WASHINGTON (5/11/10)--Debate over financial regulatory reform continues this week, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to monitor the Senate situation for any developments of interest to credit unions. While over 180 amendments to this legislation have been filed, just under one-third of those would possibly directly impact credit unions, and many of the hundred will never come up for debate. Among the amendments being watched by CUNA are those that would significantly change the card payments system. CUNA opposes these amendments on interchange fees. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica has said the proposed changes to current rules would "increase costs to and reduce choice for consumers" and would "give the largest merchants further leverage to harm small businesses, which are already under significant pressures in this difficult economy." CUNA has said that it would oppose the full regulatory package if these interchange provisions are added. CUNA has also opposed amendments thatwould:
* Exempt auto dealers from the regulations, examination and enforcement of a proposed new consumer bureau; and * Impose a limit on ATM fees.
CUNA strongly backs amendments that would make permanent the current increase in deposit and share insurance coverage enacted last year; would add the National Credit Union Administration chairman to the Financial Stability Oversight Council; and would increase the $10 billion examination and enforcement threshold for credit unions and community bank supervision by the consumer bureau. The full legislation should take another step toward a full Senate vote later this week if the Senate, as many are predicting, files cloture on Wednesday. Agreeing to cloture on this bill would limit the number of amendments that can be offered and would, in certain circumstances, raise the threshold necessary to secure passage to 60 votes. Elsewhere, House committees and subcommittees will hold hearings on TARP oversight, TARP-related fees, stock market conditions, and the use of credit-related information. A pair of finance-related House subcommittees will directly address regulatory reform in a Wednesday joint hearing entitled "Minorities and Women in Financial Regulatory Reform: The Need for Increasing Participation and Opportunities for Qualified Persons and Businesses."