CUNA Endorses Some Changes to Consumer Bureau Structure
CUNA will endorse putting a credit union member on a five-member board that some lawmakers are proposing to run the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and will support allowing a council of regulators to overturn bureau decisions by a majority vote.
Those changes will help achieve the association’s goals of a “regulatory regime in which consumer protection is maximized and regulatory burden is minimized,” State Employees Credit Union of Maryland President/CEO Rodney Staatz said in testimony prepared for delivery tomorrow. He is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions during a hearing on legislative proposals to change the bureau, which is scheduled to begin operations in July.
Unlike NAFCU, CUNA doesn’t take a position on the merits of the legislation to have the bureau run by a five-member board rather than a presidentially appointed director. But CUNA contends that having a person with credit union experience would “enhance the quality of regulation promulgated” by the bureau, which will be housed in the Federal Reserve.
Staatz added that allowing a majority of the members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to overturn bureau regulations–rather than the current two thirds–“would help balance consumer protection with safety and soundness concerns.”
He also suggests that the current $10 billion in assets threshold for mandating that financial institutions are directly examined by the bureau should be indexed for inflation. That differs from NAFCU’s suggestion, which is to raise the threshold to $50 billion.
Staatz also suggests that lawmakers require regulatory agencies to demonstrate each year how they have reduced the regulatory burden of financial institutions and mandate that the bureau study on statutory and regulatory improvements for reducing compliance burdens.
To read Staatz’s prepared testimony and for more information on the hearing, go to: http://financialservices.house.gov/hearings/hearingDetails.aspx?newsid=1833