Removing Barriers Blog

We Support House Committee Hearing on Credit Scores and Access to Credit
Posted September 27, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Today the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit is holding a hearing on “Examining Legislative Proposals to Address Consumers Access to Mainstream Banking Services. We sent a letter to Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer and Ranking Member Lacy Clay in support of this hearing.   

We understand that ensuring credit score accuracy is critically important to ensuring consumers are able to access credit on safe and affordable terms, so we applauded the Subcommittee for examining legislation that will advance this objective.  

Equally important to achieving expanded access to consumer credit is ensuring that credit unions can fully serve their members. Our letter stressed that the current regulatory environment creates barriers to this service, and is also leading driver of system consolidation.  

With respect to the legislation to be considered at the hearing, we intend to work with Representative Scott Tipton on his yet-to-be-introduced bill known as the "Protect Prepaid Accounts Act of 2016," to see whether it would make sense to address a similar issue presenting itself in the credit union space.  

So while we believe the Federal Credit Union Act provides NCUA the authority to insure prepaid and payroll card accounts, it has been unwilling to promulgate a rule covering these accounts.  As a result, credit unions, many of which were formed by and serve specific employee groups, are in most cases unable to offer prepaid and payroll card services.   

Because NCUA is unwilling to use its existing authority, a statutory change appears to be necessary.  We would like to work with the Subcommittee on advance legislation on this issue in the next Congress.