On the final day of NAFCU's Congressional Caucus Wednesday, three members of the Senate Banking Committee told hundreds of attendees of the great service credit unions provide to their communities and America, and they said the current regulatory environment must change to reflect that.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., focused on the impact credit unions have on their communities. "You care for your members who are also your neighbors," he said. "There is no shortage of stories of credit unions helping their members and communities."
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., made similar remarks, saying that "there is something unique about credit unions. Credit unions remain committed to the mission of serving the underserved."
Cotton said it is a "true tragedy" that America is losing almost a credit union a day. "You're about building relationships and serving communities, which at the end of the day, is what America is about."
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., stressed getting the right financial ecosystem in place, which he thinks is possible by tackling issues such as health care, tax reform and infrastructure.
He also told credit unions that while big Dodd-Frank Act reforms may not happen in the immediate future, there is bipartisan support to alter some regulations to more appropriately align regulatory burden with the level of risk a financial institution poses to the system.
Echoing this sentiment, Scott said "credit unions should not fall under the same category as Bank of America."
Scott also discussed his recently introduced, NAFCU-backed bill, the Credit Score Competition Act (S. 1685). If enacted, this bill would authorize the Federal Housing Finance Agency to set standards and criteria for any process used by either enterprise to validate and approve credit scoring models.
Updating the credit scoring model, Scott said, would "make sure those who are underserved have access to becoming a homeowner." He said in South Carolina alone, 16 percent more people would be credit scored if the latest iteration of the credit scoring mechanism was used today.
Congressional Caucus, NAFCU's lobbying event of the year, will take place again next year, Sept. 11-14 in Washington. Register now.