NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger addressed a packed house Tuesday morning at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
Hood, who recalled last speaking to the GAC more than 10 years ago as NCUA vice chairman, outlined several initiatives NCUA will be announcing in the coming weeks designed to advance underserved communities and provide regulatory clarity.
“One of the things I’m most excited about, and which we’ll be discussing in greater detail in the coming weeks: The NCUA is preparing a set of initiatives aimed at improving financial services in underserved, rural communities. As we all know, these communities have experienced a collapse in the availability of banking services over the last couple of decades…when financial institutions pull out of a rural area, it’s like cutting off the oxygen supply to that community,” he said.
“And while many of today’s technological tools help to bridge the gap, it still means that many of the most vulnerable citizens will see a narrowing window of access to affordable services. When communities lose their local financial services providers, it’s often another step along the path toward decline,” he added.
He also made an additional announcement about NCUA’s guidance materials.
“The NCUA will also conduct a comprehensive review of all the NCUA’s guidance letters and legal opinions to determine if they are still relevant in today’s regulatory climate. We can make a significant dent in our regulatory burden by removing outdated or duplicative guidance,” he said. “As part of our comprehensive review, the NCUA is committed to organizing material in a better way so current content is easier to find, saving you and your staff valuable time…after our review is complete, we will revise and update guidance as needed so it is clear and easy to understand, while also ensuring all guidance reflects modern practices and the current environment.”
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle thanks Hood for his announcement.
“Chairman Hood’s announcement today at the CUNA GAC that the agency would conduct a comprehensive review of all NCUA’s guidance letters and legal opinions is an important step toward helping reduce the burden that credit unions face in delivering on their mission to promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident services,” he said. “Consumers turning to credit unions stand to benefit when resources are focused on their needs rather than onerous, repetitive hurdles.”
Kraninger, who has served as director of the CFPB since December 2018, said she appreciated the relationship she’s built with CUNA over her tenure. She also said that part of the mission of consumer protection is ensuring businesses are able to comply with consumer protection rules and regulations.
“Issuing clear rules of the roads is our goal to make sure companies know how to comply and understand what constitutes a violation. We want our rulemaking process to be transparent, allow for public feedback and reflect rigorous economic and market analysis,” she said, pointing to the recent Qualified Mortgage patch and remittances actions as examples of this process.
Kraninger said the CFPB would likely issue a proposed QM rule and a final remittances rule by May.
Kraninger said her goal was to continue improving processes at the CFPB on behalf of both consumers and businesses.
“Through better processes we hope to create a climate where problems are dealt with properly and fairly, and even better, kept from the consumer’s doorstep in the first place,” she said. “We must help the consumers know their rights and industry to know their responsibilities. Our goal is clear rules of the road for all to create consumer access to a fair, transparent and competitive marketplace.”
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