CFA Praises Passage of Financial Reform Legislation, CU's Still Oppose
Even as CUNA and NAFCU have indicated they will opposed the current finance reform package, the Consumer Federation of America has hailed Congress for having brought the bill this far.
"This bill marks the biggest transformation of financial regulation in this country since the Great Depression," said CFA Legislative Director Travis Plunkett. "The conferees are to be commended for provisions that will improve the marketplace for consumers and thereby improve the stability of our economy."
"A crucial component of the legislation is the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that will have as its sole mission the best interests of consumers," said Susan Weinstock, CFA's Financial Reform Campaign Director."It's high time that consumers have a cop on the beat to rein in abusive and deceptive financial products and services. The bill sets up an autonomous consumer bureau with independent funding, which are key elements for an effective regulator."
For their parts, both major credit union trade groups reiterated their opposition to the measure.
"We worked steadfastly with lawmakers to ensure that credit unions were not caught up in the sweeping reforms intended for those that caused this financial crisis. In fact, we supported the CFPB for Wall Street and the bad actors," said NAFCU CEO Fred Becker. "However, we still strongly believe that having it apply to credit unions is unnecessary and we have always voiced our opposition to it. As for the inclusion of the Durbin debit tax on consumers via a cap on interchange, we strongly opposed that the moment Senator Durbin filed the amendment. It is unfortunate that consumers will bear the burden of higher prices and limited options in access to credit as a result of this amendment."
Outgoing CUNA CEO Dan Mica took a longer view. "Although the amendment limiting interchange for credit unions remains in the final bill, credit unions did an extraordinary job in not only expressing the shortcomings of the amendment, but also making changes to it," Mica said. "Those changes were not enough for us to lift our opposition to the final bill, but the changes are somewhat better than what the Senate originally passed. If the interchange provision does become law, our efforts will turn to the rulemaking process, once it begins with the Federal Reserve, where we intend to fully represent the interests and concerns of credit unions