CUNA Advocacy Update

CALL TO ACTION on FASB’s Credit Impairment Proposal:

As we’ve reported, FASB is in the final stages of reviewing a proposed standard that would drastically change the accounting method for assessing credit impairment. The proposal, which is expected to be finalized by June, would require a forward-looking “current expected credit loss”—or CECL—model instead of the current “incurred loss” approach.

While CUNA has conveyed concerns with the proposal to FASB through several letters and in-person meetings, FASB is a non-governmental body and can be more difficult to persuade than governmental agencies. Therefore, we are calling on credit unions to share their concerns directly with FASB. To facilitate your input, we have activated our Voter Voice Grassroots Action Center. To make it easy to send comments to FASB Chairman Russell Golden, the Action Center includes a draft letter that can be modified or sent as is. 

This is an important issue for all credit unions. Not only will the proposed standard present compliance challenges for all credit unions, it will also likely require an immediate increase to credit unions’ loan loss reserves. We appreciate your participation in trying to improve this proposal. 

This Week on Capitol Hill:

The House is expected to consider the “SENSE Act” (H.R. 3797) and the “Small Business Broadband Deployment Act” (H.R. 4596). The Senate may resume consideration of the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” (S. 2012). In addition, both the House and Senate are expected to consider legislation to extend the authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration. 

As usual, we are following several hearings on both sides of the Capitol, including the following: 

Tuesday 

  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on pending nominations. 

Wednesday 

  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).? Director Richard Cordray will testify. 

Cordray to Testify Before House Financial Services Committee:

On Wednesday, Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will make his semiannual appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. As usual, he is expected to receive sharp questions from both sides of the aisle regarding the Bureau’s rulemaking and supervisory actions. In recent weeks, we have pressed Congress and the Bureau with our concern that the CFPB is not using its statutory exemption authority as fully as it could. We believe Congress gave the agency broad authority to tailor its regulations to the abusers of consumers, but the Bureau has been very reluctant to use it as such. Although the plain reading of the statutory authority is pretty clear, the CFPB Director indicated at CUNA’s GAC that he has dismissed our argument, indicating that our view is not shared by Congress.   

Prior to the hearing, we expect the House of Representatives to weigh in with the Bureau in the form of a bipartisan letter signed by a very significant majority of the chamber. The House will tell the Bureau that it wants to make sure that credit unions and small banks are able to serve their members and customers, and that the Bureau should consider using its statutory exemption authority with greater alacrity. 

This letter is going to be significant for a number of reasons, and we will have a lot of information and analysis available once it has been sent. It also represents a key step in a multilayered strategy of continually pressing this issue with Congress and the Bureau.

Pending Regulatory Comment Calls:

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:

Issue Comment Period Deadline

Agency

CUNA Staff Contact

HMDA Resubmission Guidelines

March 14, 2016 CFPB Andy Price
Enterprise Duty to Serve Underserved Markets March 17, 2016 FHFA Andy Price
EGRPRA Review March 22, 2016 NCUA Andy Price

NCUA Draft 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan

March 28, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle

BSA CTR Revised Layout & Additional Data Fields

April 4, 2016 FinCEN Luke Martone
Overhead Transfer Rate Methodology April 26, 2016 NCUA Andy Price
Operating Fee Methodology April 26, 2016 NCUA Andy Price

NCUA Chairman Matz Announces Resignation:

Chairman Matz notified President Obama in a letter that her resignation would be effective April 30, 2016. [More

NCUA Says Extended Exam Cycle Possible, But Not Until After 2017: 

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz responded to a February letter signed by more than two dozen U.S. House members from both parties,?urging?the agency to extend its examination cycle for certain credit unions. ?In the letter, Chairman Matz told the lawmakers that the NCUA will be in a better position to consider an extended examination cycle once new processes and procedures are in place by the end of 2017. [More

TILA/RESPA Rulemaking: 

Many have asked how long the TILA/RESPA relaxed regulatory enforcement period articulated in a letter by the CFPB and other agencies will be in effect. In conversations with the CFPB, they have stated that all of the agencies will continue with the restrained enforcement approach for the near future; however, there is no formal end date articulated at this point. The CFPB acknowledges that there are ongoing transitional issues with the TILA/RESPA rule. CUNA is continuing to work with the CFPB to get more formalized guidance on many of these outstanding issues. 

Over on the Removing Barriers Blog: 

CFPB Publishes Winter 2016 Supervisory HighlightsCredit Union Advisory Council Meeting will be Held this Month… Preparations for the 2016 National Conference of State Legislatures Meeting Begin… Study Shows Credit Unions Offer More Consumer Friendly Options for Checking Accounts than Banks… Credit Union Bills Await Governors’ Signatures in Florida, Indiana and Virginia.

Posted in Article Post.