Bartolomucci: Allow Privately Insured CUs FHLB Access
Rose Bartolomucci, president/CEO of the $114 million Towpath Credit Union in Akron, Ohio, urged Congress Dec. 4 to pass several pieces of legislation that CUNA has argued would ease regulatory burden on credit unions.
Bartolomucci, testifying before the House Committee on Financial Services on behalf of CUNA, said H.R. 3584 would help state-chartered, privately insured credit unions by allowing them to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
“Some state-chartered credit unions are privately insured and under current law, cannot apply for membership to the FHLB System. Permitting these few credit unions to apply for membership to the FHLB System would help them serve the financial needs of their members,” she said.
“Many credit unions keep their loans in portfolio or make loans with unique characteristics that do not always meet the big bank ‘cookie cutter’ models,” she added.
If passed, Bartolomucci said, the legislation would not cause a significant number of credit unions to switch from federal to private insurance.
The former Ohio state credit union regulator also advocated for passage of the CFPB Rural Designation Petition and Correction Act.
“This legislation would direct the CFPB to establish an application process determining whether a county should be designated as a rural area if the CFPB has not designated it as one,” she said.
“The concern CUNA has with the definition in the current rule is that many credit unions make loans to those in rural communities, but the credit union itself may not be based in those communities. If the definition of “rural” does not change, these institutions will be limited in the types of products they can offer their members in these areas.”
In her testimony, Bartolomucci also mentioned a bill that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, is working on to eradicate duplicative regulations on credit unions.
The bill would accomplish this by directing the federal financial regulators to examine existing federal regulations to determine any interaction with a proposed new regulation.
“The considerations the regulator would be required to make under this legislation include assessing whether the proposed regulation or order is in conflict, inconsistent or duplicative with other federal regulations and orders or if it is simply outdated,” said Bartolomucci, a member of the CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council.
“The legislation also directs the regulators to take all available measures under current law to resolve any duplicative or inconsistent existing regulation or order with any proposed regulation or order before issuing the final regulation or order,” the Ohio credit union CEO said.