WASHINGTON (1/3/11)--Credit unions were in the thick of things from the beginning to end of the 111th Congress, reminded Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill last week, and lawmakers in the 112th Congress--to be sworn in Wednesday--should expect no less. “When Congress turned its attention to repairing the regulatory framework that caused the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, CUNA, the leagues and credit unions were there to work with Congress to minimize the adverse impact on credit unions,” Magill reminded. He said that effort was typical of the level of involvement and impact that credit unions had throughout the year. As a result of those efforts:
* All but three credit unions will be exempt from examination and enforcement by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP); * Credit unions will not have to pay for the new agency; * The chairman of the National Credit Union Administration will serve on the oversight council reviewing the BCFP’s rules; * Credit unions will not be required to offer plain vanilla products to their members before offering products that may better meet their needs; * Credit unions will not have to collect deposit account data and report it to the consumer bureau; * Credit unions will not be subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, and the CFPB will not have authority over the CRA; * The legislation included language that CUNA inspired which directs the bureau to review and address outdated, unnecessary and unduly burdensome regulations with the intent of reducing regulatory burden; and, finally * The new law directs the bureau to take into consideration the impact of its regulations on credit unions.
“Congress saw credit union involvement in perhaps unprecedented force,” Magill said. “It set a high bar, but credit unions can be encouraged to see the effect their efforts can have.”