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N.C. CU regulator first to sign MOU with CFPB
WASHINGTON (3/3/11)--The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) between a state credit union regulator and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was signed Wednesday to establish a framework for cooperation and information sharing for oversight mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Elizabeth Warren, head of CFPB, and North Carolina Administrator of Credit Unions Jerry Jay signed the MOU to address information sharing and regulatory coordination between the two entities for oversight of the nation's largest state-chartered credit union, State Employees' Credit Union (SECU), based in Raleigh, N.C. On Tuesday Warren told more than 4,000 credit union representatives attending the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C., that the agency will be an ally to credit unions and help ensure that the movement's goals become reality, and that the bureau will work with credit unions "from the beginning." CFPB was given exclusive authority by the Dodd-Frank Act to examine credit unions and banks with more than $10 billion in assets and all nondepository insitutions regardless of size for consumer protection compliance. It must coordinate its exam schedule with the National Credit Union Administration or state regulators, said Kathy Thompson, CUNA senior vice president for compliance. SECU is one of three credit unions in the nation to exceed the $10 billion asset limit, said Thompson. It is also the only state-chartered credit union at this time to do so, said the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS). The $10 billion cutoff doesn't mean that other credit unions will be hands-off to the bureau, said Thompson. CFPB and state regulators already have formally agreed to promote consistent examination procedures not only for banks but for nondepository institutions such as mortgage brokers, check cashers, payday lenders, finance companies and debt adjustors. CFPB will have to define what nondepository financial entities will it oversee, including privately insured credit unions, she said. CFPB will have access to all examination reports, regardless of credit unions' size or charter, so credit unions can expect more consistent and detailed consumer protection exams by their federal and state regulators, she added. At Wednesday's signing, Jay, who is also a NASCUS board director, said, "The North Carolina Credit Union Division is committed to coordination with the CFPB to fulfill both agencies' statutory and regulatory responsibilities." NASCUS will continue to facilitate the regulatory coordination necessary among state credit union agencies and the CFPB. NASCUS is working with the agency to sign an agreement to establish a framework for sharing information among state credit union regulators and for coordinating certain supervisory activities. "NASCUS will continue to work with the CFPB to facilitate additional agreements for NASCUS state credit union regulators as the agency starts to perform its duties," said NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney.


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