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Two CFPB Hearings Next Week in Congress
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:45 AM

Both chambers of Congress are out this week, but two hearings are scheduled for next week featuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On April 5, the Senate Banking Committee will conduct a hearing on the effects of consumer finance regulations, and on April 7, CFPB Director Richard Cordray will appear before the Senate Banking Committee.

“These hearings will help advance the theme we’ve been pushing the last several months—that the cost of compliance is getting higher and more burdensome,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “We hope the members of the committee continue to pursue similar lines of questioning that the House Financial Services Committee pursued, about the extent to which the CFPB has the authority to exempt a certain class of financial institutions from regulations.”

Donovan said CUNA is “taken aback” by Cordray’s perspective that the health of the credit union industry is thriving under the CFPB, as he said before the House Financial Services Committee. While the credit union system health as a whole is in a positive place, CUNA remains concerned about the consolidation of small financial institutions.

CUNA also continues to monitor credit union-friendly provisions that legislators have asked to be included in appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2017. A number of legislators wrote to request credit union-friendly items.

The requested proposals would:

  • Include “common-sense regulatory relief language” for community financial institutions, from Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH);
     
  • Request the inclusion of a safe harbor from the CFPB’s qualified mortgage “ability-to-repay” rule for loans held in portfolio, by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY);
     
  • Add a mandatory exemption for credit unions from all CFPB rules, raise the member business lending cap to 27.5 percent of assets and allow safe harbor for qualified mortgage loans held in portfolio, by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX);
     
  • Allow for an increase in the CFPB’s small services exemption to 20,000 loans per year, up from 5,000 loans per year; and exempt higher-priced mortgage loans from certain appraisal requirements, by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO);
     
  • Add a mandatory exemption from CFPB rules for credit unions and small banks, by Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX); and
     
  • Prohibit the implementation of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule as proposed, by Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV).