Sept. 10, 2013 – Perspectives on CFPB’s structure, the bureau’s mortgage rules and what’s happening with housing finance reform were detailed Monday for NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus attendees by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Capito, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, discussed her concerns with CFPB’s qualified mortgage rules set to go into effect in January. Because of the uncertainty of these new regulations, Capito said some credit unions that used to help families obtain a mortgage might now have to think twice about giving them a loan. “Financial institutions that used to help people can’t anymore because of regulatory rewriting,” she said.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
McHenry, chairman of the full panel’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, also pointed to the importance of credit union lending. “You deploy credit, give families opportunities and give people a second try,” he said. “We have to make sure financial institutions large and small can continue to lend.”
Both Capito and McHenry aired concerns over the rapid growth of the CFPB. She let Caucus attendees know that her House colleagues are pushing for a commission or committee structure for the CFPB so it is not run solely by one director. As well as calling for more oversight authority and transparency for the bureau, McHenry warned credit unions about the rapid growth of CFPB regulations. He said the No. 1 job growth opportunity today is in the field of financial institution examiners. He also thanked NAFCU for its position on the CFPB at its inception (NAFCU was the only credit union group that opposed placing any credit union under the bureau’s supervisory authority).
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., (left) with Berger.
Capito also talked about House-passed H.R. 2767, the “Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act,” introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, earlier this summer. She made the argument that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to be dissolved and the private market allowed to stand in its place. She said taxpayers are still on the hook for Fannie and Freddie and pointed out that even federal regulators are preparing for their phase-out.
Warner, who with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., helped draft S. 1217, which would phase out the two entities over five years, said it’s important to make sure that, whatever happens with the current government-sponsored enterprises, it is essential that both credit unions and small community banks have “equal access” to the secondary market going forward “so you are not squeezed out by the biggest banks.”