CUNA Advocacy Update

CFPB Small Dollar Proposed Rule to be Released This Week: This is an issue in which CUNA has been extraordinarily active in our advocacy on behalf of credit unions. In the last year, we have published nearly 30 blog posts on our efforts, chronicling some of the countless meetings we have had with CFPB staff, NCUA, SBA Office of Advocacy, and Congressional officials on this issue. In the aftermath of the final HMDA rule and in anticipation of this and other forthcoming CFPB rules, CUNA purposefully took a more aggressive approach to protecting credit union products and services, in an attempt to improve what we feared would be a devastating proposal for credit unions trying to serve members in the small dollar loan market. This included several op-eds raising our concerns publicly, and the very successful Schiff-Stivers letter on CFPB exemption authority.

As we prepare for the new proposal, here is a look back at some of the major efforts over the last few months:

NCUA Prioritizes Supervisory Improvements: As a result of several years of CUNA-League advocacy on examination fairness, we are beginning to see meaningful progress at NCUA. In his initial Board meeting as chair, NCUA Chairman Rick Metsger prioritized several projects that will have a large impact on credit unions and how they interact with the NCUA. This includes the Enterprise Solutions Modernization Program that will include upgrades and enhancements to the Call Report System, ARIES System, CU Online, and others. Further, Chairman Metsger has directed the agency to modernize its examination and supervision program having assigned Regional Director Keith Morton to lead the Exam Flexibility Initiative. Last week, during a meeting we had previously scheduled with Larry Fazio from the NCUA, Fazio indicated this is likely a two to four-year project with many moving parts.

CUNA is developing an advocacy strategy similar to the successful approach taken for Risk Based Capital – the difference, of course, is that this time we’re trying to take something that could be very positive and make it even better. We will be working closely with our Advocacy Committee, its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, our League partners, Council members and member credit unions to develop a set of principles to guide us through the process, and we will be working to make sure that NCUA hears from staff and volunteers at credit unions that work most closely with examiners and call reports. Throughout the process, we will be interested in working with and hearing from you because it is important that, at the end of what could be a significantly comprehensive process, we end up with a system that reduces the burden on credit unions, properly modernizes the overall supervisory process, and results in an overall stronger credit union system. [More]

Adjustment in Call Report Deadline Will Help Credit Unions:  With the announcement that NCUA is moving the 2nd quarter call report deadline by one day, credit unions will see the first tangible piece of supervisory relief from Chairman Metsger’s term.  NCUA said that credit unions would see modest relief in July, with the expectation that NCUA’s call report deadline would reach full parity with the federal banking regulators by the 1st quarter of 2017. [More]  

Arbitration Rule Open for Comment: The CFPB is proposing sweeping changes to the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. In October 2015, the CFPB published Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) proposals in conjunction with a Small Business Review panel. The CFPB’s proposed rule will be open for a 90-day public comment period ending on August 22, 2016.  Please visit our comment call page for more information about this rule, and to read our comment call.  [More]

Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Bill with CUNA-backed CFPB changes: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved its draft appropriations bill last week, which includes a number of positive provisions for credit unions, including CUNA-supported provisions to change the structure of the CFPB, and increased or stable amounts for certain credit union development funds. [More]

States Continue Expanding Charters: Bills with new credit union powers recently arrived on the desks of Governors in Illinois, Missouri and South Carolina. These powers range from the ability to form network credit unions, to the authority to conduct prize-linked savings programs. [More]

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
Exemptions from TCPA for Government Debts June 6, 2016 FCC Leah Dempsey
Student Loan Borrower Communications June 12, 2016 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Occupancy Rule June 27, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System July 5, 2016 FFIRC Andy Price
Joint Incentive Based Compensation Rule July 22, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
2016 Regulatory Review August 8, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Arbitration Clauses August 22, 2016 CFPB Leah Dempsey

Over on the Removing Barriers Blog CUNA comments on National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s proposal on odometer disclosure requirementsPennsylvania credit unions meet with the CFPB… NCUA holds listening session on sustaining minority depository institutions… CFPB provides details about protecting older account holders

And, finally… Last week, I hosted a meeting with League Governmental Affairs Professionals (GAPs) from the Northeast and Rustbelt states. During the meeting, someone asked me, “if there is one thing a credit union could do for advocacy this summer, what would it be?” Find out the answer here.

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