GAO: Trump’s CFPB Couldn’t Justify Reorganization of Fair Lending Office

Appearing to confirm the suspicions of Democratic critics, the Government Accountability Office reported Monday that the Trump Administration haphazardly reorganized the consumer bureau’s fair lending office, resulting in confusion at the agency and a drop in enforcement actions.

In a scathing report, the Government Accountability Office said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, under then Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and then former Director Kathleen Kraninger, failed to produce any documentation to justify transferring the agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity to another branch in the director’s office.

ABA Questions OCC Authority to Approve CU-Federal Savings Association Mergers

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.

House Passes PPP Extension Bill, As IG Reports Duplicate Loans Made by SBA

The Small Business Administration’s Inspector General has issued a report finding that in the first batch of Paycheck Protection Program loans last year, 4,260 borrowers got two PPP loans when they only should have received one. The SBA intends to not forgive those duplicate loans, but to prevent duplication from happening again, the SBA has added controls that are causing delays and a logjam in loan processing this cycle, raising concerns that businesses will be caught without a loan when the program ends on March 31. The House has now passed legislation that would extend the PPP to the end of May.

With Thousands of PPP Loans on ‘Hold,’ CUNA, NAFCU Ask for Extension

Financial services trade groups, including the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, are concerned that the Paycheck Protection Program will expire on March 31 with thousands of loans stuck with “holds” that will prevent those small businesses from getting assistance. They want all loan applications received by the March 31 expiration date of the PPP to be processed.

CUNA, NAFCU Say PPP Rules Needed Before Loans Are Made

Financial and industry trade groups, including the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, would like guidance and rules for the new Paycheck Protection Program issued soon so that there will not be constant updates and changes like those that occurred during the first PPP. The groups sent a letter to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department, suggesting comprehensive and timely guidance on the program rules so that a smooth implementation can occur.

Community Bankers to Continue Anti-Credit Union Campaign in Next Congress

The Independent Community Bankers of America’s anti-credit union campaign will continue in the next Congress.

In its briefing on the impact of the 2020 election, the ICBA said it will continue its “Wake Up” campaign during the 117th Congress. But the trade group said it does not expect any major policy shift in how policymakers view the credit union industry.