used to the benefit of the membership; every minute that credit union staff spends on compliance is time not spent with credit union members.”
In the letter, Nussle cited CUNA’s groundbreaking regulatory burden study that found that in 2014 alone, more than $7 billion of credit union members’ resources went to complying with federal regulations.