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News Now

Washington
Treasury wants NCUA independent
WASHINGTON (6/18/09)—The U.S. Treasury’s report on financial regulatory reform, released to the public on Wednesday, would allow the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to maintain its safety and soundness authority over credit unions.
In front of an executive mansion gate, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica answers a reporter’s question on the Obama administration’s financial regulatory restructuring plan directly after Mica left the president’s briefing at the White House. Mica says CUNA will "take a very close look at the details surrounding this proposal" and will “represent credit unions throughout the reform process." (CUNA Photo)
This confirms what Treasury officials told Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica and other senior CUNA staff last week. Noting that the ongoing economic uncertainty provides an “opportunity for restructuring that will genuinely produce improved regulation,” NCUA Chair Michael Fryzel said that the Obama administration's proposal “merits serious consideration.” The continued independence of the NCUA and the proposal’s plan to create a consumer protection council will “serve to ultimately improve the safe and sound operations of the U.S. financial system,” he added. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill said that the report's lack of recommendation for substantive changes in the safety and soundness of regulations for credit unions affirms that "credit unions were not the cause of nor a contributor to the financial crisis." "I am not sure they could be clearer in their intent that NCUA remain an independent regulator than to say at least twice in the document," Magill said. But he also advised credit unions that the administration's proposal would not be "the last word on regulatory restructuring." Magill noted, "Congress is going to have its say over the next weeks and months, and we will continue to monitor this very closely." Ryan Donovan, vice president of legislative affairs for CUNA, said that the potential consolidation of some existing regulations could reduce costs and lessen the regulatory complexity faced by many
Click for videoDan Mica on intial reactions to the Financial Regulatory Reform proposal. Click for video. (Photo provided by CUNA)
credit unions. However, CUNA has not fully analyzed these proposals, and an official statement on these portions of the Treasury proposal has not yet been released. CUNA will also solicit input from its member institutions in the coming days, and and will work to ensure that any of the resulting regulations are not duplicative, Donovan added. To help launch what is sure to be a thorough vetting of the plan's intricacies, the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee have scheduled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to appear before them in separate hearings today to discuss the Obama plan. Following an afternoon briefing at the White House, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica said that while CUNA is “grateful” for the administration’s decision to grant continued independence to the NCUA, CUNA will “take a very close look at the details surrounding this proposal” and will represent credit unions throughout the reform process “after discussing the proposal fully” with CUNA members. CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee is scheduled to review aspects of the proposal later today. For video of Mica’s statement following the White House briefing, use the resource link.


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