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Washington
CUNA to testify on reg burden Wednesday
WASHINGTON (5/8/12)--Terry West, president/CEO of Vystar CU, Jacksonville, Fla., will address how the growth of financial services regulations has impacted his credit union's ability to lend and to serve its members at a Wednesday House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing in Washington.

VyStar CU president/CEO Terry West (second from left) testifies on CUNA's behalf before a 2009 Senate Banking subcommittee hearing. This week, West will address before a House subcommittee hearing how financial regulations have distracted his credit union from its core goal of serving members. (CUNA Photo)
West will testify on behalf of his credit union and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

The hearing, which is entitled "Rising Regulatory Compliance Costs and Their Impact on the Health of Small Financial Institutions," is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday. West is expected to be joined by First United Bank & Trust CEO William Grant, SRP FCU CEO Ed Templeton, First State Bank Chief Investment Officer Samuel Vallandingham, and Georgetown University law professor Adam Levitin.

In his testimony, West will focus on the impact that new and revised regulations have had on consolidation in the credit union system, and whether federal regulators are considering the cumulative impact of these types of rules on small fin institutions.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) in a statement said the hearing builds on field hearings the subcommittee has held across the country "regarding whether small financial institutions face significant regulatory burdens, and if so, guaranteeing that there is a workable regulatory regime so that these institutions can continue to survive and grow.

"We must ensure that we have a diverse financial system," she added.

CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said it is not clear if any additional new legislation will come from this series of hearings; however, he noted that bills related to financial institution examination fairness and ATM fee disclosure requirements were first raised at earlier sessions of this series of hearings.

The subcommittee earlier this year held field hearings in San Antonio, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio, on the impact of regulations and small financial institutions. Maria Martinez, president/CEO of Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas, and Robert Glenn, president/CEO of Air Force FCU,  San Antonio, testified at the Texas hearing, and Stan Barnes, president/CEO of Canton, Ohio-based CSE FCU, testified in Cleveland.

Credit union concerns were also aired in a Las Vegas, Nev.-based subcommittee hearing on potential private sector solutions to foreclosure issues, with Sue Longson of El Monte, Calif.'s SCE FCU testifying. Central City CU, Marshfield, Wis., CEO and CUNA board member Pat Wesenberg and Mark Willer, chief operating officer of Royal CU, Eau Claire, Wis., also testified in a November field hearing in Wausau, Wis.

For more on Wednesday's scheduled hearing, use the resource link.
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