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Senate, House Introduce Exam Fairness Bills

WASHINGTON (4/16/13)--Legislation that would improve the federal examination process for credit unions and other financial institutions was introduced on Monday, first in the U.S. Senate and then hours later in the House, and Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said the bills "take firm steps in the right direction toward making the examination process fairer and more consistent."

Calling the bills "much-needed legislation," Cheney thanked Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for introducing S. 727 and Reps. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) for introducing the House bill (HR 1553).

"This legislation would make available to credit unions and other financial institutions the information used by examiners to make decisions in their examination, which is a key concern to credit unions," Cheney said when the bills were introduced.  "In our national exam survey, completed earlier this year, a common concern expressed by credit unions was that examiners tended to focus too much on their own views of best practices, rather than on legal and regulatory requirements."

"Regulators should address the supervision and examination of credit unions in a professional manner, taking into full account legal requirements credit unions must meet as well as the need for credit unions to have reasonable flexibility to serve their members well. These bills take firm steps in the right direction toward making the examination process fairer and more consistent," Cheney added.

The exam fairness bills would:

  • Make available to financial institutions the information used to make decisions in their examination;
  • Codify certain examination policy guidance;
  • Establish an ombudsman at the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council to which financial institutions could raise concerns with respect to their examination; and

Removing legislative and regulatory barriers is one of the key objectives outlined in CUNA's Unite for Good initiative. Unite for Good calls on credit unions to rally in support of a common vision where "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."

For a full list of Unite for Good action steps, use the resource link.

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