75% of Congress supports CUNA, league push for reg. relief

July 18, 2016

An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of 70 U.S. senators have added their voices calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to tailor rulemakings to protect credit unions from regulatory burden. The combined advocacy efforts of CUNA and state credit union leagues bring total congressional support from both chambers to 399 signers.

The letter from Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has a similar message as the bipartisan letter signed by 329 members of the U.S. House--led by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)--that was sent to CFPB Director Richard Cordray March 14.

“CUNA and state leagues worked tirelessly together, and as a result we have the backing of 75% of Congress to provide regulatory relief to credit unions, enabling them to better serve America’s 100 million credit union members,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “This bipartisan support, in a time when there are few compromises, is proof that CUNA and the leagues are stronger together in getting our messages heard and acted upon by Congress.

“We thank Sens. Donnelly and Sasse for their leadership in bringing forth this letter, calling for the CFPB to use its authority--granted by Congress--to exempt credit unions from certain rules that should instead be targeted at bad actors.”

“We must ensure that credit unions and community banks are not unduly burdened by compliance, but rather have the ability to maintain their close relationships and continue to offer a wide variety of consumer financial products and services,” reads the senators’ letter to Cordray.

John McKenzie, president of the Indiana Credit Union League, thanked Donnelly for his leadership on the issue.

"Indiana's credit unions are very thankful for Senator Donnelly's leadership on this important issue. Credit unions are being pulled into regulations that are designed to address problems that they were not involved in creating, which doesn't help our 2.3 million Hoosier credit union member-owners," he said. "This letter will help encourage the CFPB to more carefully target its efforts to the largest financial institutions that need more oversight."

The senators’ letter asks CFPB to use its “robust tailoring authority” granted by Section 1022(b)(3)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act. It adds that while consumers should be empowered to take control over their economic lives, and bad actors be rooted out of the financial services marketplace, CFPB should “act accordingly to prevent any unintended consequences that negatively impact community banks and credit unions or unnecessarily limit their ability to serve consumers.”