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News Now

Washington
April 10 Hearing Could Lead To Reg Relief Rewards
WASHINGTON (4/9/13)--Credit unions could ultimately reap regulatory relief as a result of Wednesday's House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing, John Magill, executive vice president of government affairs for the Credit Union National Association, said on Monday.

The Wednesday hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (ET), shows that lawmakers have heard the pleas of credit unions and other community-based financial institutions and are preparing to act to address these needs, CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan added.

The credit union regulatory relief hearing is one way that House Financial Services Committee members are soliciting ideas for legislation they feel they could move through the House, he said. CUNA's witness, Pamela Stephens, will present a full slate of CUNA-backed regulatory changes that legislators could act on to aid credit unions. (See related News Now story: Extensive CUNA Reg Reform List To Be Offered Wednesday.)  Stephens is the CEO of Security One FCU, Arlington, Texas.

The House could use these and other credit union regulatory relief measures as part of a smaller legislative package, or could compile a larger bill full of credit union and bank regulatory relief provisions, Donovan said.

"Right now, we are getting the ideas out on the table. Ours not an exhaustive list, but it's a start, and we're grateful that the committee is engaging in this process.

"We will support any of these concepts that make it into the Senate," Donovan added.

Donovan said Senate Banking Committee members have also indicated they are open to reducing regulatory burdens for credit unions. However, Donovan noted, they have not yet this year developed as formal of a process as the House committee, where regulatory relief and reducing regulatory burden have been areas of emphasis for new House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

CUNA is talking with bank representatives to stake out common ground on regulatory issues, and has also spoken with the NCUA on aspects of this week's testimony.

Overall, Magill said, the U.S. Congress likely wants to "get something done" and pass things of this nature to help their constituents.

Other hearings this week of credit union interest include two on Wednesday:

  • A House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on sustainable housing finance; and
  • A House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government hearing on Small Business Administration oversight.
The House Thursday hearing schedule includes:
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on the International Monetary Fund;
  • Separate House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee hearings on President Barack Obama's 2014 budget; and
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets hearing on derivatives.


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