In Congress: CUNA watches CU relief in funding bill, Matz to testify

December 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (12/8/15)--Closely on the heels of last week’s victory on the credit union regulatory relief front, CUNA is monitoring progress of the federal government appropriations bill this week to identify more advocacy wins. The conference committee report is expected this week, and votes are expected before funding for the federal government runs out at midnight Friday.

The Senate-passed version of the bill contains the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 1484), which was introduced by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chair of the Senate Banking Committee. The committee passed the bill in May.

Shelby’s bill contains regulatory relief provisions that would:

  • Allow an independent ombudsman to hear examination concerns;
  • Treat mortgages held in portfolio as qualified mortgages;
  • Remove an escrow for future insurance payments from the points and fees calculation;
  • Allow the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examination threshold of $10 billion to be adjusted for inflation;
  • Call for a study on privacy risks of government publication of personal financial data;
  • Direct federal banking agencies to conduct a study of appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets;
  • Grant lenders a safe harbor until the CFPB can certify its Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act forms do not conflict with state law;
  • Require CFPB advisory meetings to be open to the public;
  • Require the National Credit Union Administration to hold public budget hearings;
  • Ensure FHLB membership for credit unions with under $1 billion in assets will have parity with similar-sized banks; and
  • Ensure a comprehensive regulatory review to identify unnecessary or redundant regulations.

The House passed version of the bill contains a CUNA-backed provision that would fund the CFPB through the appropriations process.

Other items CUNA will be monitoring this week in Congress include:

  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. (ET), House Financial Services Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).” NCUA Chair Debbie Matz and CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in their roles as voting members of the FSOC, will testify; and
  • Tuesday, 2 p.m. (ET), House Financial Services Committee markup. Two credit union regulatory relief bills, the NCUA Budget Transparency Act (H.R. 2287) and the Data Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 2205) will be marked up. For additional coverage of the markup, see “'Removing barriers' bills set for HFSC vote today” in today’s News Now.