Credit union compliance staff will spend most of next year on new, proposed and final rules issued by the CFPB, CUNA Mutual Group’s Lauren Calhoun and Bill Klewin told their Online Discovery Conference audience late Tuesday.
“This has been the most challenging regulatory environment we have ever had in my 30 years of experience with lending compliance. And it will continue to be one of the most challenging as we move forward,” said Klewin, director of regulatory compliance.
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The complexity and depth of compliance changes will tax credit union staff, create additional expense and could have a negative impact on member service, Klewin added.
“The CFPB has issued 3,365 pages of proposed rules in just one six-week period this summer. That is on top of the hundreds of pages of rules already issued this year. Some of the changes will be technical in nature, while others, such as the proposed mortgage rules, will require a complete overhaul of credit unions’ mortgage lending portfolio,” said Calhoun, regulatory compliance manager.
The CFPB has issued seven proposed mortgage rules, each with comment period closing dates in October or November. The CFPB will analyze comments and issue final rules in January 2013 and throughout the year, dependent on the rule.
A more immediate rule that has been clarified for credit unions is the Remittance Transfer Rules, which has a mandatory compliance date of Feb. 7, 2013. A credit union must comply with the new rules if it initiates more than 100 remittance transfers in a calendar year.
The required disclosures –a pre-payment disclosure and a receipt -- are pretty simple, the compliance experts said. However, the execution of completing the forms will be difficult. It will additionally require training new employees as well as developing new processes to be sure the new disclosures are distributed in a timely fashion, they added.
Klewin also outlined options for credit unions in light of the NCUA’s recent letters regarding open-end lending. He feels most credit unions that are still using multi-featured open-end lending will likely move to a combination of open-end and closed-end lending.
“There isn’t just one cure-all or an easy solution that will still allow you to do MFOEL. But today, most MFOEL convenience can be replaced in a compliant manner with technology such as electronic disclosures and signatures,” Klewin said.
A key to managing all of the complex regulatory changes will be finding competent compliance staff and giving them the tools and resources to upgrade their skills and influence, the two said.
Although more than one department may be working on compliance, there needs to be one person on staff who has the overall accountability and can report at an appropriate level to influence and coordinate across departments.
CUNA Mutual Group said it attracted more than 1,800 credit union and league employees Tuesday for the free, online event.