Removing Barriers Blog

Rick Nichols Discusses Need for Regulatory Relief
Posted July 12,2017 by CUNA Advocacy

The Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit just wrapped their hearing where they examined legislative proposals to provide targeted relief to community financial institutions.  America’s credit unions had a seat at the table with Rick Nichols, President and CEO of River Region Credit Union, testifying before the committee. 

During his opening remarks, Mr. Nichols reiterated the need for Congress to tailor regulations because one-size-fits all regulations that were designed to reign in Wall Street, are actually negatively impacting credit unions and their ability to serve their members rather than changing the behavior and practices of the big banks that caused the financial crisis in the first place.  In addition to his written testimony, Mr. Nichols also voiced support for a number of the bills the Committee has proposed including Chairman Luetkemeyer's H.R. 2133 – the CLEARR Act, H.R. 924 – the Financial Institutions Due Process Act, H.R. 2396, and H.R. 1457 – the MOBILE Act. 

The discussion stayed on task during today’s hearing – many members discussed their support for common sense regulatory reforms such as the CLEARR Act and the MOBILE Act.  A few highlights of the hearing include:  

  • As a fellow Missourian, Chairman Luetkemeyer gave an extra welcome to Mr. Nichols 

  • Ranking Member Clay, also of Missouri, reiterated his support for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.  Mr. Nichols’ credit union, River Region is a CDFI-designated credit union and he also supports and hopes for full funding of the CDFI Fund in FY 2018

  • Representative Heck engaged in conversation about the cost of BSA/AML Compliance and the hearing they held at the end of June.  CUNA also had a witness at that hearing and she discussed the many burdens associated with complying with the law. 

  • The cost and practicality of the home appraisal process was also discussed – Mr. Nichols told the Committee the difficulties his credit union faces due to the lack of comps in rural America, in addition to the lack of certified appraisers. 

  • Representative Emmer of Minnesota reiterated the importance of small banks and credit unions for small towns in rural America.  Members of these communities are not going to America’s big banks, but rather to their local small banks and credit unions.  

CUNA appreciates Chairman Luetkemeyer’s leadership and the Subcommittee’s continued effort and interest to pursue and provide meaningful regulatory relief for America’s credit unions and their 110 million members.