NEW: CUNA, bank letter urges bipartisan reg. relief action

May 15, 2015

WASHINGTON (5/15/15, UPDATED 3:52 p.m. ET)--Nearly 14,000 financial institutions of all charter types are struggling with an onerous and growing regulatory burden. It is suffocating their true potential to spur economic growth, create jobs, help consumers purchase a home and benefit members or customers by helping to meet their financial goals. The U.S. Congress must act in a bipartisan manner to address the "real-world" issues faced by credit unions and banks.

That is the message carried in a Friday letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership and penned collectively by CUNA, the American Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Bankers of America.

The letter notes that a regulatory relief package unveiled this week by Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chair of the banking panel, and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), its ranking member, "is an important step" to addressing the regulatory barriers that stymie credit unions and banks from "more fully serving the diverse financial needs of the American consumer."

The Senate package contains three credit union-specific regulatory relief provisions, as well as more than a dozen other relief items that benefit credit unions. Shelby's much-anticipated bill is expected to be marked up by the Senate Banking Committee on May 21.

On the House side, there is a series of CUNA-supported relief proposals that address many of the same issues as does Title I of the Shelby bill.

Each member of the Senate Banking Committee was copied on the joint trade group letter. It concluded: "We stand ready to work with you and members of the committee from both sides of the aisle with the goal of developing a product that provides meaningful, bipartisan relief."