Watch: NAFCU’s Mesack provides need-to-know insights from May
In May, NAFCU fought banker attacks on the credit union tax exemption with an op-ed from the association’s President and CEO Dan Berger, a letter to Congress from Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack, and more.
Additionally, the NCUA unanimously approved a NAFCU-supported proposed rule that would include 501(c)(19) veterans’ organizations in the agency’s definition of “qualified charity.”
Congress was busy at work with oversight hearings of the federal financial regulators and legislative efforts to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debt.
· May 24: NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger wrote an op-ed setting the record straight on the credit union tax exemption after banking groups continued their hypocritical attacks, which Berger noted is “a tactic bankers use to try and stifle competition.”
· May 10: Berger joined NAFCU Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ann Petros, host of the Credit Union Policy Podcast, to discuss advocacy issues and industry trends.
· May 8: NAFCU launched a new video highlighting #NAFCUNation and the association’s efforts to elevate the credit union industry and its efforts to serve millions of Americans and support local communities.
· May 7: Berger joined Associations Thrive podcast to tout the credit union difference and how NAFCU works to set the industry apart.
· May 24: Ahead of the May NCUA Board meeting, when this item was on the agenda, NAFCU and DCUC wrote to the NCUA Board to reiterate support for expanding the NCUA’s “qualified charity” definition to include veterans’ organizations, a request the organizations originally made in November 2022. The Board unanimously approved a proposed rule that would make this change during the meeting.
· May 15: NAFCU wrote to the House and Senate to defend credit unions and the credit union tax exemption against attacks from bank trade associations. NAFCU highlighted the extraordinary work credit unions do to serve their members and made the case for why credit unions continue to be Main Street America’s safest and most affordable source of financial services.
· May 12: NAFCU joined other trade associations to write to the Senate in support of S. 1212, the SECURE Notarization Act. This bipartisan legislation would establish national standards for online notarization services and ensure consumer security.
· May 3: NAFCU submitted comments to the CFPB on the credit card penalty fees proposed rule. The Bureau failed to convene small business review panels to provide input in the rulemaking process and did not publish the data and analysis underlying the proposal, which would lower the safe harbor amount for credit card late fees to $8 for all late payments. NAFCU also signed on to a joint financial services trade associations comment letter on this proposal.
· May 1: NAFCU wrote to the House Financial Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee to outline our concerns about the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund’s continued blackout period and proposed changes to the CDFI certification process. The CDFI Fund’s actions are resulting in harm to the very communities it was established to support, and Congressional oversight is needed to hold the Fund accountable.
· May 18: NAFCU’s Ann Petros and Andrew Morris met with Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Felton Booker and agency staff to discuss fintech supervision, the CDFI Fund, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and other important credit union issues.
· Reps. John Rose (R-TN) and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) introduced H.R. 3161, the CDFI Fund Transparency Act, which would require the Treasury Secretary or the Secretary’s designee to give annual testimony before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee on issues related to the CDFI Fund. NAFCU wrote to the bill’s sponsors to thank them for introducing this important legislation and supporting oversight of the CDFI Fund.
· Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Monica De La Cruz (R-TX), and Young Kim (R-CA) introduced H.R. 3556, the Increasing Financial Regulatory Accountability and Transparency Act. This legislation would require prudential regulators, including the chair of the NCUA Board, to testify before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee and submit reports related to supervision and regulation. NAFCU wrote in support of this legislation when it was considered by the House Financial Services Committee.
· Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 1442, the Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2023, which would establish a secondary market for loans originated by CDFIs.
· Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced S. 1362, the Transparency in CFPB Cost-Benefit Analysis Act. This NAFCU-supported legislation was previously introduced in the House, and it was included as a provision of a larger CFPB reform bill that passed the House Financial Services Committee in April.
Hearings and Letters
· May 24: The House Small Business Committee held a hearing on veteran-owned small businesses. NAFCU wrote to the Committee to express support for pieces of legislation that would help veteran entrepreneurs access capital by exempting loans made to veterans from the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap and by allowing the use of alternative credit reporting information to better identify creditworthy borrowers.
· May 24: The House Financial Services Committee held a markup on H.R. 3556, the Increasing Financial Regulatory Accountability and Transparency Act, and other legislation, including a bill that would make changes to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) single-family mortgage pricing framework. NAFCU wrote to the Committee in support of H.R. 3556 and to express the importance of allowing the government-sponsored enterprises to rebuild capital without increasing costs for credit unions and homebuyers through higher guarantee fees. The Increasing Financial Regulatory Accountability and Transparency Act passed the Committee by a 26-22 vote.
· May 23: The House Financial Services Committee held an FHFA oversight hearing. NAFCU wrote to the Committee to outline how the FHFA can better support credit unions’ efforts to serve lower-income homebuyers and foster responsible innovation in the housing finance market.
· May 18 and May 16: The Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee held hearings on the oversight of prudential regulators, including the NCUA. NAFCU wrote to both Committees to highlight the strength of the credit union industry, advocate for parity in federal deposit insurance coverage levels, and call for key modernizations of the Federal Credit Union Act, including the Credit Union Board Modernization Act, a floating credit union interest rate ceiling, increased access to the NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility, and an increase to the de minimis threshold under the MBL cap.
· May 18: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets held a hearing on stablecoin legislation. NAFCU wrote to the Subcommittee to support including credit unions in any legislative definition of permissible stablecoin issuers and recognizing the NCUA’s role as credit unions’ primary regulator, as well as to reiterate our opposition to central bank digital currency.
· May 17 and May 10: The House Small Business Committee held two hearings to examine the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) recent final rules affecting the 7(a) Loan Program. NAFCU wrote to the Committee ahead of both hearings to lay out our concerns about the Affiliation and Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) final rules, which will have the combined effect of loosening 7(a) lending standards while also allowing underregulated fintech lenders to participate in that program, putting credit unions, small business borrowers, and the SBA itself at heightened risk.
· May 11: The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on cannabis banking. NAFCU wrote in support of S. 1323, the SAFE Banking Act, which would provide a safe harbor to financial institutions that serve marijuana-related businesses that are operating in accordance with the laws of their state.
· May 30: NAFCU wrote to the NCUA in support of the NCUA’s proposed rule to expand access to credit union membership and streamline the credit union chartering and charter conversion process while encouraging the agency to avoid setting unnecessary limits on membership eligibility. This proposal includes changing membership eligibility standards to include immediate family members of deceased credit union members, a request NAFCU first made to the NCUA in March 2022.
· May 18: NAFCU joined other trade associations to write to the CFPB opposing the Bureau’s request to use the Generic Information Collection to conduct a study of “junk fees,” a process that would limit the public’s ability to provide feedback.
· May 16: NAFCU wrote to the FHFA in support of the creation of a single-family social bond policy and urged the agency to support housing affordability by using the proceeds of single-family social bonds to purchase mortgages originated by CDFI credit unions.
· May 12: NAFCU wrote to the EPA in support of a multi-recipient model for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which would allow credit unions to participate as indirect recipients of GGRF monies.
· May 12: NAFCU wrote to the FHFA in support of the proposed Enterprise Regulatory Capital Framework and to urge the FHFA to swiftly adopt the bi-merge credit report requirement and recognize the high quality of credit union mortgages by reducing their risk weight.
· May 8: NAFCU wrote to the Treasury Department to oppose requiring Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) participants to collect and report detailed demographic information without significant guidance that would mitigate credit unions’ legal risks.
· May 2: NAFCU wrote to the CFPB to request further clarification on the Bureau’s reanalysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for 2020-2022.
· May 1: NAFCU joined with other trade associations to request an extension of the comment deadline for the CFPB’s credit card penalty fees proposed rule.
· May 1: NAFCU wrote to the CFPB in response to the Bureau’s required review of the Mortgage Loan Originator rules to express support for the current regulatory framework.
Regulatory Alerts and Final Regulations
· May 23: NAFCU published a Regulatory Alert summarizing the FHFA’s request for information on the GSEs’ single-family mortgage pricing framework.
· May 11: NAFCU published a Regulatory Alert summarizing the CFPB’s property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing proposed rule. Credit unions do not offer PACE financing, but they can be negatively affected by PACE loans’ superior lien positions.
· May 3: NAFCU published a Regulatory Alert summarizing the NCUA’s request for information on climate-related financial risk. While this is not a specific proposal, responses to this request could inform future rulemakings or other NCUA action on climate risk.
· April 28: NAFCU published a Final Regulation Summary on the SBA’s SBLC moratorium rescission final rule, which will allow the SBA to license underregulated fintech lenders to participate in the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs. The final rule also removes the loan authorization requirement, which will streamline 7(a) and 504 loan processing for credit unions that participate in SBA lending.
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