WASHINGTON (7/30/14)--The House Financial Services Committee examined a number of regulatory relief bills Tuesday, and of the three supported by the Credit Union National Association, one was passed and the other two will go to a recorded vote this morning. Several representatives from both parties also vowed to work toward credit union parity going forward.
The Credit Union National Association testified before the committee earlier this month in support of these bills, and submitted a letter Monday reinforcing its support.
The Community Bank Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Study Act (H.R. 4042) and the Access to Affordable Mortgages Act (H.R. 5148) were both requested for a recorded vote.
H.R. 4042 would direct federal banking agencies to conduct a study of appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets for nonsystemic banking institutions.
CUNA expressed support for a possible manager's amendment to include the National Credit Union Administration in the study and delay the agency's proposed risk-based capital rule, but Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), sponsor of the bill, opted to delay offering the amendment in order to work with his colleagues to include the credit union provision in the bill before a full House vote is taken.
NCUA Chair Debbie Matz sent a letter Monday to the committee chair. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), and its ranking member, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), requesting the committee refrain from considering amendments related to the agency's risk-based capital proposal.
"My decision [not to offer the amendment] is not in any way based on Chairman Matz's unprecedented request that this committee refrain from conducting its work; rather there are issues on which I'm working with my Democratic colleagues," Luetkemeyer said. "I will continue to work with them to ensure credit unions are given parity before H.R. 4042 reaches the House floor."
Hensarling, who said he is a supporter of the credit union movement, echoed Luetkemeyer's thoughts on emphasizing credit union parity in the bill, and pledged to work with Waters and other Democrats before the bill heads to the House floor. Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) volunteered to work on behalf of his party to ensure credit union parity as well.
The Regulation D Study Act (H.R. 3240) passed the committee by a voice vote. The act would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the impact of the Federal Reserve Board's monetary reserve requirements. Regulation D restricts the number of automatic withdrawals from a member's savings account to six per month, which can lead to a member overdrafting their checking account if the limit has been reached.
"The issue of having only six transfers per month in accounts hasn't been reviewed in decades. With new technological advancements, especially online banking, we owe it to the American public to revisit this regulation," said Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), who sponsored the bill. CUNA strongly supports the measure.
The bill also directs the GAO to consult with credit unions as part of the study. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said the committee is working to "lift the regulatory burden" from credit unions and community banks to help the flow of capital to small businesses and families.
CUNA has advocated for the cap to be increased, if not eliminated altogether, and called the proposed GAO study a "first step toward possible change."
Watch News Now Thursday for news of the votes on The Community Bank Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Study Act (H.R. 4042) and the Access to Affordable Mortgages Act (H.R. 5148).