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CUNA Calls for Congress to Make Structural Changes to CFPB
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 6:45 AM

Consumers lose when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau keeps credit unions from serving them. That’s the message CUNA sent to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in advance of its Wednesday hearing with CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who will deliver the bureau’s semiannual report.

CUNA told the Senate Banking Committee that since the bureau has proven “unwilling and unable” to pursue its mission without significantly and adversely impacting how credit union members receive services from their credit unions, CUNA supports structural changes at the bureau.

CUNA recommended that Congress expand and specify the CFPB’s exemption authority, so the bureau can go much further than it has to exempt credit unions from its rulemaking. CUNA also pushed for the CFPB to be funded through the appropriations process, which would provide an additional layer of supervision over the CFPB’s activities.

In addition, CUNA also asked Congress to enact several pieces of legislation that would provide additional oversight over the CFPB, including:

  • Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2015 (H.R. 1266), which would change the leadership structure at the CFPB to a five-person board, instead of a single director;
     
  • CFPB Examination and Reporting Threshold Act of 2015 (S. 482), which would increase the threshold for examinations of credit unions and banks to $50 billion from $10 billion;
     
  • Bureau of Consumer Protection Advisory Boards Act (H.R. 1195), which would codify the Credit Union Advisory Council as a legal requirement;
     
  • Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act (H.R. 1259), which would direct the CFPB to establish a process for determining whether an area should be designated as rural;
     
  • Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 685), which would exclude from the points and fees calculation affiliated title insurance charges and escrowed homeowners’ insurance premiums;
     
  • Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 1210), which would deem residential real estate mortgage loans made by credit unions and held in portfolio as qualified mortgages;
     
  • Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 1263), which would authorize the Financial Stability Oversight Council to stay or set aside any regulation of the CFPB upon a determination by a majority of its members that the regulation is inconsistent with safe and sound operations of financial institutions; and
     
  • H.R. 2213/S. 1711, which would provide a hold-harmless period through the end of the year following the Oct. 3 effective date of the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosures regulation.