Members of the House Financial Services Committee expressed many questions about the one-size-fits-all regulatory climate under the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the effect on consumers and community financial institutions Wednesday during a hearing on the Financial CHOICE Act. Details on the Financial CHOICE Act were made public last week by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the committee chair, and contains some positive and negative provisions for credit unions.
CUNA wrote a letter for the record of the hearing, outlining the positive aspects of the bill, listing the concerns and proposing a number of changes that President/CEO Jim Nussle said would help credit unions more fully serve their members.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the effect of Dodd-Frank burdens means “the smaller the institution, the greater the disadvantage,” which is a problem he said he hopes is remedied.
Royce introduced a bill in January, along with Reps. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), that would exempt loans made for the purchase of non-owner occupied, 1-4 unit dwellings from a credit union’s member business lending cap.
In the letter for the hearing’s record, CUNA asked that the text of Royce’s bill be included in the CHOICE Act. Royce’s bill also has a Senate companion supported by CUNA.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said he was in favor of the committee taking up many of the provisions in the CHOICE Act as individual bills. He named several bills, including the CUNA-backed Mortgage Choice Act, that he said would “pass through committee overwhelmingly” if taken up individually.
The Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 1153), introduced in February by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), would which would exclude affiliated title insurance charges and escrowed homeowners’ insurance premiums from the points and fees calculation.
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) questioned the burdens of the Dodd-Frank Act, saying those burdens meant community financial institutions are now forced to ask how they can comply, rather than ask how they can better serve consumers.
CUNA will continue its advocacy efforts as the CHOICE Act moves through the legislative process, and Nussle urged credit unions to get involved while Congress is discussing regulatory relief proposals that could ease the burden on credit unions.
This is the primary goal of CUNA’s bipartisan, pro-consumer Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation, which aims to reduce regulatory burdens on credit unions by compelling Congress to end one-size-fits-all regulations better suited for Wall Street than credit unions on Main Street.