Senate Banking Cmte passes CUNA-backed reg relief bill

December 5, 2017

The Senate Banking Committee voted 16-7 to pass the CUNA-backed, bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155). CUNA strongly supports the bill, which contains several regulatory relief provisions for credit unions.

“Advancing this bill through committee is a strong first step, but credit unions must remain engaged and keep up the momentum to get this bill to the finish line,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We saw at the markup that the regulatory relief measures in this bill have strong bipartisan support, and CUNA will continue its advocacy push to help move this bill forward."

Most notably, a credit union-specific provision in S. 2155 would exempt one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residential loans from a credit union’s member business lending cap, freeing up to as much as $4 billion in additional capital credit unions could lend.

Other provisions would also offer regulatory relief through changes to mortgage servicing and lending rules, help protect credit union employees who report suspected elder financial abuse and require the Treasury to study cyber risks. These provisions are consistent with the goals of CUNA's bipartisan, pro-consumer Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation.

Many members of the committee specifically noted the bill’s tailored approach to credit unions and other community financial institutions.

“This bill is a good first step in the right direction, common-sense regulatory reform for small and mid-size community banks and credit unions,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “Community banks and credit unions, it's been said repeatedly, did not cause the crisis, and a one-size-fits all rule package is not what we need.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said the winners of this bill are “consumers who have been caught in the crossfire of more protection, but less access [to financial services].”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), said the bill makes appropriate changes to the Dodd-Frank Act without undermining it.

“I think the basic tenets of Dodd-Frank will stand test of time. But after seven years, it needs some revisions,” he said. “I believe what we’re doing here is an effort to help Main Street by rolling back regulations on community banks, credit unions and some regional banks.