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News Now

Washington
NCUA to remain independent under Dodd plan CUNA
WASHINGTON (11/12/09)--While Sen. Chris Dodd’s recently released financial regulatory overhaul discussion draft would, if approved, bring sweeping changes to the financial services landscape, CUNA commended the Senator for not changing the National Credit Union Administration’s authority as sole safety and soundness regulator for credit unions. Dodd’s bill would consolidate the powers of other Federal regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Savings, the state-based authorities of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the state bank and holding company oversight authority of the Federal Reserve, into a single financial institutions regulatory administration. Following the introduction of the bill, John Magill, senior vice president of CUNA's legislative affairs department, commended the senator for recognizing the needs of credit unions and granting the NCUA its continued regulatory independence. “The Dodd bill provides great news for credit unions on this issue because it helps to solidify recent House comments to CUNA which promised the uninterrupted continuation of the NCUA’s role as federal credit union regulator,” Magill added. Dodd’s legislation would also address the systemic risks posed by derivatives and discourage much of the excessive financial firm growth exemplified by so-called “too big to fail” institutions. The bill would also promote the creation of a consumer financial protection agency (CFPA) similar to that proposed by both the Obama administration and members of the House of Representatives. The consumer protection duties of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) would be folded into this agency under Dodd's bill. Dodd’s version of the CFPA would be led by a five member board with a single independent director, and would be the sole agency held accountable for consumer protection. The resources of this version of the CFPA would, according to a summary of the legislation, focus on “mortgage bankers, brokers, finance companies” and large financial institutions, and the CFPA would have “broad authority” to “investigate and react to abuses as they develop.” The House version of the CFPA legislation, H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) Act of 2009, contains similar provisions, and would, as currently written, also be managed by a five-member board. CUNA is working with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to modify this bill before it moves on to the full House. While the Senate version of the CFPA would not exempt credit unions from examination and supervision by CFPA, CUNA will be working hard to fix this issue.


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