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Washington
Balance Needed In Reg Relief: CUNA Tells Banker
WASHINGTON (8/1/13)--A July 31 article in American Banker says many see regulatory relief for smaller financial institutions as one of the few items that can gain bipartisan approval in a clogged U.S. Congress this year.

However, Credit Union National Association Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan warned that, to go forward, any relief measures that address both credit unions and small banks must contain benefits that are balanced for both parties. Privacy notifications, escrow requirements, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mortgage underwriting regulations are among the items tackled in some bills that have been introduced.

Supporting increased member business lending authority for credit unions remains a CUNA priority, Donovan told the Banker, but it is not the only item on CUNA's regulatory relief agenda. In fact, the article notes, "credit union advocates also indicate they may be willing to support a regulatory relief package even if it lacks" MBL provisions.

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) has drafted a relief package for credit unions that does not include increased MBL "We would of course support legislation that included (an MBL cap increase), but when we look at balance in terms of regulatory relief we've got to look at: What's in it, how does it benefit us, how do the banks benefit and is that benefit balanced?" said Donovan.

"We're not going to measure it based on: Is the MBL provision in there or not? We know what the score is on that. We're trying to get balanced regulatory relief provisions.

"Where we get into some troubled waters is when we start talking about Basel relief or capital relief for community banks, in the absence of talking about the capital concerns that face credit unions," Donovan told the Banker.

"That's where we would take a more critical view of legislation, if it provided significant capital relief for community banks but didn't address the capital concerns for credit unions," he said.


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