Exam fairness bill is big step in right direction, CUNA says

April 29, 2015

WASHINGTON (4/29/15)--A bill that would reform federal examinations of financial institutions is a strong step forward ensuring fair exams are conducted by federal regulators, CUNA believes.

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle sent a letter Tuesday to Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), sponsors of the Financial Institution Examination Fairness and Reform Act (H.R. 1941).

"CUNA strongly supports this legislation and views it as a strong step in the right direction toward ensuring the federal financial institution regulators conduct fair exams for those they supervise consistent with the law and regulation and ensure safety and soundness," Nussle wrote.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Direct federal regulatory agencies to provide a final examination report to a financial institution no later than 60 days after the exit interview;
  • Placing limited portions of the guidance by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) on the real estate workouts into statute; and
  • Establish an independent examination review director at the FFIEC to provide financial institutions with a new avenue to appeal a material supervisory determination. The process would call for an administrative law judge to determine the merits of an appeal and make recommendations to the examination ombudsman.

 "We do not view [this] legislation as weakening the federal examination system," Nussle wrote. "To the contrary, by increasing the consistency and fairness of the system, safety and soundness can also be enhanced."