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CUNA filed a letter today in support of the NCUA’s proposed rule on subordinated debt.
he House and Senate passed a bill that would extend the deadline for applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The president is expected to sign it shortly.The bill, introduced by Senate Small Business Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), would extend the deadline for applying for PPP loans to August 8.Though the PPP still has approximately $130 billion in unspent funds, the program expired June 30 at midnight.Credit unions are strong supporters of the PPP, but CUNA has engaged with Congress, the Treasury and Small Business Association with concerns about the program, including on the need for guidance on several matters and lender liability protection.
CUNA wrote to Senators Cramer (R-ND), Menendez (D-NJ), Tillis (R-NC), and Sinema (D-AZ) in support of their recently introduced legislation - Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act. If enacted, this legislation would simplify loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and has CUNA’s full support.
In the letter CUNA wrote, "This bill will allow America’s small business owners and Main Street financial institutions to remain focused on serving their communities rather than jumping through burdensome regulatory hurdles. Specifically, this bill would provide forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits an attestation form to the lender. It also ensures that the lender will be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained falsehoods.”
In a letter to Chairman Hood, CUNA continues ongoing, pandemic-related engagement with NCUA recommending policy changes and comments.CUNA has been in regular contact with NCUA board members and staff throughout the pandemic to discuss actions to help credit unions increase service to affected members.
The CFPB published its Spring 2020 rulemaking agenda as part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget. The agenda lists the regulatory matters the Bureau expects to focus on between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
While the agenda is merely a prediction and could be amended, the Bureau included updates on several major rulemaking initiatives in its latest agenda.
Earlier this week, CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Reserve strongly supporting the decision to remove the limit of account transfers under Regulation D and suggested to the Fed Monday it become permanent. CUNA has pushed for elimination of the limit prior to the onset of the pandemic, and the Fed announced an
CUNA responded to the NCUA's proposed temporary prompt corrective action (PCA) changes would provide agency staff and credit unions with additional necessary flexibility. The board issued the interim final rule at its May board meeting with two changes to PCA requirements.The first would allow credit unions more flexibility if they fall to the PCA “adequately capitalized” level due to unhistorical, abnormal share deposit influxes.Specifically, it changes the existing requirement for an “adequately capitalized” credit union to increase the dollar amount of net worth by a specified amount until the credit union becomes “well-capitalized,” and instead provides a blanket waiver by the NCUA Board of the earnings retention requirement for all “adequately capitalized” credit unions.The second would temporarily waive net worth restoration plans under existing PCA requirements for credit unions that become “undercapitalized” primarily as the result of share deposit growth.
CUNA wrote to the NCUA in support of temporary changes to the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and is continuing to pursue additional statutory changes to the CLF with Congress. CUNA submitted its comments on NCUA’s interim final rule making the CLF changes, issued in April in response to the pandemic.“CUNA supports the termination of membership and updated collateral requirement made in the interim final rules,” the letter reads. “These amendments are regulatory and do not have a sunset provision and will bring the CLF more closely into alignment with requirements of the Federal Reserve to borrow from the Discount Window. These changes also encourage larger credit unions to join the CLF and reduce barriers for all credit unions to join and use CLF.”
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) expressing views ahead of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Oversight of the Treasury Department's and Federal Reserve's Pandemic Response. The pandemic response from the Treasury and Federal Reserve has helped stabilize the economy, but additional actions could continue to help individuals and businesses.
CUNA strongly supports the Fed’s action to remove the account transfer limit under Regulation D, and wrote to the Fed earlier this week requesting the removal be made permanent.
The NCUA released its Spring rulemaking agenda, which provides a rough roadmap on regulatory issues the agency is and will be working on.
CUNA sent a letter to congratulate Richard Jones on his new position as Chairman of the FASB.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing about the digitization of money and payments.
We appreciate the hearing’s focus on the digitization of money and payments as credit union are poised to leverage technology to deliver innovative financial services to members.
Over the weekend, CUNA joined other financial trades in sending a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. The bill is being considered for inclusion in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020.“This bill includes critical provisions for law enforcement investigations into organized transnational criminal operations, human trafficking, terrorism financing and other unlawful activity that threatens our national security,” the organizations wrote.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Seila Law v. CFPB, which challenged the constitutionality of the CFPB. CUNA filed an amicus brief calling on the Court to void the CFPB but provide Congress time to cure the constitutional defect by establishing a multi-member commission at the head of the Bureau.
In the case, the Court considered two questions 1) Whether the CFPB structure, an independent agency led by a single director only removable for cause, violates the separation of powers; and 2) Whether, if the CFPB structure is unconstitutional, can the “for cause” removal provision be severed from the Dodd-Frank Act.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the CFPB’s structure violates the separation of powers. The Court, however, elected to sever the removal-protection provision from the other provisions of Dodd-Frank, leaving the CFPB standing but altered. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court, "[t]he agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will."
The CFPB announced its first Tech Sprints aimed at reducing regulatory burden and improve consumer understanding of financial services.
According to the Bureau’s release, the Tech Sprints program will “bring together regulators, technologists, software providers, consumer groups, and financial institutions to develop technological solutions to shared compliance challenges.”
The first Tech Sprint will kick off in October with another in March 2021. Participants in the October 5-9, 2020, Tech Sprint will be asked to improve upon existing consumer disclosures. The March 22-26, 2021, Tech Sprint will focus on the HMDA platform and submission process.
CUNA responded to the CFPB’s RFI on Tech Sprints last November calling on the Bureau to ensure credit unions are represented and can actively participate in innovation-related initiatives.
The Supreme Court of the United States today denied an appeal from the American Bankers Association (ABA) to void the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) field of membership (FOM) rule
This week, the House will consider H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020. Also, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019, as well as H.J.Res. 90, “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to Community Reinvestment Act Regulations.” Finally, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.
The Senate will resume consideration of S.4049, the National Defense Authorization Act.
Prior to the hearing in the House Financial Services's Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, CUNA wrote to Chairman Sherman and Ranking Member Huizenga commenting on several pandemic lending-related bills.
CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy in opposition to H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019. The letter cites numerous concerns over increased lawsuits and cybersecurity risks. If enacted, H.R. 5332 would revise certain provisions related to consumer credit reports and credit reporting agencies.
The NCUA Board received briefings on the Minority Depository Institutions Annual Report and on the NCUA Guaranteed Notes Oversight Program. The Board also issued an RFI on Strategies for Future Examination and Supervision Utilizing Digital Technology. In addition, the Board adopted a final rule that makes a number of technical amendments to the NCUA’s regulations, including changes to correct minor errors and inaccurate citations.
The CFPB issued two separate rules on loss mitigation under the CARES Act and determining underserved areas under Regulation Z, respectively.
The Interim Final Rule (IFR) on loss mitigation makes it clear that servicers do not violate Regulation X by offering certain COVID-19-related loss mitigation options based on an evaluation of limited application information collected from the borrower. Normally, with certain exceptions, Regulation X would require servicers to collect a complete loss mitigation application before making an offer.
In a separate action, the Bureau’s Interpretive Rule on Determining Underserved Areas provides guidance to creditors about the way in which the Bureau determines which counties qualify as “underserved” for a given calendar year.
CUNA sent a letter to the FHFA regarding their request for input on Federal Home Loan Bank membership.
In a message to all 535 Congressional offices, CUNA highlighted ways Congress can act to help credit unions help members recover from the pandemic and the associated economic crisis. CUNA asks that Congress: Support House and Senate bills to exempt credit union member business loans made during the emergency from
CUNA, the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC), and NAFCU wrote to Senate leadership in opposition to a provision in the Senate Armed Forces Committee-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Committee-approved bill contains language that would require Department of Defense (DoD) policies for government depository institutions and credit unions operating on military installations to be applied equally to all such institutions.“We are concerned that this language in the NDAA could essentially require that the DoD treat large mega-banks, such as Wells Fargo, the same as a military installation’s local not-for-profit defense credit union when it comes to rent on military bases,” the letter reads. “A long track record of consumer abuses aside, Wells Fargo’s annual revenue for 2019 was $85 billion according to news reports."
The CFPB issued two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) to amend the ATR-QM Rule.
The CFPB issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the forthcoming expiration of the temporary Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) patch. According to the Bureau, the proposals are intended to transition away from the Temporary GSE patch QM (qualified mortgage) loan definition “while maintaining access to responsible, affordable mortgage credit upon its expiration.”
The Small Business Administration announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council will host an interagency webinar on Friday,
June 26, 2020, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. The focus of this webinar is on the
2020 updates to the FFIEC’s BSA/AML Examination Manual.
The NCUA wrote a letter to credit unions upon obtaining guidance from agencies and public health firms notifying them of their development of a multi-phase transition plan for the resumption of its on-site operations.
Both the House and Senate will consider policing reform legislation this week.
The House of Representatives will also begin the markups in the Armed Services Committee of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021.
The House may also consider:
The NCUA Board will hold their June Board meeting at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 25, 2020.
CUNA shared concerns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) about the management of its consumer complaint database in response to the CFPB's request for renewal of its Consumer Response Company Response Survey, which is designed to collect additional consumer feedback at the end of the consumer complaint process.
CUNA joined a number of financial trades in writing a letter of support to Senator Fischer (R-NE) for the legislation she introduced yesterday. S. 3990, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act would change the leadership structure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from a single director with a five-person, bipartisan commission. “Sen. Fischer’s legislation will bring stability and strength to the CFPB by creating a leadership structure that ensures all voices are heard. This legislation is an important step to reestablishing the Bureau as it was initially envisioned—with input from CUNA and the Leagues—back in the original, House-passed version of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. We look forward to working with Congress to finding a path forward on this critical legislation.” CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “
The CFPB issued additional guidance on consumer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The frequently asked questions (FAQs) address companies’ responsibilities under the CARES Act and the FCRA when they furnish information to consumer reporting agencies about consumers impacted by the crisis.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Chabot of the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on the Paycheck Protection Program's loan forgiveness process. In the letter, we told of action Congress needs to take in order to protect borrowers that carried out the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in good faith from any liability stemming from the structure and design of the PPP.“The complexity of the forgiveness process presents an even greater challenge for small business as they have fewer resources to deploy on an overly complex application process. Moreover, feedback from our members indicates that the forms will likely require help from outside accountants and even attorneys for most businesses,” the letter reads. “This is an expense many of the smallest businesses cannot afford. Creating an overly complex forgiveness process would seem to be the antithesis to the spirit of a program designed to rapidly deploy resources to small business especially when the expectation is that the funds appropriated to PPP were never expected to be repaid.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testified before both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semiannual testimony. Prior to each hearing, CUNA wrote to Committee leadership expressing credit union concerns Paycheck Protection Program, support for Reg D changes and support for changes to the Fed's Main Street Lending Program.
The Federal Reserve Board met the COVID-19 crisis head-on with a variety of decisive, impactful and far-reaching policy responses that clearly steadied financial markets and the broader economy, CUNA wrote for the record of a House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s semiannual testimony. Among the actions CUNA supported is the creation of and changes made to the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Cleaver and Ranking Member Hill of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy prior to their hearing entitled, “Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
We wrote in support of several bills it believes will help financial institutions combat financial scammers.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it will be re-proposing the updated minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers.
CUNA joined the Defense Credit Union Council and NAFCU in writing to leadership of the House Armed Servies Committee pushing back against banker requests for an increased military base lease exemption in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).Credit unions are eligible for an exemption that allows for the waiving of certain fees and land lease costs for credit unions on military installations. The Senate Armed Forces Committee passed their version of the NDAA with a provision requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider for-profit banks the same as credit unions.
The Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act.
The House of Representatives will be holding committee meetings this week but will not hold any votes on the House floor.
The CFPB released an online resource to help communities form networks to increase their capacity to prevent and respond to elder financial abuse. The Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide (Networks Development Guide) offers planning tools, templates, and exercises to help communities create a collaborative network to fight elder fraud or refresh or expand an existing network.
The Networks Development Guide is an online tool that includes a meeting model on how to set up a retreat and training event to rally stakeholders and community leaders. The CFPB will be offering presentations and webinars in the near future to walk stakeholders through the Networks Development Guide and provide tips on how to use it.
Credit unions can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.
CUNA signed on to a letter with several joint trades to HUD Secretary Carson to express concern with the recently announced Federal Housing Administration (FHA) policy requiring lenders to provide 20 percent indemnification (of the original loan amount) for up to two years in relation to borrowers who enter into forbearance due to COVID19-related hardship after closing and prior to FHA insuring their loan.
CUNA wrote to leadership of the House Financial Services Committee's FinTech Task Force prior to their hearing entitled, “Inclusive Banking During a Pandemic: Using Fed Accounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments.” Chairwoman Waters (D-CA)has proposed monthly stimulus payments that would go to “FedAccounts,” and other similar past proposals have included utilizing the post office for similar deposit accounts.
In the letter we wrote, “There is no need to pass legislation requiring the Federal Reserve or the United State Postal Service to provide products and services that the organizations were not designed to provide. Instead, Congress should be using its public platform to encourage all consumers, especially the most vulnerable among us, to seek out financial services from a community-based, not-for-profit credit union,” the letter reads. “As the nation’s original consumer protectors, credit unions have a long history of providing affordable, responsible access to banking services.”
CUNA wrote to the Senate Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on Title I of the Cares Act -- which includes PPP language. Credit unions are a vital component to the delivery of financial services to many Americans and credit union members should have equal access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).Although the pace of PPP lending has slowed, CUNA notes operational challenges remain and should be addressed if additional funding is provided.
The Senate Banking Committee held an oversight hearing with the Housing Regulators. Prior to the hearing with FHFA Director Calabria, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) with concerns about the impact a large number of mortgage forbearances will have on the liquidity of mortgage servicers. Additionally, we wrote supporting down payment assistance, provided by the housing finance agencies, to enable minority and low- to moderate-income homebuyers to become homeowners. Additionally, we called for guidance or clarity on several issues.
The CFPB published guidance related to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule.
The NCUA Board wrote a letter to credit unions on prompt corrective action regulatory relief measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic where some credit unions may experience a temporary reduction in earnings and capital due to their response efforts.
Credit unions and their member-owners can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.
The Senate will consider H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act. In addition, the subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold markups on various parts of the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021.
The Senate passed a measure late Wednesday to increase flexibility in the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). President Trump signed the legislation into law earlier today.Specifically, the measure would:
CUNA wrote to Senator Reed in support of his recently introduced legislation to establish a housing assistance fund - S. 3620.“CUNA supports S. 3620 that would establish a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund which would provide those resources directly to state Housing Finance Agencies,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in support of the bill. “This will help to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of those Americans experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic.”
The CFPB issued a policy statement intended to help consumers receive prompt relief during the pandemic from credit card issuers.
Regulation Z requires that creditors provide written disclosures to consumers for account-opening disclosures and temporary rate or fee reduction.
During the pandemic, some consumers are seeking to open a new account or request a temporary reduction in APR or fees for an existing account or a low-rate balance transfer. In response, the Bureau is providing temporary and targeted flexibility for credit card issuers regarding electronic provision of certain disclosures required to be in writing during this pandemic.
The CFPB and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued joint guidance to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with the forbearance provisions of the CARES Act.
The CARES Act requires servicers of federally-backed mortgages must grant forbearance to borrowers with pandemic-related hardships that may last as long as two consecutive 180-day periods. Furthermore, additional interest, fees, or penalties beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated should be waived with no negative impact to the borrower’s mortgage contract during the forbearance.
Yesterday, CUNA wrote to Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member Luetkemeyer prior to the Subcommittee's hearing entitled, "Promoting Inclusive Lending During the Pandemic: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI).” In the letter, we wrote how credit unions are well-purposed and well-positioned to address inequity in the financial services sector.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing regarding Title IV of the CARES Act. We wrote about several of the provisions designed to assist in pandemic recovery that should be extended for at least a year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date.CUNA believes the following CARES Act provisions should be extended at least one year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date:
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule on the Federal Home Loan Banks' Housing Goals. The new goals take effect in 2021 and enforcement of the rule will be phased in over three years.
CUNA filed a letter in support of the NCUA’s interim final rule to temporarily defer the appraisal requirement.
CUNA and joint trades sent a letter to Administrator Jovita Carranza and Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to express concerns about the complexity of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness process.
The NCUA will be hosting a webinar on the Bank Secrecy Act where credit unions can receive valuable information on best practices in BSA programs
The Senate will consider a number of federal judicial nominations.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donovan posted a 6-minute video with three things to know:
CUNA, ACCUL, and the Leagues wrote to the SBA & Treasury re: PPP loan forgiveness;
NCUA Chairman weighs in on TCPA emergency petition; and
Phase 4... the dance continues. Watch now!
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is setting aside $10 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 funding to be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.
The PPP ran out of its initial $349 billion in funding, and Congress approved a second round of $310 billion in April. Of that, $60 billion is allocated to insured depository institutions with below $50 billion in assets. The $10 billion set aside for CDFIs announced Thursday comes out of that $60 billion.
CUNA sent a letter to the NCUA supporting their technical amendment necessary to help credit unions that made PPP loans.
The NCUA penned a letter to credit unions on their updated approach for conducting examinations offsite.
Credit unions interested in using the National Credit Union Administration’s streamlined process for obtaining Community Development Financial Institution certification have until Sunday, May 31 to apply.
The House of Representatives will consider several bills under suspension of the rules.
CUNA and other organizations filed reply comments to their petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) relief for calls made from financial institutions to consumers related to the pandemic. CUNA and the organizations filed the original petition March 30, calling for COVID-19 related communications to fall under the TCPA’s Emergency Purposes Exception.The organizations followed up in April to call on the FCC to immediately grant the petition, as delaying is putting credit unions and other financial institutions at risk as they focus on serving members and communities through the pandemic.
Investments in the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund pay off, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices. CUNA has called for a $1 billion appropriation for the CDFI Fund, which gives grants, equity investments and other awards to certified CDFIs. “Small but crucial investments can pay dividends in helping moderate- to low-income families who are particularly vulnerable during this economic crisis,” Donovan wrote. “CDFIs take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities, helping neighborhoods that lack access to financing foster and sustain a prosperous future.”
The NCUA Board adopted an interim final rule on PCA, issued a proposal on joint ownership of share accounts, and received a briefing on the Share Insurance Fund.
The CFPB will provide an additional 60 days for the public to comment on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on time-barred debt disclosures. The extension is intended to allow stakeholders additional time to comment on the rulemaking as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The comment period will now close on August 4, 2020.In the Supplemental NPRM, the Bureau proposes to prohibit collectors from using non-litigation means (including calls) to collect on time-barred debt unless collectors disclose to consumers during the initial contact and on any required validation notice that the debt is time-barred. The NPRM also proposes model language and forms that debt collectors could use to comply with the proposed disclosure requirements.
NCUA announced the launch of its new Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Council
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer sent the email below to all 535 Members of Congress. We continue to advocate for Congress to remove the arbitrary member business lending cap.
The Senate will consider a number of federal judicial nominations.
The House of Representatives is expected to be in recess.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a full committee hearing: "The Quarterly CARES Act Report to Congress."
Witnesses: The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary, Department of the Treasury; and The Honorable Jerome H. Powell, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Earlier this week, the House released CARES 2 -- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act of 2020. Prior to the scheduled consideration on the House floor, CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy sharing concerns and feedback on the legislation. The House passed the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus legislation by a vote of 208-199.
“House passage of the HEROES Act starts a process for a new round of recovery legislation intended to help consumers, small businesses and the economy in general weather and rebuild from the crisis,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We were happy to see a number of the provisions that will help credit unions remain in a position to serve their members and communities, but we were disappointed that the legislation includes several provisions that would actually make it more difficult for consumers and small businesses to access safe and affordable financial services.”
The NCUA board will consider a proposed rule on joint ownership accounts, as well as two interim final rules at its May 21 meeting.
The meeting is open to the public, but will be open via live audio webcast only, starting at 10 a.m. (ET).
The full agenda is:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week released a statement and frequently asked questions (FAQs) document outlining the responsibility of credit card issuers and open-end non-home secured creditors during the pandemic. The statement outlines billing error responsibilities under Regulation Z, while the FAQs cover the payments and deposits rule and the open end (not home-secured) rules.According to the statement, the CFPB will take a flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the pandemic regarding the timeframe within which creditors complete their investigations of consumers’ billing error notices.
The FHFA announced that a payment deferral option would be available by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for homeowners who are currently in COVID-19 related forebearance
CUNA wrote to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Committee's virtual hearing with financial regulators. The hearing's witnesses include: NCUA Chairman Hood, FDIC Chairman, OCC Chairman, and the Vice Chairman For Supervision at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
In the letter, CUNA wrote about communications with the NCUA since the onset of the crisis. CUNA leaders have spoken with Hood several times, and CUNA and Leagues have also provided the agency with input on additional policies to help increase member service, several of which NCUA has acted on.
NCUA has allowed military personnel to count toward the low-income credit union designation, issued guidance on remote and virtual board meetings, implemented a rule to relax appraisal requirements, acted quickly to expand the Central Liquidity Facility and other actions since the onset of the pandemic.
“Notwithstanding the breadth and depth of the action NCUA has taken so far to help credit unions weather this crisis, more needs to be done,” CUNA’s letter reads. “We take this opportunity to highlight several areas where NCUA and Congress should take action to ensure that credit unions remain in a position to serve their members during this crisis and into recovery.”
Recommendation actions fro
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule on remittances, which comes after strong CUNA engagement with the CFPB to finalize the rule. The rule raises the “normal course of business threshold” to 500 remittance transfers per year, up from the current 100.“The CFPB’s final remittances rule will help credit union members access safe and affordable remittance services from their credit union. We appreciate the CFPB for having given consideration to the concerns we expressed during the rulemaking process and making changes to the final rule. While we continue to believe an even higher exemption threshold is appropriate, this rule should result in more options for consumers which is always important, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday and resume consideration of the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The House of Representatives is expected to be in session to consider “CARES 2” … emergency legislation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood announced that military personnel will now be able to count toward a credit union earning the Low-Income Credit Union (LICU) designation. CUNA requested this change in its engagement with NCUA, most recently in a letter sent to Hood in March. Shortly after the announcement, the Chairman, members of the Agency's staff, the CEO of Inclusiv, and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury conducted a webinar with CUNA to discuss the announcement and resources for LICU credit unions. Interested in learning more - watch the recorded version of the webinar here!The LICU designation means low-income members comprise more than 50% of a federal credit union’s membership, and entitles the credit union to certain statutory benefits, including being able to accept non-member deposits from any source, offering secondary capital accounts, member business lending exemptions and the ability to apply for grants and low-interest loans from NCUA.
On Tuesday, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle discussed how credit unions are serving members during the pandemic, and what the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) could do to help, with FHFA Director Mark Calabria. CUNA previously wrote to Calabria outlining ways the agency could help credit unions assist members better.“Credit unions have a vested interest in keeping members in their homes and have worked diligently throughout this crisis to work alongside members to offer assistance and other relief as necessary,” Nussle said. “I shared this with Director Calabria, as well as the feedback we’ve heard from our members about what policy changes could help credit unions increase outreach to affected members and communities, and I thanked him for his time.”
The CFPB issued clarifying frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) compliance for Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Under ECOA, creditors are generally required to notify applicants within 30 days of receiving a “completed application” of the creditor’s approval, counteroffer, denial or other adverse notice regarding the application.
CUNA joined more than 100 organizations from around the country in sending a letter to Congressional leadership and appropriators to continue its push for increased Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funding due to the coronavirus disease.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to all 535 Congressional offices to highlight how credit unions are helping those affected by COVID-19 and how they are ready to do more.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended several loan origination flexibilities currently offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac designed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.
The House of Representatives was expected to be in session this week. However, the House leadership cancelled this week’s session.
The Senate is back in session on Monday, with a 5:30 pm confirmation vote on Robert J. Feitel to be Inspector General of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition, the Senate may vote to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The CFPB hosted a conference call meeting of its advisory groups, including the Credit Union Advisory Council. The call focused on the state of consumer financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic slowdown.
The call began with remarks from CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger highlighting the challenges consumers are facing and how the CFPB has responded to assist consumers and provide flexibility to providers. In particular, the Director noted the Bureau’s financial education efforts focused on student loan borrowers and servicemembers and expressed concern about the growing frequency of fraud schemes targeting vulnerable groups, especially older Americans.
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood sent a letter to FASB urging them to exempt credit unions from complying with CECL.
Hood’s letter states that, for most credit unions, implementing CECL will have an immediate impact on net worth, and though CECL extended implementation for credit unions by one year, credit unions are currently devoting maximum time and resources seeing members and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe the compliance costs associated with implementing CECL overwhelmingly exceed the benefits,” Chairman Hood wrote. “Even before the current pandemic, credit unions had approached the NCUA with concerns about the unintended consequences of requiring credit unions to implement CECL. In our current environment, I am especially concerned that adopting CECL will have a chilling effect on lending, including loans to low-income borrowers."
NCUA Chairman wrote to Senator Crapo, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee with suggestions Congress can make to improve the operating environment for credit unions. Many suggestions align with CUNA’s efforts raised during engagement with both NCUA and members of Congress in recent weeks.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced that on April 29, 2020, from 4:00 PM EDT through 11:59 PM EDT, the SBA systems will only accept PPP loan applications from participating lenders with asset sizes less than $1 billion.
This is intended to ensure access to the PPP loans for the smallest participating lenders and their small business members.
Participating lenders with asset sizes less than $1 billion can still submit PPP loan applications outside of this time frame. Participating lenders with asset sizes exceeding $1 billion can submit loans outside of today's 4 PM EDT through 11:59 PM EDT reserved submission time frame.
CUNA and other financial trade associations wrote to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza to address continued concerns with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan submission process and E-TRAN access issues. “Unfortunately, with the start of the second round of funding many lenders are having significant problems submitting loan applications into the SBA’s system, preventing them from delivering this critical financial assistance to small businesses that desperately need it. Quite simply, it is taking too long to submit loans and get these funds where they need to go,” the letter reads. “We respectfully request that you help us resolve these access issues, or at least explain to our members what is causing the problem.
The CFPB issued an interpretive rule and FAQ document regarding flexibility for its mortgage origination requirements. The actions taken address the TRID Rule’s 3-day waiting period requirements, Regulation Z’s consumer recession rights, and the ECOA and Regulation B’s appraisal and written valuation requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to voice her support for allowing financial institutions to use certain automated calls to alert consumers about relief options available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic without violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Last week, CUNA wrote to the FCC asking the Commission to find that calls or texts relaying information related to financial relief efforts and other actions necessitated by the governments' response to COVID-19 fall within the emergency purposes exception to the proscriptions of the TCPA that bar autodialed calls to cell phones without prior consent.
In this week’s letter, the CFPB Director stated the Bureau “has sought every avenue through stakeholders and fellow agencies to increase consumer awareness of the various relief options that may be available to them, including those available due to government actions and those made available by their financial institutions.”
CUNA's President/CEO Jim Nussle was on CBS News’ Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett's podcast last night -- The Takeout. During the conversation, they discussed the credit union difference, PPP problems and his experiences in Congress and the administration during previous crises.
A condensed version of Nussle’s interview was also featured on the CBS News podcast, Debriefing the Briefing, in which Garrett and other CBS news correspondents break down the daily White House COVID-19 briefings.
CUNA wrote to the NCUA to follow up on previous communication with the agency. The letter gives possible actions the NCUA could implement to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus disease.
“CUNA continues to engage with credit unions of all sizes throughout the country to collect feedback within the industry,” the letter reads. “Based on recent communications with credit unions, we have the following policy recommendations for the NCUA to consider. These comments supplement CUNA’s previous communications with you, other members of the NCUA Board, and NCUA staff.”
The Treasury Department announced that the next Financial Literacy and Education Commission meeting will be on May 12th at 9:00 AM ET.
The Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The Commission was tasked to develop a national financial education web site (MyMoney.gov) and a national strategy on financial education. It is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and the vice chair is the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The Commission is coordinated by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Consumer Policy.
The Small Business Administration released information about steps the SBA and Treasury are implementing to help the next phase of PPP loan processing.
Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications Monday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. President Donald Trump signed legislation Friday authorizing an additional $310 billion for the PPP.
“We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply,” Carranza and Mnuchin said in a joint statement.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices reminding them that credit unions are there for their members and have been active participants in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program.
Last night, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry urging the Committee to remove barriers preventing credit unions from fully serving their communities as Phase 4 of the COVID-19 relief legislation comes together.
- Ensuring Small Businesses Can Access Credit from Credit Unions
- Ensuring Credit Unions Have Access to Sufficient Liquidity to Meet Members’ Needs
President Trump recently signed legislation that was passed by both the House and Senate this week. The legislation adds funding to the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which ran out of funding last week.
"This important legislation will ensure that Main Street businesses and their employees can work with local credit unions to receive the financial support they need to see them through this crisis,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions have been connecting community businesses with PPP funds since the program’s inception, and the $60 billion dedicated to community lenders, including credit unions, will especially go a long way to supporting small businesses that might have been unable to access the first round of funding.”
The Federal Reserve Board announced an interim final rule to amend Regulation D to delete the six-per-month limit on convenient transfers from the "savings deposit" definition. CUNA has urged the Federal Reserve to make this change for years, but recently increased its engagement on behalf of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s action by the federal reserve will make it easier for credit unions to give members access to their funds, which is vitally important as communities around the country deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We’ve long believed the threshold was arbitrary and unnecessary. We thank the Federal Reserve for making this critical change.”
The NCUA sent a letter to credit unions on the appraisal changes made last week
The NCUA approved an interim final rule that amends the agency’s capital adequacy and member business loans and commercial lending regulations following the creation of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program
The CFPB released a video with the steps non-filers must take to receive their economic impact payments.
“The information we released today is intended to help consumers navigate the economic impact payments as well as helping them avoid scams related to the payments,” said Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “The Bureau stands ready to provide consumers with additional resources to protect their finances during this pandemic.”
The FHFA announced the alignment of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's policies regarding servicer obligations to advance scheduled monthly principal and interest payments for single-family mortgage loans. Once a servicer has advanced four months of missed payments on a loan, it will have no further obligation to advance scheduled payments.
This limit applies to all Enterprise servicers regardless of type or size.
The intent of the policy is to provide mortgage servicers the ability to plan for exactly how long they will need to advance principal and interest payments on loans for which borrowers have not made their monthly payment.
The FHFA is also instructing the Enterprises to maintain loans in COVID-19 payment forbearance plans in Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) pools for at least the duration of the forbearance plan. This action clarifies that mortgage loans with COVID-19 payment forbearance shall be treated like a natural disaster event and will remain in the MBS pool.
The CFPB announced that the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and the Academic Research Council (ARC) will meet jointly on May 1, 2020, from 2:00 to 4:15 pm ET via conference call. The call will be open to the public.
The meeting will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, including a snap shot of consumer complaints as a result of the pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic on consumers, including servicemembers, students, older Americans, and the underserved.
Those interested in listening to the meeting must RSVP here.
UNA sent a letter urging the FCC to act more quickly on the petition for expedited declaratory rule, clarification, or waiver, filed by CUNA and other trade associations
CUNA and its members seek additional guidance on how Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements
On Sunday, CUNA wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy encouraging Congress to appropriate the largest amount possible to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Additionally, the letter urges Congress to set aside a substantial portion of those fund for small lenders to ensure that small businesses are able to access funds from Main Street lenders, provided that such a set aside for small lenders does not delay the delivery of funds to small businesses, or complicate the approval process for lenders.
The demand for these funds was so substantial that funds were exhausted within two weeks of implementation, leaving many small businesses across the country in the queue for loan approvals. Given the significant need that remains, it is critical that that Congress and the administration continue to support America's small businesses and their employees through additional PPP funding.
Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) was joined by Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to introduce the Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis Act. If enacted this legislation would exempt credit union business loans related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the member business lending cap for three years.
Currently law restricts most credit unions’ business lending authority at 12.25% of assets. But credit unions are well capitalized, safe and sound; credit unions for which this cap is limiting have significant business lending experience and additional capital to lend. Keeping this business credit on the sidelines during and after this crisis would make absolutely no sense.After the bill's introduction, CUNA wrote to the sponsors in support of the legislation saying: “CUNA fully supports the Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID–19 Crisis Act, which would provide a three-year exemption to the Member Business Lending cap for loans made by credit unions to aid in COVID-19 crisis relief and recovery. This legislation is targeted to the crisis at hand and will make a difference for America’s small businesses and those they employ."
The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ran out of money on Thursday. CUNA issued an action alert Friday for credit unions to contact policymakers to share the importance of the PPP funds and how additional funds will help credit unions continue their service during the pandemic. In addition to the Action Alert, CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices urging action to re-fund the program.
Designed to help small businesses meet payroll and other costs as they are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the PPP was funded at $349 billion by the CARES Act.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Hood to seek additional guidance on how Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements. The PPP is a Small Business Administration program aimed at providing loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.“We have recently heard from credit unions that they have concerns about how PPP loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, our members seek guidance on the impact of the Federal Reserve Board’s April 6, 2020 announcement of a Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPL facility) to provide term financing backed by PPP loans and whether additional NCUA rulemaking is necessary to fully utilize this facility.”
The NCUA Board Meeting was called to order today at 10:00 a.m. EST. This was the first public meeting NCUA has had since adopting a telework posture nearly one month ago. The meeting was open to the public via a live webcast only.
The NCUA sent a letter to credit unions regarding key changes to the NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility (CLF).
The CFPB issued a final rule amending Regulation C to adjust the HMDA reporting thresholds for closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit.
Pursuant to the rule, effective July 1, 2020, the threshold for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans will increase from 25 to 100 closed-end mortgage loans. CUNA supported this increase during the comment period but had called on the Bureau to establish a higher threshold.
In addition, effective January 1, 2022, when the current temporary threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit expires, the threshold for reporting data about open-end lines of credit will be permanently set at 200 open-end lines of credit.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters to engage on the Phase 4 of COVID-19 legislation. The letter comments on aspects of proposed legislation in the works, highlights areas where credit unions have concerns, and lists additional credit union priorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented small businesses, consumers, and community-based financial institutions with an unprecedented challenge. Nonetheless, CUNA is confident that credit unions will be able to continue delivering critical financial services to members throughout the duration of the pandemic.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices prior to the Economic Impact Payments hitting accounts later this week. The email reminded Congress and their staff about the work credit unions are doing to ensure their members are prepared and protected.
CUNA wrote to the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws in regards to permitting electronic signatures on wire transfer documents. This would allow credit unions to continue member service during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in a safe and sound manner.
Credit unions are committed to continuing to serve their members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and sound manner that protects employees and members by complying with federal and state health and safety guidance. This has resulted in a technological shift away from in-person service of credit union members to electronic service as a result of stay-at-home orders and mandated social distancing.
CUNA and Leagues wrote to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin about the challenges credit unions have been facing with implementing the PPP and concerns with the program.
Challenges with the program include:
The CFPB and FHFA announced a new “Borrower Protection Program,” a new joint initiative that enables the agencies to share servicing information to protect borrowers during the coronavirus national emergency.
Under the program, the CFPB will make complaint information and analytical tools available to FHFA via a secure electronic interface; and FHFA will make available to the Bureau information about forbearances, modifications and other loss mitigation initiatives undertaken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises).
The CFPB has taken numerous steps to protect and assist consumers during the COVID-19 national emergency. For more information, the Bureau has developed a dedicated webpage with information on how consumers can protect their finances during the pandemic.
The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, issued a document of Frequent Asked Questions on the Paycheck Protection program.
The NCUA sent out a risk alert suggesting cybersecurity considerations for remote work
The NCUA and the FDIC are hosting a free webinar to increase awareness of the benefits of federal deposit and share insurance, and answer questions about the safety of deposits at federally insured financial institutions.
The CFPB issued a policy statement on remittance transfers that outlined the Bureau’s plan to adopt a flexible approach to supervision and enforcement of remittance transfers. Previously, the Bureau proposed amendments to the Remittance Rule in December 2019 in part to address the effects of the expiration of that temporary exception and expects to issue a final rule in May.
The NCUA Board meeting will be next week, on April 16. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, the meeting will be open via live audio webcast only.
financial institutions regulating agencies issued a revised interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and providing additional information regarding loan modifications.
The Small Business Administration is scheduling a call regarding their lending programs. Any interested credit unions can join the call to get valuable information on these programs
The CUNA/American Association of Credit Union Leagues COVID-19 Response Center has been updated to include the latest guidance and materials on the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other government financial relief stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic
Staff from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve conducted a webinar where the main topic was the disbursement of Economic Impact Payments
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Office wrote to all 535 Congressional offices reminding them that credit unions are here and ready to help the millions of Americans that are facing bills and other issues with their finances being severely impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are an integral part of the CARES Act that President Trump signed into law last week.
The CFPB released a policy statement outlining the responsibilities of credit reporting agencies and furnishers under the CARES Act. The Act requires lenders to report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy statement informs lenders they must comply with the CARES Act and encourages lenders to continue to voluntarily provide payment relief to consumers and to report accurate information to credit bureaus relating to this relief.
The NCUA announced that federally insured low-income credit unions can request loans or grants to assist communities experiencing hardship from COVID-19. $4 million in loans and $800,000 in grants are available.
CUNA has sent two letters to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over the last two weeks asking for the Federal Reserve Board (“Board”) to eliminate Regulation D’s six convenient transfer limit for savings accounts. Credit unions have long believed that the six transfer limit is outdated, unnecessary and confusing to consumers. Now with the shelter in place and stay home orders in place for many Americans to help fight the spread of Covid-19, consumers more easily run afoul of the limit as they make transfers electronically, which count against the limit, instead of in-person, which does not count against the limit.
CUNA sent a letter to the Federal Reserve today regarding Regulation D Transfer and Withdrawal limits.
The NCUA Board voted to extend the comment call period on the proposed rule on combination transactions by 60 days
NCUA sent a letter to credit unions that stated all NCUA examinations will take place offsite through May 1, 2020
CUNA and other financial trade associations filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to request an expedited declaratory ruling, clarification, or waiver stating that phone calls and text messages placed by credit unions, banks, and other customer-facing financial services providers using an automatic telephone dialing system (autodialer) or prerecorded or artificial voice on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic are “call[s] made for emergency purposes.”
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.
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