ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/5/14)--Concerned that the cumulative regulatory burden on credit unions is at an "all-time high," the Credit Union National Association is urging regulatory relief for credit unions in a new letter to the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA is currently in the process of its annual review of one-third of its regulations, a cycle that results in all regulations being reviewed over each three-year period.
"Advocating for a more favorable regulatory environment for credit unions is our top regulatory advocacy priority," CUNA's Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said. "The letter sent to NCUA yesterday cites all current rules, including those imposed by other agencies under the Dodd-Frank Act, as contributing to the regulatory burden."
The letter also urges the NCUA to establish a credit union cybersecurity council or working group that would "help identify and address data security concerns in a manner that recognizes the unique nature and needs of credit unions, without imposing a new layer of regulatory compliance."
"In light of the imperative need to reduce credit unions' regulatory obligations, we urge NCUA to add new or expand existing rules only if required to do so by law, or doing so is clearly warranted based on a compelling safety and soundness reason that can be satisfactorily addressed in no other manner," Dunn stated in the letter.
Agencies should refrain from categorizing changes as 'regulatory relief' unless the revisions result in less time and money being spent by credit unions to fulfill requirements, CUNA says.
The letter also advocates for consistency among regulators when it comes to enforcing Bank Secrecy Act compliance.
"We continue to hear of instances in which different regulators and examiners interpret BSA requirements and guidance differently, which makes it difficult for credit unions to satisfy examiners and plan accordingly throughout their organizations," the letter reads. "Greater consistency would also be helpful with the interpretation of requirements regarding BSA reports."
CUNA recommended a credit union's BSA examination be based on the "types of activities the credit union actually engages in and focus on its risks."
CUNA also recommended that the NCUA should provide a report on its website on how it plans to address recommendations received during the regulatory review process, as well as a summary of comments that were received, but not acted on.
CUNA will be sending the NCUA more recommendations for regulatory reductions in the coming weeks, as well as input on the agency's Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act request for comments, which are due by Sept. 2.