CUNA support letters filed on privacy notice, CFPB exam, open meetings

March 16, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/17/15)--A trio of bills that would ease the regulatory burdens on credit unions and other community financial institutions has received support from CUNA. In letters sent Monday, CUNA expressed support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Examination and Reporting Act (S. 482), the Privacy Notice Modernization Act (S. 423) and the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 1265)

S. 482 would raise the CFPB examinations threshold to $50 billion in total assets, up from the current $10 billion threshold. CUNA supports the bill because, though only a small number of credit unions fall above the current threshold, raising the cap would be recognition that credit unions have a "different incentive structure" as not-for-profit financial institutions.

"We believe the legislation could be even stronger if it included a provision providing for automatic adjustment of the threshold indexed for inflation," reads the letter, signed by CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "There is additional public policy merit to raising this threshold: it would cause the Bureau to focus its resources more directly on the larger institutions and those that were previously unregulated, while still ensuring the examination of the institutions that serve the greatest number of consumers."

Institutions affected by the bill would continue to be subject to CFPB rules and would continue to be examined for compliance with these rules by their prudential regulators.

The Privacy Notice Modernization Act would eliminate the requirement that financial institutions send privacy notices annually and require notices only to be sent when the privacy policy of the financial institution has changed.

"In addition to enhancing the value of these privacy notifications for consumers, your legislation also reduces regulatory burden for credit unions," Nussle wrote.

S. 423 passed the House in both the 112th and 113th Congress and had 76 bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate last Congress.

CUNA also sent a letter Monday in support of H.R. 1265, which would open CFPB advisory committee meetings to the public.

"We feel these meetings should be open to public observation as they provide an important forum for credit union representatives to share concerns and provide practical guidance to the agency on operational and public policy issues," Nussle wrote.