CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report

CUNA Looking for Credit Unions to Participate in Cost of Regulation Study

CUNA has commissioned Cornerstone Advisors to conduct a major study on the cost of regulation on credit unions, and we seek your assistance as we work to develop a comprehensive picture of the costs of regulation and regulatory compliance. 

The study will include two phases: Phase I will involve an in-depth analysis of three credit unions; and Phase II will be a survey of all credit unions, with the questionnaire based on what we learn in Phase I. Here are some of the criteria we will be looking at when selecting the three credit unions to be subjects in Phase I:

  • Asset size. We need one credit union from each of the following asset-size ranges:
    • $25 million – $75 million,
    • $250 million – $750 million, and
    • Over $1 billion.
  • Charter type. We need at least one state-chartered and one federally-chartered credit union.
  • Service offerings. The credit union should offer a wide range of services, including being an active mortgage lender.
  • Field of membership. We’ll be looking for both occupational and associational credit unions.
  • In-person meetings. Analysts will need to meet with and interview the credit union’s CEO and several staffers with various responsibilities.
  • Information requests. Prior to the in-person visits, the credit union will need to provide quite a bit of information to the analysts, including copies of strategic plans, lists of regulatory related projects undertaken since 2010, estimates of the number of staff devoted to compliance related activities, estimates of various expense items, committee reports, etc.

Since there will be only three participants in this first phase, it is vital that we select well, and that the three volunteers are willing to devote the considerable time and effort necessary to make the study a success. While we plan to keep the identities of each of the three participants confidential, at the credit union’s request, we may consider publicizing that credit union’s identity.

If your credit union is interested in participating or you have any comments or questions, please contact CUNA at RegRelief@cuna.coop

Reminder: Deadline to Apply for CFPB’s Councils is Approaching

As noted in last week’s Regulatory Advocacy Report, the CFPB is accepting applications for vacancies on the Consumer Advisory Board and the Credit Union Advisory Council until February 28. New members of the councils will begin their terms in the fall of 2015. Here is the application and reference material on the application process.

To help maximize the likelihood that pro-active credit union representatives are selected for these vacancies, we encourage those who are interested in applying to coordinate with CUNA. So far, we’ve been contacted by about a dozen credit union officials who plan to apply for a position on one of the councils.

While the CFPB is accepting nominations until February 28, we ask folks who are interested to contact CUNA by tomorrow (February 19) so we can coordinate and assist with your application if necessary.

CUNA Seeks Comment on NCUA’s Stress Testing Proposal

CUNA seeks your input on NCUA’s Capital Planning and Stress Testing proposed rule. Beginning tomorrow, we will be accepting comments through our Comment Call, which will be available here. The proposed rule would change the required dates for NCUA’s capital planning and stress testing requirements. It also would make a few other non-substantive changes to the current rule. Only credit unions with assets over $10 billion are subject to the proposal. CUNA requests your feedback by March 20; comments are due to NCUA by March 27.

NCUA Hosts Webinar with CFPB

Last week, NCUA hosted a joint webinar along with the CFPB. Among the participants were CFPB Director Richard Cordray and NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. NCUA and CFPB staff answered questions on a variety of topics.

NCUA Chairman Matz recently formed two working groups, one on supplemental capital and the other on field of membership (FOM). The FOM group is inventorying the issues brought up by the credit union community and examining policy and regulatory changes that can be made regarding FOM within the parameters of the Federal Credit Union Act. The Supplemental Capital working group is reviewing what can be changed through regulation or legislation and will seek public feedback in the coming months.

Matz said she supports “raising or eliminating” the member business lending cap, currently at 12.25% of a credit union’s assets but said any changes must be statutory and come from Congress. The agency is analyzing comments on its fixed-assets proposal, and Matz said it hopes to have a final rule “in the next couple of months.” Cordray said the CFPB has expanded its definition of “rural” creditors from a proposal covering 9.9% of the population, to one covering roughly 22% of the population. The CFPB is considering standardizing and streamlining disclosures on prepaid credit cards. Cordray also said looking at overdraft products is “in the queue” at the Bureau, but there is no timeline on any potential guidance or rulemaking.

For those who missed the webinar, NCUA should be posting a link sometime in the upcoming weeks.

CFPB Targets Deceptive Mortgage Marketing Advertisements

Last week, the CFPB took action against three separate mortgage companies for misrepresenting United States Government affiliation. The CFPB, working in connection with the Federal Trade Commission, conducted a “sweep,” where the agencies reviewed about 800 randomly selected mortgage-related ads across the country, including ads for mortgage loans, refinancing, and reverse mortgages. The agencies looked at publically facing ads in newspapers, on the Internet, and on mail solicitations. Some came to the attention of the CFPB and the FTC from consumer complaints, as well. The focus of the review was to determine whether companies were violating the 2011 Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule, which prohibits misleading claims in mortgage advertising, including implying a government affiliation. Credit unions must comply with the advertising requirements and prohibitions within the rule, as well. For more information on the actions taken by the CFPB, click here.

Current CUNA Regulatory Calls to Action

  • CFPB Issues Amendments to 2013 Mortgage Rules under RESPA (Reg X) and TILA (Reg Z) (comments due by March 16)
  • NCUA Seeks Input on its EGRPRA Regulatory Review (comments due by March 19)
  • CFPB Proposes Prepaid Card Rule (comments due by March 23)
  • CFPB Issues Proposal on Rural and Underserved Areas (comments due by March 30)
  • CFPB Proposes Safe Student Account Scorecard (comments due by March 30)
  • NCUA Issues New Risk-Based Capital Proposal (RBC2) (comments due by April 27)

For other items of interest, visit CUNA’s Regulatory Advocacy page.

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