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News Now

Washington
Community Banks Testify On Reg Burdens
WASHINGTON (4/17/13)--Following on the heels of last week's hearing on credit union regulatory relief, community bankers were given their chance to air their regulatory grievances during a Tuesday hearing before the House Financial Services financial institutions subcommittee.

Credit Union National Association witness Pamela Stephens, CEO of $55-million-in-assets Security One FCU of Arlington, Texas, last week testified on behalf of CUNA as lawmakers sought direction about potential regulatory relief legislation.  Stephens said she feels her credit union is constantly running, trying to catch up to be in compliance with all the rules. Stephens also presented part of a 35-point platform of regulatory relief measures developed by the Credit Union National Association. (Use the resource link to read April 11 News Now story: CUNA 35-point Plan Could Help Spell Out Relief Bill.)

The Tuesday community bank hearing discussion touched on many of the same themes covered in last week's hearing on credit union regulatory burdens: Examination issues, regulatory pressures, and how small financial institutions are harmed by regulations that are intended for larger banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified mortgage standards were one item that frequently came up in the Tuesday discussion.

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) said Congress should not be afraid to make regulatory adjustments to financial regulations, and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) said many agree that some form of regulatory relief is in order for both credit unions and community banks.

Legislators also encouraged the community bank representatives to work with credit unions to achieve greater regulatory relief for both groups. Committee members are looking for areas where credit union and community bank interests may intersect, and CUNA has cited examination fairness legislation as one area, in particular, where there is common interest.

CUNA is continuing its credit union advocacy efforts as the House develops regulatory relief legislation although, as CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Sam Whitfield noted in News Now on Monday, it is too early to tell what form regulatory relief legislation may take. (Use the resource link to read April 13 News Now story: Reg Relief Package Develops As CUNA Continues Advocacy)

Another bank-issue hearing--this one on ending "Too Big to Fail" banks--was held by the House Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee uesday. The House Financial Services Committee also announced a new member: Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.). Rothfus, who is a first-term member of Congress. Rothgfus took part in the "Too Big to Fail" hearing.

For more on both hearings, use the resource links.
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