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Comprehensive reg reform one step closer with House vote
WASHINGTON (7/1/10)--The House last night voted 237-182 to pass sweeping reforms of the financial regulatory structure. Following Wednesday’s positive vote the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) said that while it opposes that legislation due to its included interchange fee provisions, the remainder of the bill “strikes a careful balance in protecting consumers while providing meaningful financial reform.” CUNA has repeatedly opposed interchange fee changes that would allow the Federal Reserve to intervene in the setting of those fees. “Nearly everyone recognizes that credit unions did not cause the financial meltdown and that they had no part in it; however, credit unions continue to be collateral damage, even in the proposed solutions, particularly with respect to interchange,” CUNA adds in a letter that was sent to all House members. The financial regulatory reform legislation substantially restructures financial regulations and provides consumers with a new level of protection. One organization that would potentially be tasked with that protection is the proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. While the BCFP will oversee the operations of many financial entities, the National Credit Union Administration will continue to supervise credit unions with under $10 billion in assets and enforce their compliance with consumer protection law. The Bureau will be funded by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and credit unions will not be required to pay more for the new Bureau than they do currently do for such supervision. Another credit union victory noted by the CUNA letter was portions of the legislation that make permanent the $250,000 deposit insurance level under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and provide parallel insurance coverage for credit union business share accounts with bank business transactions accounts. CUNA in the letter also applauded a portion of the legislation that is expected to increase the number of small-dollar loans made by qualifying credit unions and decrease consumer dependence on payday loan providers and loan sharks. The regulatory reform package, which was constructed during a recently completed conference committee, must also pass the Senate before it can become law. It is not known if the Senate will vote on the package before the upcoming Independence Day recess. For the full CUNA letter, use the resource link.

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