Articles

The House passes 3 key reg relief bills

By Nicholas Ballasy, Credit Union Times

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Washington, May 7, 2014 | comments

The House passed three regulatory relief bills affecting credit unions early Tuesday evening.

H.R. 3468, the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act and H.R. 2672 and the CFPB Rural Designation Petition and Correction Act each cleared the House by a voice vote.

“Part of the mission of credit unions, from their very beginning, has been to reach out to the community around them, especially the underserved. Maintaining a strong commitment to the IOLTA community and removing a barrier to greater participation sustains that mission,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said, referencing H.R. 3468.

“We applaud the House for passing such important legislation for credit unions,” said NAFCU’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler.

“Parity for credit unions on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts is a key element in NAFCU’s five-point plan for regulatory relief. We thank Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Gary Miller (R-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) for sponsoring this bill in the House and look forward to working with the Senate to advance this legislation,” Thaler also said.

H.R. 3468, supported by both CUNA and NAFCU, would provide the NCUSIF coverage for trust accounts, including Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted in a statement that his trade and its affiliated state leagues had been pushing the regulatory relief items for some time.

"In fact, CUNA placed the issue of federal credit union insurance on lawyers’ trust accounts (and others) before the House Financial Services Committee for its consideration," Cheney said. "Beyond that: These regulatory relief bills are credit union stand-alone bills, which passed the House on their own merits and not as part of a big roundup of many stakeholders' legislative agendas. Credit unions, the state credit union associations and CUNA have taken their regulatory burden story to Capitol Hill and federal lawmakers are listening to our story.”

H.R. 2672, sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce, would give credit unions greater input in the CFPB’s rural area designations, which affect the kinds of financial products credit unions are able to offer in certain areas. The bill would create a process in which individuals could petition the CFPB to have the rural status of a county reassessed. That would allow a broader range of evaluation criteria, more accurately identify rural counties and help ensure continued access to mortgage credit.

The third bill of interest to credit unions that passed the House was H.R. 3584, the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act. Introduced by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), it would allow state chartered, privately insured credit unions to apply for membership with the Federal Home Loan Bank.

The Independent Community Bankers of America in a release expressed support for a fourth regulatory relief bill that passed the House Tuesday. If passed by the Senate, H.R. 3329 would increase the qualifying asset threshold of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement from $500 million to $1 billion, and allow small savings and loan holding companies to be covered by its provisions. The legislation would make it easier for community bank and thrift holding companies to raise capital, the ICBA said.

“To promote community-based economic growth and job creation, community banks need sound regulations appropriate to their traditional business model and lower-risk profile,” ICBA President/CEO Camden R. Fine said in a recorded statement.

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