Collaboration Between Credit Unions and NWCUA Moves the Needle on the Regulatory Front

Whether for the greater good or an individual credit union’s needs, your Association’s Regulatory Advocacy team goes the distance to remove regulatory barriers.

John Trull, NWCUA Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy.

2/5/2019

When the National Credit Union Administration proposed a Payday Alternative Loan Program last year, an impacted Northwest Credit Union Association member reached out to John Trull, Vice President, Regulatory Advocacy.

Payday alternatives are an important piece of the credit union’s growth strategy, so the staff wanted its voice heard. While few Northwest credit unions were impacted at the time, one member’s interest was enough to ignite Trull. He convened a conference call between NWCUA, NCUA, and the member credit union to suggest improvements to the proposal.

“It is important for those writing the rules to clearly understand the impact of the rules on practitioners,” Trull said. “We have industry leaders located in the Northwest who are pioneering fast, safe, and affordable short-term small dollar loans and we want to ensure that the NCUA has the opportunity to learn from their knowledge and experience.”

Your Association’s regulatory focus is also directed at improving laws and rules that impact larger numbers of credit unions. For example, the Northwest Credit Union Movement aggressively advocated last year for passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act-S. 2155. Immediately after the measure was signed into law, Northwest advocates successfully urged the NCUA and Washington’s Department of Financial Institutions to quickly adopt a provision from the new law which excludes loans on certain rental units from the aggregate business lending cap. This is already freeing up capital for Northwest credit unions to loan to Main Street businesses in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Your Association has also successfully positioned credit unions to receive NCUA and Community Development Financial Institutions grants. Last year, after seeking input from credit unions, NWCUA filed seven comment letters with regulators, urging improvements to proposed rules. NWCUA frequently connects regulators and credit union leaders face-to-face by arranging personal meetings with NCUA Board members during the Spring Hike the Hill and at the annual MAXX Convention where regulators serve on panels.

The collaboration between credit unions and NWCUA resulted in multiple regulatory “wins” in 2018; here are a few results:

  • Reduction in the number of board meetings required in Oregon;
  • Worked with CUNA Mutual Group and the Idaho Department of Finance on a technical statutory change that ensures bonding requirements are consistent with federal laws; and
  • Removed rental properties from the business lending cap for state-chartered credit unions.

Trull anticipates a busy 2019, focusing on issues such as non-member deposits, secondary capital, and advocacy to ensure a fair and accurate low-income qualification process.

The mission of your Association’s regulatory advocacy is to ensure that legislators and regulators are passing laws and implementing rules that help credit unions to better serve their members, Trull noted, and to prevent rules that create unnecessary regulatory burdens.

“Thanks to strong collaboration with our members, and established relationships with state and federal regulators, we are successful in this mission,” Trull said.

Editor’s note: John Trull works closely with members of NWCUA’s Regulatory Advisory Sub-Committee, and is also available to discuss regulatory opportunities with any member credit union. Reach out via email, [email protected] or by calling 800.995.9064 x209.