CUNA Regulatory Update

Congress and state legislatures are back in session. The president will visit Capitol Hill to deliver his final State of the Union Address. Field of Membership remains open for comment and more letters from credit unions and Congress continue to stream in. CUNA and League action keeps credit unions exempt under a new tax bill and a reporter asked us what we thought about the Dodd-Frank Act. All of this and more in this week’s CUNA Advocacy Update…

In Congress:

The Senate returns to session for the first time this year, and is expected to conduct a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 2232, legislation which would provide for an audit of the Federal Reserve. The House is expected to consider H.R.1644, the “Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act”; H.R.3662, the “Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act”; and S.J.Res.22, providing for congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, U.S. Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

State of the Union:

Tomorrow night, Congress will meet in joint session to receive the president’s annual State of the Union Address, the last of the Obama administration.

In Committee:

On Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee Housing and Insurance Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Opportunities and Challenges Facing the National Flood Insurance Program.” On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee Housing and Insurance Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “How to Create a More Robust and Private Flood Insurance Marketplace.”

Your Comments and Feedback Help Remove Barrieres

CUNA intends to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letter to have the greatest impact, we need to hear from you. Please consider whether and how these proposals would affect your credit union, and contact the CUNA staff listed with each proposal with your feedback

We encourage Leagues and credit unions to use PowerComment to file comment letters with regulators. For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

Regulatory Impact Assessment & Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis regarding FinCEN’s Customer Due Diligence Proposal DJanuary 25, 2016 FinCEN Luke Martone
Field of Membership February 8, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Views on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity February 9, 2016 NIST Lance Noggle
Rules & Regulations Under the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers’ Claims & Defenses (The Holder Rule) February 12, 2016 FTC Leah Dempsey
Enterprise Duty to Serve Underserved Markets March 17, 2016 FHFA Andy Price
EGRPRA Review March 22, 2016 NCUA Andy Price

Field of Membership Comments Needed:

The February 8 deadline for comments on NCUA’s Field of Membership Proposal is quickly approaching. So far, the response has been very good : more than 1100 comment letters have been filed, mostly by individuals in support of the proposal. But we need to keep this up. In the coming week, we hope more credit unions will file substantive comments on the proposal, and we anticipate having our comment letter filed before the end of the month. If you have points or perspective you hope CUNA will share in its comment letter, please let Elizabeth Eurgubian or me know soon.

2016 Regulatory Outlook:

Payday lending, overdraft protection, debt collection, arbitration, prepaid cards, overtime, and the definition of fiduciary will each be subject of rulemakings in 2016. Check out the outlook for 2016 here.

New Tax Bill Exempts Credit Unions:

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), a strong credit union supporter and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is preparing to introduce new comprehensive tax reform legislation. CUNA and The California Credit Union League staff have been meeting with his staff for several months to ensure that the bill does not inadvertently extend new tax requirements to credit unions. [Read More ]

State Legislatures Convene Sessions:

By the close of this week legislatures in 34 states will be in session. State credit union leagues are engaging policymakers to protect credit unions’ tax status and decrease credit unions’ regulatory burdens. Leagues are also seeking to strengthen credit unions with increased authorities and greater parity with federal credit unions and other state financial institutions.[ Read More]

Heartland Credit Union Association Sends Ambitious Agenda to Show Me State Legislature:

When Missouri’s legislature convened on Wednesday, January 6, lawmakers were met with legislation, H 1721, that would permit the supervisory committees of state chartered credit unions to align their examination procedures with those of federally chartered credit unions. The intent of the measure is to provide parity and ensure state chartered credit unions and federally chartered credit unions fall under the same account verification requirements. The Heartland Credit Union Association (HCUA) supports the bill and views it as an improvement for Missouri credit unions as they currently have to do a full verification while federal charters do not. Under federal law, credit unions are required to perform account verification once every two years, either by statistical sampling or by 100% verification.

A HCUA-backed prize linked savings bill, S 833, was also introduced. The bill allows federally insured financial institutions, including credit unions, to offer prize linked savings or savings promotion programs. These programs are designed to motivate participants to save money by offering cash prizes linked to their savings account(s). The more a participant saves, the more opportunities they have to win. Participants retain the savings, even if they don’t win a prize. Also in Missouri, two bills, H 1881 and S 647, were introduced that would impose new restrictions on payday lending. The new restrictions would include limitations on the number of simultaneous loans made to borrowers and new notice requirements that lenders must provide to borrowers. [ Read More]

Over on the Removing Barriers Blog…

Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) writes NCUA in support of the Field of Membership proposal… CUNA contributions inform GAO study on Dodd-Frank Regulatory BurdenCFPB provides clarity regarding privacy notices… CUNA sends comment letter to FinCEN asking for more time to respond to a recent request for information.

And Finally…

Last week, a reporter from The Hill asked me how credit unions felt the Dodd-Frank Act was going. I told her, “If the goal was to lead to a gradual reduction of credit unions in the country as a result of an overwhelming regulatory burden in response to a crisis that credit unions didn’t contribute to, then the [Dodd-Frank] was a success. Credit unions, however, would view the law as a failure.” CUNA was the only financial trade association included in the article.

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