WASHINGTON (5/24/10)—While interchange provisions in last week’s Senate-passed financial regulatory restructuring bill received most of the attention, there were a number of other provisions addressed in the bill of interest to credit unions. A total of 434 amendments were filed to be added to the bill, but only 43 of those came up for Senate discussion, and many of those amendments did not directly impact credit unions. However, a few of the amendments did matter to credit unions. Following is a rundown of the provisions, and their disposition, following last week’s action on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (RAFSA):
* Limit on ATM Fees (Disposition: Not included in the bill): Would have imposed an arbitrary limit on the fee for an ATM transaction of 50 cents. The Credit Union Association (CUNA) strongly opposed it, and the amendment was not offered prior to Senate passage of the legislation. * Exemption for auto dealers (Disposition: Not included in the bill): Would have exempted auto dealers from the regulations, supervision and enforcement of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. CUNA opposed it and the amendment was withdrawn. Note: CUNA expects Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) to offer a motion to instruct conferees on this subject next week. * Banks operating 529 Loan Programs (Disposition: Not included in the bill): Filed, but not offered, this amendment would have allowed banks to operate 529 student loan plans, but did not extend the same power to credit unions. The Missouri Credit Union Association has been working with amendment sponsor Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to make modifications to this amendment in the event that the language is considered during the conference. * Removal of requirement for deposit account data collection (Disposition: Included in the bill): Struck from the bill a section requiring the collection of deposit account data. Backed by CUNA, this amendment was approved by the Senate on a voice vote. * Mortgage Lending (Disposition: Included in the bill): Limits yield spread premiums and requires lenders to verify a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan (passed 63-36.) CUNA understands that there may be some concern regarding this amendment, especially as it relates to certain government loan guarantee programs.CUNA is analyzing and will work on it as the legislation is conferenced. * Risk Retention (Disposition: Included in the bill): Exempts certain qualified mortgages from the credit risk-retention requirements. Supported by CUNA, it passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Other provisions of interest that were not in the Senate-approved bill but supported by CUNA included:
* Permanent $250,000 share insurance coverage for the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) (of two amendments filed, neither was offered; CUNA will continue to pursue in conference); * Fixing remittance language (CUNA is looking for conference committee to address); and * Including the National Credit Union Administration on Financial Stability Oversight Council (amendment not offered).