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Warren initiates meeting with San Diego CUs
SAN DIEGO (3/29/11)--Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration's point person for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), took time out from a community bankers’ national convention to meet with California credit union leaders last week. Warren, in the San Diego area for the Independent Community Banks National Convention, met with local credit union executives at the headquarters of $4.9 billion-asset San Diego County CU. Nine credit union representatives attended the meeting, including Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. Warren initiated the meeting and emphasized the integrity of credit unions in the wake of a financial disaster created in part by dishonest financial services companies, Dykstra said. Dykstra told News Now that Warren is intent on building regulation from “the inside out” with the CFPB, focusing on regulations that work for financial institutions with a history of serving consumers’ needs. “The idea that resonated is that credit unions are the good guys here,” Dykstra said. “We do a lot of things well and we do things the right way. The bureau isn’t there to punish us. She is saying let’s start with the financial institutions that are doing things the right way and work out from there, instead of creating a long list of regulations that primarily focus on a few big players, but make life difficult for the smaller players.” Warren stressed that the CFPB was created to serve consumers first, Dykstra said. Warren said the bureau’s most immediate areas of focus are making the Credit Card Act and Truth in Lending navigable for consumers. “At the end of the day she wants consumers to have a clear understanding of the credit products they are offered and the ability to compare products from competing financial institutions,” Dykstra said. “That is not currently the case.” Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney has asked Warren to join those who are requesting a delay in implementation of the Federal Reserve's interchange fee changes. CUNA representatives and Warren have also discussed the regulatory burden faced by credit unions and other issues. Cheney has recommended that Warren consider adding a formal regulatory-burden-monitoring function to the CFPB's pending Office of Community Banks and Credit Unions. Warren spoke at CUNA’s 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference in early March.


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