CUNA attends CUAC meeting on CFPB outlook

March 25, 2016

WASHINGTON (3/25/16)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and several of its member credit unions were on hand Thursday during a meeting of the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). Established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the CUAC generally meets twice a year.

Director Richard Cordray provided opening remarks and participated in the discussions throughout the meeting. During the meeting, several issues outlined in the CFPB’s strategic outlook were discussed.

In the discussions, several CUAC members questioned the bureau about rulemakings that have, or could, impact credit union operations and members. For example, a CUAC member questioned whether a forthcoming arbitration rulemaking, which will likely result in more class-action lawsuits, will actually benefit credit union members, or instead the plaintiffs’ bar.

The Dodd-Frank Act required the CFPB to study arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts prior to regulating the clauses to determine if new rules were even justified. While the CFPB executed such a study, CUNA has told the bureau that the study failed to address important questions. 

Another member of the committee noted that any upcoming debt collection rules from the bureau have to balance allowing credit unions to continue to contact members about outstanding debts, noting there should be different considerations for those who don’t want to pay their debts, as opposed to those who actually cannot because of a financial struggle. It was emphasized that communication with members is best for all involved.

One member said he had hoped the bureau would give credit unions a “breather” to digest the rules the CFPB has already put out affecting credit unions, before beginning to work through the lengthy agenda encompassed in the strategic outlook.

The agenda also included a discussion of elder financial abuse.

The CUAC assembles experts to give the CFPB the credit union perspective on various issues. Last year, six individuals from CUNA member credit unions were named to the council, and several other CUNA members already sit on the council.

A recording of Thursday’s meeting will be posted on the CFPB’s website in the coming weeks.