Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA, Credit Unions, and Sen. Sullivan Meet with Director Cordray in Alaska
Posted November 21, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Last Friday, November 18, CFPB Director Richard Cordray and his staff met with several credit unions in Anchorage, Alaska to discuss issues these credit unions are facing as a result of the past five years of increasing CFPB regulations.  

This meeting was organized by the Alaska Credit Union League with Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s office. CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer & Senior Counsel Elizabeth Eurgubian also attended the meeting as part of the coordinated advocacy efforts between CUNA, the Leagues, and credit unions. 

In the meeting, the credit unions discussed their history and why credit unions were established in Alaska, for the primary goal of helping consumers gain access to financial services they were not receiving elsewhere.  

The credit unions told Director Cordray that there is common ground between the CFPB and credit unions, who all have a common mission. However, they also expressed the serious concerns they have about the cost of CFPB regulations and the disproportionate impact they have on smaller institutions and credit unions, whose mission is to serve consumers first and foremost. They further pointed out that regardless of size and complexity, all financial institutions have to follow the same CFPB regulations and requirements, with only minimal and rare exceptions. 

During the meeting, the credit unions also communicated to Director Cordray that the increased amount and broad sweeping regulation coming from the CFPB in the past five years has been very problematic for them and the members they serve. They specifically pointed to the massive, and often unnecessary, increase in compliance expenses at credit unions, which is perplexing given that credit unions did not cause the financial crisis. 

They urged the CFPB to consider that smaller and less complex financial institutions, such as credit unions, should have more flexible regulatory requirements, or more exemptions from current requirements, so they are not put in the position of being forced to stop or limit the financial services they provide to consumers. This is especially significant in states such as Alaska where access to credit and other financial services may be less available for many consumers.  

CUNA will continue to communicate this message with lawmakers throughout Washington and will continue to fight for more exemptions for credit unions from existing and upcoming regulatory requirements.