WASHINGTON (3/29/16)--With both chambers of Congress out this week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) turns its attention to two hearings scheduled for next week, both featuring a look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). On April 5, the Senate Banking Committee will conduct a hearing on the effects of consumer finance regulations, and on April 7, CFPB Director Richard Cordray will appear before the Senate Banking Committee.
“These hearings will help advance the theme we’ve been pushing the last several months--that the cost of compliance is getting higher and more burdensome,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “We hope the members of the committee continue to pursue similar lines of questioning that the House Financial Services Committee pursued, about the extent to which the CFPB has the authority to exempt a certain class of financial institutions from regulations.”
Donovan said CUNA is “taken aback” by Cordray’s perspective that the health of the credit union industry is thriving under the CFPB, as he said before the House Financial Services Committee.
While the credit union system health as a whole is in a positive place, CUNA remains concerned about the consolidation of small financial institutions.
"The system-wide data that the director cites is in spite of--not as a result of--regulations that should have been tailored toward the abusers of consumers. The operational reality for many credit unions--particularly small credit unions--is quite different than the one described by the bureau," Donovan said. "We urge Director Cordray to dig a little deeper to see the effects of regulatory burden, particularly on small credit unions,”
CUNA also continues to monitor credit union-friendly provisions that legislators have asked to be included in appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2017. A number of legislators wrote to request credit union-friendly items.
The requested proposals would:
“All of these are important issues for credit unions, and we thank the representatives for their leadership on getting these to the table,” Donovan said. “In a short legislative year like we’ve got this year, appropriations is one of the best chances we’ve got to get bills across the finish line, but it’s still early in the process.”