Removing Barriers Blog

Timberland FCU CEO Testifies Before Senate Committee
Posted October 28, 2015 by CUNA Advocacy

Earlier today, President/CEO of affiliate Timberland FCU Carrie Wood testified before the U.S. Senate Banking subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer protection, during a hearing on the effects of regulatory burdens on rural financial institutions. There were also two other witness from community banks, who expressed similar concerns on regulatory burden post Dodd-Frank. While Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren did appear at the hearing, she focused her questions on the two community bank representatives and did not mention credit unions.

Wood told the legislators that the burdens have kept Timberland FCU from entering new markets and offering new products. She added that every time a new rule is added or changed, the credit union and its members incur costs. Time and money is spent on analyzing the new requirement, modifying computer systems, updating internal processes, training staff and producing materials to help members understand the new requirement.

She cited the CFPB’s TRID rule as the latest example of how regulations have made it harder to serve members. Wood outlined a number of things Timberland does for its members that don’t make money, but are essential services. A short-term, small dollar loan for a member to afford lice treatments for his five granddaughters, payday alternative lending and free credit counseling are some examples she gave the subcommittee.

We also submitted a letter for the record of the hearing Tuesday, outlining a number of steps Congress, and the Senate specifically, can take to help ease the burdens on credit unions and other small financial institutions.