CUNA Advocacy Update – Week of October 10, 2017

So, let’s take some time here to break it down a bit. In the last four weeks, together – CUNA, Leagues and credit unions – we have:

  • Stripped a provision from an appropriations bill that would have subjected NCUA to the appropriations process and given Congress a backdoor way of taxing credit unions;
  • Staved off a NCUSIF premium assessment and obtained rebates for credit unions in 2018;
  • Won a judgement providing monetary and injunctive relief to credit unions as a result of Home Depot’s data breach;
  • Sued Equifax following their data breach;
  • Obtained significant improvements to the CFPB’s small dollar rule, ensuring credit unions can continue to offer short term, small dollar loans to their members while making it more difficult for the for-profit storefront and on-line lenders to abuse consumers; and
  • Filed a petition with the FCC seeking specific relief for credit unions from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

All of this comes at a time when things in Washington are as uncertain as they have ever been. This is what is possible with the 360-degree advocacy strategy employed by CUNA, Leagues and credit unions.

And we’re not done yet – not by a long shot. This week, the House Financial Services Committee is going to consider two dozen bills, many of which are part of our Campaign for Commonsense Regulation. In the coming weeks, the Senate Banking Committee is expected to consider ‘economic development’ legislation, that will hopefully serve as a vehicle for meaningful regulatory relief. For the second year in a row, the NCUA will hold a hearing on its budget. We’re organizing credit unions to join our class action lawsuit against Equifax. We need credit unions to engage in comments on our petition on the TCPA. And, we’re engaged with Congress and the administration as attention turns to tax reform.

It’s a great time advocate for credit unions – and it’s time for everyone to get engaged! We’ll discuss all of this and more in this week’s Advocacy Update!

What’s Happening in Washington this Week
The Senate is in recess this week but the House of Representatives is in session and a busy week is expected! The House Financial Services Committee plans to hold a marathon markup of a number of bills – we will be sending a letter to the Committee highlighting the legislation we support.

Read more about what is scheduled to happen in Washington this week here!

TCPA Petition: FCC Opens CUNA’s Petition for Comment
Big news came out of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday! The FCC opened CUNA’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Petition for comment. This comes only a week after CUNA’s Petition was filed—we are grateful that the FCC has taken our concerns very seriously.

Register Now: CUNA will host a members-only webinar on October 11 at 3pm ET to discuss the FCC petition, ways credit unions can participate in the process and hear industry attorneys explain how the statute impacts credit unions’ ability to communicate with members. [Read more here]

CUNA and Leagues See Major Improvement in Updated Small Dollar Rule
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its final rule on payday and small dollar lending last week. CUNA is still analyzing the 1,600-page rule, but it appears that many of our concerns and specific recommendations have been addressed. CUNA had numerous concerns with the rule as originally proposed, not least of which was that it could rob consumers of safe and affordable credit union alternatives to predatory loans. [Read more here]

CUNA and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Meet with NCUA and CFPB
Members of CUNA’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee were in Washington, DC for an in-person meeting where they had the chance to discuss the need for regulatory relief amongst each other and with both the NCUA and the CFPB.

Prior to the agency meetings, CUNA sent a letter to both the NCUA and CFPB asking for their support of the TCPA petition CUNA filed with the FCC. In addition to summarizing the petition, both letters outlined CUNA’s concern with the TCPA, including the confusion it is creating with regard to how credit unions can communicate with members. [Read more here]

Former CEO/Chairman of Equifax was in the Hot Seat at Four Congressional Hearings Last Week
Last week, Richard Smith, former CEO/Chairman of Equifax, was the lone witness in four Congressional hearings. Prior to the hearings, CUNA wrote to each Committee’s leadership urging Congress to ensure consumers affected by the breach are notified. The letters also informed the Committees of CUNA’s intent to file a lawsuit against Equifax in order to protect credit unions and their 110 million members from harm resulting from the data breach. [Read more here]

CUNA and Counsel Brief CUs on Options Post Data Breach
CUNA and outside counsel discussed credit unions’ legal rights in the wake of the Equifax data breach, including potential participation in class action lawsuits, with more than 500 credit unions in a call on Tuesday. CUNA filed a lawsuit against Equifax as a result of the breach. [Read more here]

CUNA Participates in Treasury Summit
CUNA participated in the Treasury Department’s “Cut the Red Tape” summit to discuss ways the agency might facilitate regulatory relief for financial institutions and other entities. CUNA’s Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer & Senior Counsel Elizabeth Eurgubian was in attendance. The summit included remarks by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and a panel discussion featuring Treasury General Counsel Brent McIntosh, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter and Counselor to the Secretary Craig Phillips. [Read more here]

Pending Regulatory Comments Calls
CUNA plans 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 for each proposal with your feedback.

For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

Issue Comment Period Deadline Agency CUNA Staff Contact
Mortgage Disclosure Requirements under
TILA (Reg Z)
Oct.10, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone
Overdraft Form Prototypes Oct. 31, 2017 CFPB Leah Dempsey
Regulatory Reform Agenda Nov. 20, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Disclosure of Loan-Level HMDA Data Nov. 24, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Credit Card Provisions of MLA Regulation to Take Effect as Scheduled
The DoD responded to a June 21 letter sent jointly by CUNA and several other financial trade associations detailing ongoing issues with the Military Lending Act regulation regarding extensions of credit to servicemembers and their families. The DoD’s letter confirmed that it is “presently working to provide additional clarifying guidance on a number of items highlighted in [the joint] letter through an Interpretive Rule Amendment.”

While CUNA is hopeful the clarifying guidance will address the issues raised over the past year with the DoD regarding the MLA regulation—both related and unrelated to the credit card provisions—it will be of limited use in assisting the industry to prepare by the effective date. [Read more here]

Region 2 Leagues Meet with NCUA Region 2 Leadership to Discuss Key Exam and Regulatory Issues
League leaders that represent credit unions in Region 2 recently met with NCUA Region 2 Leadership in Harrisburg, Pa. to discuss critical exam and regulatory issues facing credit unions. The meeting is hosted annually by one of the Leagues in the Region. This year the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association hosted the group at their headquarters in Harrisburg. Key issues discussed at the meeting included the impact of the extended exam cycle, the implementation of the new MBL rule, the appeals process, accounting treatment of Corporate Stabilization Fund refunds, loan securitization, upcoming new CECL requirements, cybersecurity, Military Lending Act impacts, BSA Compliance, and others. [Read more here]

Over on the Removing Barriers Blog

Interesting Reads

Posted in CUNA.