Removing Barriers Blog

Keeping member credit unions and leagues current on what and why we are doing for advocacy efforts including legislative, regulatory and state governmental affairs.
Posted June 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA sent a letter to Bureau Acting Director Mulvaney urging him to focus the agency’s efforts on making the regulatory changes required under the recently enacted Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155). We point out that while S. 2155 includes several provisions directly intended to enhance the ability of credit unions to continue serving their members, none of that relief will be realized until those provisions are implemented by the Bureau. Thus, we urge the Bureau to allocate the resources necessary to ensure the regulatory changes under S. 2155 are quickly promulgated.
Posted June 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board unanimously approved the final rule on voluntary mergers, amending Parts 701 and 708b of NCUA’s regulations. Dubbed the “Merger Transparency Rule,” the rule seeks to remedy the practice whereby members of merging credit unions may lack access to timely communications regarding mergers. 

Posted June 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board unanimously approved a final rule to amend field of membership rules to permit a field of membership application to be submitted under a narrative approach to serve a well-defined local community exceeding a 2.5 million population.

Posted June 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Senators McCain, Reed, Inhofe and Representative Thornberry, and Smith to oppose a provision in the House version of H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act.  The provision would exclude credit unions from the current resources furnished to them on military bases. If passed, this provision would be a detriment to military credit unions while granting banks access to the same bases.

Posted June 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives passed legislation that contained a CUNA-backed provision to delay the implementation date of the NCUA's risk-based capital (RBC) rule.

Specifically, it would push the bill’s effective date back to Jan. 1, 2021, from the currently scheduled Jan. 1, 2019 date.

“CUNA and credit unions have well-founded concerns about NCUA’s risk-based capital rule, primarily whether or not NCUA even has the legal authority to issue such a rule,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We continue to maintain that the risk-based capital rule is a solution in search of a problem, and support Congressional efforts to delay the rule.”

Posted June 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing entitled, "Legislative Proposals on Access to Capital.”  Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown urging the Committee to consider two proposals pertinent to credit unions.

Posted June 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Budget Committee passed a concurrent resolution, laying the outline for a ten year budget plan for the federal government.  It outlines revenue targets and federal spending, both mandatory and discretionary.  It also includes some policy measures. 

Specifically, the budget resolution balances the federal budget in nine years and calls for deep spending cuts. 

Posted June 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

District court judges in Alabama and Ohio properly found that plaintiffs in frivolous ADA website accessibility lawsuits failed to state a claim for relief. In both cases, plaintiffs were ineligible for membership in the credit union. In both cases, plaintiffs inaccurately claimed that the credit union’s participation in the Co-op Shared Branching network of ATMs provided a legal nexus to confer standing. In both cases, plaintiffs were held to lack standing, and therefore, no harm could be claimed.

Posted June 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will consider several bills under suspension of the rules, including: 

  • H.R. 435, the Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2017, a bill to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to clarify Federal law with respect to reporting certain positive consumer credit information to consumer reporting agencies, and for other purposes; 
  • H.R. 5783, the Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2018, a bill to provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that maintain a customer account at the request of a Federal or State law enforcement agency; and, 
  • H.R. 5841, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, a bill that contains a provision to delay a rule from the National Credit Union Administration titled ‘‘Risk-Based Capital.’’  The rule’s implementation date will change to January 1, 2021. 

The House will also consider H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2019 and complete consideration of H.R. 6136, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. 

The Senate is expected to consider H.R.5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for FY 2019.  It may also consider H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. 

Posted June 22, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA submitted its comprehensive white paper to the bureau in response to its request for information (RFI) on inherited regulations and inherited rulemaking authorities.  In the letter, CUNA urges the Bureau to conduct an extensive review of the regulations under its jurisdiction. 

Posted June 22, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

In its latest legal advocacy efforts to defend credit unions facing threats due to uncertainty regarding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites, CUNA filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Griffin v. DOL FCU.  A judge in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed the lawsuit in February, and now that it has reached the appellate level, a decision will provide binding precedent for the Fourth Circuit.  

Posted June 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

A letter was delivered to Attorney General Sessions seeking guidance and clarity on how best comply with website standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The letter was signed by over 100 Members of the House of Representatives.

America's credit unions continue to be targets of predatory litigation alleging ADA violations, specifically as it applies to websites. CUNA supported the letter and has made finding a solution a top advocacy priority. 

Posted June 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019.

This legislation includes CUNA-supported funding of $250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  CUNA also strongly supports the bill's appropriation of $2 million for the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.  Both of these accounts are fully funded at Fiscal Year 2018 levels, an achievement in this austere fiscal climate.

The bill also funds other accounts of importance to credit unions, including:

  • $30 billion loan volume cap for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) program, which allows the government to guarantee up to 85% of loans, with the guaranteed portion not counting against credit unions’ cap on member business lending.  The loan cap in this bill is $1 billion more than Fiscal Year 2018’s enacted level of $29 billion.
  • $7.5 billion loan cap for the SBA’s 504 loan program, which is used for long-term, fixed-rate financing on major fixed assets, such as equipment and real estate.  Credit unions also participate in this loan program.

Posted June 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) voted on several revisions at its monthly meeting, namely a final rule on Field of Membership (FOM). The rule will permit credit unions to submit a field of membership application to serve a well-defined local community exceeding 2.5 million people.  CUNA strongly supports the NCUA's efforts to modernize field of membership and has been actively engaged in this issue since sending NCUA a detailed letter outlining changes NCUA could make to modernize field of membership rules.

Posted June 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA held its June Board Meeting.  A briefing was provided to update the Board on the agency’s enterprise data modernization program, including the scope, requirements, and software infrastructure that will replace CU online, FOMIA, and Genesis programs. 

Posted June 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing entitled, “USAID Resources and Redesign."  Prior to the hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Menendez encouraging procurement reforms that would level the playing field in international development.

Posted June 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate voted down a procedural vote on H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act (48-50).  If passed, this bill would have rescinded $141 million from the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Prior to today's vote, CUNA wrote to Senate leadership in opposition to the bill.  CUNA opposed rescissions from funds that have already been authorized, particularly funds that credit unions are able to leverage for much-needed affordable housing solutions in the communities they serve.

Posted June 18, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

President Donald Trump will nominate former NCUA board member Rodney Hood to fill the board seat currently held by board member Rick Metsger. The appointment of Hood, who previously served as vice chair of the NCUA board under President George W. Bush, would still leave a vacant seat on the board, as former board Chair Debbie Matz’s seat has not been filled.

Posted June 17, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider H.R. 5797; the Individuals in Medicaid Deserve Care that is Appropriate and Responsible in its Delivery Act; H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act; and H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act.  It has also been reported that the House may reconsider the farm bill reauthorization as well as immigration legislation this week. 

The Senate will resume consideration of H.R.5515, the National Defense Authorization Act.  It has also been reported that the full Senate may consider appropriations legislation this week. 

Posted June 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed its white paper entitled, the Common-Sense Reforms to Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Rules and Procedures, with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in response to its Request for Information (RFI) on its adopted regulations and new rulemaking authorities. The comment letter deadline for this RFI is Tuesday, June

Posted June 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The NCUA announced the June Board Meeting Agenda, which includes a briefing on the final MBL rule, as amended under S. 2155, which was signed into law, as well as an update on the agency’s enterprise modernization data solution program
Posted June 14, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and the Ohio Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in an ADA website accessibility lawsuit: Mitchell v. BMI FCU (Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division). The brief supports the defendant credit union’s motion to dismiss and contends that a website is not a place of public accommodation, the plaintiff lacks standing, and lack of Justice Department implementing regulations render the application of the law impermissibly vague. Further, the court should refer the issue to the Justice Department under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. 

Posted June 14, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission in response to their Public Notice regarding TCPA implementation in light of the U.S. District Court’s ruling, vacating the agency’s 2015 guidance. CUNA’s comments call on the agency to adopt the definition of ATDS as requested in CUNA’s joint petition, filed in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 17 other business and trade association signatories. That petition highlights that to qualify as an ATDS, such system must use store and dial random or sequential numbers without human intervention and TCPA liability would only be attached to such ATDS definition. 

Posted June 14, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The House Appropriations Committee passed its Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019.  This legislation included a number of CUNA-supported regulatory relief provisions. Prior to yesterday's markup and vote, CUNA wrote a letter of support to Appropriations Committee leadership.

“We support the many regulatory relief provisions included in the Subcommittee draft that would benefit credit unions. It includes a two-year delay to the effective date of the NCUA’s risk-based capital rule, from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2021,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “The bill also includes the Mortgage Choice Act, the Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, the TRID Improvement Act, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection–Inspector General Reform Act.”

Posted June 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Representatives Pearce and Leutkemeyer in support of their legislation - H.R. 6068, the Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act.

If enacted, H.R. 6068, the Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act, would:

  • Raise the Currency Transaction Report (CTR) to $30,000 (up from the current $10,000) and the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) threshold to $10,000 (up from the current $5,000);
  • Require a formal review of BSA reporting requirements with an eye toward reducing regulatory burdens and ensure the information collected has a “high degree of usefulness” to law enforcement;
  • Recognize the growing role of artificial intelligence in BSA compliance;
  • Empower the Treasury Department to actively coordinate AML policy and examinations; and
  • Solidify processes regarding Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s No-Action Letters.

Posted June 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Last week, the Small Business Administration submitted comments to the Bureau in response to their Request for Information (RFI) regarding the Bureau’s Rulemaking Processes.  In their letter, the SBA highlighted a number of areas
Posted June 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Credit unions from Kansas and Missouri were invited to a first-of-its-kind round table.  Nearly 50 credit union leaders from Kansas and Missouri met with Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in the Kansas City region on June 7.

Posted June 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA sent three letters to Capitol Hill in support of legislation that would clarify the ability of financial institutions to serve legal cannabis-based businesses in states where cannabis is legal. CUNA does not have a position on legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, it supports the ability of credit unions to serve member businesses when legal.

CUNA supports credit unions’ ability to serve their members.  In states where cannabis is legal for medicinal and recreational purposes, credit union members are engaged in this market but have difficulty accessing traditional banking services.  It is also possible that credit unions in states where cannabis is not legal are, without their knowledge, serving members engaged in this market. 

Posted June 11, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

USAA filed suit against Well Fargo last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for intellectual property infringement stemming from Well’s remote deposit capture (RDC) products.  USAA has been seeking licensing fees from credit unions and banks that use remote deposit capture technology. The complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Posted June 11, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

This week, the House of Representatives will consider a number of bills aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.  These bills include H.R. 5735, the Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments Demonstration Program Act; H.R. 2851, the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017; and H.R. 5788, the Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018. 

The Senate will consider H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2019. 

Posted June 08, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act.  The bill would cut $15 billion in unspent funds from various government agencies and programs from fiscal years (FY) prior to FY 2018. 

Included in the bill was a $141 million rescission from the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) in the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.  The Administration had requested a rescission of $151 million in budget authority for the Capital Magnet Fund, a program administered through the CDFI Fund in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  CDFI credit unions apply for and use awarded grants from the Capital Magnet Fund to finance affordable housing solutions and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income individuals and communities nationwide.

Posted June 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

It has been reported that the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will dismiss its case against PHH.  PHH, a mortgage service provider that the Bureau targeted for an enforcement action in 2015, challenged the single-director leadership structure in court and initially won a ruling in its favor, but that ruling was overturned in January.

Posted June 07, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA filed a comment letter to the FCC regarding its proposal to create a Reassigned Numbers Database for purposes of compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Our comments state that the Commission should establish a comprehensive, easy-to-use and affordable reassigned numbers database and provide a safe harbor from TCPA liability for calling a reassigned number where the caller utilized the database, along the lines of the Do Not Call registry provisions. 

Posted June 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA strongly urged the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to employ a greater use of advance notice of proposed rulemakings (ANPRs). CUNA sent a copy of its comprehensive white paper to the bureau in response to its request for information on the bureau’s rulemaking process.

Posted June 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced the restructuring of their advisory boards - including the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC).  Reports indicate the bureau has dismissed all members of the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), though the bureau noted it would continue to fulfill CAB statutory obligations.

Posted June 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing entitled, “Improving Transparency and Accountability at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.” Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Luetkemeyer and Ranking Member Clay highlighting a number of ways that credit unions want change at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP).

Posted June 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA launched a grassroots effort to urge credit union stakeholders to share stories of the impacts of regulatory burden with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. CUNA has launched a web page with resources and other information for individuals interested in commenting.  Feedback must be submitted by June 19.

Posted June 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA released Q1 2018 credit union performance data today comprising quarterly summaries and financial performance reports for the quarter ending March 31, 2018. Total CU assets rose by $79B (a 5.9% increase) during the quarter, with the delinquency rate down slightly 66 bps. Net income totaled #12.6B, an increase of 35.4% over the same period last year. 

Posted June 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The American Bankers Association filed a cross-appeal in response to NCUA’s appeal of the U.S. District Court ruling regarding NCUA’s field-of-membership (FOM) rule. CUNA strongly supports NCUA’s appeal and further believes the court erred in its finding that the agency overstepped its statutory authority with regard to the combined statistical area approach and the definition of rural district.

Posted June 04, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA urged the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to revisit its complaint intake system’s processes in response to the Bureau's request for information on its public reporting practices of consumer complaint information. CUNA submitted its comprehensive white paper to the Bureau along with a cover-letter, which covers this topic, among others.

Posted June 04, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Today, CUNA filed a comment letter with the Federal Housing Finance Agency in response to its 2018 Regulatory Review Plan. As part of its review, which occurs every five years, the FHFA is seeking comments on how its regulations may
Posted June 04, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House & Senate are both in session this week.  

The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, and the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act.  The House may also consider H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018.  In addition, the House may consider the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3249, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2018. 

The Senate will consider Robert Earl Wier to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  In addition, the Senate may consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).