December 16, 2015

Omnibus to require NCUA to study MSAs under RBC

The omnibus agreement released Tuesday night by lawmakers addresses not just cybersecurity information sharing. It also includes a NAFCU-backed provision requiring NCUA to report to Congress on what are appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets related to its risk-based capital rule.

NCUA would have to report to Congress within six months on what impact the agency's final rule will likely have on credit union mortgage servicing assets, or MSAs, and credit unions' ability to compete with others in the marketplace. Other banking regulators will conduct a similar study for banks using Basel requirements.

Further policy provisions in the omnibus would require CFPB committees and subcommittee meetings to be open to the public to bring greater transparency to the bureau. Another provision would help ensure the confidentiality of information shared between federal financial regulators and state regulatory agencies.

"We thank lawmakers for adding provisions to this funding bill that benefit the credit union industry," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "A special thanks to Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling for pushing for regulatory relief in this package. These provisions are a step in right direction for credit union regulatory relief but much more needs to be done. We look forward to working with Congress in 2016 to enact more regulatory relief for credit unions."

Also included in the bill is the conference report for the NAFCU-backed S. 754, the "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act." The bill, also known as CISA, would encourage faster sharing of cyber-threat information among the business and government sectors.

The spending bill also includes language preventing an administrative effort to reform government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, thus requiring congressional action before any changes are made. This provision sunsets after two years.

In any housing finance reform efforts, NAFCU continues to push for equal access to the market for credit unions and fair pricing based on loan quality as opposed to volume.

This omnibus spending package for fiscal 2016 is projected to be passed by Congress within the next week, and the president is expected to sign the bill.