NASCUS visible, engaged during GAC
Meetings with members of Congress regarding pending legislation, with NCUA regarding current regulatory issues and areas of mutual concern, with credit union groups from around the nation and with credit union leaders among the nearly 5,000 attending the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) highlighted NASCUS’ involvement this past week during the nation’s largest annual gathering of the credit union movement. Members of the NASCUS leadership met with: Members and their staffs of the House Financial Services Committee; Acting U.S Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Amias Gerety; representatives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz and senior agency staff; leadership of CUNA Mutual, NAFCU, NACUSO, PSCU – and more. Additionally, NASCUS Past Chairman and Washington Division of Credit Unions Director Linda K. Jekel and NCUA Consumer Protection Office Director Gail Laster tag-teamed a standing-room-only crowd in a breakout session where they shared their insights on navigating regulations versus “best practices” and “guidance” in examinations. Overall, NASCUS and the state credit union system was visible and strongly engaged throughout all five days of the conference — and thanks to all who represented NASCUS and the state system.
Regulatory relief, change and the future were themes of speeches by NCUA Board members this week before the thousands of credit union activists gathered for the GAC. Board Chairman Debbie Matz focused on how credit unions weathered a crisis, built a recovery and now must keep pace with a changing society. Vice Chairman Rick Metsger outlined various “important and achievable goals” for the agency in 2016. And Board Member J. Mark McWatters gave details on his plan for achieving “Essential and Achievable Regulatory Relief.” But it was McWatters who touched on challenges for state regulators in his remarks. Referring to “overregulation” (in the context of heavy regulation in the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis), he said that it “creates adverse and immediate economic consequences as (overregulation) needlessly drives up the costs of operation for the NCUA, for state regulators that must administer the NCUA rules, for credit unions and, most importantly, for credit union members.” McWatters added that “overregulation will remain the normal operating procedure into the future” until Congress and other policymakers understand, through regular communication, of the costs of “excess regulation” on the credit union community and consumers.
While next Tuesday’s “Super Tuesday” primary voting is earning attention mostly for its impact on the presidential races (especially the GOP competition), it also holds interest for the credit union regulatory world – particularly the future for NCUA Board Member McWatters. Among the 13 states and territories holding primaries or caucuses next week is Alabama. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, the Republican senior senator from that state, is seeking his sixth term; he faces challenges from four others coveting his party’s nomination for the Senate seat he now holds. With his focus on the primary, the Banking Committee chairman has chosen not to take action, so far, on nominations pending before his committee – including that of NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters to the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. “My primary is Tuesday,” the New York Times reported this week that the senator said in an interview. “We can talk about this later,” he added, referring to nominations. (Earlier this year, shortly after McWatters was nominated for the Ex-Im Bank post, Shelby told a reporter that “I’m in a primary right now, so we’re in no hurry to hold hearings.”). The Times, in its reporting, noted the vacancy on the Ex-Im bank; there are 15 other nominees for various offices awaiting committee action.
Lawmakers are urged to support asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to use its authority to exempt (and thus protect) credit unions from certain rulemakings in a “dear colleague” letter being circulated in the House. The letter, by U.S. Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), asks CFPB Director Richard Cordray to consider language in the Dodd-Frank legislation (section 1022(b)(3)(a)) in which the CFPB is given the authority to adapt regulations by allowing it to exempt any class of entity from its rulemakings. The letter, which closes for signatures March 4, also notes that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recently found that financial services have been limited or discontinued by many community-based financial institutions due to new regulations. The letter points to the rules governing remittance transfers as an example.
Credit unions with assets of more than $44 million as of year-end 2014 and that engage in certain types of residential mortgage lending must file a report this year regarding mortgage applications received during 2015, required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA – the CFPB’s Reg C), NCUA notes in a recent “regulatory alert.” The alert (16-RA-03) also notes that credit unions subject to HMDA requirements in calendar year 2015 must submit Loan Application Register data to the Federal Reserve by March 1 of this year. A credit unions is also advised in the alert to look to the agency’s Reg Alert 15-RA-02 to determine if it must submit HMDA data for mortgage lending activity last year.
NCUA Reg Alert 16-RA-03 (plus enclosures)
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Data Collection Requirements for Calendar Year 2015 (Reg Alert 15-RA-02).
NASCUS Summaries of NCUA Regulatory Alerts
Prominent issues including recent enforcement actions by FinCEN, NCUA’s final MBL rule, development of NASCUS’ comment letter on the NCUA’s OTR methodology, and FASB’s proposal on Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) are among those that will be considered by the NASCUS Legislative and Regulatory Affairs committee when it meets by conference call Wednesday, March 2, at 3 pm ET. Want to sit in? You can – contact NASCUS VP, Legislative and Regulatory Counsel Nichole Seabron at Nseabron@nascus.org.
Just a reminder that, as March comes in, so do two NASCUS educational programs. Our Credit Union Executive Forum (March 23 in Seattle) offers a complete agenda for management, board and supervisory committee members – including earthquake preparedness, national issues and a look at commercial lending. The Cybersecurity Workshop (March 30 in Charlotte, N.C.), outlines the fundamentals of a cyber attack, what credit union organizations can do to mitigate the chances of a successful attack, and how to take steps to prevent future occurrences. Take a look at agendas for both at the links below – and register today … U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash. – a former credit union teller and co-sponsor of legislation to grant legal marijuana businesses access to banking – is a featured speaker at the NASCUS March 14-15 National Meeting in Washington …
Patrick Keefe, NASCUS Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 528-5974