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CFPB will consider CU concerns as agency develops
WASHINGTON (1/7/11)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking at ways to streamline truth in lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) rules, and would welcome Credit Union National Association (CUNA) input on how the regulatory burden on credit unions could be reduced, CFPB official Steve Antonakes told CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney in a recent meeting. Cheney, along with Massachusetts Credit Union League Senior Vice President/General Counsel Mary Ann Clancy, CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard, Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn, and Chief Economist Bill Hampel, met with Antonakes to ensure that credit union concerns about regulatory burdens are considered as the new CFPB is organized. The credit union representatives during the meeting told Antonakes that credit unions are very concerned by compliance costs and the possibility of further compliance burdens for credit unions. During the meeting, Antonakes noted that credit unions did not cause the financial crisis, and, in fact, “have served as a source of strength for their members” during the ongoing economic recovery. If the CFPB’s actions result in increased costs for credit unions and lead to unnecessary consolidation and reduced consumer choice, then the agency will have failed to achieve its strategic goals, Antonakes added. Antonakes currently serves as head of the CFPB’s Depository Institution Supervision Department. The CFPB, which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation package, will develop rules governing consumer financial products like credit cards and mortgages and will seek to improve the transparency and consumer-friendliness of many financial products. Antonakes’ department will focus on supervision of financial institutions with assets over $10 billion. Credit unions with assets below that threshold will remain under the supervision of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or their respective state regulators. The CFPB is still currently in development, and the agency is expected to be running by July 21, 2011. Cheney and other CUNA representatives have also met with CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren in recent months, and CUNA will continue following up with Antonakes and other key officials at the agency going forward.


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