In comments submitted to the National Credit Union Administration, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America said that rules that would allow Credit Union Service Organizations to expand their lending services should be withdrawn from consideration.
In a letter to Senate Banking Committee ranking Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Todd Harper had suggestions about changing when the agency can assess premiums on credit unions, increasing the NCUA’s Share Insurance fund ceiling, and changing the assessment basis. Harper is concerned about how the law may force the agency to charge premiums during poor economic times, not at times when credit unions might find it easier to pay.
The Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions have resumed making campaign contributions after a pause while they reevaluated their giving after the insurrection at the Capitol. CUNA has given nothing to members of Congress who objected to certifying the election for President Biden. NAFCU has given to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which supports House Republicans.
The policy agenda being circulated during the Independent Community Bankers of America’s “2021 Capital Summit” contains major anti-credit union rhetoric, including pushing plans to eliminate the credit union tax exemption, getting credit unions covered by the regulations in the Community Reinvestment Act and insisting that the National Credit Union Administration is failing to properly regulate and oversee the industry. Other than that, their policy objectives are very similar to the Credit Union National Association’s and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other lawmakers have introduced legislation to expand the Community Reinvestment Act and address the affordable housing shortage. Just like when similar legislation was introduced in the last Congress, the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions are in disagreement about whether to support or oppose the legislation.
According to the American Bankers Association, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency should reject any proposed merger of a credit union with a federal savings association because the OCC may not have the legal power to approve that type of deal. The ABA and the Independent Community Bankers of America are also accusing credit unions of using their tax exemption for financing the purchases.
The House Small Business Committee held a hearing on the Small Business Administration’s oversight of Paycheck Protection Program. The SBA is trying to mitigate fraud in the program.
The House passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would provide banks and credit unions with a regulatory safe harbor if they provide financial services to marijuana related businesses in states where cannabis is legal. The bill also stops a possible “Operation Choke Point,” prohibiting financial regulators from requiring an institution to stop doing business with a company solely based on the company’s reputational risk. The fate of the bill in the Senate is not clear.
Congressional postal banking proponents think they can get a pilot program appropriation passed and sent to President Biden.
The House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee held a hearing on trends in institutional charters that highlighted the different views on proper regulation of fintech companies and how the current regulatory arrangements may be becoming disadvantageous to credit unions. Carlos Pacheco, CEO of Premier Members Credit Union in Boulder, Colo., gave a credit union’s perspective to the legislators.