Exam Fairness Act Reintroduced in Congress
A bill that would establish an ombudsman outside of the NCUA to handle exam appeals was reintroduced in both the House and Senate on Monday.
Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) again sponsored the Exam Fairness and Reform Act in the upper chamber, designated S. 727. During the 112th Congress, the Moran and Manchin-sponsored bill picked up 14 co-sponsors, all Republicans except for Manchin. So far this year, the two are the only sponsors.
The bipartisan team of Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) also returned from the 112th Congress to sponsor H.R. 1553. The bill has already picked up 27 co-sponsors, and like in the last Congress, the support is mostly Republican, with 22 Republican co-sponsors compared to five Democrats.
In the 112th Congress, of the 192 House co-sponsors that signed on the legislation, 147 were Republicans and 45 were Democrats.
The bill would apply to federal bank regulators, including the NCUA and CFPB, and in addition to the ombudsman position and a stronger appeals process, would require that examiners to provide institutions with documentation to support exception write-ups, and codify examinations standards.
“In our national exam survey, completed earlier this year, a common concern expressed by credit unions was that examiners tended to focus too much on their own views of best practices, rather than on legal and regulatory requirements,” said CUNA CEO Bill Cheney.
“Regulators should address the supervision and examination of credit unions in a professional manner, taking into full account legal requirements credit unions must meet as well as the need for credit unions to have reasonable flexibility to serve their members well,” Cheney said.
“This bill takes firm steps in the right direction toward making the examination process fairer and more consistent,” he said.
NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Dan Berger said the bill supports his trade's five-point plan for regulatory relief.