WASHINGTON (2/12/15, UPDATED 11:10 a.m. ET)--American consumers cannot afford for Congress to leave regulatory burden unaddressed, CUNA told the Senate Banking Committee this morning. In a hearing focused on ways to bring regulatory relief, CUNA witness Wally Murray, president/CEO of Greater Nevada CU, Carson City, Nev., $474 million in assets, spoke of the 191 regulatory changes from three dozen federal agencies introduced since Jan. 1, 2008.
Murray asked Congress to strongly consider why small institutions are being asked to comply with rules more appropriately suited for too-big-to-fail banks and other "abusers of consumers."
"We are confident if barriers are removed, credit union members will be better off than they are today, because their credit unions will be spending less resources on complying with outdated, poorly focused and unreasonably burdensome regulations, and more on meeting the financial services needs of their members," Murray said. "We stand ready to work with you to remove these barriers."
Reducing regulatory burden from the legislative and regulatory side is one of CUNA's top advocacy priorities. Murray laid out more than two dozen recommendations for statutory changes, including updates to modernize the Federal Credit Union Act to allow credit unions much greater operational flexibility, to improve the structure and operations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and to substantially expand exemptions from CFPB rules for credit unions, and to help stop merchant data breaches.
He also urged Congress to enact examination fairness legislation, ensure Federal Home Loan Bank program eligibility rules remain the same for small credit unions and banks and to enact legislation to eliminate or increase the member business lending cap.
"A lot of us are concerned when regulations limit choices, increase costs to consumers, or perhaps cause institutions to stop offering products altogether," said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Murray also informed the committee of CUNA's compliance cost study, which was announced today. See the related story in today's News Now.
The hearing is ongoing and can be viewed on the committee's website. Look for additional coverage in tomorrow's News Now.