The Nussle Report

By Jim Nussle, CUNA President & CEO07.14.2017

CU relief measures move forward, get recognition in FSGG bill markup: The fruits of our hard work through the Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation continue to pay off during the committee markup of the 2018 House Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. In particular we achieved full funding for the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, reversing attempts to defund this program. And, the legislation provides $190 million for the Community Development Financial Institution Fund, which is lower than current funding but still higher than the historical level for this fund.

We also made good progress in building congressional support for our work to install five-person commission at the CFPB and eliminate a proposal to place NCUA under the annual congressional appropriations process. More work remains, but with strong, fierce 360-degree advocacy, your CUNA/League team continues to win allies on Capitol Hill that we'll need to eventually secure these credit union priorities.

The bill also includes a number of provisions that were included in H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act.

CU testimony shines light on need for reg relief: The problems created by the overregulation of credit unions were clearly outlined for a House Financial Services subcommittee this week, thanks to the testimony of Rick Nichols, president/CEO, River Region CU, Jefferson, Mo. Testifying on behalf of Heartland Credit Union Association and working with CUNA to develop his remarks, Nichols painted a clear picture of how one-size-fits-all regulations have harmed our industry. This is 360-degree advocacy at its finest. With CUNA, Leagues and credit unions aligned, we will continue blanketing Capitol Hill with this messaging until we find the regulatory reform for which we've been fighting.  

Here's a link to a short video report on the hearing.

HELOC threshold increase a strong advocacy win: We believe we have secured a significant advocacy victory for credit unions, as CFPB Director Richard Cordray has pledged that the Bureau will issue a proposal to raise reporting thresholds for home equity lines of credit. In his letter to several Senators, the director noted increasing concerns from credit unions and other small financial institutions about the burden of such excessive reporting, a concern we have long expressed to the Bureau. We applaud Mr. Cordray for hearing our concerns and taking this step to find credit unions relief.

LSCU roundtable with lawmakers: I was thrilled to see the League of Southeastern Credit Unions' work recently to facilitate a slew of in-district meetings with lawmakers in Florida. A number of credit unions hosted branch visits—in partnership with other area credit unions—to take the time to educate their lawmakers about the credit union difference. This is incredible collaboration, and it will pay huge dividends with their members of Congress when they return to Washington. Congratulations and well done.

My response to incorrect claims on NCUA FOM rule: I wrote in response to a column in American Banker this week that completely missed the mark in challenging the NCUA's field of membership (FOM) proposal. Ultimately, as I wrote, the dynamics of our communities have been fundamentally altered since the last time FOM rules were significantly updated, particularly by technology. We strongly support the NCUA here. It's simply working to allow credit unions to stay competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace.   

RESPA rule should focus on costs, benefits: In response to the CPFB's request for information on an assessment of its 2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) servicing rule, we wrote that the Bureau should focus on the true costs and benefits of such a rule. For credit unions, costs to service a performing loan have climbed fourfold since 2008. As such, the CFPB's assessment should determine whether these increased costs have yielded a justifiable benefit to consumers, plain and simple.

We're unpacking CFPB's arbitration rule: While we continue to closely analyze the CFPB's final arbitration rule and how it may affect credit unions, we're disappointed that the Bureau chose to apply this regulation to our industry at all. Frankly, for credit unions, this is a solution in search of a problem, particularly as virtually no evidence of credit union abuse in this realm exists. We will fight hard to ensure the CFPB understands the unnecessary costs this rule will have on the most consumer-friendly financial institutions in the market. 

Shoutout of the week: Thanks to both Tom Kane, president/CEO, Illinois Credit Union League, and Alan Meyer, president/CEO, 1st MidAmerica CU, Bethalto, Ill., for partnering with me on an article that ran in the Illinois Business Journal. The effort provided us a strong opportunity to raise awareness of the inequity of the regulations Washington has nailed credit unions with since the financial crisis. Thank you both. Let's keep driving the public conversation around the need for relief.

Thank you for your continued participation in and engagement with the CUNA/League system. If you have any issues you'd like CUNA to address, I encourage you to give me a call directly at 202-508-6745 or email me at jnussle@cuna.coop