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News Now

Washington
House Hearing Looks At Bank Failures: CUs To Have Reg Burden Hearing
WASHINGTON (3/21/13)--The House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit Wednesday conducted a "state of the community banking industry" hearing that looked into the causes of the 414 bank failures that occurred from 2008 through 2011.

The hearing was ordered by a bill enacted into law last year (P.L. 112-182) that required the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a study on community banks and for the U.S. Congress to conduct a hearing within 150 days of the issuance of the study, which came out in January.

The single panel of witnesses Wednesday featured four staff representatives from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and one from the GAO.

Congress has not required any similar study of credit union performance during the financial crisis. However, a committee spokesman told News Now that the panel does intend to hold a hearing to study the regulatory burden of credit unions. That session will be part of a 2013 series to study, in part, the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act.  A date will be announced in the near future.

In fact, the series is a continuation of regulatory burden hearings conducted in 2012, in which the Credit Union National Association repeatedly testified on how the growth of financial services regulations has impacted his credit union's ability to lend to and serve its members.

"We have held several meetings since the beginning of the year with committee members and staff on both sides of the aisle to discuss the importance of regulatory relief legislation," said Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president for legislative affairs.  "It is apparent from those meetings that there is an understanding and appreciation for the crisis of creeping regulatory complexity facing America's credit unions and a willingness to examine how to address that from a statutory perspective.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee on these issues."

Reducing credit unions' regulatory burden is one of CUNA's top priorities and CUNA is working aggressively on that issue on Capitol Hill and when dealing with the regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over credit unions.
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