NWCUA Meets with DCBS Director Nominee Patrick Allen

Representatives of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) sat down with Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) Director nominee Patrick Allen last week. This provided an opportunity for credit unions to begin expanding Allen’s knowledge and understanding of the credit union difference—he has a background in banking, having worked for US Bank for almost 10 years.

The group spoke about the evolution of credit unions from small organizations based in church basements to sophisticated financial institutions serving communities and businesses. With efficiency and transparency being among Allen’s highest priorities, he expressed interest in continuing to look for ways to streamline DCBS operations and provide even better service.

Credit unions were able to address some ongoing concerns with Allen, including the role of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and their continued encroachment into the affairs of state-chartered credit unions. Joint exams are increasingly tense, and the NCUA continues to attempt grabs into the purview of state regulators. The NWCUA also expressed a desire to partner as it explores potential changes to the state charter.

“We look forward to working with Allen as he moves into his new role,” said NWCUA Director of Regulatory Advocacy Jaycee Winn. “There is a big part for credit unions to play in helping to educate Allen about credit unions and many ways to continue our great working relationship with all of the staff at DCBS.”


Association Continues Outreach to CFPB

Association President Troy Stang welcomed new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray this week, expressing a continued desire for smart financial reforms that help protect the interests of consumers and reduce the mounting regulatory and compliance burden on credit unions.

The Association looks forward to working closely with Cordray and his staff as they work to streamline inherited regulations and begin to regulate previously unregulated industries.


CFPB Rolls Out Nonbank Supervision Program

Shortly after Cordray’s appointment as CFPB director, the CFPB began utilizing its full powers by rolling out its “nonbank supervision program.” The CFPB describes a nonbank as being a “company that offers or provides consumer financial products or services but does not have a bank, thrift, or credit union charter.” The goal of this program is to ensure “banks and nonbanks play by the same rules.”

The CFPB’s program will begin in phases, with the first being supervision of all nonbank businesses, such as payday lenders, mortgage companies, and private student lenders, regardless of size. “Larger participants” in other unregulated markets will soon see CFPB supervision as well—once CFPB defines “larger participant.” These markets will include consumer reporting, debt collection, and auto financing.

While not applicable to credit unions, the Association continues to monitor the activities such as these for any potential impact in the future that could come as a result. More information about the program is available here.


New Proposals Abound

The New Year has been met with a continued onslaught of regulatory proposals. The NWCUA continues to monitor the proposals and will soon be sending out summaries and comment calls on several proposals. The NWCUA has expressed significant concerns about the NCUA’s proposal on loan participations and its seemingly arbitrary limits. The proposal appears to have come out of concern from previous losses; however, loan participations hardly pose a significant systemic risk, and imposing proposed limits on credit unions takes away the ability of each credit union to manage its own risk and serve its members.

In addition, the CFPB has been pumping out proposals and interim final rules as it inherits consumer protection regulations from seven varied agencies. While the interim final rules do not make substantive changes, they have put out a call for input on ways to simplify, update, eliminate or prioritize the revision of those rules. The Association plans to weigh in on this matter and will look to credit unions for thoughts and insight as well.

To see an overview of the current proposals, visit the regulatory advocacy comment call page.


 

The NWCUA Regulatory Advocacy team works with state and federal regulators to help reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions and protect the credit union movement. The Association encourages members to participate in the regulatory process. If you have any questions on these or any regulatory issues, please contact Director of Regulatory Advocacy Jaycee Winn at jwinn@nwcua.org, or at 800.995.9064 x209.

Posted in Advocacy News, NWCUA.