Compliance Burden Has Grown by 19,000 Pages since 2009, NWCUA Finds

Nearly 19,000 pages of new regulations, guidelines, rules and instructions affecting credit unions have been put forward by regulators, courts and the Congress in the past three years, according to a new academic study by the Northwest Credit Union Association. This number includes all rules, proposed, passed, and pending.

The sheer size of the compliance burden is staggering, even before the complexity of the rules is taken into account, according to Association CEO John Annaloro.

“These regulations and rules touch on some of the most challenging operational issues that a credit union deals with. Reg. Z, for example, has been changed substantially by Congress and the Fed,” said Annaloro. “The pace of promulgation of these rules is a major burden on our credit unions that must be addressed.”

“We are beginning to actively work with agencies to stem this tide,” he added.

Many of the new rules stem from the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act) of 2009, which was intended to protect consumers from unfair credit card practices, despite the fact that credit unions did not use these tactics. Significantly more rule-making is expected from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as the legislation puts forth more than 200 new regulatory directives for financial institutions, as well as a new regulatory bureaucracy—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

VP Mark Minickiello shows the extent of the burden

The size of the burden is notable: the 18,751 pages of new proposed regulations, laws, guidance, and new forms promulgated by federal agencies placed end-to-end would reach over 3.26 miles; weigh over 187 pounds; and, if stacked, standing 6’7” tall—about the height of NBA star LeBron James.

The Federal Reserve Board is the major contributor, with 6,430 pages of regulation, while Congress and NCUA follow closely behind, with 3,362 and 2,334 pages respectively.

The Northwest Credit Union Association is focused on helping to ease the burden of unnecessary regulation and strike a fair balance between needed reforms and the increasing weight of compliance.  

Questions about the regulatory burden? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465 or email us at

Posted in Business Solutions, Compliance News, Industry Insight, NCUA.