September 29, 2015

NAFCU urges panel to support RBC 'stop and study' bill

NAFCU yesterday urged members of the House Financial Services Committee to vote in favor of H.R. 2769, a NAFCU-sought bill that would require NCUA to "stop and study" its risk-based capital proposal, as the panel prepares for a 10 a.m. mark-up today of this and other legislation.

Writing panel Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler noted the legal challenges and costs associated with NCUA's proposed rule.

"NAFCU believes there are several issues related to NCUA's legal authority to issue the rule as proposed, including, the ability to prescribe separate risk-based capital thresholds for well-capitalized and adequately capitalized credit unions," Thaler wrote. "Another key issue that would impact credit unions' ability to lend to consumers is the hundreds of millions of dollars in additional reserves that credit unions will have to hold to achieve the same capital cushion levels that they currently maintain."

The bill, the "Risk-Based Capital Study Act of 2015," was introduced by Reps. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Bill Posey, R-Fla. It would require NCUA to review RBC2 and report back to Congress on the agency's authority to issue a two-tier, risk-based capital rule and the impact the rule would have on credit unions and their members.

[NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz wrote the panel leaders last night to share her concerns about the legislation, noting that significant changes were made in the agency's second iteration of RBC; she said more changes are expected before a final rule is issued.]

Today's mark-up also includes the NAFCU-supported H.R. 1266, which would replace the CFPB director post with a bipartisan commission; and H.R. 957, which would transfer authority to appoint a CFPB inspector general from the Federal Reserve to the president.

In a joint letter sent to the committee leadership yesterday, NAFCU, with 22 other organizations, shared their support for H.R. 1266. A commission at CFPB "would serve as a source of balance and stability for consumers and the financial services industry by encouraging internal debate and deliberation, ultimately leading to increased transparency," the groups wrote.