WASHINGTON (2/17/15)--CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle took to the op-ed pages of The Hill Friday to point out that an increasing regulatory burden is making it harder and harder for credit unions to serve their members in the best way possible. Nussle reminded readers that credit unions were a safe harbor for consumers during the financial crisis, yet are still facing a "crisis of creeping complexity" when it comes to new regulations.
"The facts are not in dispute--during the financial crisis, banks withdrew access to credit to small businesses and credit unions kept lending," Nussle wrote. "The problem is that in many cases regulators are applying one-size-fits-all regulation on depository institutions; and, when there are exceptions or exemptions provided in rulemaking, they are too narrow to be effective."
Nussle adds that regulatory changes are a particularly significant challenge for small credit unions, since fixed compliance costs are proportionally higher for such institutions.
"If the pace of this crisis of creeping complexity isn't reversed, the trend of consolidation will continue; consumers will have fewer options in the financial marketplace; and the cost of accessing mainstream financial services will increase," Nussle said. "This outcome should be unacceptable. Congress can do something about it."
CUNA testified on regulatory relief last week before the Senate Banking Committee. Earlier that week the same committee looked to federal regulators for information on rulemakings and regulatory burden.
In addition, CUNA has announced a comprehensive, fact-based analysis of actual compliance costs borne by credit unions. The assessment is intended to be used as an informational resource for policymakers about the full cost of regulatory requirements. Having dollar figure for compliance costs will allow CUNA to advance regulatory relief in the legislative and regulatory arenas.