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 July 31, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

On August 19th, the NCUA will host the Export-Import bank for a webinar on lending opportunities for small business exporters.  The webinar, “Export Financing for Your Small Business Members,” is scheduled for August 19, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern. Online registration is now open for the free webinar. 

Register now!

Posted July 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote two letters to Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader McCarthy (R-CA) this week. 

The first was in support of the FY2021 FSGG and the second was in opposition of a postal banking provision that was included in the FY2021 FSGG.

Posted July 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board approved a final rule for field of membership and proposed rules for transition to CECL methodology and fees paid by FCUs. The Board also approved a request for comment on the overhead transfer rate and operating fee methodologies. Lastly, the Board was briefed on NCUA’s 2020 mid-session budget.

Posted July 29, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Kathy Kraninger, Director of the CFPB, testified on both sides of the capitol this week for the CPFB's semi-annual report to Congress.  Prior to both hearings, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) and to Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC).  Both letters urged for additional flexibility and compliance assistance for the duration of the pandemic.

Needed flexibility for the duration of the pandemic includes:

  • Avoiding implementing any new rules that would unnecessarily tie-up compliance resources or add to regulatory burden;
  • Suspending unnecessary onsite examination activities and reducing the frequency of requests for examination-related information;
  • Expanding “good faith efforts to comply” supervision policies to additional areas where credit unions are acting swiftly to assist members in need; and
  • Continuing to coordinate with other federal banking regulators, especially NCUA, to issue up-to-date guidance on mortgage servicing as more borrowers seek out forbearance and other means of assistance during the pandemic.

CUNA also called on Congress to act to protect credit unions from frivolous litigation arising from actions to assist financially distressed members during the pandemic, to establish a bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB and reiterated its call for the CFPB to ensure execution of its regulatory agenda ensures credit unions are able to provide safe and efficient products and services.

Posted July 28, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in support of updating the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requirements for complying with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulation that requires financial institutions to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Adjustment to the PRA burden calculation.

CUNA believes this will “lead to greater accuracy in detailing the true cost to a financial institution for filing a SAR,” according to its letter of support.

Specifically, the proposal would expand the annual PRA burden estimate to cover three stages of the SAR production process:

  • The review of cases based on monitoring alerts considered true positives;
  • The documentation of the decision not to turn a case into a SAR; and
  • The SAR filing process, will help more accurately detail the cost to financial institutions for filing SARs.

Posted July 28, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy
Yesterday, the Senate Banking Committee announced that a vote has been scheduled for the nomination of for  Mr. Kyle Hauptman, of Maine, to be a Member of the National Credit Union Administration Board.  The vote is schedule for Thursday
Posted July 27, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to credit unions urging them to contact their Members of Congress in support of S. 4117 and H.R. 7777 to help streamline the forgiveness process for the Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The bills would allow small businesses that have received PPP loans of $150,000 and less to have their loans forgiven.

“This legislation will help small business owners remain focused on their communities and employees, rather than burdensome regulatory hurdles,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “The more that credit unions can do to keep Main Street businesses resilient amid this pandemic, the stronger our economic recovery will be.”

Posted July 26, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, both the House and Senate are in session.  The House will consider H.R. 7617, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2021 [Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act].  This is the second appropriations “minibus” to be considered by the House this month.

The Senate is expected to release “Phase 4” coronavirus relief legislation.  The Senate will also consider several judicial nominations.

Posted July 26, 2020 by jbrunson

CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown as follow-up to the recent letter outlining credit union priorities in the upcoming COVID recovery legislation.

In addition to the issues raised in the previous letter, we raised the issue for the NCUA to have additional authority to adjust capital requirements for credit unions impacted by crisis. 

"Credit union capital requirements are different than bank requirements in several respects, including that only retained earnings count as Tier I capital for credit unions and thresholds for credit union capital levels are hardwired into statute.  These limitations restrict NCUA in its ability to provide accommodations to otherwise healthy credit unions impacted by natural disaster, pandemic and other crises."

Posted July 26, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced legislation that would simplify loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

“America’s credit unions fully support Reps. Houlahan and Upton’s legislation,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Instead of jumping through burdensome regulatory hurdles, America’s small business owners and Main Street financial institutions will be able to focus on serving their communities.”

The bill, H.R. 7777, would:

  • Forgive covered PPP loans of less than $150,000, if the borrower submits a simple, one-page attestation form to the lender;
  • The lender shall be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained any falsehoods; and
  • The borrower attestation will include a means by which a borrower, on a voluntary basis, will provide the following demographic information: sex; race; ethnicity; and veteran status of owner. 

Posted July 24, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate passed its FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with a CUNA-opposed provision expanding a military base lease exemption. The House overwhelmingly passed its version of the NDAA without the provision July 21. CUNA, Leagues and credit unions are advocating to ensure it is not included in the final version.

“We’re disappointed the Senate bill passed with this provision, but CUNA, Leagues and credit unions will engage with policymakers going forward to ensure this expansion does not make it into the final bill,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions’ legacy of service to military members and their families are the reason credit unions are eligible for such an exemption in the first place, and for-profit banks answering to shareholders simply can’t match that.”

The bill will now go to Conference Committee, where representatives from both chambers will work out a compromise version to send to the president.

Posted July 24, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Congressional leadership as discussions on a fourth phase of COVID-19 relief legislation are expected to begin in the coming days and weeks.

“As the pandemic persists in the United States, the American economy has been shaken. In these uncertain times, credit union’s top priority is keeping their members, volunteers and employees safe while remaining in a position to serve members and the community during and after the crisis. That said, as you continue your work to provide resources to American families and small businesses, we encourage you to remove barriers and address issues in order to ensure credit unions can fully serve and support their communities." Jim Nussle, CUNA President/CEO 

Posted July 24, 2020 by jbrunson

The House passed a “minibus” appropriations bill, legislation containing funding for the several government agencies. The bill is the first piece of government funding legislation to pass through a chamber of Congress this year with federal funding scheduled to expire September 30. 

Prior to the vote, CUNA wrote to House leadership in support of funding for the Cooperative Development program.  The legislation that passed the House includes $17 million for the program, which funds initiatives run by the World Council around the globe.

Posted July 24, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA revealed their agenda for their July 30 meeting.

Posted July 23, 2020 by dyi

The CFPB has launched a survey of institutions offering small business credit products to determine potential one-time costs associated with complying with Section 1071 of the Dodd Frank Act

Posted July 23, 2020 by jbrunson

The CFPB will host a symposium on the use of cost-benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulation on July 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

Posted July 21, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee's nomination hearing for the NCUA Board.  CUNA hopes any potential nominee for the NCUA board will build on the agency’s positive momentum of recent years while coordinating with other agencies.

Posted July 21, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined trades in writing to Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Thornberry of the House Armed Services Committee in support including legislation to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies and modernize anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and expectations in the NDAA FY21. A proposed amendment to the bill would add legislation from Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) with the AML modernizations to the NDAA, which the House will consider over several days this week.

Posted July 21, 2020 by dyi

CUNA filed a comment letter with NCUA in support of its proposed rule intended to updated, clarify, and simplify provisions of its regulations pertaining to corporate credit unions. 

Posted July 20, 2020 by dyi

The Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed its 2021 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Due to the economic uncertainty related to the current pandemic, FHFA is proposing benchmarks for calendar year 2021 only, and those levels will remain the same as they were for 2018-2020.

Posted July 20, 2020 by dyi

The FCC on Thursday voted 5-0 to approve an Order and issue a proposal addressing many CUNA, League and credit union concerns with automatic call blocking.

Posted July 20, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA penned a letter to credit union boards and CEOs regarding updates to their 2020 supervisory priorities to reflect economic conditions that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as various statutory and regulatory changes that have occurred since March 2020.

Posted July 19, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, both the House and Senate are in session.  The House will consider H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.  In addition, the House will vote on H.R. 7608, the State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

The Senate will resume consideration of Russell Vought to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Also, the Senate will continue its consideration of S. 4049, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

Posted July 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act. The bill contains funding for several credit union priorities, as well as other provisions relevant to credit unions.

The bill funds the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $273.5 million, an $11.5 million increase from last year. CUNA has called for $300 billion in funding.

Posted July 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the House Small Business Committee, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Chabot about the changes to regulations and the creation of new lending programs have, and will continue to help consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CUNA thanked Congress for its efforts to establish the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as the Federal Reserve for creating a PPP Liquidity Facility, which made it easier for credit unions to make PPP loans without liquidity concerns.

Posted July 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Credit unions have supported more than a million pandemic-affected members through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices. Billions of dollars remain available through the program, which Congress extended to August 8.

The email included information about how credit unions can continue to help members through the pandemic, more so if Congress:

  • Support the PPP Small Business Forgiveness Act (S. 4117) to forgive PPP loans under $150,000;
  • Urge the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide clear guidance on forgiving PPP loans; and
  • Support liability protection for credit unions and other lenders acting in good faith amid unclear SBA PPP guidance.

Posted July 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the Subcommittee's hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Green and Ranking Member Barr about the need for credit unions to remain in a position to help Americans and small businesses across the country as COVID-19 persists. With that in mind, extending the Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) exemption and Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) enhancements through 2021 would have a significant impact in ensuring credit unions continue to be there for their members. 

Posted July 13, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in response to the notice and request for comment regarding renewal of information collection relating to the currency transaction report (CTR) requirements.

We support FinCEN updating the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) burden estimates from complying with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulation that requires financial institutions to report transactions in currency of more than $10,000 using FinCEN Report 112, the CTR report. Adjustment to the PRA burden calculation will lead to greater accuracy in detailing the true cost to a financial institution for filing a CTR.

Posted July 13, 2020 by dyi
CUNA and joint trades filed an ex parte letter to the FCC regarding the Matter of Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls. This letter was filed with the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Federally
Posted July 13, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA will be hosing a conference call for credit unions interested in learning more about updates to the Small Business Administration’s lending programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program. The call will be at 3 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 14.

Posted July 12, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House and Senate are in recess.  However, the House will continue to have committee meetings.

Posted July 10, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The U.S. Supreme Court joined the debate over what qualifies as an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), agreeing to hear Facebook Inc. v. Duguid. According to the order issued today, the court will decide “whether the definition of ATDS in the TCPA encompasses any device that can ‘store’ and ‘automatically dial’ telephone numbers, even if the device does not ‘us[e] a random or sequential number generator.’”

CUNA and leagues have continued to call for clarity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since its 2015 TCPA ruling, which has led to uncertainty over credit unions being able to contact members with important account information without being exposed to legal action.

Posted July 09, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion prior to the Committee's hearing entitled, "Access Denied: Challenges for Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses Accessing Capital and Financial Services During the Pandemic." Credit unions recognize that financial inclusion and access to capital are critical to ensuring the survival of many of our nation’s most vulnerable small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned businesses (MWBEs).

“During economic and financial crises, credit unions have stood out with their focus on mission and we have continued lending to help members navigate through tough times while banks were more concerned with preserving capital, Indeed, credit unions are more likely than other lenders to continue to lend during recessions.”

Posted July 09, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined several organizations calling on leadership of the House and Senate Small Business Committees to support of S. 4117, “The Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act a bill to simplify forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under $150,000. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-NN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the PPP Forgiveness Act.

“PPP loans of $150,000 and under account for 85% of total PPP recipients, but less than 26% of PPP loan dollars,” the joint letter reads. “Expediting the loan forgiveness process for many of these hard-hit businesses will save more than $7 billion and hours of paperwork…Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our nation’s economy and communities. Their time and resources would be better focused on getting the economy safely back up and running, not processing burdensome paperwork.”

Posted July 08, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) expressing concern that the administration’s budget request does not include adequate funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund or the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).

The Treasury’s CDFI Fund and NCUA’s 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.

Posted July 07, 2020 by jbrunson

The CFPB issued a final rule rescinding the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 rule after re-evaluating the legal and evidentiary bases for these provisions and finding them to be insufficient. The final rule does not rescind or alter the payments provisions of the 2017 rule.

The Bureau stated it intends to move forward with implementing the payments provisions of the 2017 final rule, including a provision that prohibits lenders from making a new attempt to withdraw funds from an account where two consecutive attempts have failed unless consumers consent to further withdrawals. The payment provisions also require lenders of covered products to provide consumers with written notice before making their first attempt to withdraw payment from their accounts and before subsequent attempts that involve different dates, amounts, or payment channels.

Posted July 07, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy
CFPB Director Kraninger issued a ratification of prior regulatory actions taken by the CFPB.   The ratification action was taken light of the Seila Law decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that found the CFPB’s structure
Posted July 06, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations and Related Programs in strong support of the Cooperative Development Program (CDP) and the $17 million funding level for fiscal year 2021.

The CDP is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability.

Posted July 06, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House and Senate are in recess.  However, the House will continue to have committee meetings.

Posted July 06, 2020 by dyi

CFPB released a document of frequently asked questions regarding prioritized assessments

Posted July 06, 2020 by jbrunson

CUNA filed a  comment letter in support of NCUA’s proposed rule on joint ownership proposal for share accounts. 

Posted July 02, 2020 by dyi

CUNA filed a letter today in support of the NCUA’s proposed rule on subordinated debt.

Posted July 02, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.”

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.”

Posted July 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted July 01, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA released its Spring rulemaking agenda, which provides a rough roadmap on regulatory issues the agency is and will be working on.

Posted July 01, 2020 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA sent a letter to congratulate Richard Jones on his new position as Chairman of the FASB.