WASHINGTON (8/5/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) identified Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance as remaining significant among all the regulatory challenges faced by credit unions. CUNA, commenting on a National Credit Union Administration routine review of its regulations, urged the federal regulator to encourage the U.S. Congress to conduct hearings on the struggles credit unions and other financial institutions face in their efforts to comply with BSA requirements. Those hearing, CUNA said, should address the scope of the regulations and the costs and problems associated with compliance. They should also look at the magnitude of financial institutions' attempts to satisfy examiners. “This will bring more congressional attention to these issues and encourage lawmakers to develop meaningful legislation to help streamline requirements,” CUNA said in its letter. Each year the NCUA and other federal financial regulators review one-third of their regulations to identify areas that could be simplified and made less burdensome. In addition to BSA rules, NCUA requested comment on its rules implementing the national flood insurance program, the Freedom of Information Act, and records preservation. (CUNA’s complete comments on these issues are available below.) In addition to the subjects listed by the agency for its review, CUNA urged the NCUA to consider action on some important proposals that are pending board action. For instance, CUNA urged the federal regulator to take up its field of membership proposal, which has been pending for more than a year, as a means to provide more flexibility for community federal credit unions. The proposal would streamline the charter application process for areas that meet a new “presumption” definition, giving community credit unions more latitude to plan their growth. CUNA also asked the NCUA to move forward on a plan to allow federal credit unions to make investments in foreign currency. The group also asked the agency to use its legal opinion letters to form a commentary to its regulations similar to that provided by other federal financial regulators. By way of comparison CUNA wrote, “As you know, commentaries issued by the Federal Reserve Board to Regulation Z, Truth-in-Lending, are proposed as a regulation with comments from stakeholders considered when the final commentary is developed.” For CUNA’s complete comments, use the resource link below.