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CUNA-Supported Provisions Part of Senate Regulatory Relief Bill
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 6:20 AM

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, unveiled a regulatory relief bill Tuesday that contains a number of provisions for which CUNA has heavily advocated.

“Now that the draft has been released, the mark-up begins for all intents and purposes,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer.  “We are analyzing the provisions that have been included in the draft, and we’re going to be working with the committee leadership and our allies on the committee to look for ways for additional regulatory relief to be included as part of this package.”

CUNA-backed provisions in the legislation include:

  • Making all mortgages in portfolio qualified mortgages (QMs), which defines mortgages with features to make it more affordable. CUNA believes this will give financial institutions very strong incentives to originate high-quality loans;
  • Allowing privately insured credit unions to become members of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) system, and all credit unions with under $1 billion in assets parity with banks’ access to the FHLB system;
  • Modernizing privacy notification requirements to allow financial institutions to send notices when they are changed, not on an annual basis;
  • Requiring the National Credit Union Administration to hold hearings and receive public comments on its budget;
  • Establishing an ombudsman at the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, charged with receiving and investigating complaints from financial institutions relating to the examination process; and
  • Directing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to establish an application process for designating an area as “rural.”

The draft bill will serve as a starting point for regulatory relief negotiations, and will be formally considered by the committee at its May 21 mark-up.

According to reports, Republicans have expressed support for a comprehensive regulatory relief bill, while Democrats have supported a more targeted approach that would focus on relief for credit unions and community banks.