August 22, 2016

NAFCU: Cordray's exemption response 'fell short'

NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler on Monday said CFPB Director Richard Cordray's response to a call for regulatory exemptions for credit unions "fell short" of addressing the industry's concerns.

In light of that, Thaler urged Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and others to take action to give credit unions regulatory relief.

In a NAFCU-sought effort, Donnelly and Sasse led a group of 70 lawmakers from both parties in July to urge CFPB to provide credit unions relief through its authority to grant exemptions on a rule-by-rule basis to "any class" of entity from its regulatory requirements. The senators' letter was similar to one sent to Cordray in March by a bipartisan group of 329 House members.

Cordray last week told the senators that CFPB already uses its Dodd-Frank Section 1022 authority to tailor regulation to smaller financial institutions.

Thaler said Cordray's response was insufficient and that Congress must act to address the regulatory burden on credit unions, in a letter to the group of senators on Monday.

"The Bureau's redundancy and lack of willingness to tailor regulations to exempt credit unions requires swift and decisive congressional action," Thaler wrote. "The CFPB has fallen far short in the use of its authority to alleviate the regulatory burden on small financial institutions. Credit unions cannot wait any longer, they, and their 104 million members, need Congress to act to provide regulatory relief when you return in September.

"NAFCU stands ready to work with you in this regard," Thaler continued.

NAFCU, the only credit union trade association that opposed any CFPB authority over credit unions from the bureau's inception, has repeatedly pressed the bureau to use its exemption authority more effectively.

The association has also noted that such regulatory relief would ensure CFPB resources are not wasted on implementing rules for institutions that were not the target of the rulemaking.