June 16, 2022

House passes DEI package containing provisions both supported and opposed by NAFCU

Capitol Hill

The House Wednesday passed the Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act package, in a 215-207 vote, which includes the NAFCU-backed Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act. The bill would allow all types of federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership and adds "banking deserts," areas not within 10 miles of a branch of a financial institution, to the definition of an underserved area.

The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act, also included in the package, would  permanently authorize the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. The package also contained several CDFI reforms targeted at aiding financial institutions. Of note, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, ahead of yesterday’s votes, wrote to the House urging lawmakers to update a current provision in the package that adds women’s banks to the definition of minority depository institutions  to also include credit unions. 

Thaler shared concerns regarding certain provisions included in the package that would increase data reporting and disclosure requirement burdens on credit unions. In addition, Thaler shared concerns around provisions that would expand the CFPB’s authority. 

"While they may be well-intentioned, we must caution against the burden they stand to place on community financial institutions," wrote Thaler. "We believe that these provisions may prove counterproductive to the goal of increasing access to capital as institutions spend resources to comply, rather than use them to aid members."

The package now moves to the Senate, where it is unlikely to be considered due to the limited days remaining in this Congressional session. NAFCU will continue to monitor the legislation and ensure credit union concerns are considered by lawmakers.