Senate bill 'strong' step toward improving federal exam process

March 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/19/15)--Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) Wednesday reintroduced a bill (S. 774) intended to enhance safety and soundness by increasing the consistency and fairness of the regulatory examination system.

CUNA supports the legislation as a needed step toward improving the federal examination process, and testified in support of it as recently as yesterday's House Financial Services Committee hearing on regulatory relief.  (See related story: HFSC leaders invite strong relief bills: CUNA testifies ).

"This is a needed step toward improving the federal examination process that would provide regulatory relief to credit unions," said Jim Nussle, president/CEO of CUNA. "Examinations should be based on the laws Congress passes and the regulations that NCUA enacts, not on examiner interpretation of 'best practice' or guidance."

The 2015 exam fairness bill is nearly identical to the senators' 2013 legislation and would:

  • Make available to financial institutions the information used to make decisions in their examination;
  • Codify certain examination policy guidance; and
  • Establish an ombudsman at the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to which financial institutions could raise concerns with respect to their examination.

CUNA has said that the legislation will help to ensure the federal financial institution regulatory agencies conduct fair exams for those they supervise, which are consistent with the law and regulation and ensure safety and soundness. 

The group's leader, Nussle, sent a strong letter of support for the bill, applauding the chief sponsors' leadership. Nussle also said CUNA would like to work with the lawmakers and their staffs to enhance the legislation as it goes through the legislative process.