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CUs need unique agency in new reform bill CUNA
WASHINGTON (11/11/09)--Responding to Sen. Christopher Dodd’s (D-Conn.) Tuesday introduction of draft financial legislation that would, among other things, create a single prudential financial regulator, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica said that credit unions “need a unique regulator in all aspects of examination and supervision.” The bill would also promote the creation of a consumer financial protection agency (CFPA) similar to that proposed by both the Obama administration and members of the House of Representatives. The consumer protection duties of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) would be folded into this agency under Dodd’s bill. However, Dodd's bill would preserve the NCUA as an independent safety and soundness regulator for credit unions. While credit unions “have long advocated strong consumer protection,” the additional regulatory burden imposed by Dodd’s legislation would only take away from their ability to provide “continued and effective service” to their members, Mica said. The additional examinations and supervision that credit unions would face from the CFPA “is a significant issue for credit unions and can be a factor in our ultimate disposition toward this legislation,” Mica added. Dodd’s legislation would task a single regulator with the work of several financial regulatory bodies, including the Federal Reserve. Dodd during the Tuesday press conference indicated that legislators would have two to three weeks to review the bill, and that formal markup of the bill could begin in the first week of December. Calling the establishment of a single prudential regulator “critically important,” Dodd said that the legislation’s intent to reallocate all Federal Reserve Board responsibilities outside of determining monetary policy is meant “not to punish the Federal Reserve, but to strengthen and enhance their role.” The bill also creates a systemic resolution fund under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) that would be used to help unwind troubled financial firms. However, the legislation would strip the FDIC of some of its supervisory activities. Overall, the bill would give some additional oversight responsibilities to the states. While Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has not publicly commented, Dodd commented that he has been working with Shelby, adding that he hopes for significant additional input from his fellow senators. The Credit Union National Association is currently analyzing how the bill would affect credit unions.

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