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Through direct CUNA and League advocacy, credit unions will be able to better serve their members affected by the latest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legislation. The bill, passed by the Senate late Wednesday and then the House on Friday afternoon, was amended to include credit unions in several provisions that, through drafting oversights, had previously only included banks and other lenders in provisions meant to support and protect consumer finances.
The Dept. of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued more guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The law takes effect on April 1, 2020.
The new guidance includes questions and answers addressing issues such as what documents employees can be required to submit to their employers to use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave; whether workers can take paid sick leave intermittently while teleworking and whether workers whose employers closed before the effective date of the FFCRA can still get paid sick leave.
This guidance follows other compliance assistance materials published by WHD over the last few days, including a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and an earlier Questions and Answers document.
The CFPB issued an RFI today to assist its Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law with determining recommendations on “harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the federal consumer financial laws.”
The Taskforce seeks public feedback to help identify areas of consumer protection on which it should focus its research and analysis during the balance of its one-year appointment.
The Dept. of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released additional guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The law takes effect on April 1, 2020.
The new guidance includes posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under the new law. It also includes questions and answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.
Five federal financial regulators (FRB, CFPB, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC) issued a joint statement encouraging financial institutions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19. NCUA also issued a letter to credit unions on small-dollar lending.
The agencies stated that such loans should be “offered in a manner that provides fair treatment of consumers, complies with applicable laws and regulations, and is consistent with safe and sound practices.” The statement follows other actions taken by the agencies to encourage financial institutions to meet the financial services needs of their customers and members who have been affected by COVID-19.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which includes NCUA and CFPB, are monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to promote the ongoing ability of the nation’s financial institutions to support consumers.
FFIEC members, who met on Tuesday, are actively discussing and identifying appropriate measures to maintain safety and soundness while protecting consumers. In a subsequent announcement, the FFEIC stated guidance will be provided to financial institutions on how to identify workers as essential critical infrastructure workers to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
The FDIC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the agencies) will jointly host a webinar for bankers to raise awareness of the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
Statement of Applicability to Institutions with Total Assets under $1 Billion: This Financial Institution Letter (FIL) applies to all FDIC-supervised institutions.
The Senate passed phase 3 of the stimulus legislation after many hours and days of negotiations.
CUNA and Leagues advocated on several issues in this bill. Credit union provisions in the bill include language on:
The NCUA Board issued a proposal to adopt new Subpart D of Part 708a intended to clarify and make transparent the procedures and requirements related to combination transactions.
The Dept. of Labor (DOL) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The law takes effect on April 1, 2020.
The FFCRA was passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 crises and provides businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses several common questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law. A workplace poster required for most employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) is hosting an online dialogue to provide employers and employees the opportunity to offer feedback as the DOL develops compliance materials related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The stakeholder feedback gathered will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as the adoption of outreach strategies to assist employers and employees understand their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.
The CFPB has released several resources over the past week to help consumers take steps to protect their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau has been regularly updating its content to meet the needs of consumers.
Credit unions and consumers can monitor the CFPB’s blog for the latest updates.
CUNA wrote a letter to the National Credit Union Administration with a few recommendations they can take to reduce regulatory burden on credit unions as COVID-19 continues to affect communities and credit union members.
In a series of announcements on Monday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) detailed three initiatives intended to assist individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate liquidity in the mortgage market.
On March 22, Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a memo identifying financial services as a critical infrastructure sector by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
On March 19, Director Christopher Krebs of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a memo re: identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response.
FHFA announced two actions aimed at facilitating liquidity in the mortgage market during the COVID-19 national emergency. In the first, FHFA directed Fannie and Freddie to permit alternative flexibilities to satisfy appraisal requirements and employment verification requirements through May 17, 2020. In the second, FHFA authorized the Enterprises to enter into additional dollar roll transactions.
The state and federal financial regulators, including NCUA and CFPB, issued an interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and providing additional information regarding loan modifications. The statement asserts that the regulators will not criticize institutions for working with borrowers in a safe and sound manner and will not direct supervised institutions to automatically categorize loan modifications as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs). The joint statement also outlines supervisory views on past-due and nonaccrual regulatory reporting of loan modification programs.
FHFA Director Mark Calabria issued a statement encouraging distressed borrowers to reach out to their servicers if they are experiencing hardships related to COVID-19. The agency also announced that the Enterprises would provide payment forbearance to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus. Forbearance allows for a mortgage payment to be suspended for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issued releases on consumer’s forbearance options, available h
The CFPB released its annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report highlights the efforts by the Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including law enforcement activities, consumer education, public outreach, and policy initiatives.
In a separate action, the Bureau announced an extension to the comment period on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) proposing to require FDCPA-covered debt collectors to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts. The extension pushes back the closing of the comment period to June 5, 2020.
CUNA sent a letter to FASB urging it to delay the effective date of the CECL standard until at least January 2024.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices to let them know that as communities across the country grapple with effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, America's credit unions will continue to be here.
CUNA joined other financial trades in sending a letter responding to Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Doug Jones (D-AL). CUNA and the other organizations wrote to encourage prudent and appropriate actions to assist consumers.
As Congress and the Administration respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, credit unions and banks will continue to offer assistance to customers directly affected.
CUNA wrote to the President about the statutory and regulatory accommodations needed to ensure credit unions can continue to meet the financial services needs of their members impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Credit unions are open for business and serving their members. Their top priority right now is keeping their members, volunteers and employees safe and healthy, and remaining in a position to serve members and the community during and after the crisis,” the letter reads. “More than 2,100 credit unions, serving nearly 46 million members, have a primary field of membership that includes schools, military, health care, police, fire, transportation, utilities and government employees. These credit unions and others are serving members who are on the front lines of helping to keep others safe during this crisis. Of course, since this crisis will impact everyone, every credit union will be impacted.”
FinCEN issued a statement on March 16, 2020 requesting financial institutions affected by COVID-19 contact FinCEN and their functional regulator as soon as practicable if there is a concern about any potential delays in its ability to file required Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports.
Institutions should call FinCEN's Regulatory Support Section (RSS) for assistance at 1-800-949-2732 or e-mail at FRC@fincen.gov. FinCEN's RSS will continue to be available to support financial institutions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency encouraged financial institutions to keep FinCEN and their functional regulators informed as their circumstances change.
A submitted two letters (including a joint trades letter) to the FHFA in response to its Request for Information on PACE programs.
CUNA recommended the CFPB quickly finalize its proposal amending the Remittance Rule and exercise its authority to permit compliance flexibility for remittances sent to individuals in countries affected by the growing public health concern surrounding coronavirus disease.
CUNA sent a letter to NCUA asking it to consider several steps to alleviate the financial strain and consumer disruption being caused by the coronavirus.
While we appreciate the statement issued earlier this week by the NCUA and other federal financial regulators encouraging financial institutions to meet the financial needs of customers and members affected by the coronavirus, we offer several specific areas where the NCUA can ease the challenges facing credit unions during this time.
Late yesterday, March 10, the CFPB announced it will be cancelling the Spring 2020 meetings of its stakeholder advisory groups, including the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). The meetings were scheduled to take place over a 2-day period on March 11-12.
The cancellation was due to travel restrictions resulting from the public health concerns related to coronavirus. The CFPB has not announced a plan to reschedule at this time.
CUNA will inform members when more details are announced.
Director Kraninger was before the Senate Banking Committee earlier today. Prior to her testimony, CUNA wrote to Chairman Carpo and Ranking Member Brown outlining a number of steps the Bureau could take and reiterated support for a bipartisan, multimember commission to lead the CFPB. The CFPB's execution of its regulatory agenda should ensure credit unions are able to provide efficient, safe and affordable products and services.
“America’s credit unions value the CFPB's mission, ‘to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.’ Unfortunately, credit unions’ ability to provide their members with high-quality and consumer-friendly financial products and services has been significantly impeded by several rules promulgated under past leadership,” the letter reads. “As mentioned above, the CFPB's overly broad approach to rulemaking resulted in burdensome regulatory requirements being imposed on credit unions based on the mistakes and irresponsible practices of other industry stakeholders.”
CUNA filed comments with the FCC regarding fees and other issues related to the reassigned number database
As a result of the COVID-19 disease outbreak and its potential impact on the financial sector, FS-ISAC, the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) are co-sponsoring a webinar-based exercise on 12 March 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT.
The goal of this exercise is to give institutions an opportunity to practice and adapt their technology and cybersecurity resiliency plans for large-scale, work-from-home scenarios in the event they are quickly needed. We are calling this a “Sprint Exercise” because the time duration (2 hours) is relatively short and the agenda is highly focused. FS-ISAC and SIFMA have been operating in a “split operations/work-from-home” mode in our respective Singapore offices for many weeks and we will draw on our own experiences, as well as best practices derived from past pandemic exercises and our members’ current best practices.
GoalThis webinar is a learning opportunity designed to help institutions globally both critically examine and virtually exercise their incident/pandemic response plans, as well as share their own best practices. This includes providing unique, sector-specific perspectives only accessible here, as some attendees will have directly relevant experiences to share.
Register now for the March 11 webinar, “Financial Inclusion: Pathways to Serving the Underserved,” hosted by NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion. The webinar begins at 2 p.m.
Credit unions can get valuable insights into serving low-income and underserved communities. Representatives from the NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will discuss:
The House is expected to vote on S.J. Res. 68, a resolution “to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.” The House may also vote on legislation to extend expiring provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and on legislation to undo President Trump’s travel ban.
The Senate will continue consideration of S. 2657, the “The American Energy Innovation Act.”
The CFPB is hosting two events next week:
Debt Relief Convening
On March 10, the CFPB will host a day-long convening on “Evolutions in Consumer Debt Relief.” The event will explore options for consumers facing unmanageable unsecured debt and limited credit options. Panelists include representation from creditors, consumer advocates, and bankruptcy experts, as well as providers of debt settlement, debt management, and credit counseling services.
Spring 2020 CFPB Advisory Committee Meetings
On March 11 and 12, the CFPB will host its Spring 2020 meeting of the advisory committees, including the Credit Union Advisory Committee, to discuss broad policy matters related to the Bureau’s Unified Regulatory Agenda and general scope of authority.
The CFPB announced new or revised initiatives intended to advance its mission to prevent consumer harm:
This afternoon, CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices to highlight the importance of data security and privacy legislation. Unfortunately, scammers are exploiting fears over the coronavirus and are targeting financial and personal data. It's time for data security and privacy legislation ! Did you see
Congressan Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and the Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee introduced a bill that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single director with a bipartisan commission. CUNA has advocated for years on behalf of a commission leading the CFPB, and strongly supports the bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last December, CUNA filed an amicus brief arguing that a multi-member commission established by the political branches is the best remedy to cure the CFPB’s constitutional defects while preserving the consumer protection benefits of the agency.
During the arguments, the Supreme Court heard from counsels for Seila Law LLC, the CFPB, and a special amicus curiae appointed by the Court to defend the CFPB’s constitutionality. The Court also heard from a counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, which filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case.
Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced a CUNA-supported legislation that would raise federal credit union loan maturity limits on non-mortgage loans from 15 to 20 years, the Expanding Access to Lending Options Act. CUNA wrote a letter of support of Scott and Cortez Masto on the day the legislation was introduced.
CUNA, along with the Carolinas Credit Union League and the Nevada Credit Union League, directly engaged with legislators on the importance of this bill. Senator Scott announced the bill during last week's CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) during a meeting with the Carolinas Credit Union League.
CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) in support of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF). The CDFI and CDRLF are two important funds that help credit unions advance underserved communities.The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to CDFIs for community development initiatives such as small businesses, community facilities, and low-income housing.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.
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1140, the “Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2020.”
The Senate will consider S. 2657, the “American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA).”
The CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference brought 5500 credit union advocates to Washington, DC. It was a great week all around. We heard from amazing speakers including a few of our movement's regulators and Members of Congress.
There were three credit union charter enhancement bills introduced in Congress this week – one was even announced by Representative Katie Porter right on the GAC mainstage!
S. 3323, the Credit Union Governance Modernization Act of 2020Sponsors: Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) If enacted, this would to allow a credit union board to expel a member for just cause.
S. 3326, the Credit Union Fairness Act Sponsors: Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC)If enacted, this would remove outdated duties for credit union boards and remove the requirement for credit unions to provide NCUA with the names of its loan officers from the Federal Credit Union Act.
The Board Governance Modernization ActSponsors: Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA) and Mark Amodei (R-NV)If enacted, the Board Governance Modernization Act would modify the Federal Credit Union Act requirement that credit union boards meet once a month to not less than six times per year.
This week the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 2339, the “Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019.”
The Senate is expected to consider S. 3275, the “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” and S. 311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” The Senate will also continue its consideration of judicial nominations.
The CFPB will host a symposium on Consumer Access to Financial Records and Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act on Wednesday, February 26. Section 1033 addresses consumers’ rights to access information about their financial accounts.
The event will feature remarks by CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger and consist of three panels of experts. The panels will assess the current landscape of holders of consumer data and the benefits and risks of consumer-authorized data access, market developments in consumer-authorized data access, the future state of the market, and considerations for policymakers on how to ensure consumer data is safeguarded while ensuring that consumers have continual access to their data.
the NCUA Board issued a proposal on corporate credit unions, adopted a final policy statement on allowances for credit losses, and received briefings on credit union mortgage rates and the Share Insurance Fund.
CUNA and the 35 Credit Union Leagues sent a letter to the FCC urging them to take action on CUNA's 2017 Petition for TCPA relief for credit unions. In particular, CUNA’s petition asked the FCC to clarify the TCPA applicability to information calls made to a wireless phone by either:
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices to remind them of the ore than 5,000 credit union professionals will be in Washington, D.C. for CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner prior to the House Financial Services Subcommittee's hearing discussing diversity and inclusion (DEI) accountability at large banks. The letter reiterated that the credit union system has a shared commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion, but has concerns about proposals that would require employment diversity data from all institutions regardless of size.
The House Financial Services Committee also released a report in conjunction with the hearing that evaluates bank and savings and loans holding companies with more than $50 billion in assets. However, CUNA is concerned that the legislative recommendations and proposed bills stemming from the report would apply to all financial institutions regardless of their size.
The President delivered his Fiscal Year 2021 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 estimated “cost” of the credit union tax expenditure … $1.7 billion in 2020.
This week, the Senate will consider several judicial nominations.
The House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 2546, the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2019 [Protecting America's Wilderness Act] and H.J. Res. 79, the Removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment.
In addition, today the administration will submit to Congress the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget request.
The CFPB is currently conducting an assessment of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Rule.
CUNA joined with a number of trade, consumer, and civil rights organizations to request that the Federal Reserve, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Housing and Urban Development delay any conclusion from their re-evaluation of the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM ) definition until after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalizes and implements the changes it is considering to the Qualified Mortgage (QM) definition. Each agency was required to start reviewing the regulation by December 24, 2019, in accordance with the timeline set forth in the original QRM rule.
CUNA submitted a comment letter in response to the FCC's request for input on call blocking. The information provided is being used by the FCC to generate its first staff report on the deployment, use, and effectiveness of the newly implemented call-blocking regime. In the comment letter, CUNA reiterates concerns about the use of call blocking technologies to block or mislabel the legitimate, and often critical, calls that credit unions make to the members--such as calls notifying the member of potentially fraudulent activity with their account. As a result of the potential for harm, the letters urges the FCC to adopt an effective challenge mechanism and goes on to explain that, in order to be effective, the challenge mechanism must require use of real time notifications of call blocking, readily ascertainable contact information to lodge concerns with providers and trigger a review process, and a commitment to promptly resolving erroneous blocking.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to all 535 Congressional offices highlighting how credit unions provide everything from short-term emergency loans to future-building investments like mortgages and small business loans.
Last week, NCUA announced
several staff changes worth noting.
This week, the Senate will continue its impeachment proceedings against the President.
The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3621, the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act [Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020]. In addition, the House will vote to repeal certain war powers of the president.
The NCUA board issued a proposed rule on credit union combination transactions and subordinated debt, among other items, at its board meeting. The agenda also included approval of the agency’s 2020 Annual Performance Plan and a briefing on the credit union loan interest rate ceiling.
The CFPB issued a policy statement outlining its approach to the “abusiveness” standard in supervision and enforcement matters.
CUNA, CrossState Credit Union Association, the Illinois Credit Union League, and the New York Credit Union Association wrote to the NCUA urging them to refrain from selling their entire taxi medallion loan portfolio to for-profit debt buyers.
Selling the portfolio may harm not only the credit unions holding taxi medallion loans but ultimately all federally insured credit unions due to the effect on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. NCUA selling its portfolio of taxi medallion loans is not an appropriate step at this time.“We urge the NCUA to refrain from such a sale and to instead engage with CUNA, the state leagues, and credit unions—both those directly and indirectly involved. Such collaboration could bring about a more creative solution than simply selling the entire loan portfolio to a single investor at a significant loss,” the letter reads. “While such a sale may be the quickest and easiest approach for the agency, it is not in the best interest of credit unions and their members, including borrowers who took out loans to obtain taxi medallions.”
The NCUA should refrain from selling the entire taxi medallion loan portfolio to for-profit debt buyers for several reasons:
CUNA wrote the CFPB in response to their proposed rule making several changes to the remittance rule, including raising the “normal course of business threshold” to 500 remittance transfers per year. In the letter, CUNA wrote that the CFPB should explore several revisions and additions to its remittance rule.
The CFPB’s remittance rule establishes consumer protections for covered international money transfers. CUNA’s outreach to Leagues and credit unions regarding the rule’s impact has shown that the compliance resources needed to offer the service has led many credit unions to discontinue offering it.
ON THE FLOOR
This week, the House of Representatives is in recess. The Senate will begin the impeachment trial of the president.
No Committee meeting of note have been ann
CUNA continued outreach to Capitol Hill in an email to all 535 Congressional offices from Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donovan. This email aligns with CUNA’s advocacy focus for 2020, highlighting to policymakers the difference credit unions make for their members every day.
The NCUA will hold their January Board meeting on Thursday, January 23rd at 10:00 AM in Alexandria, VA. Below you can find the agenda for the open session.
CUNA and the Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA) joined forces in sending a letter to the Colorado Banking Board in support of Elevations CU's plan to purchase and assume Cache Bank & Trust. The Board must approve this transaction, and the Colorado Bankers Association (CBA) has asked the board to consider the legality of the transaction.
Specifically, Cache Bank & Trust has requested authorization to operate as if the bank was a national bank, a request that includes the approval of the purchase and assumption by Elevations CU.CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle and MWCUA President/CEO Scott Earl wrote how such credit union-bank transactions are good business decisions for all parties involved.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Sherman and Ranking Member Huizenga prior to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets prior to their hearing entitled, “An Examination of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.” In the letter, CUNA wrote how the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) current expected credit losses (CECL) standard will have a significant impact not only on covered financial institutions but also consumers and the broader economy.During the hearing, Representative Blaine Luetekemeyer of Missouri cited a CUNA study showing it will cost credit unions $14-15 billion to implement CECL.
CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy in support of two bills prior to their consideration on the House floor. Both bills passed the House Financial Services Committee with strong bipartisan support.
H.R. 5315, the Expanding Opportunities for Minority Depository Institutions Act If enacted, H.R 5315 would codify the Treasury Department’s mentor protégé program to encourage collaboration between Minority Depository Institutions and large financial institutions
H.R. 4458, the Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience ActIf enacted, H.R. 4458 would require federal regulators to each issue an annual report to Congress describing measures it has taken to strengthen cybersecurity.
In early December, the CFPB issued a proposed rule on remittances that would increase the “normal course of business” threshold to 500 transfers per year, up from 100. While a positive step forward, CUNA has recommended the Bureau raise the threshold to at least 1,000 transfers.
In addition to raising the “normal course of business” threshold, the proposal would also establish two permanent exemptions allowing certain credit unions to continue to provide fee estimates where it could be economically infeasible for to provide exact amount disclosures.
If you are interested in submitting comments on this important proposal impacting credit unions, you can visit CUNA’s grassroots action center here.
Comments are due to the CFPB by January 21, 2020.
The CFPB is currently accepting applications to serve on the Bureau’s four advisory committees: the Consumer Advisory Board, the Community Bank Advisory Council, the Credit Union Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council. These groups provide the Bureau with important feedback about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial marketplace.
Applications are being accepted until February 27, 2020.
The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act and H.J. Res. 76, “providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to "Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability." In addition, the House will consider under suspension of the rules a number of financial services bills.
The Senate will convene Monday and resume consideration of Peter Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Senate may begin the impeachment trial of President Trump.
NCUA issued a letter to credit unions describing supervisory priorities for 2020, as well as addressing NCUA’s efforts to continue to modernize the examination program.
NCUA identified the following supervisory areas it will focus on in 2020:
For more on what specifically NCUA will look at in each of this areas, see CUNA’s Compliance Blog post: Examination Priorities for 2020.
The CFPB issued a release announcing the members of its Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law. The Taskforce will examine the existing legal and regulatory environment and deliver recommendations on ways to improve and strengthen consumer financial laws and regulations.
The four Taskforce members are:
CUNA and representatives from six credit unions participated in a financial institution roundtable on developing and implementing successful savings programs for consumers. The meeting included a diverse group of financial institutions, including large banks, community banks, credit unions, and insurance companies.
The roundtable began with opening remarks from CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger who has sought to increase consumer awareness about the importance of savings through the Bureau’s Start Small, Save Up Initiative. Following the Director’s remarks, the participants heard presentations on emergency savings strategies and lessons learned from financial entities that developed successful programs. BECU presented on the credit union's early saver program and how to leverage technology to reach vulnerable members. The meeting also included breakout sessions to discuss helping consumers and workforce build emergency savings, marketing, and research.
The Senate just passed the second appropriations bill. The first one (that included the tax provisions and the NFIP extension) cleared the Senate earlier today. The president has indicated that he will sign both bills.
Earlier this week, CUNA wrote to Congressional Leadership urging them to support H.R. 1158, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020. CUNA worked with House and Senate appropriators to fund several priorities for credit unions that are included in this legislation
CUNA wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Democratic Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Republican Leader McCarthy urging them to support H.R. 1158, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020. CUNA worked with House and Senate appropriators to fund several priorities for credit unions that are included in this legislation.
CUNA wrote to Senator Cruz in support of his recently introduced legislation, S. 3003 - the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. If enacted, this bill would limit Federal banking regulators’ ability to discourage or restrict depository institutions from entering into or maintaining a financial services relationship with specific customers unless certain criteria are met. S. 3003 strikes the correct balance between combating fraud and maintaining financial institution integrity.“While we strongly support the government’s role in ensuring the integrity of financial markets and eliminating fraud, the Operation Choke Point program’s broad enforcement tactics may have created unnecessary risks to consumers and to the economy,” the letter reads. “Credit unions are committed to maintaining the ability to serve their members while strictly following all laws and governing regulations. S. 3003 is a reasonable approach to preventing fraud and maintaining financial integrity without overreaching.”
The NCUA, OCC,
FRB, and FDIC have proposed two documents intended to update existing
regulatory accounting guidance in light of FASB’s credit losses standard, which
includes the current expected credit loss (CECL) methodology.
Interagency Guidance on Credit Risk Review Systems: This proposed guidance describes the
elements of a credit risk review system that should be reviewed and approved by
an institution’s board of directors (or appropriate board committee) at least
annually. In general, we believe the proposed guidance describes a broad set of
practices that an institution—including most credit unions—can use to form a
credit risk review system that is consistent with safe-and-sound lending
practices. Further, we believe the proposed guidance generally reflects current
sound practices for an institution’s credit risk review activities.
CUNA filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a
case considering the constitutionality of the CFPB’s single-Director structure
and the appropriate remedy to cure any constitutional defect.
In its brief, CUNA agrees with Seila Law and the CFPB in
arguing that the Bureau’s current structure does not pass constitutional
scrutiny and violates the separation of powers. CUNA argues that the creation
of a multi-member leadership commission would remedy the defect while
preserving the consumer protection benefits of the agency. To achieve this,
CUNA encourages the Court to hold Title X unconstitutional but stay the effect
of that decision to allow the political branches time to enact such a
commission structure to lead the Bureau.
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote
on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. In addition,
the House may vote on passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada
Agreement (USMCA) as well as H.R. 5377, the Restoring Tax Fairness for
States and Localities Act. The House may also vote on a bill to fund
the government through the end of Fiscal Year 2020.
Senate is expected to vote on the FY 2020 funding bill after it is
passed by the House. Also, the Senate is also expected to vote on the
conference agreement to S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act
The federal government runs out of spending authority at midnight on December 20, 2019. It
is possible that the House will consider two bills on Tuesday to fund
the government through the end of the fiscal year. It is customary for
the House to make the text of these bills public 48 prior to their
consideration on the House floor. CUNA continues to advocate for full
funding for credit union priorities.
CUNA joined a number of trade associations in sending a
letter to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown in support of the SAFE
Banking Act."As a national, diverse, multi-sector
collection of broad stakeholders impacted by the legal cannabis industry
in the U.S., we request that you bring the SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595)
before the Committee. As you are aware, the House of Representatives
passed SAFE on September 25th with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of
321 – 103. This represents the bipartisan support for the issue and the
first time in history that any Congress voted on meaningful cannabis
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the American Bankers Association’s appeal for a rehearing en banc in its lawsuit against NCUA’s field of membership rule. CUNA filed a brief in support of NCUA in the initial hearing, and strongly supports NCUA’s field-of-membership rule.
The House Financial Services Committee held a two-day
markup. CUNA wrote to Chairwoman McWatters and Ranking Member McHenry
expressing support for two bills supporting Minority Depository
Institutions (MDIs), both passed the Committee with strong support.
H.R. 5315, Expanding Opportunities for Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) Act Codify the Treasury Department’s mentor
protégé program to encourage collaboration between Minority Depository
Institutions and large financial institutions. This program represents a
valuable resource for MDI credit unions because it offers an
opportunity to bolster their sustainability. The bill passed with a 57-0
H.R. 5322, the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act of 2019 Encourage federal government deposits
in MDIs, establish a Small Business Administration task force focused on
MDIs and CDFIs, and require diversity and inclusion reports from each
prudential regulator. Minority Depository Institution 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 bill passed with a 52-0 vote.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices highlighting the credit union difference and financial health. This holiday season, the average consumer will spend more than $1,000 on gifts and related expenses and credit unions are there to ensure consumers maintain their financial health.
The NCUA Board adopted its 2020 - 2021 budget, adopted a final rule to delay the effective date of the RBC rule, and received a briefing on the Normal Operating Level of the Share Insurance Fund for 2020.
Last night the Conference Committee released the final version of the fiscal
year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without a provision that
would have allowed certain banks to obtain cost waivers to operate on military installations.
Throughout 2019, this fight to preserve the credit union difference has
been a major advocacy goal for CUNA, Leagues, and credit unions. Advocates
have maintained that banks — which profit off servicemembers to benefit Wall
Street investors — should not be granted the same rent-free access afforded to
credit unions that meet certain provisions in addition to delivering the not-for-profit
mission and member-owned structure to bases at home and abroad.
comments to the NCUA in response to their Chartering and Field of Membership Proposed Rule,
the latest field-of-membership proposal, as it reinstates portions of
the 2016 rulemaking that were vacated by a U.S. District Court decision.
The proposal would re-adopt a provision to allow an applicant to designate a
Combined Statistical Area (CSA), or an individual, contiguous portion thereof,
as a well-defined local community (WDLC), provided that the chosen area has a
population of 2.5 million or less.
CUNA wrote to office of the California Attorney General in regards to the proposed regulations concerning the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The law’s definition of “business” needs further clarification, CUNA wrote, as the definition in the bill does not address not-for-profit status. CUNA also seeks additional guidance on the “doing business in California” requirements, as the vast majority of credit unions are outside of California and likely do not seek to serve California residents.
“Some businesses with few customers in California may elect not to serve customers who live in the state, but credit unions cannot easily do this as they, by law, cannot close member share accounts without a vote of the membership of the credit union – a process that is involved and impractical for this purpose,” the letter reads. “A company should be allowed to serve a de minimis number of California residents without meeting the “doing business in California” requirements to allow for isolated instances where a business, such as a credit union, must provide services to California residents by law, yet does not seek to market itself in California or open accounts for California residents.”
This week, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act and H.R. 729, the Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act.
The Senate will vote on the nomination of Patrick J. Bumatay to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
Are you members safe from Business Email Comprise scam?
Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a sophisticated scam that targets both businesses and individuals performing wire transfer payments or other means of electronic fund transfers (EFTs).
Join FS-ISAC and CUNA for a free webinar on December 17th, 2019 that will provide informative information and tips on how your credit union can safeguard members from sophisticated business email scams like this one, and others that may arise.
The NCUA released the agenda for their December Board meeting to be held on December 12th in Alexandria, VA.
MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:
During the House Financial Services Committee with prudential regulators, Chair McWilliams of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) expressed worry over the impacts of credit unions purchasing banks. In response, CUNA wrote to Chair McWilliams about how her comments were misinformed, inaccurate and, frankly, something credit unions would expect to hear from a banking lobbyist, not a banking regulator.
In the letter, CUNA wrote “While still extraordinarily rare relative to the number of bank mergers, credit union-bank transactions take place because they are good business decisions for the parties involved, as well as the consumers, small businesses and communities involved. Consumers benefit by gaining access to strong, responsible community-focused financial services. Communities benefit because credit unions provide more than $4 billion in indirect consumer benefits, especially in underserved areas that often have no other affordable option for financial services. And, clearly, bank investors benefit, or why would the bank sell in the first place?”
The House voted to pass the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation designed to combat unwanted robocalls via the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, the TRACED Act is a bipartisan effort to pass legislation that addresses illegal robocalls and seeks to impr
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry reiterating that credit unions and the financial services industry are dedicated to protecting customer information along with working to ensure that systems used to provide financial services to Americans are robust, secure and resilient. CUNA appreciates the Committee’s strong commitment in overseeing the financial services sector and agree that cybersecurity, specifically the vulnerability of financial or institutions to cyberattacks is an important iss
Prior to the House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the Federal Housing Administration, CUNA wrote to Chairman Clay and Ranking Member Stivers explaining that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) plays a critical role in homeownership, yet impediments exist keeping credit unions from accessing the FHA lending program. “Chief among these is the absence of a FHA regulatory environment where lenders can operate with clarity and certainty regarding the program requirements and the potential penalties for noncompliance. Recently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed amendments to the FHA lender annual certification statements designed to increase lender confidence. We welcome the FHA’s commitment to provide the clarity and certainty necessary to increase lender participation in the FHA program."
The House Financial Services and Senate Banking each held hearings to hear semi-annual testimony from the prudential regulators, Chairman Hood testified on behalf of the NCUA. Prior to each hearing, CUNA wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member (HFSC and Senate Banking) highlighting positive steps by the NCUA as well as issues where improvements can be made.
this week, CUNA
wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell prior to the Senate
Commerce Committee hearing entitled, “Examining Legislative
Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy.” In the letter, CUNA wrote about the concern
credit unions have for Americans’ financial
wellness is compromi
The Federal Reserve System will host an Outlook Live Webinar on December 12th at 2:00 p.m. E.T., featuring a discussion on Regulation E error resolution requirements. The "Outlook Live" webinar series is a Federal Reserve System initiative produced in conjunction with the Fed's Consumer Compliance Outlook newsletter.
Reg E specifies procedures that institutions must follow when investigating and resolving electronic fund transfer (EFT) errors alleged by consumers (e.g., unauthorized or incorrect EFTs). The regulation also specifies the extent to which a consumer can be held liable for unauthorized EFTs.
In a positive development for credit unions, the Bureau issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Remittance Transfer Rule.
CUNA, leagues, and credit unions have raised the need to amend the remittances rule in multiple in-person meetings with CFPB leadership in recent years. Recently, CUNA submitted a letter to the Bureau calling for the “normal course of business” threshold to be raised.
The CFPB’s NPRM would increase the Rule’s “normal course of business” safe harbor threshold from 100 remittance transfers to 500 remittance transfers annually. According to a release, this threshold increase would “reduce burden on over 400 banks and almost 250 credit unions that send a relatively small number of remittances.”
CUNA sent NCUA a letter detailing suggestions on how NCUA can improve its proposed budget. The letter follows CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk’s presentation last week to the NCUA Board regarding the proposed budget. While CUNA supports aspects of the proposed budget
This week, the House of Representatives will consider S. 151, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act; H.R. 2534, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act; and H.Res. 326, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding United States efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution.
The Senate will consider several judicial and executive branch nominations.
CUNA wrote to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger to recommend the Bureau modify the Model Consent Form for Overdraft Services (§ 1005.17) provided in Regulation E. Today’s letter follows-up on an separate overdraft-related letter sent in response to the Bureau’s review of the 2009 Overdraft Rule pursuant to Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
The Bureau has expressly stated it has no plans to issue a rulemaking that would limit consumers access to overdraft services. However, under the statutorily-required RFA Review, the Bureau is re-examining the rule with an eye toward mitigating economic impact, reducing compliance costs, and clarifying requirements as necessary.
In case you missed this week’s CUNA’s webinar on USAA remote deposit capture lawsuits you can now access the recording via this registration link.
CUNA wrote to the Financial Technology Task Force reiterating that credit unions are deeply concerned that Americans’ financial wellness is compromised by inconsistent privacy and security standards applied to businesses that possess, process or transport consumers’ nonpublic personal information (NPI).
The letter notes that, while credit unions and other financial institutions follow requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and view applying those protections to others a “good first step,” there is more that should be done.
The NCUA Board issued a proposal on real estate appraisals, adopted a final “Second Chance IRPS,” and received a briefing on the status of the Share Insurance Fund.
The Bureau released its Fall 2019 Rulemaking Agenda, which is coordinated with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Unified Agenda. As an independent agency, the CFPB participates in the Unified Agenda on a voluntary basis.
This agenda represents the first rulemaking agenda prepared following CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s nationwide listening tour. During her tour, Director Kraninger met with credit unions, leagues, and CUNA on several occasions to hear our concerns and priorities.
While the specific dates are often aspirational in nature, the Rulemaking Agenda can serve as an indicator of the Bureau’s priorities and level-sets its rulemaking efforts for the near-term. The agenda reflects the Bureau’s plans for the time period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020.
CUNA filed an amicus brief in support of Facebook’s petition seeking the Supreme Court’s review of a ninth circuit decision in TCPA case Duguid vs. Facebook, Inc. As part of the amicus brief, CUNA emphasized the need for the Supreme Court to resolve the conflicting definitions of an autodialer in the TCPA and expressed concern about the ninth circuit’s overly broad definition of the term.
The NCUA Office of Consumer Financial Protection (OCFP)
hosted a webinar titled “Fair Lending and Consumer Compliance Regulatory
Update.” The webinar will be closed captioned and then archived online here approximately three
weeks following the live broadcast.
During the presentation, staff noted observations made during
the agency’s 2018 and 2019 reviews of HMDA and Regulation B. The webinar also
addressed the recently-finalized PAL II program, developments in identifying
and reporting elder financial abuse, and the agency’s consumer
This week, both the House and Senate will consider legislation to fund government operations beyond November 21st, the date when the government runs out of spending authority. The House is expected to act first with legislation extending that authority until December 20, 2019. In addition, the House will vote on H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. Finally, the Senate will consider several judicial nominations.
Also, the House will consider the following bills under suspension of the rules
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.
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© 2019 Credit Union National Association
ADA Compliance Notice & Legal