WASHINGTON -- House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) reiterated once again that he plans to hold a full committee hearing on the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 1537) this fall.
However, only time will tell on any further forward progress with the credit union flagship bill. "I do not think there is any significant chance CURIA as it is in its entirety can pass both houses," Frank said, but challenged his audience to prove him wrong.
"There is a lot of support for credit unions but in its current form, it's very controversial," he said. With the 51D-49R split in the Senate, controversial items take extra finessing to get over the 60-vote hump.
Frank noted that he thought the risk-based capital revisions could get through, among others. "It won't be everything you want but it will be more than you got in the last few years," he said. He estimated about 80% of CURIA could get signed into law.
In addition, regarding subprime mortgage lending Frank said the committee would be looking at the question: "Can sensible regulation play a constructive part or can we basically get along without it?" He said that regulation needs to be sensible "but it is also important for us to not let unfair criticism wash over to the ones who did it right." The chairman added, "If only regulated institutions like credit unions made mortgages, there would not be a subprime crisis."
Finally, he said data security legislation is still tied up in multi-jurisdictional issues and politics. Frank agreed it was unfair that "you have to tell [your members], you have to replace the cards, and you can't tell them what happened." He asserted, "You put the financial, and in terms of reputation, you put the responsibility...with the entity that caused the breach."