Learn more about Member Benefits
The NCUA Board will hold a public briefing to discuss its proposed 2020 - 2021 budget. CUNA will be presenting at the briefing to convey our concerns with and support of aspects of the proposed budget.
Google staff visited CUNA’s Washington, DC office to discuss the technology company’s plans to partner with credit unions and banks to offer checking accounts through Google Pay. Google also made news yesterday when these plans became public through several news stories providing some details on Google’s proposed partnership with credit unions.
Google provided details on the product that they are developing along with a timeline of when a Google co-branded checking account would be available to the public. Google is partnering through the first stages of development with Stanford Federal Credit Union and Citibank, but will likely add more partners as development progresses. Google’s goal is to make the product available to consumers in mid 2020.
CUNA marked Veterans Day this week with a communication sent to all 535 congressional offices highlighting the credit union commitment to serving military veterans and their families.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry to express views prior to the Committee' markup on four measures, including three related to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The day after Veteran's Day, Senators Dan Sullivan and Mazie Hirono introduced S. 2843, the Veteran's Member Business Loan Act. This legislation would exempt loans to veteran-owned businesses from the member business lending cap. Specifically, the bill would amend the Federal Credit Union Act to exclude extensions of credit made to veterans from the MBL definition. Credit unions are restricted in business lending by current law to 12.25% of their total assets.
“The NCUA is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion
in the credit union system, and part of that commitment is building a
database of credit unions’ activities related to diversity and
inclusion,” he wrote. “The data that credit unions voluntarily provide
helps the NCUA better understand areas where guidance would be useful
and, when appropriate, prompts us to issue guidance to help bridge the
gaps and assist credit unions with their diversity and inclusion
Hood notes that the self-assessment is voluntary and it not part of
NCUA’s or state regulators’ examination process, and has no impact on
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4863, the United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019.
The Senate will continue to vote on judicial and executive branch nominations.
CUNA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to their Request for Information Regarding Tech Sprints. Tech Sprints gather regulators, technologists, financial institutions, and subject matter experts from key stakeholders for several days to work together to develop innovative solutions to clearly-identified challenges. These initiatives have been used by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom and several non-financial U.S. regulators, including the Census Bureau and Department of Health and Human Services.
CUNA and National Credit Union Foundation staff attended and presented at the NCUA's summit on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). CUNA Senior Policy Analyst Samira Salem and National Credit Union Foundation Chief Financial and Operations Officer Hannibal Brumskine both presented.
Salem participated in a discussion on how diversity efforts can be tracked by looking at data from sources such as call reports, the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finance, CUNA surveys of its membership, as well as from organizations such as the Filene Research Institute, Inclusiv and Coopera.
Brumskine was part of a panel on work being done to recruit, develop and train diverse talent in the credit union movement.
CUNA filed a comment letter supporting the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) in response to the request for comment regarding potential Board actions to support interbank settlement of faster payments. In the request for comment, the Board proposed to develop a real-time payments network to be called FedNow. CUNA strongly supports the Board’s decision to develop an interbank 24x7x365 real-time gross settlement service with integrated clearing functionality and looks forward to working with the Federal Reserve Banks on the development of the system.
USAA was awarded $200 million in a U.S. District Court jury trial in a patent infringement lawsuit against Wells Fargo yesterday. USAA filed suit in June 2018 against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank infringed on certain USAA patents for remote check capture (RDC), specifically patents related to mobile check capture.
According to USAA’s press release “Nearly every U.S. bank and credit union uses this [RDC] technology, benefiting some 87 million U.S. consumers. USAA continues to seek opportunities to create reasonable and mutually beneficial licensing agreements with banks and credit unions for use of USAA’s mobile remote deposit capture process.” The press release also noted that USAA has filed a separate suit for additional patents related to RDC against Wells Fargo in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Texas with a scheduled for January 2020.
The House of Representatives is in recess this week. However, the Senate remains in session and will consider several judicial nominations.
The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 4458, the Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience Act by voice vote last week. CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry in support of this legislation before the bill was marked-up.
If enacted, H.R. 4458 would require NCUA and other sectors’ regulators to each issue an annual report to Congress describing measures the respective agency has taken to strengthen cybersecurity with respect to its functions as a regulator, including the supervision and regulation of financial institutions and, where applicable, third-party service providers.
It would enhance the Federal Information Security Modernization Act through reporting requirements while also requiring the regulators to ensure robust oversight of their regulated entities, which is already a primary duty of the regulators.
NCUA Board Member Todd Harper has requested public comment on his proposal to create “a dedicated consumer compliance exam program for large, complex credit unions.”
According to a release, the agency’s current compliance examinations covering consumer financial protection laws in credit unions with total assets of $10 billion or less differs from other financial institutions regulators. In response, Harper has proposed the NCUA “add three new full-time employees in the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection in 2020, who would develop and later launch a dedicated consumer compliance examination program for large, complex credit unions.”
“As the largest credit unions continue to grow in size, the time has come for the NCUA to evolve its consumer compliance program,” Harper stated. “I invite all interested parties to comment on my proposal during the public deliberations over the NCUA’s proposed 2020–2021 budget.”
The NCUA released its proposed 2020-21 budget. The NCUA will also publish the proposal in the Federal Register.
NCUA will host a webinar titled “Fair Lending and Consumer Compliance Regulatory Update” on November 19. Financial Protection will cover several subjects, including:
The CFPB is tasked with facilitating innovation in the
consumer financial services market as part of its statutory mission. In
fulfilling this objective, the Bureau has sought to strengthen its
collaboration with stakeholders in order to develop solutions to shared
The National Credit Union Administration released their monthly Board meeting schedule for 2020.
The financial services industry, including credit unions, must be aware of cybersecurity threats. The NCUA has prepared resources that are helpful to credit unions. This webpage includes includes information about how they can protect their institutions and members from cyber threats.
NCUA Board adopted a final rule on nonmember deposits, issued a proposal on field of membership, and received a briefing on cybersecurity.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it will hold a symposium on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act on November 6, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing entitled, “The End of Affordable Housing? A Review of the Trump Administration’s Plans to Change Housing Finance in America.” Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry reiterating commitment to working with Congress and the Administration to refine and build upon housing finance reform proposals to ensure a strong and sustainable secondary mortgage market that ensures the availability of affordable housing.
CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions for a hearing on minority depository institutions. Minority depository institution (MDI) credit unions represent an important way in which credit unions are fulfilling their mission by advancing financial inclusion and well-being for minority and underserved communities.
The House passed H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 by a vote of 249-173. This CUNA backed legislation addresses the redundancies, unnecessary burdens, and opportunities for efficiencies within the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) statutory framework.
Also included in the bill, through an amendment by Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) was H.R. 2514, the COUNTER Act of 2019, authored by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). The COUNTER Act, also supported by CUNA, indexes for inflation every 5-years after enactment the Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR) threshold and further reviews the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) threshold.
NCUA’s final rule on fidelity bonds under Part 704 for corporate credit unions and Part 713 for natural person credit unions became effective. Here's what you should know.
CUNA filed a comment letter in reference to HUD’s notice of proposed rulemaking on the “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard. In the comment letter, CUNA notes that credit unions firmly believe that illegal discrimination should have no place in the financial services market and that individuals and institutions engaging in discriminatory behavior should and must be penalized.
This week, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act and H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act.
The Senate will consider appropriations legislation as well as a treaty… “Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia.”
The House Financial Services Committee’s FinTeach Task Force held a hearing entitled, “AI and the Evolution of Cloud Computing: Evaluating How Financial Data is Stored, Protected, and Maintained by Cloud Providers.” Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Foster and Ranking Member Hill addressing concerns with draft legislation that would grant NCUA direct supervisory authority over third party vendors and credit union service organizations.
CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions wrote to House and Senate appropriators to increase funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) to $17 million, up from the previous year’s $12 million. The CDP is a is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership and sustainability.
Director Kraninger was the lone witness before both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee this week for the CFPB’s semi-annual report to Congress.
Prior to her appearance before the Committees CUNA wrote to Committee leadership in both Chambers supporting a bi-partisan Commission, as proposed by Elizabeth Warren and President Obama.
To ensure that consumers enjoy strong and consistent protections, Congress should enact legislation that changes the leadership structure to a multimember, bipartisan commission. A multi-member commission, as envisioned by the original proponents of the Bureau, would enhance consumer protection by ensuring that diverse perspectives are considered prior to finalizing rules and prevents disruptions caused by leadership changes.
CUNA wrote to Appropriations Committee leadership in both the House and Senate in support of the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF). The CDRLF is a critically important program and should be fully funded at $2 million in fiscal year 2020. The House-passed Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020 provides $2 million for the CDRLF, but the FSGG bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee in September does not.
CUNA filed a comment letter with the CFPB in response to an ANPR seeking input on the HMDA data points required under the Bureau’s 2015 HMDA rule.
filed a comment letter
with the CFPB offering improvements to the HMDA reporting threshold. In
response to the Bureau’s reopening of its comment period, CUNA reiterated that
the HMDA rule has disproportionately burdened credit unions, despite no
evidence of past wrongful conduct.
The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 1815, the SEC Disclosure Effectiveness Testing Act and H.R. 3624, the Outsourcing Accountability Act of 2019.
The Senate will consider the nomination of Barbara Barrett to be Secretary of the Air Force.
NCUA Board Member McWatters wrote an opinion piece in CU Journal detailing his concerns with CECL
Established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) was created for the purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to specialized community-based financial institutions known as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)—more than 25% of the roughly 1,100 certified CDFIs across the country are credit unions.
CDFIs such as Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) are charged with supplying low-income, distressed communities with traditional banking services such as savings accounts and personal loans, and offering individuals the tools needed to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future.
Through its Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) as well as the Native CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), the CDFI Fund offers both Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards to CDFIs. These competitive awards can be used by organizations, including credit unions, to meet the community development finance needs of distressed and underserved communities.
The CFPB announced that the next Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) meeting is scheduled to occur over two days on October 23-24. The focus of the CUAC-only meetings will be Regulatory Implementation and Guidance, the Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda, and HMDA.
This upcoming meeting marks the first with the new Council members announced last week. All members of the CUAC are from CUNA-affiliated credit unions.
The CFPB issued a proposed rule to amend the reporting thresholds within the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Rule. In its proposal, the CFPB would increase the closed-end mortgage loan reporting threshold from 25 loans in each of the prior two years to either 50 or 100 loans. We are supportive of this measure, but are calling on the Bureau to increase the threshold to 500 loans. Tell the CFPB to improve the HMDA reporting requirements
The Supreme Court denied cert. for Guillermo Robles v. Dominos Pizza LLC, a case involving the ADA as it relates to website accessibility.
In its ruling, the 9th Circuit held that Dominos' website and mobile app are places of public accommodation subject to the ADA. The Court also found that Dominos had received fair notice that its website was required to comply with the ADA even absent the promulgation of specific rules or guidance on the topic. And lastly, the Court affirmed that courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate ADA website suits even as DOJ progresses in its rulemaking process.
As part of our efforts around National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, CUNA hosted credit unions for a hands-on ransomware cyber simulation at Credit Union House. CUNA partnered with FS-ISAC and ManTech to build an environment resembling a financial services network and facilitated a realistic, live-fire ransomware cyber-attack against a simulated financial institution. Cybersecurity is a challenge all businesses face, and an attack can be devastating. As credit unions, we're dedicated to supporting our members, and there's no better way to ensure we're serving them best than by protecting their data and access to money.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced new members to the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). The CUAC advises and consults with the CFPB on consumer financial issues related to credit unions. Currently, all members of the CUAC are also members of CUNA.
CUNA wrote a letter of support to the sponsors of S. 2563, the Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act. This bill addresses the redundancies, unnecessary burdens, and opportunities for efficiencies within the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) statutory framework. However, it is important to note that regulatory regimes like the Bank Secrecy Act can cause an undue burden, particularly for smaller financial institutions, and should be a scalable framework.
CUNA sent a letter to NCUA urging it increase the threshold for which an appraisal is required for a residential real estate transaction. In July, NCUA adopted a rule that increased the threshold for commercial real estate transactions but did not address residential transactions.
CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Financial Technology prior to their hearing on real-time payments. Real-time payments will help credit unions provide necessary financial services to their members and improve members access to their funds. Credit unions exist to help their members, but cannot do it alone. Credit unions rely on networks of key vendors to provide service to members and no current vendor is more critical than the Federal Reserve.
CUNA filed a comment letter in support of the NCUA’s proposed interpretive ruling and policy statement (IRPS) regarding Exceptions to Employment Restrictions under Section 205(d) of the FCU Act (referred to as the Second Chance IRPS). Section 205(d) requires a credit union to obtain approval by the NCUA Board prior to hiring an individual convicted of certain criminal offenses. The proposed IRPS replaces an existing IRPS from 2008 that provides guidance on Section 205(d).
Prior to the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) hearing on abusive debt collection practices, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry advocating against legislation that would expand the scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPA) to first-party debt collectors.
CUNA’s letter details how Congress limited the scope of the FCDPA to third-party collectors in recognition that a creditor-borrower relationship depends on maintaining goodwill long after the debt payment process has been concluded, and this dynamic has not changed.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to yesterday’s hearing in the Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled, “Facilitating Faster Payments in the U.S.”
The letter notes that CUNA and its members strongly support the Federal Reserve’s decision to develop and operate a real-time payments network called FedNow, and also support efforts of The Clearing House (TCH) to develop its own real-time payments network. Real-time payments will help credit unions provide necessary financial services to their members and improve access to funds.
The House passed H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act by a strong bipartisan vote of 321 – 103. This historic vote that comes months after strong CUNA, League and credit union advocacy on behalf of the bill. If enacted, this legislation would provide legal protections to financial institutions serving state-legalized cannabis-based businesses.
The Department of Labor issued a final rule updating the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
In the final rule, the Department is:
This week the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act of 2019. This bill will be considered under “suspension of the rules” … meaning that the bill is not able to be amended and must garner a two-thirds vote for passage.
The Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 4378, the House-passed continuing resolution to fund the federal government through November 21. This bill includes a provision to extend the National Flood Insurance program through November 21. Also, there is a provision that ensures the operation of the SBA’s 7(a) loan program … loans that many credit unions make.
The NCUA Board adopted final rules on supervisory committee audits, FCU bylaws, and Payday Alternative Loans, and received its quarterly briefing on the status of the Share Insurance Fund.
CFPB announces amendments to the consumer complaint database.
While the database will still be public, the Bureau is making changes to provide more context to the complaints in addition to providing options for the consumer to resolve (or get information about) their issue prior to submitting a complaint about a financial institution.
CUNA filed a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking by the agency proposing to eliminate the GSE Patch under the current ability-to-repay requirements.
In the letter, CUNA reiterated the positions it previously advanced in a coalition letter with the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, consumer advocacy groups and others, urging the agency to eliminate the 43% debt-to-income ratio and Appendix Q requirements in the underlying QM definition, while highlighting specific concerns relevant to credit unions’ ability to fulfill their specified mission of serving individuals of modest means in the absence of any effort by the Bureau to make the requested modifications.
This week on the House floor, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government will be considered. We expect all funding accounts to be continued during the period of the “CR” at fiscal year 2019 levels. At this time, no end date for the CR has been agreed upon.
Also, the House will bring up H.R. 1423, the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act. Finally, the House will consider a number of Financial Services Committee bills under suspension of the rules.
The Senate is expected to consider of list of executive branch nominations.
CUNA joined other trade associations in writing to the CFPB urging the Bureau to retain its Qualified Mortgage (QM) safe harbor and product features but remove the debt-to-income (DTI) requirement for prime and near-prime loans when the government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSE) "patch" expires.The Temporary GSE QM, a category of QM eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, is scheduled to expire in January 2021 or after a short extension. The CFPB issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on whether to propose revisions to the definition of QM in light of the planned expiration.
CUNA sent a letter to FASB in support of its plan to delay the effective dates of several financial instruments standards, including CECL.
The House passed two CUNA-supported bills this week. In July, CUNA wrote in support of both pieces of legislation while in the House Financial Services Committee.
H.R. 2852, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 If enacted this legislation would ensure the Federal Housing Administration’s appraiser requirements are identical to those currently employed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac concerning licensed appraisers. As a result, credit unions would be able provide members with more choices for federally-backed loans without any concerns that an appraisal will not satisfy a program’s requirements due to their differing appraiser certification standards. It passed 419-5.
H.R. 281, the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019The Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 would require the Federal Reserve Banks to interview at least one candidate reflective of gender diversity and one candidate of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing presidents. Since the Federal Reserve’s inception in 1913, only seven women have served as reserve bank presidents, with Janet Yellen being the only female to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve Board. It passed by voice vote.
This week, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to discuss housing finance reform. Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown outlining what must be present in a future system to ensure a strong and sustainable secondary market.
The letter notes that the future secondary mortgage market must “build upon and strengthen the existing partnerships between credit unions, guarantors, and Federal Home Loan Banks in ensuring access to responsible and affordable mortgage credit for millions of credit union members.”
CUNA believes, as Congress and the administration work to reform the current housing finance system.
Prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing on protecting student borrowers, CUNA wrote in support of H.R. 1661 in a letter to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry.
If enacted, H.R. 1661 would provide the NCUA board the flexibility to increase federal credit union loan maturity limits. Longer maturity limits for federal credit union loans would allow credit unions to better service members. The ability to set a longer loan maturity for Federal credit union loans would provide student borrowers across the country with more opportunities for education that is more affordable both in the short and long term.
This week, both the House and Senate will return from their August district work periods. The House will consider a number of pieces of legislation. Of interest to financial institutions, the House will vote on two CUNA-supported bills … H.R. 2852, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 and H.R. 281, the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019. Others bills under consideration include H.R. 3620, the Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019; H.R. 1690, the Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019; and H.R. 241, the Bank Service Company Examination Act.
The Senate will begin committee consideration of appropriations legislation this week. Most of the twelve bills will not receive subcommittee consideration because of the truncated schedule (September 30 marks the end of fiscal year 2019). The Senate is expected to start consideration of appropriations bills on the Senate floor the week of September 16. On the floor this week, the Senate will consider a number of executive branch nominations.
The Administration released its long-awaited proposal for housing finance reform—outlining Treasury’s goal of returning Fannie-Mae and Freddie Mac to privately held companies and urging Congress to pass legislation that would expand the number of secondary market participants with access to an explicit government guarantee. “We applaud the Administration’s efforts to address this critical issue and look forward to working with both Congress and the Administration to develop the specific steps needed to reform the housing finance market and ensure that credit unions are able to continue providing affordable mortgage credit to Americans across the economic spectrum.”
The CFPB has announced that it will host a symposium on behavioral law and economics on September 19 in Washington, D.C.
The symposium is the second in a series exploring important consumer financial services issues. The first was held in June and focused on defining “abusive acts or practices.”
According to the Bureau, the symposia series is “aimed at stimulating a proactive and transparent dialogue to assist the Bureau in its policy development process, including possible future rulemakings.”
The 6th Circuit just issued an opinion in the ADA website accessibility case they heard earlier this month – it’s a victory! The court reversed the District Court and held the plaintiff does not have standing because she did not suffer an injury-in-fact.
The credit union movement gained an absolutely momentous victory as the D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the NCUA's field of membership (FOM) rule. The implications for this decision are huge. But ultimately, it confirms rules NCUA established in 2016 that allow credit unions to serve more members, especially in rural communities.
“Today’s opinion by the D.C. Court of Appeals is a resounding victory for credit unions, their members, and communities across the country,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “That the court has recognized the benefits of an expanded field of membership speaks to the important role credit unions play in advancing financial inclusion. This is the second major recent legal victory for credit unions in the face of ill-conceived bank attacks, and speaks to the power of cooperation between CUNA, NAFCU, and CUNA Mutual Group.”
Under new interim guidance released by the National Credit Union Administration, federally insured credit unions can provide certain financial services to legally operating hemp businesses. The move comes on the heels of a request for clarification by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“We appreciate that Chairman Hood and Majority Leader McConnell recognized the need for this guidance on how credit unions can serve hemp businesses. This has been an area of interest for credit unions since Congress legalized hemp at the federal level, and we believe this guidance will help alleviate concerns that may have existed,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan.
NCUA will issue additional guidance once upcoming regulations and guidelines are approved by the Department of Agriculture. Hemp, defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC, was legalized at the federal level as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The CFPB announced the appointment of Robert Cameron to serve as the Bureau’s private education loan ombudsman. He fills a role that has been vacant since August 2018.
The Dodd-Frank Act created a private education loan ombudsman position within the Bureau. The ombudsman is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints from private student loan borrowers, compiling and analyzing complaint data on private education loans, and making appropriate recommendations to policy makers.
Mr. Cameron is a Colonel and Staff Judge Advocate for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He joins the Bureau from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency where he was responsible for litigation, compliance, and risk mitigation.
The FASB Board issued an exposure draft for public comment regarding the effective dates of several different standards as they apply to each type of reporting entity. Under the proposal, as it applies to credit unions, the plan would:
In addition, the proposal would change the current three bucket effective date structure of CECL to a two bucket structure. Currently, the standard differentiates between public business entities that are SEC filers, public business entities that are not SEC filers, and non-public business entities (which includes credit unions).
CUNA and credit union leagues from around the country wrote to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership expressing concern over a provision in the Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020. TheHouse version passed in July without the provision, the differences will be handled by conference committee after the August recess.“The CUNA/League System and our credit union members are extremely concerned over Section 2821 of the Senate-passed NDAA that would provide rent-free access to military installations for more complex, profit-centered financial institutions. The House-passed NDAA contains no similar language. As conference negotiations begin, we urge all conferees to reject the inclusion of Section 2821.”
CUNA, along with the Ohio Credit Union League, attended arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The cases are Brintley v. Aeroquip CU and Brintley v. Belle River Community Credit Union, two Michigan-based credit unions hit with frivolous lawsuits claiming website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).CUNA filed amicus briefs with the Michigan Credit Union League supporting the credit unions’ appeal of the denial of their motion to dismiss.CUNA, Leagues and credit unions have achieved two previous appellate-level victories in similar suits, the first in the Fourth Circuit in January and the second in the Seventh Circuit in July. Such victories create binding precedent in their respective circuits.
The Federal Reserve Board ended months of speculation with Monday’s announcement that it plans to develop a “round-the-clock, real-time payment and settlement service.” Branded FedNow, the service will offer US financial institutions an alternative to the RTP rails launched by The Clearing House in late 2018.
According to the Fed, over 90 percent of the responses to its Request for Comment supported its participation in this arena. CUNA had submitted a comment letter endorsing the Fed’s entry, as did the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Merchant Advisory Group.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has extended the comment period for its proposal on debt collection to September 18, past the original deadline of Augugst 19. According to the CFPB, this will allow “interested persons more time to consider and submit their comments.”
CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed changes to its Safeguards Rule, which requires financial institutions to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive security system to protect consumer information. The FTC is reviewing the rule in the wake of recent data breaches.
"Enhanced data security requirements should help safeguard consumers’ private information. We generally support FTC’s amendments to the Safeguards Rule; although, as shown from our comments above we think that the definition of financial institution should be broadened as much as possible to maximize consumer protection. Unfortunately, more needs to be done so that data is properly secured no matter what type of entity possesses it.
It is for this reason that CUNA and our members believe Americans’ privacy will not have the protection Americans deserve until Congress passes a law with both strong privacy and data security protections that regulates based on the type of information handled or maintained."
Several U.S. Senators wrote to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday following up on a letter the group sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last year.
Just a reminder that the final enrollment deadline for submitting applications to be eligible to use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new electronic Consent Based Social Security Number (SSN) Verification (eCBSV) service must be received by 6 pm EST on July 31, 2019. Any credit union that is not selected for the initial rollout after submitting a valid application will be eligible to re-submit a full application and user agreement for the later expanded rollout. However, any credit union that chooses not to submit a valid application before the close of the July 31, 2019 deadline must wait until the next open enrollment period which could be up to a two-year wait. Note that participation in the eCBSV is purely optional and is a business decision for each credit union.
Budget negotiations between the Administration and Congressional leaders bore fruit as all parties agreed to suspend mandatory discretionary budget cuts included in the Budget Control Act of 2011. These spending cuts would have gone into effect starting September 30, 2019. Negotiators also agreed to suspend the federal statutory debt ceiling through July 31, 2021. Absent any agreement, the debt ceiling was expected to be breached later next month.
The product of these negotiations was H.R. 3877, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon in a bipartisan vote of 284 to 149. The Senate is expected to pass this legislation next week and the president has agreed to sign it into law.
The House is in recess until September 9.
The Senate is expected to consider nominations for the posts of the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Ambassador to the U.N.
The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act by a vote of 429-3. The bill, which is the latest attempt by Congress to curtail fraudulent robocalls, had been amended in recent weeks to address concerns that CUNA raised that the legislation would limit credit unions’ ability to reach their members for legitimate business concerns.“We appreciate the improvements that were made to this bill through the committee process,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer. “We look forward to engaging lawmakers further to ensure that Congressional remedies don’t impede credit unions’ ability to communicate with their members.”
CUNA submitted a letter to the FCC today regarding their proposed rule on robocalls. This rule would establish a single, comprehensive database that would contain the most recent permanent disconnection date for toll free numbers and for each number allocated to or ported to each provider that receives North American Numbering Plan U.S. geographic numbers. It would also set a minimum aging period of 45 days before a permanently disconnected number may be reassigned to a new subscriber with a limited safe harbor from liability for any caller that relies upon inaccurate information provided by the database.
Today, CUNA filed a comment letter in support of NCUA's proposed rule on public unit and nonmember shares (referred to as nonmember deposits). The proposal would replace the current nonmember deposit limit of the greater of 20% of total shares or $3 million with a limit of 50% of the difference of paid-in and unimpaired capital and surplus, less any public unit and nonmember shares.
Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer of Maps Credit Union in Oregon testified on behalf of CUNA before the Senate Banking Committee. Pross testified in support of the SAFE Banking Act which would protect financial institutions that serve cannabis businesses in places where it is legal. Oregon voted to legalize recreation cannabis in 2014 (and medical cannabis in 1998), and Maps subsequently conducted “extensive research and risk analysis” before voting to serve cannabis businesses.Pross said Maps made this decision to: serve the underserved; and to enhance the safety of the community by getting large amounts of cash off the streets.
CUNA filed a letter with NCUA in support of its proposal to delay the effective date of the risk-based capital rule until January 1, 2022.
This week, the House of Representatives may vote on a possible deal to raise the budget caps and the debt limit. In addition, the House has scheduled votes on H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act; H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act; and H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act.
The Senate is scheduled to consider the nominations of Mark Esper to be Secretary of Defense and Stephen Dickson to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The NCUA Board issued a proposed IRPS regarding prohibitions imposed by section 205(d), adopted final rules on real estate appraisals and fidelity bonds, and approved its 2019 mid-session budget.
The CFPB issued an updated advisory for financial institutions on best practices for financial institutions when suspecting elder financial exploitation.
The Bureau’s recommendations, first issued in 2016, provided six categories of “voluntary best practices” to assist financial institutions to prevent elder financial abuse. These best practices “include:
The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the H.R. 3375, Stop Robocalls Now Act. Prior to the Committee's markup, CUNA wrote in support of the bipartisan effort that produced H.R. 3375 and supporting the inclusion of language regarding notice and a complaint mechanism for opt-in, white-list call blocking, redress for erroneous call-blocking by the Federal Communications Commission, and cost protection for callers using the notice and complaint process for call-blocking services.
Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer at Maps Credit Union in Salem, Oregon, will testify on behalf of CUNA at a hearing on cannabis banking conducted by the Senate Banking Committee. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, starting at 10:00 a.m. (ET) and will be streamed live on the Committee's website.
CUNA wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to their review plan as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. CUNA wrote in support of the CFPB conducting regular, robust reviews of its regulations with an eye toward reducing burden. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to conduct a review of a rule ten years after final action, focusing on the rule’s economic impact on small entities.
According to the CFPB’s plan, it intends to initiate its review approximately one year before the 10-year deadline, and although not required by statute, the CFPB will also solicit feedback from stakeholders via public comment on the rule under review.
The FASB Board discussed the issue of effective dates of several different standards as they apply to each type of reporting entity
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of a credit union facing a frivolous lawsuit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. CUNA filed an amicus brief in this case along with the Illinois and Wisconsin crdit union leagues.
In its opinion, the 7th Circuit agreed with the district court that the plaintiff – who is ineligible for membership in the defendant credit union – has not suffered an injury-in-fact, as required to establish standing. Throughout its opinion, the court cites Griffin, another cased decided in favor of the defendant credit union which was issued earlier this year out of the Fourth Circuit.
CUNA and the state credit union leagues have been working with the Department of Justice to clarify this issue, and its efforts have led numerous legislators from the House and Senate to write to the DOJ calling for a solution.
Yesterday, CUNA wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve Board regarding potential modifications to the Federal Reserve Banks' National Settlement Service (NSS) and Fedwire Funds Service to support enhancements to the same-day automated clearinghouse (ACH) service, which with NACHA rules changes will add a third daily processing window.
This week, the House will consider several resolutions disapproving of recent sales of military equipment to certain foreign nations. In addition, the House will vote on H.R. 3494, the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 as well as H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act. Finally, the House will likely vote on measures to find the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce in contempt of Congress.
The Senate will vote on a number of federal judiciary nominations as well as legislation aimed at replenishing the fund for 911 first responders.
Prior to the House Financial Services Committee's markup, CUNA wrote in support of two of the bills marked-up.
H.R. 2852, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 If enacted this legislation would ensure the Federal Housing Administration’s appraiser requirements are identical to those currently employed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac concerning licensed appraisers. As a result, credit unions would be able provide members with more choices for federally-backed loans without any concerns that an appraisal will not satisfy a program’s requirements due to their differing appraiser certification standards. H.R. 2852 passed the Committee by a voice vote.
H.R. 281, the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019The Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 would require the Federal Reserve Banks to interview at least one candidate reflective of gender diversity and one candidate of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing presidents. Since the Federal Reserve’s inception in 1913, only seven women have served as reserve bank presidents, with Janet Yellen being the only female to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve Boar.
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1988, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act; H.R. 2162, the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2019; H.Res. 456, a resolution “Emphasizing the importance of grassroots investor protection and the investor education missions of State and Federal securities regulators, calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to collaborate with State securities regulators in the protection of investors”; H.R. 2919, the Improving Investment Research for Small and Emerging Issuers Act; H.R. 3050, the Expanding Investment in Small Business Act of 2019; H.R. 2409, the Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators; and H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
The Senate will consider Daniel Aaron Bress, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
CUNA commented on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s Overdraft Rule Review Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The letter urges the Bureau avoid creating unnecessary burdens or limitations on the availability of overdraft programs.
“Credit unions would not support efforts to reopen or revise the 2009 Overdraft Rule to expand the rule’s scope or add additional compliance requirements on credit unions offering this popular product to their members,” the letter reads. “When considering the issue of overdraft protection, the CFPB should keep in mind the personal choice consumers make when they opt in to these services for the comfort of knowing a transaction, especially a necessary or emergency purchase, will be honored.”The CFPB is conducting a review of its 2009 overdraft rule as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the rule under review should be “continued without change or amended or rescinded to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities, consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes,” per the statute.
CUNA is still seeking your input on several rulemakings that close for comment later this month
CUNA advocacy and compliance staff, including Chief Compliance Officer Jared Ihrig, Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Elizabeth Eurgubian, and Manager of Federal Compliance Information and Research Nancy DeGrandi met with NCUA staff to discuss consumer financial protection issues at the agency’s headquarters.
“We thank NCUA staff for their time and attention as CUNA continues our engagement with policymakers on practical ways to relieve the regulatory burden on credit unions,” Eurgubian said.
NCUA celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act Wednesday as well, and CUNA staff were in attendance.
The Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 with CUNA-opposed language expanding certain waivers for rent and other facilities costs for financial institutions on military installations currently granted to credit unions. The House version of the NDAA, which passed committee earlier this month, does not contain such language.
CUNA submitted its comment letter on the CFPB’s remittance request for information, which the CFPB issued in April following months of meetings in which CUNA raised the issue with CFPB leaders and staff. The letter states that substantive amendments to the remittance rule would create a more effective balance between consumer protection and access to services.
“We appreciate the Bureau engaging in its current effort to consider potential revisions to the remittance rule and support the current leadership in its goal to issue right-sized regulations after soliciting meaningful stakeholder feedback,” the letter reads. “While CUNA supports appropriate safeguards for consumers initiating remittance transfers, including clear and understandable disclosures, the Bureau should propose and finalize substantive amendments to the Remittance Rule to better balance necessary consumer protections with a more tailored regulation that allows consumers to access desired products and services.”
The CFPB announced that it is extending until October 15, 2019, the comment period on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) related to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data points. Comments were previously due on July 8, 2019.
According to its release, the Bureau’s extension is intended “to give interested parties an opportunity to review the Bureau’s annual overview of residential mortgage lending based on the HMDA data financial institutions collected in 2018.” The ANPR, issued on May 2, 2019, solicits comment on certain data points in the Bureau’s October 2015 final rule that were added to Regulation C or revised to require additional information.
The House passed the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 today. CUNA wrote in strong support of the bill earlier this week due to the appropriations amounts for several credit union funds, including the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).
“We thank the House for passing the bill, and for the attention of House appropriators to ensure appropriate levels for several important funds that credit unions are able to leverage to better serve their members and communities,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.
The CFPB hosted the first of a planned series of symposia focused on topics in consumer financial protection. The symposium focused on defining “abusive” under Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Representatives from CUNA and the Maryland & DC Credit Union Association were in attendance.
The symposia featured remarks from Director Kathy Kraninger and Deputy Director Brian Johnson, as well as comments from legal and academic experts. In general, the conversation focused on the statutory history of “abusive”, the role of cost-benefit analysis, and whether behavioral economics can play a role in determining abusive behavior.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Lynch & Ranking Member Hill prior to the House Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology’s hearing on “Overseeing the Fintech Revolution: Domestic and International Perspectives on Fintech Regulation.” The letter discusses how technology has improved consumer access to financial services, but certain new financial technologies, or fintech, does not have the regulatory structure in place that exists with credit unions and other financial institutions.
Prior to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee markup of H.R. 3375, the "Stopping Bad Robocalls Act," CUNA wrote to Chairman Doyle and Ranking Member Latta expressing concerns with the legislation but also applauding the bipartisan efforts from Congress to address robocalls and the Federal Communication Commission’s treatment of them.
“We applaud the bipartisan effort that produced H.R. 3375, and we appreciate the recognition that the FCC should move quickly to clarify the definition of an autodialer. This provision will help facilitate credit unions’ and other legitimate businesses’ compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”
“We continue to encourage the FCC narrowly tailor the definition of an autodialer to target illegal automated calls, rather than preventing legitimate actors from broadly using any form of automated telephonic communication with consumers. Nevertheless, we still have concerns with the legislation in its current form.”
CUNA called on Senate leadership to reject inclusion of any language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 that would expand the Department of Defense’s (DoD) authority to exempt financial institutions from certain costs on military installations. The current Senate version contains such language, while CUNA, leagues and the Defense Credit Union Council successfully blocked language in the House NDAA that would have broadened the exemption.
As the only member-owned, not-for-profit, democratically controlled option in financial services, credit unions' mission is to promote thrift and provide access to credit for members. It is a mission they have fulfilled for more than 70 years and it’s a mission that remains unchanged today. Credit unions are focused on ensuring the financial readiness of our service members and their families.
CUNA sent a comment letter on NCUA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) regarding compensation in connection with loans and lines of credit to members.
We support the overall intent of the regulation, which is generally to appropriately limit undue risk to credit unions regarding lending. However, to remain competitive with our banking counterparts, we believe changes to the regulation allowing additional compensation to senior executives is appropriate, so long as there is an appropriate balance that incorporates sufficient risk management.
This Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will markup H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This legislation was initially introduced as H.R. 946 earlier this year and CUNA—along with its league and industry partners — has worked with the majority and minority to improve it. There may be opportunities to make additional technical changes if credit unions discuss their outstanding concerns with Energy and Commerce Committee members during recess.
We can positively report that, through continued engagement with the Subcommittee on a bipartisan basis, the current bill requires the Federal Communications Commission to, once and for all, resolve the dispute between the varying judicial circuits on the definition of an “autodialer” by providing that definition within six months of the enactment of the law. As many of you already know, CUNA previously petitioned the FCC—on behalf of our credit union members--regarding the circuit court’s split on definitional language and, to date, has not received any formal response. The bipartisan bill’s admonishment that the Commission must provide that definition sooner, rather than later, is a definite victory for the concerns that you have raised.
This week, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Interior, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of FY 2020. In addition, the House will consider H.R. 3351, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of FY 2020 as well as H.R. 2722, the Securing America's Federal Elections Act. Finally, H.R. 3401, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act may also be voted on.
The Senate is expected to consider S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. In addition, the Senate may vote on a bill to provide supplemental appropriations for the U.S. southern
Today, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral
arguments for two ADA website accessibility cases involving two Michigan credit
CFPB Ombudsman’s Office hosted a small business forum today in Chicago, IL. The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) attended the forum and provided recommendations on improving the Bureau’s processes.
This week, the House will continue consideration of the Defense, Labor-HHS-Educations, State and Foreign Operations, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch funding bill. The House may also consider H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 [Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020].
The Senate may consider S. 1790, “The National Defense Authorization Act.” The Senate is also expected to consider a number of judicial nominations.
The House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 very early this morning. While an amendment was offered that would have extended to banks the same rent-free access to land and facilities that credit unions have been granted due to their not-for-profit, member-owned mission and structure, CUNA, the Leagues, and the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) were successful in working with Representatives to ensure such language was kept out of the final bill.
“We’re pleased that Chairman Smith (D-WS), Ranking Member Thornberry (R-TX), and the rest of the House Armed Services Committee recognized the inherent differences between the credit union mission and structure and the profit-driven model that banks operate under,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We look forward to this bill passing the House, and we’ll continue engagement with the Senate to preserve credit unions’ ability to continue their service to American servicemembers and their families.”
Prior to the Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), CUNA wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell. In the letter, CUNA said it was imperative that the Committee devote some attention to the Commission’s recent efforts relating to call-blocking services of robocalls.
The Senate Commerce Committee should press the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on what actions and rulemakings, if any, the agency will undertake to ensure legally permissible calls aren’t impacted by last week’s call-blocking ruling.
CUNA wrote in support of the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act (H.R. 3198) Wednesday, a bill introduced by Representatives Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).
CUNA supports the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act, which would amend the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA) to require the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and federal financial regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and NCUA, to review all existing regulations once every seven years.
CUNA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and its mortgage reporting thresholds. The CFPB proposed increasing the HMDA reporting thresholds for closed-end mortgages to 50 or 100 loans (up from the current 25) and extending the current temporary thresholds of 500 open-end lines of credit until January 1, 2022.
While CUNA believes the proposal is “step in the right direction,” CUNA recommends the CFPB go further in its regulatory relief.
Based on CUNA’s analysis, the CFPB’s current proposal would provide HMDA relief to over 750 credit unions. The CUNA-recommended threshold of 500 closed-end mortgage loans would reduce the regulatory costs associated with HMDA compliance for over 1,500 credit unions.
CUNA wrote in support of four regulatory relief bills that were marked up by the House Financial Services Committee this week. The bills covered Bank Secrecy Act, flood insurance and financial literacy act. All four CUNA-supported pieces of legislation passed the Committee.
H.R. 2513, The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, which would address the redundancies, unnecessary burdens, and opportunities for efficiencies within the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) statutory framework. CUNA notes that regulatory regimes like BSA should be a scalable framework to help smaller institution [Passed 43-16]
H.R. 3111, The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Administration Reform Act of 2019, which would make administrative reforms to the NFIP [Passed 58-0]
H.R. 3167, The NFIP Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would extend NFIP through Sept. 30, 2024. While CUNA supports this bill and H.R. 3111, it also called for a long-term, sustainable solution to restore certainty to the market [Passed 59-0]
H.R. 2162, The House Financial Literacy Act of 2019, which would require the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide a 25-basis point discount in FHA insurance premiums for first-time homebuyers that complete a financial counseling course [Passed 53-6]
Prior to the Committee’s vote, CUNA wrote in support of appropriations levels for two credit union-related funds in the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The committee passed the bill on Tuesday.
The legislation allocates $300 million for the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, a $50 million increase over last year. The fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistants to certified CDFIs.
As of May 1, there are 291 credit unions out of 1,083 certified CDFIs nationwide.
The CFPB announced a symposium focused on abusive acts or practices will be held in Washington, DC on June 25 at 9:00 a.m. Those interested in attending in-person can sign up here, the symposium will also be webcast on the Bureau’s website. The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the Bureau to take enforcement, supervision, and rulemaking actions concerning unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP). The meaning of abusiveness is less developed than the meaning of unfair or deceptive, which have been defined substantially by the Federal Trade Commission Act. The symposium will provide a public forum for the Bureau and the public to hear various perspectives on the meaning of abusiveness.
This symposium will include remarks from CFPB Director Kraninger, Deputy Director Brian Johnson, and feature two panels of legal experts and acade
Prior to the Financial Services Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigation’s hearing on “An Examination of State Efforts to
Oversee the $1.5 Trillion Student Loan Servicing Market,” CUNA wrote to Chairman
Green and Ranking Member Barr supporting H.R. 1661.
If enacted, H.R. 1661 would provide the NCUA with
Prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Data Brokers and the Impact on Financial Data Privacy, Credit, Insurance, Employment and Housing, CUNA wrote the Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown continuing advocacy efforts on data security. Although the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act has served the financial services industry well, Congress must work with the administration to finally address consumer data privacy in a meaningful way.
CUNA wrote to the House Armed Services Committee leadership urging them to reject language in FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would expand exemptions from costs related to leases, utilities and services on military bases for financial institutions.
"This exemption is not guaranteed for every credit union on every military base. It is a negotiation between that military installation’s base commander and that specific credit union. Furthermore, this exemption is limited in scope to credit unions if at least 95 percent of the membership to be served by the allotment of space or the facility built on the lease land is composed of individuals who are, or who were at the time of admission into the credit union, military personnel or federal employees, or members of their families."
Sheltered Harbor, a voluntary initiative designed to help protect against cyberattacks, will conduct a free informational webinar June 19. CUNA is a founding board member of Sheltered Harbor and recently joined other financial trade associations to call on all financial institution CEOs to join the initiative.Registration is currently open for the June 19 webinar, scheduled to run from 1 to 2 p.m. (ET).
This week, the House will consider H. Res. 430, authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas and for other purposes; H.R. 2740, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020 [Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2020]; and H.R. 3151, the Taxpayer First Act.
The Senate will convene this week to consider Ryan T. Holte, of Ohio, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years
In the second day of a two-day meeting of the CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) the group discussed the recent debt collection proposal, the Bureau’s work to educate and engage consumers, and trends in the mortgage market. In today’s meetings, the CUAC was joined in a combined session by the Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC) and Consumer Advisory Board (CAB).
The session on debt collection included a presentation on the proposal by John McNamara, Assistant Director of the Office of Consumer Lending, Reporting, and Collection Markets. The presentation included a high-level overview of the rule’s proposed requirements on Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) covered debt collections – also referred to as “third-party debt collectors.” The CFPB’s proposal does not directly affect credit unions collecting their own debts, but CUNA has raised concerns about the potential indirect effects on credit unions that assign out charged off loans.
The CFPB issued a final rule to delay the August 19, 2019 compliance date for the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 Payday Rule. Under the final rule, compliance with these provisions is pushed back to November 19, 2020.
In addition to the delay, the Bureau is also making certain technical corrections to address errors in other provisions of the rule. The Bureau also released several resources for those interested in the compliance delay final rule, including a table of contents and an unofficial redline.
CUNA was supportive of the proposed delay in comments submitted to the Bureau in March 2019 but also called on the Bureau to delay the entire rule and offered recommendations on the Bureau’s overall approach to regulating the payday lending market.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve its default call-blocking order, which includes a CUNA-supported mechanism for challenging erroneous call blocking. CUNA is concerned the order will lead to credit unions being unable to reach members with important information with members unaware the calls have been blocked.In an interview with Fox Business News, Chairman Pai indicated that the proposed draft declaratory ruling would be modified to include a mechanism for legitimate callers to challenge erroneous call-blocking. This represented a significant change in his office’s prior position.“Today’s ruling would not have been possible without the 360-degree advocacy of the CUNA/League system,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer. “Over the last few months, CUNA, Leagues and credit unions worked directly with the FCC, Congress, the CFPB and NCUA to ensure that any approach to stem robocalls protects credit unions’ ability to contact members and protect their financial health and security. This is how we approach every issue, and it has proven successful time and time again.”
CUNA joined the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) and state credit union associations from across the country in writing to Senate Banking Committee leadership urging them to conduct hearings and discuss safe banking options for legal cannabis-based businesses.“The lack of legal and regulatory guidance on banking for legitimate cannabis business has created a dangerous and costly environment for all involved since they now must operate on an almost all-cash basis,” the letter reads. “Not only do the employees have to transact with and transmit large amounts of cash daily, often tens of thousands of dollars at a time, but the states must also collect taxes and licensing fees in cash, which increases compliance and administrative costs for the state and the business…we urge you to move forward with hearings to explore remedies to these issues.”
As you know, the FCC recently proposed the adoption of a call-blocking order that would, among other things, allow voice-service providers to block, by default, any “unwanted” telephone call to consumers regardless of whether those calls were legal. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal today, June 6th. Last week we submitted our comments and concerns directly to the FCC.
We have and continue to work closely with a coalition of industry groups to try to slow down or modify the proposed rule. As you recall, last week, we issued an action alert encouraging credit unions to raise concerns directly with the FCC. In a two day period, more than 1,000 credit union advocates contacted the FCC with original letters describe our concerns and urging changes to the proposal so that credit unions can continue to communicate and provide members with critical information.
Until today, the FCC appeared all but prepared to move forward with adopting the order as is, despite our concerns. But last night, things appear to have changed somewhat.
In an interview with Fox Business News, Chairman Pai indicated that the proposed draft declaratory ruling would be modified to include a mechanism for legitimate callers to challenge erroneous call-blocking. This represents a significant change in his office’s prior position. We are confident that his change is an acknowledgement of our grassroots effort as well as the lobbying we have done in conjunction with the industry groups.
“We will closely review the modification that Chairman Pai is proposing, but based on what he said on Fox News tonight, we view this as a positive step and a reflection of the impact that our grassroots efforts have had,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer.
The CFPB’s Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) discussed faster payments, remittances, and the CFPB’s Start Small, Save Up Initiative with Bureau experts.
Gary Stein, Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Card, Payment and Deposit Markets, gave a presentation on the potential effects of faster payments on financial services. The presentation included an overview of the Bureau’s faster payments activities and examples of faster payments systems currently in place. Stein also discussed the CFPB’s consumer protection principles for faster payments. Members of the CUAC raised the need for faster payments to be paired with appropriate security to prevent fraud and system misuse.
The House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government passed its legislation for fiscal year 2020, legislation with several important credit union priorities addressed. Prior to the markup, CUNA wrote to Chairman Quigley and Ranking Member Graves urging the Committee to increase funding for the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
The legislation passed includes funding for the CDFI at $300 million for FY2020, a $50 million increase from last year's $250 million.
LTD Financial, Debt Management Partners, and Bayview Solutions filed responses to CUNA’s Motion for Leave to File the Amicus Briefs. The companies are involved in litigation related to federal credit unions’ access to federal courts via diversity jurisdiction.
Today, the Court granted CUNA’s motions for leave to file the Amicus Briefs.
This week the House will consider H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. In addition, the House will likely vote on H.R. 2157, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019. This bill includes a provision that would extend the NFIP through the end of the fiscal year (9/30/2019).
The Senate is expected to consider S. 1332, which would set forth the congressional budget levels for Fiscal Year 2020. This bill is being offered by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). The Senate is also expected to consider the nomination of Andrew Saul to be Commissioner of Social Security.
The House extended via unanimous consent the National Flood Insurance Program until June 14, a two-week extension of the program. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, preventing the program from lapsing, which was set to occur at 11:59 p.m. (ET) May 31.
CUNA continues to push on the Federal Communication Commission's draft declaratory ruling on default block calling, this time with a letter to Secretary Marlene Dortch.
CUNA sent a comprehensive letter to NCUA detailing a number of issues the agency should address as part of its annual, one-third regulatory review.
CUNA wrote in favor of an Amendment that would ensure credit unions would be represented on the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) at the CFPB. The Amendment was offered by Representative Haley Stevens and it passed with a 418-10 vote.
The CFPB’s CAB is an important tool in identifying and assessing consumer financial practices, trends, and products and providing recommendations. However, there is no requirement that representatives of credit unions, community banks, or small businesses be appointed to serve on the board. Currently, there is no credit union representation on the CAB.
The NCUA Board issued a proposed rule on nonmember deposits, received an update on the work of CURE, and received its quarterly briefing on the status of the Share Insurance Fund. Chairman Hood thanked members of the Northwest Credit Union Association for their attendance at today’s meeting.
CUNA wrote to Senator Tillis (R-NC) in support of his recently introduced legislation to stop and study Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL). If enacted, S. 1564, the Continued Encouragement for Consumer Lending Act would require the standard (CECL) to be delayed and studied by the Securities and Exchange Commission along with the federal financial regulators, including the NCUA.
The CFPB announced that their financial education tool called "Misadventures in Money Management" has been expanded to active-duty servicemembers. According to mimm.gov, "Misadventures in Money Management was developed in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) and WILL Interactive. It aims to help military service members improve their financial literacy and financial choices through an interactive graphic novel experience."
CUNA continued its push for regulatory intervention on the Federal Communications Commission’s draft declaratory ruling on default call blocking, this time to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger. CUNA’s letter urges Kraninger to intervene with the FCC and ask the agency to delay and reconsider the ruling, particularly since the CFPB is a strong proponent of ensuring consumers are protected by being aware of important account information.
The order would allow voice service providers to default block robocalls, requiring consumers to opt in to receive such communications. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the order June 6.
Last week, CEOs of major financial services trade associations came together with a message to all U.S. financial institutions: Join Sheltered Harbor. Check out this deeper dive by Sheltered Harbor CEO Trey Maust into why the initiative is critical - both for individual institutions' operational resilience, and for the stability of the financial system as a whole.
CUNA's Economics and Research team recently released an updated SIF Distribution Calculator. Check it out to get your best estimate of first quarter 2019 CU SIF equity distribution.
Check it out!
The CFPB published its Spring 2019 rulemaking agenda as part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As an independent regulatory agency, the Bureau voluntarily participates in the Unified Agenda.
The next Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) meeting is scheduled to occur over two days on June 5-6
CUNA sent a letter to NCUA asking it to consider the pros and cons of replacing the existing fixed interest rate cap on FCU loans with a floating rate cap.
NCUA Chairman Hood announced that he has appointed Lenwood Brooks as the Assistant to the Chairman and Director of External Affairs. Mr. Brooks joins the NCUA from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, where he served as Vice President of Communications and led the trade association’s external affairs activities. His position reports directly to the Chairman and he will manage the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs as well as intergovernmental and stakeholder relations.
Comments were submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL) in response to the current proposed overtime regulation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While the proposal is an improvement over the 2016 overtime rule, CUNA urges DOL to avoid creating excessive costs and compliance burdens on credit unions.
The proposal attempts to strike a balance between ensuring the salary level test is consistent with present day practice while also avoiding a sudden jolt to the resources of small employers.
CUNA sent its serious concerns about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) scheduled June 6 vote on default call blocking to the attention of NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood, and requested he intervene and ask that FCC delay and reconsider the ruling.
Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the FCC will vote on an order that would allow voice service providers to default block robocalls, only lifting the block once a consumer has specifically opted in to receive communications.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing entitled, “Combating Illicit Financing by Anonymous Shell Companies Through the Collection of Beneficial Ownership Information.”
The letter wrote of CUNA and credit union support for reasonable protections, including those under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), aimed at reducing financial crimes.
“Credit unions take BSA/AML compliance seriously and dedicate significant resources to it. However, when credit unions are spending their limited resources disproportionately on compliance, this means they are spending fewer resources on innovating and providing safe and affordable products and services.”
CUNA submitted a brief in support of Navy Federal Credit Union to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, in response to a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that found Section 1332 of the U.S. Code is the sole source of diversity jurisdiction and that Section 1332 does not apply to federally chartered corporations. CUNA supports federal credit unions’ access to federal courts via diversity jurisdiction, one of the two methods for a federal court to have jurisdiction. CUNA’s brief, filed in Navy FCU v. LTD Financial Services et al, says that by foreclosing the ability for federal credit unions to invoke diversity jurisdiction, the court has failed to give effect to Congressional intent to treat federal and state credit unions alike in all material respects.
A reminder that NCUA is seeking comments on its 2019 annual regulatory review until June 1. NCUA reviews all of its existing regulations every three years. NCUA’s Office of General Counsel maintains a rolling review schedule that identifies one-third of the NCUA’s existing regulations for review each year.
MarketWatch published an article interviewing Rachel Pross the Chief Risk Officer at Maps Credit Union in Oregon and myself about cannabis banking. Our interviews focused on the cannabis banking movement in Congress and highlights the work we’ve both been doing to create a safe and efficient ways for cannabis businesses have access to financial services. We both agree, cannabis banking can be conducted safely and efficiently – we just need common-sense federal laws and regulations.
CUNA wrote to NCUA Chairman Hood congratulating him on his appointment as Chair of the National Credit Union Administration and to provide additional information not included in a March letter that was sent during the confirmation process. CUNA and our members look forward to working with with the Chairman and are eager to stand as a resource.
The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act as well as H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019.
The Senate will convene on Monday and resume consideration of Daniel P. Collins to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing entitled, “CFPB’s Role in Empowering Predatory Lenders: Examining the Proposed Repeal of the Payday Lending Rule." Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Cummings and Ranking Member Jordan explaining how credit unions provide consumers with access to small dollar credit on safe and affordable terms. CUNA also included a comment letter on the CFPB's Payday Rule that was submitted to the CFPB this week.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins prior to the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on “Justice Denied: Forced Arbitration and the Erosion of Our Legal System.”
The letter highlighted the credit union difference and the many consumer protections associated with the credit union mission.
"As one of the only consumer-owned cooperatives in the financial marketplace, credit unions have a long tradition of protecting their members’ interests. Among the many consumer protections associated with the mission of credit unions is the high-quality service they provide to their members, which has prompted a successful system for quickly and amicably resolving disputes in the limited instances where they arise. Credit unions have achieved this great success as consumer protectors without the intervention of unscrupulous plaintiff’s attorneys, who often do not know the credit union’s members nearly as well as the credit union does. Arbitration can be an efficient means to resolve legal disputes between parties and the choice to use arbitration is highly dependent on each credit union’s internal policies, priorities, and resources."
CUNA wrote to Chairman Doyle and Ranking Member Latta prior to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee's hearing on “Accountability and Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.”
It is imperative that Congress encourage the FCC to modernize its implementing regulations for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Credit unions are tax-exempt nonprofit democratically operated financial cooperatives that have a unique relationship with their members, who are also owners of the enterprise. This special relationship spawns a variety of communications between the credit union and its member-owners, ranging from timely and critical financial information to messages regarding governance issues and financial education. Members welcome and expect this information
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing with the financial regulators similar to this week's Senate Banking Committee hearing. During the hearing, Members of the Committee cited CUNA data on the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard. CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the hearing raising the CECL concerns, as well as praising NCUA for its modernization efforts and listing several improvements NCUA could make -- this letter was similar to the letter sent to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown in the Senate Banking Committee.
issues an Accounting
Standards Update (ASU) intended to ease transition to the CECL credit
losses standard by providing the option to measure certain types of assets at
CUNA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to their proposal to rescind the mandatory underwriting provisions within the payday rule. CUNA wrote that the short-term, small-dollar (payday) rule would have a detrimental impact on access to consumer-friendly credit union products if implemented unchanged.
CUNA believes the rule fails to strike an appropriate balance between enhancing consumer protection and ensuring credit unions are able to continue serving their members.
“CUNA strongly urges the Bureau to amend the rule to avoid causing any negative effects on credit unions’ small dollar loan programs and, instead, refocus the rule on appropriately reining in unregulated and underregulated non-depository online, payday, and title lenders, particularly entities with a history of bad behavior,” the letter reads. “To achieve this goal, CUNA recommends the Bureau use its broad exemption authority under Section 1022(b)(3)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act to exempt all small dollar loans offered by credit unions from the 2017 Payday Rule, as credit unions have set themselves apart from other actors in this market.”
CUNA wrote to Chairman Kennedy and Ranking Member Coons prior to the Appropriations Committee's
hearing to “Review the FY2020 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Treasury.” In the letter, CUNA urged the Committee to increase federal funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)
The Senate Banking held a hearing entitled “Oversight of Financial Regulators." NCUA Chairman Hood was on the witness panel. Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown with steps the NCUA should take toward enhancements to the credit union charter, while improving cybersecurity efforts and reducing regulatory burden.
The hearing brought together leading officials from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (“Fed”), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the NCUA. Collectively, the primary topics of discussion included conversation on the state of the financial regulatory system, the Community Reinvestment Act, and updates on ongoing and past regulatory actions.
CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee, and to Committee members and their staff prior to NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood’s testimony before both Committees this week. Chairman Hood will appear before the Committees as part of a panel of federal financial regulators.
In the letters, CUNA wrote that the NCUA should take steps toward enhancements to the credit union charter, while improving cybersecurity efforts and reducing regulatory burden.
The credit union industry has focused its advocacy efforts on enhancements to the credit union charter. Therefore, we urge the agency to take steps toward this objective, which may include collaborating with parties outside NCUA. Concern over cyber and data security is likely the single biggest issue currently facing most industries, including financial services.
The CFPB published a notice announcing plans to periodically review regulations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). As part of its RFA Review, the Bureau has issued a notice requesting public comment on the 2009 Overdraft Rule.
Section 610 of the RFA requires agencies to review certain rules within 10 years of their publication, and consider the rules’ effect on small businesses. The purpose of the review is to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of small entities. At the conclusion of each review, the Bureau will determine whether the rule should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded.
CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger announced that Brian Johnson will serve as the Deputy Director. Mr. Johnson first joined the Bureau in December 2017 as Senior Advisor to the Director and was named Principal Policy Director in April 2018. He has served as Acting Deputy Director since July 2018.
CUNA filed a comment letter with the Federal Reserve Board in connection with an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on Regulation D regarding reserve requirements of depository institutions. Specifically, the Board is considering whether to propose amendments to Regulation D to lower the rate of interest paid on excess balances (IOER) maintained at Federal Reserve Banks by eligible institutions that hold a very large proportion of their assets in the form of balances at Reserve Banks. While the specifics of the Board’s ANPR would not impact credit unions, we decided to use the opportunity to urge the Board to consider amending Regulation D to increase the current regulatory limit of six transfers per month from a savings account.
This week, the House will consider H.R. 2578, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019. This legislation would extend the authority of the flood insurance program from May 31 to September 30. The House will also consider H.R. 5, the Equality Act and H.R. 987, the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower Health Education Act of 2019.
The Senate will consider a number of judicial nominations beginning with Michael J. Truncale, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Clay and Ranking Member Duffy prior to the Subcommittee’s hearing entitled, “A Review of the State of and Barriers to Minority Homeownership.”
In the letter, CUNA explained how the nation’s 5,500 credit unions are unique, member-owned, democratically-controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that currently serve over 115 million members and highlighted that Many of those members are people of color who rely upon their credit union to meet their housing finance needs.
CUNA wrote in support of S. 149, the Stop Senior Scams Act a bill introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). If enacted, this legislation would create a federal advisory council dedicated to combating senior scams.
Financial exploitation is one of the most common forms of elder abuse. CUNA strongly supports the goal of this legislation to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and to encourage responsible decisions regarding financial management.
Attorneys General from 38 states and territories wrote to Congressional Leadership in both chambers supporting the CUNA-backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. If enacted, this legislation would allow financial services to cannabis-based businesses in states where it is legal. CUNA, leagues and the American Bankers Association worked with the AG offices across to the country to coordinate the letter.“We request that Congress advance the SAFE Banking Act or similar legislation that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions that provide a financial product or service to a covered business in a state that has implemented laws and regulations that ensure accountability in the marijuana industry,” the letter reads. “An effective safe harbor would bring billions of dollars into the banking sector, enabling law enforcement; federal, state and local tax agencies; and cannabis regulators in 33 states and several territories to more effectively monitor cannabis businesses and their transactions.
CUNA responded to Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent proposal to cap the interest rates consumers pay for credit card and other loans that also called for the U.S. Postal Service to start providing more affordable financial services products to consumers.
In the letter CUNA refuted the need for such legislation, detailing why credit unions are the best option for consumers and already provide safe, affordable and quality financial services to local communities.
Membership through a credit union provides a consumer with all the protections that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are seeking, including:
The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 2514, the “Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform (COUNTER) Act of 2019,” which includes Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) relief for credit unions.
Representative Cleaver (D-MO) and Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) worked with Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) to add an amendment to H.R. 2514 to index the Currency Transaction Report thresholds for inflation and further study the impact of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
CUNA and state credit union leagues attended a CFPB Town Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to discuss the CFPB’s recently-issued proposal on debt collection practices under the Fair Dept Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The panel was moderated by David Silberman, CFPB Associate Director for Research, Markets, and Regulation, and included representatives from debt collection associations, consumer advocates, and public interest attorneys.
In her remarks prior to the panel, Director Kathy Kraninger said the Bureau’s rule is intended to provide “clear rules of the road where consumers know their rights and debt collectors know their limitations.” The Director noted the challenges collectors face when dealing with a statute (FDCPA) that is more than 40 years old. The proposed rule is intended to create standards for the FDCPA’s application to modern technology and provide clarity in areas where clarity was lacking.
Prior to the Committee’s hearing entitled, "Review of the FY 2020 USAID Budget Request," CUNA wrote to Chairman Risch and Ranking Member Menendez in support of funding for the Cooperative Development Program.
Since 1971, WOCCU has offered nearly 300 technical assistance programs around the globe – all while serving the mission of improving lives through credit unions and other cooperative financial institutions. WOCCU’s programs provide education and international networking for the exchange of information and ideas.
CUNA wrote to Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole prior to the Committee’s hearing on H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019. The Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), is expected to offer a “Manager’s Amendment” to the bill to extend the expiration of the authority of the National Flood Insurance Program from May 31 to September 30, 2019. CUNA urges the Committee to accept this amendment.
Credit unions play an increasingly important role in the housing finance market and, as a result, have a vested interest in the ongoing stability of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Many credit union members, throughout the United States, live in communities designated as Special Flood Hazard Areas subject to mandatory flood insurance requirements and many of those same members rely upon the coverage offered under the program to insure against the risk of a natural disaster occurring.
CUNA wrote to Committee leadership urging the Committee and Congress as a whole to address data security in order to provide consumers with data privacy. The best approach on data security and privacy for consumers and business is for Congress to develop a strong privacy law that applies to all businesses and entities that collect, house or otherwise possess information.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Kennedy and Ranking Member Coons prior to the Appropriations Subcommittee’s hearing entitled, “Hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2020 budget requests for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.” As the Committee considers the FCC’s fiscal budget for the upcoming year, CUNA urges Congress to encourage the FCC to modernize its implementing regulations for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
CUNA’s letter notes that the rules for contacting consumers are completely different for landlines and mobile phones, and that this distinction is “antiquated and unfair and fails to reflect how the vast majority of consumers communicate today.”
The CFPB issued a proposed rule on debt collection practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). As expected, the proposed rule appears to only cover FDCPA-covered debt collectors.
According to the Bureau’s release, the proposal would “set clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a weekly basis; clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using newer technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages, that have developed since the FDCPA’s passage in 1977; and require collectors to provide additional information to consumers to help them identify debts and respond to collection attempts.”
In addition to the proposal, the CFPB also released supplemental materials intended to assist entities to understand the proposal, including a Fact Sheet and Flowchart. Comments on the proposed rule will be due 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
The proposed rule was released ahead of a CFPB Town Hall on debt collection scheduled to take place tomorrow in Philadelphia, PA. CUNA, the Pennsylvania League, and several local credit unions will be present at the town hall.
The House is expected to consider H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019 and H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019. The Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee is expected to offer a “manager’s amendment” to the supplemental appropriations bill to extend the expiration of the authority of the National Flood Insurance Program from May 31 to September 30, 2019.
The Senate will resume consideration of Joseph F. Bianco, of New York, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.
Credit union leaders from California and Nevada met with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger in Los Angeles, CA.
Specific issues discussed include the need for strong Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan regulations, reconsideration of the CFPB’s Remittance rule coverage and safe harbor threshold, payday lending exemptions and the need for the CFPB to define “abusive” under Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP).
CUNA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to their request for input on several aspects of the consumer credit card market, the fourth such review as required by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009.“As the CFPB conducts its review of the credit card market, we urge it to be cognizant that excessive regulatory requirements have the potential to divert credit unions’ resources and attention from meeting their members’ needs,” the letter reads. “The credit unions that offer credit card programs do so as a service to their members.”
CFPB Proposes Higher HMDA Thresholds after Strong CUNA Push
Prior to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions hearing on “Ending Debt Traps in the Payday and Small Dollar Credit Industry,” CUNA wrote to Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member Luetkemeyer regarding the CFPB’s Payday Rule.
In the letter, CUNA wrote about the work credit unions did during the recent Government Shutdown. Credit unions provide the safest and most affordable options for consumers in need of short-term and emergency credit. As a recent example, an estimated 800,000 families across the country faced financial insecurity during the recent federal government shutdown. America's credit unions embodied their structure and mission by ensuring that all impacted members had access to low- or no-interest loans with generous repayment terms.
CUNA joined a number of trade associations in writing to Chairman Doyle and Ranking Member Latta prior to the Subcommittee’s hearing on the problem of illegal automated calls.
The signers of the letter strongly support and share the goal of thwarting unlawful actors that seek to defraud or commit other unlawful acts against consumers. Appropriately tailored efforts are critical to protect consumers from deception and other harm. The also urged the Committee to support the Federal Communications Commission’s unprecedented work to bring enforcement actions against illegal actors, while facilitating the ability of legitimate businesses to place valued and important calls to their customers using modern communications technologies.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled, “Guidance, Supervisory Expectations, and the Rule of Law: How do the Banking Agencies Regulate and Supervise Institutions?”
The letter included the recent letter CUNA sent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kraninger regarding the Bureau’s supervision of the nation’s not-for-profit credit unions.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner prior to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion’s hearing on “Good for the Bottom Line: The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion.”
In the letter, CUNA highlighted what credit unions do to support and promote diversity and inclusion.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell urging Congress to act to set a federal data privacy standard.
CUNA applauds the committee for taking up the critical issue of data privacy and pledged to work with them to create a strong, national data privacy standard. It should go without saying that any serious data privacy statute should include robust data security requirements that all who hold consumer data must follow. Unfortunately, as we have watched the debate over a federal data privacy standard develop, discussion of security requirements has been virtually nonexistent.
Nevertheless, we do not see any way for a data privacy law to achieve its objectives without a strong security standard that is preemptive of state law and applies to all entities that hold or use consumer data. Simply put: Congress cannot provide consumers with data privacy without addressing data security
CUNA wrote to Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Leahy prior to the hearing to “review the Fiscal Year 2020 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Agency for International Development.”
In the letter, CUNA wrote that there are over 89,000 credit unions in 117 countries with $2.1 trillion dollars in total assets serving 260 million members. The Credit Union National Association is also a member of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), which is the leading trade association and development organization for the international credit union movem
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled, “Housing in America: Assessing the Infrastructure Needs of America’s Housing Stock.”
In the letter, CUNA wrote that Credit unions play an increasingly important role in the housing finance market and, as a result, have a vested interest in ensuring an adequate supply of housing stock. Many credit union members, throughout the United States, live in communities where the nation’s housing stock has become more limited and unaffordable.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Inhofe, Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Reed, and Ranking Member Thornberry about concerns regarding the inclusion of any language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 that would allow banks rent-free access to military installations. Currently, there is no such language in the FY2020 NDAA. Last year, CUNA and the Defense Credit Union Council successfully fought for similar language to be removed from last year’s NDAA.
CFPB recently announced two opportunities for credit unions to engage with CFPB leadership and staff.
This week, the House will consider H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. The House will also consider several bills under “suspension of the rules.” Included are: H.Res. 327, a bill “Encouraging greater public-private sector collaboration to promote financial literacy for students and young adults” as well as H.Res. 328, legislation “Supporting the protection of elders through financial literacy.”
The Senate will vote on several executive branch nominations.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a Request for Information on its remittance rule, a rule which CUNA has called on the Bureau to revise. CUNA raised this issue on several occasions with new CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger since she took over as agency director, including in a letter when she was first confirmed and in multiple face-to-face meetings.“CUNA has asked the CFPB for years to finalize substantive amendments to the remittance rule in order to balance necessary consumer protections with a more tailored regulation that allows consumers access to these services,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We’re thankful to the CFPB for starting this process, and we thank our league and credit union partners who stressed the importance of this issue in meetings with Director Kraninger, CFPB staff and other policymakers.”
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan, Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Elizabeth Eurgubian and Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Mitria Wilson met with new NCUA board member Todd Harper to welcome him to the board and discuss credit union priorities. Harper was nominated by President Donald Trump in January and was confirmed in March, along with NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood.
“We thank board member Harper for his time and attention during our discussion about issues that are important to credit unions, most notably reducing the regulatory burden to increase member services,” Nussle said. “CUNA is pleased with the direction the agency has taken over the past few years, and we believe with a full board in place NCUA can continue its work and build on this positive momentum.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling that affirmed the appeal court’s decision, concluding that “a creditor's failure to provide such notice does not constitute a sufficient basis for relief under ch. 427.”
In December 2018, CUNA and the Wisconsin Credit Union League (WCUL) filed an amicus brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court in support of the defendant creditor as to “whether a debtor who has been sued on a consumer credit transaction without first receiving a notice of right to cure default under ch. 425 may sue the creditor for damages under ch. 427, the Wisconsin Consumer Act ("WCA").” The court of appeals concluded the debtor could not maintain such an action, and the debtor appealed. The amicus from CUNA and WCUL urged the Court to uphold the appeal court’s ruling.
CUNA filed a letter in support of NCUA’s proposed rule on supervisory committee audits (Part 715), as we believe the proposed changes would make compliance with these requirements less burdensome. Specifically, the proposal would amend NCUA’s regulations governing the responsibilities of a federally insured credit union to obtain an annual supervisory committee audit of the credit union.
The CFPB issued a release announcing changes its policies related to Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs). The amended policy is designed to ensure more information is provided by the CFPB at the onset about the potentially wrongful conduct under investigation.
The updated policy for CIDs “will provide more information about the potentially applicable provisions of law that may have been violated.” In addition, CIDs will also specify the business activities subject to the Bureau’s authority.
CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger announced the launch of a new symposium series that will be focused on issues affecting the consumer financial services marketplace. The events are intended to “stimulating a proactive and transparent dialogue to assist the Bureau in its policy development process, including possible future rulemakings.”
During each symposium, the Bureau will host a discussion panel of experts with a variety of viewpoints on the issue. The first topic for the symposia series – details of which are forthcoming – will be centered on “clarifying the meaning of abusive acts or practices under Section 1031 of the Dodd-Frank Act.”
Future symposia are planned to address other regulatory hot topics, including abusive acts or practices, behavioral law and economics, small business loan data collection, disparate impact and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, cost-benefit analysis, and consumer authorized financial data sharing.
America’s credit unions were represented at this week’s Opportunity Zone Conference at the White House, an event featuring cabinet and other officials, along with state, local, tribal and community leaders. The Opportunity Zone program, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, encourages individuals and businesses to invest in 8,760 low-income communities designated “Opportunity Zones.”
President Donald Trump spoke at the event, calling Opportunity Zones a “crucial part of new tax law to invest and create jobs in the nation’s most underserved communities.”
Several administration officials also spoke, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The Treasury also released new Opportunity Zone guidance designed to provide flexibility for investors and funds that invest in the zones, as well as certainty for stakeholders.
CUNA represented America’s credit unions at the Bipartisan Policy Center for CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s first policy speech. In her speech, the Director said the Bureau will focus on “prevention of harm to consumers.” Additionally, the Bureau will work to level the playing field for financial services providers while holding bad actors accountable, and it will work to develop clear rules of the road for regulated financial entities.
“We are encouraged by the approach that Director Kraninger laid out today as well as her engagement with credit unions in the first few months of her term,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “We look forward to engaging her more in an effort to reduce regulatory burden and put an end to one-size-fits-all regulation.”
In his opening remarks, new NCUA Chairman Hood commented on several areas he intends to focus on, including enhancing the credit union charter, enhancing cybersecurity efforts, and reducing regulatory burden
CUNA attended oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of the in American Bankers Association’s ongoing legal challenge to the National Credit Union Administration’s field of membership (FOM) rule.
During the hearing, the judges considered NCUA’s appeal of District Judge Dabney Friedrich’s ruling overturning the provisions of the agency’s rule related to combined statistical areas and rural districts. Meanwhile, the Court also considered ABA’s cross-appeal on those portions of Friedrich’s opinion upholding the provision of the rule permitting credit unions to serve core-based statistical areas without serving the urban core that defines the area.
CUNA wrote to Senators Merkely and Gardner in support of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019. If enacted, this legislation would permit credit unions in states where marijuana is legal to safely serve their members' related needs.
As stated in the letter, CUNA takes no position on the morality or wisdom of legalizing or decriminalizing medicinal or recreational cannabis at either the state or federal level. However, credit unions operating in states where it is legal have members and member businesses involved in the cannabis market who need access to traditional depository and lending services, the absence of which creates a significant public safety issue.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing with executives from seven megabanks. In the letter, CUNA highlighted the credit union difference and that even as Megabanks continue to grow as credit unions work to provide access to affordable financial services to 115 million Americans.
The letter noted that S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act has alleviated some of those burdens, but that additional legislation that may be forthcoming should not be one-size-fits-all and recognizes the regulatory challenges and financial burden faced by smaller, less complex financial institutions.
CUNA wrote to Representatives Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Paul Cook (R-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) in support of their bipartisan bill that would exempt loans made to veterans from counting against a credit union’s member business lending cap.
This bipartisan legislation will make it easier for America’s veterans to access capital and invest in themselves and their communities. Credit unions proudly serve tens of millions of active duty and veteran members and fully support veteran entrepreneurs and their families.
CUNA wrote to Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH) in the House and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Tim Scott (R-SC) in the Senate to in support of their resolutions to recognize Financial Literacy Month.
The resolutions recognize the need for financial literacy as a way to empower individuals and increase economic activity and growth while calling on consumers and organizations to “observe Financial Literacy Month with appropriate programs and activities.”
CUNA staff attended a roundtable hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Advocacy to discuss the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed Overtime Rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). During the meeting, CUNA raised concerns about the raised threshold and the impact increased compliance costs could have on credit unions’ ability to serve their members.
The DOL’s proposal would increase the minimum salary for the “white collar” overtime exemption from $23,660 annually to $35,308 annually. The proposed threshold is lower than the threshold of $47,476 finalized in a 2016 rulemaking. The 2016 rulemaking never became effective due to federal court challenges of the rule’s legality.
Given that more than 90% of mergers in 2018 occurred at credit unions under $100 million in assets, the CUNA Small Credit Union Committee wrote to Larry Fazio, NCUA director of the office of examination and insurance, to ask whether the agency has any concerns over the continued loss of small credit unions nationwide.
Following its in-person meeting with Fazio during CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, the group, which tracks issues facing small credit unions and advises the CUNA Board, wrote a letter reiterating the concerns it shared with Fazio in Washington, D.C.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member Leutkemeyer prior to the House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on “The Community Reinvestment Act: Assessing the Law’s Impact on Discrimination and Redlining.
As Congress ponders ways to improve the Community Reinvestment Act’s (CRA) impact on redlining and discrimination CUNA urged the Committee to consider ways to strengthen partnerships between banks and credit unions.“Credit unions have a track record of fairly meeting the needs of all members-regardless of their race, gender, or socio-economic background,” the letter reads. “Thus, facilitating the partnerships between banks and credit unions can serve as an important mechanism for ensuring that the goals of the Community Reinvestment Act are reached.
Prior to hearings in the House Appropriations Committee, CUNA wrote to Subcommittee leadership raising credit union issues as the subcommittees began hearings on federal agency budget requests from the DOJ, IRS and Treasury for fiscal year 2020.
Todd Harper and Rodney Hood were officially sworn in as the newest members of the NCUA board. President Trump designated Hood as the new board chair.
The House will consider H.R. 1644, the “Save the Internet Act of 2019”; H.R. 2021, the “Investing for the People Act of 2019” (setting budget levels for the next two fiscal years); and H.R. 1957, the “Taxpayers First Act.”
The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Daniel Domenico, of Colorado, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado.
CUNA wrote to both the House and Senate in support of Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2019. If enacted, this legislation would clarify the federal treatment of marijuana where it is legal and permit credit unions in those states to serve members’ related needs. The STATES Act of 2019 was introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the Senate and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Joyce (R-OH).
CUNA’s Chief Advocacy Officer – Ryan Donovan, wrote to Congressional offices highlighting the numerous public benefits that come with the credit union tax status. The credit union tax status is one of the best investments the government makes in its citizens.The email dispels numerous myths about the credit union tax status and points out that the status is based on credit unions’ mission and structure, which remains unchanged from the earliest days of not-for-profit financial cooperatives in America.
CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government prior to its hearing on the FCC’s budget for the upcoming year. As Congress considers the budget for the Federal Communications Commission, it is imperative Congress encourage the agency to modernize implementing regulations for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Together with the bank regulators, the NCUA issued FAQs on FASB’s CECL (current expected credit loss) accounting standard. The FAQs expand on (and incorporate) previously issued FAQs.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted unanimously against formally issuing changes to the CECL accounting standard that would have affected how credit losses are recorded. The changes were the subject of a January roundtable at FASB’s headquarters in Norwalk, CT.
The House Ways and Means Committee passed bipartisan legislation that will have a significant impact on credit unions should it pass the Senate and be enacted into law. Among the bills passed was H.R. 1957, the “Taxpayer First Act of 2019.”
The House will consider H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019; S.J. Res. 7, “To direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress”; and H.Res. 271, “Condemning the Trump Administration's Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans' Health Care.”
The Senate is expected to consider H.R. 268, the Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Act. The Senate may also consider S.Res. 50, a resolution “improving procedures for the consideration of nominations in the Senate.”
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is the primary global standard setter for regulation of internationally active banks. So, naturally, what this group does doesn’t affect credit unions, right? Wrong. Well, maybe it affects credit unions in other countries, but surely the work of the Basel Committee doesn’t impact U.S. credit unions, right? Wrong again.
Notwithstanding the mandate of internationally active banks, the Basel Committee has an impact on credit unions here in the United States and around the world. Look no further than NCUA’s risk-based capital rule, which adopts a Basel approach for U.S. credit unions.
Even the Basel Committee acknowledges its standards are not meant for small, non complex institutions, like credit unions. From Basel I through the current standards, Basel III, the Committee focused on the capital adequacy of “international banks” only, with no expectation that the rules would apply to other banks.
CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices – telling them that credit unions are among the businesses that risk legal action when contacting members due to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Regulations governing how businesses can interact with consumers are not keeping up with technology, leaving both consumers and businesses at risk.
The CFPB published the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Modified Loan Application Registers (LARs) data for approximately 5,400 financial institutions. This release is the first to include the additional data reported by certain institutions under the 2015 HMDA rule.
The House Financial Services Committee passed the CUNA-supported H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act by a bipartisan vote of 45-15. If enacted, this legislation would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions serving legal cannabis-related businesses.
Prior to the Committee’s mark-up, CUNA joined with the American Bankers Association (ABA) to send a letter in support of the bill as both entities are committed to serving the financial needs of their communities.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act. In the letter CUNA expressed concern over provisions in the legislation – including the dilution of the Credit Union Advisory Council.
CUNA’s letter reiterated support for a bipartisan, multimember commission to lead the CFPB.
"Congress has a responsibility to ensure the CFPB is suitably designed to be an effective agent of consumer protection. The current structure—with a single, powerful director—gives too much authority to one person and does not provide meaningful oversight and accountability,” the letter reads. “H.R. 1500 would be a more effective instrument of sustainable change if the bill was grounded in improving the Bureau’s leadership structure through the adoption of a multimember, bipartisan commission.”
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown highlighting CUNA’s commitment to working with the Committee to create a strong foundation for housing reform. CUNA believes that the Chairman’s early blueprint for housing finance reform is a solid start to beginning the work of rebuilding the secondary mortgage market.
“As important as it is to act to reform the secondary mortgage market, it is even more important to get it right,” the letter reads. “CUNA and our members continue to believe that for credit unions and our members, getting it right should mean one thing: Community lenders must be at the core of the future secondary mortgage market.”
CUNA wrote to Chairman Moran and Ranking Member Blumenthal and Chairman Krishnamoorthi and Ranking Member Cloud prior to Subcommittee hearings on data privacy and security.
The House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy conducted its hearing on improving data security at consumer reporting agencies, while the hearing conducted by the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, trade and consumer protection covered small business perspectives on data privacy.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady prior to the Ways and Means Committee hearing entitled, “The 2017 Tax Law and Who It Left Behind.” In the letter CUNA wrote about the importance of having not-for-profit credit unions as vibrant and viable alternatives in the financial services marketplace and reminded the Committee of the significant financial benefits credit unions provide to their members.While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) did not make any alterations to credit unions’ tax status it imposes several taxes on not-for-profit entities.
Recent NCUA releases cover several current issues that may be of interest.
The House will consider H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act and H. Res. 124, “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals.”
The Senate is expected to consider Bridget S. Bade, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. The Senate may also vote on S.J.Res.8, a joint resolution “recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” as well as H.R. 268, a bill to make supplemental appropriations.
The Department of Labor (DOL) published its proposed overtime rule Friday. Under the proposal, employees with a salary level of $35,308 per year (up from the current $23,660 per year) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.
The DOL previously finalized an overtime rule in 2016, but a federal judge blocked its implementation in November 2016. That rule would have raised the threshold to $47,476 annually.
CUNA had expressed concerns about this previous DOL rule, warning that the threshold change would magnify regulatory burdens faced by credit unions and could negatively impact credit union members by potentially forcing changes in employment situations.
CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee leadership in response to an invitation for stakeholder feedback on collection, use and protection of personal information by financial regulators and private companies.
“Congress should not expect any data privacy law it may enact to succeed in providing the desired level of privacy if such legislation does not also require all businesses and originations that collect, use and house personally identifiable information (PII) to protect that data consistent with strong, federal security requirements,” the letter reads. “A federal data security standard is essential to provide Americans with the comfort and confidence that the information that they share with businesses and organizations will remain private and secure.”
As the Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over financial institutions, CUNA urges it to “work with other committees and the administration to address consumer data privacy and data security so that all Americans can feel confident that their personal information is protected from breach and will not be misused by any company that possesses it.”
CUNA filed its comments with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on its proposed parameters for the Enterprises Validation and Approval of Credit Score Models. The proposal is in direct response to language in S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, designed to increase credit score competition in the mortgage market. CUNA’s comment noted that increased market competition in the credit-score industry could be beneficial to both consumers and lenders because it can improve efficiency, decrease pricing, and potentially expand the market of consumers for mortgage products. The comment also acknowledged, however, that the frequent modification of the GSEs credit-scoring models or a requirement that they use multiple models at the same time could discourage competition in the lending market by increasing costs for smaller lenders less capable of quickly and cost-effectively absorbing those changes into their own underwriting systems or paying the resulting increased prices to access the systems of the third-party vendors they rely upon. Ultimately,
CUNA acknowledged the FHFA’s recognition of the need for cost-benefit analysis as a core component of its proposed validation and approval process. But the comment expressed concern about the adequacy of the proposed cost-benefit analysis because it only vaguely, if at all, referenced lender implementation costs as a factor for consideration. Going forward, CUNA urged the FHFA to adopt a proposal that directly required lender implementation costs to serve as a consideration in the analysis.
The President delivered the remainder of his Fiscal Year 2020 budget to Congress. The Administration’s budget is an explanation of its spending priorities and does not have the force of law.
The president’s budget always has a section, as required by law, in which Treasury rescores all tax expenditures, including the ten-year cumulative “cost” of the credit union “tax expenditure.” Basic scoring off the tax expenditure is the credit union movement’s retained earnings multiplied by the corporate income tax rate. In the 2017 tax reform law, the corporate rate was lowered from 35% to 21%. That likely accounts for the drop in the “cost” of the credit union tax expenditure … $1.8 billion in 2019.
The budget sent to Congress recommends the elimination of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in FY 2020. This was the same recommendation for FY 2017 and 2018. In FY2019, the President recommended spending $14 million to service then current obligations. His budget again requests $14 million to administer the Fund’s outstanding loan and grant obligations.
The CFPB announced several amendments to its advisory committee charters, including for the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). The CFPB’s other advisory committees are the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC).
According to the CFPB’s release, the councils will “expand their focus to broad policy matters and increase the frequency of in-person meetings from two times a year to three times a year.” In addition, the membership terms will be extended from a one-year term to two-year terms, and the terms will be staggered. For existing CUAC members, their one-year term will expire in September 2019. However, a one-year term extension will be provided to half of the current members “in order to achieve the staggered terms and ensure continuity.”
The changes are the result of CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s solicitation of feedback from current and former advisory committee members during a three-month listening tour. CUNA advocated for the CFPB to preserve the CUAC as a valuable resources and called on the Bureau to extend the members terms in order to provide stability to the council and ensure the members have the opportunity to gain experience in the Council’s process.
In its release, the CFPB also announced that it will begin accepting applications for new council members. The Bureau will accept applications for 45 days, beginning with a notice to be published in the Federal Register.
If you are interested in being nominated by CUNA for a seat on the CUAC, please reach out to Alexander Monterrubio, Senior Director of Advocacy & Counsel at email@example.com.
The CFPB is hosting an webinar on April 9, 2019, highlighting the findings from its new report: Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation: Issues and Trends.
The webinar will provide key facts, trends, and patterns revealed in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by banks, credit unions, money transmitters, and other financial services providers. The presenters will discuss the implications of these findings and next steps.
According to the Bureau, key audiences for this webinar include financial institutions, law enforcement, prosecution, adult protective services, the aging network, and others working to enhance protections for older adults.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced several regional roundtables to discuss the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed Overtime Rule, which would increase the minimum salary for the “white collar” overtime exemption from $23,660 annually to $35,308 annually. In effect, under the proposal, workers earning under $35,308 annually would be eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.
The SBA Roundtables will be an opportunity for the SBA to hear directly from credit unions about the potential impact of the proposed rule. Comments on the rule are due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register (TBD
In another litigation victory for credit unions, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio dismissed a lawsuit filed against a federally-chartered credit union based in Dublin, Ohio. The lawsuit alleged the credit union’s website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
CUNA and the Ohio Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in support of the credit union’s motion to dismiss.
Recently, a lot of questions have been raised in the press about whether Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new American Housing Economic Mobility Act of 2019 would increase credit unions’ regulatory burdens—despite removing them from an obligation to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act. Another trade association has specifically claimed that the bill adds new reporting, comment, and hearing requirements that do not presently exist and that they, presumably, oppose.
In response to those questions and claims, CUNA is committed to doing what we have always done: Providing fact-based, accurate, and thoroughly researched insights and analysis that our members can confidently depend upon when reaching their own conclusions.
Accordingly, please see this link to CUNA's comparison chart for Senator Warren’s bill. With it, you’ll be able to compare the bill’s language to the existing regulatory requirements for credit unions and the Financial Services for the Underserved Act of 2017—legislation that the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, NAFCU, successfully sought to have introduced in the 115th Congress. We believe that once you have an opportunity to view the facts for yourself, you will see why CUNA believes that Senator Warren’s bill is a victory for credit unions---one that eliminates the threat of CRA, codifies existing regulatory requirements, and even lessens the regulatory burdens attached with the expansion of credit unions’ abilities to reach underserved communities.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer - Ryan Donovan sent an email to all 535 Congressional offices reminding them of our message during CUNA GAC: credit unions are different from other financial institutions.
The Senate voted to confirm Rodney Hood and Todd Harper to serve on the NCUA board, giving NCUA a full three-person board for the first time since April 2016.
“CUNA, leagues and credit unions congratulate Rodney Hood and Todd Harper for their confirmation as NCUA board members. We look forward to working with a full, three-person NCUA board on the issues most important to credit unions and their members,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Both have impressive experience when it comes to working with not-for-profit financial cooperatives, and we’re hopeful the new board will continue NCUA’s modernization efforts to ensure it remains an efficient, effective regulator.”
The Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) met in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to advise the CFPB on several issues of importance to credit unions, including HMDA, credit reporting, PACE, and financial literacy. CUNA attended the session.
The members of the CUAC, all of which are CUNA-member credit unions, provided feedback, including calling for the Bureau to consider increasing HMDA reporting thresholds and reducing the data set after its substantial expansion in the 2015 HMDA Rule. In its discussion of credit reporting, the members expressed concern with so-called “credit repair” businesses which often file frivolous disputes of legitimate debts in the hopes of straining a credit union’s resources available to respond.
Today, the NCUA Board received its quarterly briefing on the status of the Share Insurance Fund and adopted a final rule regarding loans to members.
CUNA wrote letters to Senator Warren and to Representatives Richmond, Moore, Cummings and Lee in support of the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019. This legislation is an updated version of the Senator’s housing legislation, a version of the bill that reflects significant engagement between CUNA, leagues, credit unions and Warren. Unlike the previous version, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019 would not require credit unions to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
As stated in the letter, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019 is an important effort to improve access to the housing market for members of all communities and, in the process, properly recognizes the distinctions that exist between credit unions and banks when meeting community needs. The legislation rejects a one-size-fits all approach by explicitly excluding credit unions from the Community Reinvestment Act and instead codifying the already existing community outreach, input, and oversight policies that credit unions have been abiding by for more than 20 years under National Credit Union Administration regulations.
“This bill is a shining example of 360-degree advocacy in action. When Senator Warren initially planned to expand CRA and place onerous and duplicative regulations on credit unions, we collaborated with League partners and the Senator to show the many ways that credit unions have been fulfilling requirements to support underserved communities for well over two decades. Recognizing the power that credit unions bring these communities, Senator Warren pivoted to instead codify into law the regulations that have been dictating our actions for many years. We look forward to working with the Senator and other likeminded lawmakers to ensure that credit unions are able to continue serving these communities for the foreseeable future.” – Jim Nussle, CUNA’s President & CEO
CUNA participated in a joint trade meeting with Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Eric Dreiband, head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, and Rebecca Bond, Chief of the Disability Rights Section, to discuss the need for formal ADA website accessibility standards. The meeting included several trades from other industries, including restaurants, retail businesses, and banks. CUNA was the only trade representing credit unions to participate in the coalition.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the Financial Services Committee hearing entitled, “Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.”
As stated in the letter, credit unions play an increasingly important role in the housing finance market and, as a result, have a vested interest in the ongoing stability of the National Flood Insurance Program.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the Committee’s hearing, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo's Pattern of Consumer Abuses.” In the letter, CUNA ensured that the Committee is aware of the credit union difference.
“The importance of having not-for-profit credit unions as vibrant and viable alternatives in the financial services marketplace is as significant today as it has ever been. The fact that this hearing is happening at all provides ample evidence of the need for this alternative in the marketplace. Credit unions provide accessible and affordable basic financial services to people of all means and encourage the equitable distribution of capital across all individuals, families, communities and small businesses.”
Champion for the Credit Union Movement
Credit Union National Association is the most influential financial services trade association and the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America's credit unions. We work tirelessly to protect your best interests in Washington and all 50 states. We fuel your professional growth at every level and champion the credit union story at every turn.
© 2019 Credit Union National Association
ADA Compliance Notice & Legal
© 2019 Credit Union National Association
ADA Compliance Notice & Legal