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Victory for Credit Unions as Senate Passes S. 2155
Thursday, March 15, 2018 6:50 AM

The Senate passed the credit union system-backed, bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) Wednesday, in a strong step forward for much-needed regulatory relief.

CUNA, Cornerstone, other leagues and credit union system advocates strongly supported the bill since it was introduced. Two weeks ago, more than 200 credit union advocates from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas visited Washington, D.C., during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference to push for common sense regulatory reform and ask for Senate support of S. 2155.

"We are thrilled that the tremendous grassroots efforts of the credit union movement have prevailed once again," said Cornerstone President/CEO Caroline Willard. "This bill provides important regulatory relief for credit unions, and it is a big win for the credit union system. Tomorrow, we will fine-tune our strategy for pivoting to the House of Representatives so we can push this across the goal line and begin to offer regulatory relief to credit unions that exist to help hard-working Americans achieve their financial goals faster."

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle expressed his gratitude for the push made by credit unions to inform senators of the damage regulatory overreach has had on credit union members as well as financial institutions that were not the cause of the financial crisis.

"We thank the senators who put party politics aside and listened to credit union stakeholders around the country to support a bill that will greatly benefit credit unions and the 110 million members they serve," said Nussle. "We're grateful to see both sides come together to pass a meaningful piece of regulatory reform legislation, and CUNA will continue its engagement to continue this positive momentum and see the bill move through the House. This is a great step forward, but we need to continue to make out voices heard to get this bill through the House and across the finish line."

The White House Office of the Press Secretary offered the following statement on passage of S. 2155.

"President Donald J. Trump commends the Senate, led by Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) for passing S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The President supports the bill, and as recently noted in a Statement of Administration Policy, he would sign it into law.

"The bill provides much-needed relief from the Dodd-Frank Act for thousands of community banks and credit unions and will spur lending and economic growth without creating risks to the financial system. By tailoring regulation, the bill seeks to prevent excessive regulation from undermining the viability of local and regional banks and their ability to serve their communities.

"The President looks forward to discussing any further revisions the House is interested in making, with the goal of bipartisan, pro-growth Dodd-Frank relief reaching his desk as soon as possible."

S. 2155 would:

  • Establish a safe harbor from certain requirements for a loan to be considered a Qualified Mortgage;
  • Rescind the additional data points required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for insured credit unions that originate fewer than 500 closed-end and/or 500 open-end lines of credit;
  • Reclassify one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residential loans as real estate loans, so the loan would not count against the member business lending cap;
  • Clarify that that the same consumer protections in place with respect to mortgage lending are nonexistent for Property Assessed Clean Energy loans;
  • Remove the three-day wait period required for the combined TRID mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends to a consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate;
  • Require NCUA to make publicly available a draft of their proposed budget, hold a hearing with public notice during which this draft would be discussed and solicit and consider public comment about the draft budget;
  • Provide a safe harbor for properly trained financial employees who report alleged elder financial abuse; and
  • Require the U.S. Department of Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyber threats may pose to financial institutions.

Cornerstone is especially grateful to Arkansas Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman, Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, and Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz for their support of this legislation.