Credit unions and community banks with assets of less than $10 billion in assets wouldn't be covered by any regulations promulgated by the new consumer agency, under the provisions of an amendment introduced yesterday by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).
The amendment would transfer rulemaking authority over institutions of $10 billion or less in assets to the NCUA and other safety and soundness regulators from the consumer regulator. As the regulatory overhaul bill is currently written, all financial institutions would have to comply with the regulations issued by the new consumer regulator, but only those with assets of $10 billion or more would be examined by the new entity. Consumer laws would be enforced by the safety and soundness regulator, such as the NCUA.
It is not clear when or whether Brownback's amendment will be brought to the floor. Senate leaders have said they hope to finish consideration of the measure by the end of this week.
In a letter to Brownback, NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker praised the amendment because his association believes the regulatory overhaul legislation should "focus on Wall Street and the other bad actors and not those that have continued to serve Main Street, such as credit unions."
Becker also said his association hopes that eventually all credit unions would be exempt from the consumer regulator's rules to prevent "the credit union industry from being split by an arbitrary dividing line, based on assets."