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Extensive CUNA Reg Reform List To Be Offered Wednesday

WASHINGTON (4/9/13)--Credit Union National Association witness Pamela Stephens will target the "crisis of complexity" that burdensome regulations have created for credit unions and offer an extensive list of CUNA-backed reforms during Wednesday's House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit.

Stephens, who is CEO of $55-million-in-assets Security One FCU, Arlington, Texas, will note that this increased complexity has disproportionately impacted small credit unions.

Removing legislative and regulatory barriers is one of the key objectives outlined in CUNA's Unite for Good initiative. Unite for Good calls on credit unions to rally in support of a common vision where "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." For a full list of Unite for Good action steps, use the resource link.

Amendments to the Federal Credit Union Act's supplemental capital and member business lending regulations will be on the CUNA agenda for Wednesday's hearing. Specific concerns regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Credit Union Administration and Financial Accounting Standards Board projects and their impact on credit unions will also be discussed by the CUNA witness.

Stephens will also focus on additional changes that would help credit unions better serve their members, including:

  • Adjusting the treatment of non-owner occupied one- to four-family dwelling loans for credit unions from business loans to residential real estate loans;
  • Addressing the treatment of prepaid debit accounts under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund;
  • Pursuing examination fairness legislation;
  • Examining Regulation D and the treatment of automatic transfers from savings to checking accounts;
  • Reducing loan loss reserve requirements on U.S. Small Business Administration microloan programs;
  • Ensuring that credit unions are able to maintain their current membership base, and add to that base, when they pursue mergers; and
  • Allowing privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank.

The CUNA witness will also encourage the NCUA and CFPB to work more closely together to help ensure that credit union issues are more fully understood and addressed as new CFPB regulations are developed.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (ET). Also scheduled to testify are:

  • Melrose CU General Counsel Mitchell Reiver, who will testify on behalf of his $1.6 billion-in-assets, Briarwood, N.Y. credit union; and
  • Robert Burrow, president/CEO of Bayer Heritage FCU, Proctor, W. Va., who will testify on behalf of his 28,000 member, $309 million-in-assets credit union and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

Regulatory relief has been a theme for the House Financial Services Committee early this year, and CUNA believes Wednesday's hearing could be an early step in the development of regulatory relief legislation. (See related News Now story: April 10 Hearing Could Lead To Reg Relief Rewards.)

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