In a unified show of support for legislation that will right size regulation for credit unions, the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) and Nampa, Idaho-based Northwest Christian Credit Union joined Sen. Mike Crapo (R -Idaho) at a Boise news conference Feb. 20 in support of S. 2155.
Despite ongoing gridlock on numerous other issues in the beltway, S.2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act passed with bipartisan support out of the Senate Banking Committee, which Sen. Crapo chairs. The bill now has 26 Senate co-sponsors—13 Democrats and 13 Republicans.
“Unfortunately, community banks and credit unions across the country have long struggled to keep up with ever-increasing regulatory compliance and examiner demands coming out of Washington,” Crapo told reporters and a delegation of financial industry leaders who attended the event at the State Capitol. “In local economies, this places a strain on small businesses looking to open or grow.”
“We recognize that Congress’ initial intent when they passed the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, was to place well-intended restrictions curbing the practices of Wall Street’s “bad actors” who contributed so heavily to the economic downturn leading into the recession,” said NWCUA President/CEO Troy Stang. “But, it was always recognized during the time leading up to the recession, that credit unions and community institutions did not engage in the same practices as those Wall Street actors.”
Joining Stang in representing the credit union movement was Brad Swartzentruber, president/CEO of Northwest Christian CU. He shared an example of what regulatory overreach looks like in local financial institutions.
The $55.8 million asset-sized Northwest Christian has made church loans for more than 20 years. Despite having no loses, foreclosures, or credit risks during or since the recession, Swartzentruber said, “today’s post-recession regulatory structure paints our credit union with the same brush as the regulations that are needed to oversee large, Wall Street financial institutions.” He believes if S.2155 passes, it will set a better tone and tenor for regulation of both federally-chartered and state-chartered credit unions such as Northwest Christian.
Stang and Swartzentruber praised Crapo for his leadership in garnering bipartisan support of the bill, which is making its way through the Senate.