CUNA Advocacy Update Dec 12, 2016

After a Productive Year in Advocacy, Challenges and Opportunities Lay Ahead:

For many, the end of the year presents a time for reflection and an opportunity to look back over the progress made throughout the preceding twelve months. I’m not sure any of us can remember a year quite like 2016 and I’m confident that we will not soon forget where we were when voters elected Donald Trump, President of the United States, and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

From a credit union advocacy perspective, 2016 was also remarkable. Major victories at NCUA on more than a handful of issues help ensure that credit unions will continue to be able to meet the needs of their members and that consumers across the country will continue to have strong, safe and sound cooperative credit options. Thanks to help from Congress, we made progress toward getting CFPB to acknowledge and attempt to use its statutory exemption authority to mitigate the harmful impact of rules designed for big banks and abusers of consumers on credit unions and their members. Leagues in several states successfully enacted credit union act updates and other legislation designed to ensure credit unions can continue to efficiently and effectively serve their members. Working with our League partners, we continued to hold merchants accountable for data breaches, pursuing legislation in Congress and state legislatures, and litigation in courts. And, we protected the credit union tax status from scrutiny in Congress and attacks in the states. [Read More]

Bye, Bye, Congress:

The House and Senate have finished legislative business for the year and no committee business is scheduled. [Read More]

Surprising No One, ABA Sues NCUA Over FOM:

The American Bankers Association (ABA) filed a lawsuit against the NCUA over the agency’s final field of membership (FOM) rule, which was also published in the Federal Register last week. The lawsuit is very similar to the recent Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) lawsuit against NCUA over the recent final Member Business Lending (MBL) rule. Both lawsuits allege the NCUA has improperly interpreted the Federal Credit Union Act in its recent FOM and MBL rulemakings.

Reacting to the lawsuit, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said “the NCUA acted well within its authority when it issued its field of membership rule. This meritless attack from bankers on the NCUA’s rule completely ignores both the law and the NCUA’s authority to regulate credit unions. The suit completely lacks worth, and CUNA and its partners will vigorously defend the rule on behalf of credit unions and the consumers that will benefit from the changes.” [Read More]

Pending Regulatory Comment Calls: 

CUNA intends to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letters 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
Indemnification Payments December 21, 2016 FHFA Andy Price
Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards–Private Flood Insurance January 6, 2017 Joint Luke Martone
Consumer Access of Financial Records February 17, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone

CUNA, Trades Push CFPB Commission:

CUNA sent a letter to Senate Leadership last week along with the Consumer Bankers of America (CBA), NAFCU, and ICBA urging that the current single director of the CFPB be replaced with a Senate-confirmed, bipartisan board consisting of five members. In the letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and incoming Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the joint trades address concerns that the CFPB presently exercises “unprecedented authority over financial institutions, with minimal oversight,” leading to “regulatory uncertainty for consumers, industry, and the economy.” By contrast, a board structure would offer enhanced stability and bring the CFPB more in line with other regulatory agencies. [Read More]

CUNA Comments on Second FOM Proposal:

CUNA filed a comment letter last week supporting NCUA’s latest proposed FOM rule. The proposal would make two important additional changes to NCUA’s FOM rules. The proposal would increase the population limit from 2.5 million to 10 million when a well-defined local area is based on statistical area and reinstate the narrative model which was removed in the 2010 FOM final rule. [Read More]

Programming Note:

Congress convenes on January 3, 2017. On behalf of CUNA’s Advocacy Team, thank you very much for the honor of representing you before the government and for your participation in and support of our combined efforts. Happy holidays and best wishes for a safe, happy, and productive new year!

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA.