WASHINGTON (7/30/09)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) believes that it is preferable to remain open to discussing the Obama administration’s plan for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) and other ongoing financial reform efforts with lawmakers, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs Ryan Donovan told The Hill newspaper. In comments posted in The Hill on Wednesday, Donovan said that “there is an advantage to being at the table and willing to talk," adding that those who simply refuse to discuss these issues are likely missing a chance to affect legislative decisions as the process moves forward. While the banking industry and other groups have discussed joining forces to oppose the CFPA and other regulatory reforms and have held finance-industry strategy sessions aimed at fomenting total opposition to the Obama administration’s plans, CUNA has not participated in those meetings or in the coalition. CUNA has been approached by democratic lawmakers, however, and Donovan indicated that CUNA is communicating the concerns of credit unions to legislators. CUNA has communicated with key legislators, including House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), in recent months. In a recent letter to Frank, CUNA said it could support the creation of the CFPA if seven key parameters are incorporated into the proposal. These parameters include allowing the CFPA to write the rules but leaving "examination, supervision and enforcement" of the consumer protection rules "to each credit union's prudential regulator." CUNA has also urged legislators to complete the regulatory streamlining and modernization that is promised in the CFPA proposal and has advocated for the inclusion of credit union industry representatives and state or federal credit union regulators in the CFPA’s proposed governance board. Debate on financial regulatory reform continues to be a hot topic in Washington, and the CFPA, along with other reform measures, will return to prominence once the Congress returns from August recess in early September.