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News Now

Washington
CUNA Improvements still possible in CFPA mark up
WASHINGTON (10/8/09)—With a mark up on Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) legislation expected next week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to work with Capitol Hill staff of credit union concerns regarding the planned new agency. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill has noted that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) continues his interest in discussing possible changes to the bill, H.R. 3216, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act. CUNA has been circulating alternative language to the bill that would address credit union issues such as the CFPA’s impact on examinations, enforcement, preemption of existing rules, and regulatory burden. “Chairman Frank is holding his cards close to his chest regarding what changes he would or would not allow in mark up,” Magill said. “So we continue to work with members of the committee in preparation for the committee’s vote.” In general, H.R. 3216 seeks to protect consumers of financial products through the creation of a powerful independent agency with extensive rulemaking, oversight, and enforcement tools, an idea that was introduced by the Obama administration earlier this year. Frank has circulated some possible changes to the bill, such as eliminating a requirement that financial institutions offer so-called "plain vanilla" financial products, as well as language that would prevent the proposed CFPA from approving or changing the business plans of a financial institution under the agency's oversight. While Frank's legislative changes, which have been circulated via a discussion draft, would still allow the CFPA to require financial institutions to provide improved disclosures to their consumers, non-financial businesses, including merchants, retailers, and other non-finance-related businesses would not come under the CFPA.


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