CUNA letter to the House Financial Services Committee in advance of today’s markup

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2015) —  

The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
Committee on Financial Services
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Maxine Waters
Ranking Member
Committee on Financial Services
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters:

On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), thank you for holding this week’s markup on pending regulatory relief legislation. CUNA represents America’s credit unions and their more than 100 million members.

We appreciate the efforts of the Committee to remove barriers so that credit unions can more fully serve their members. When credit unions boards and managers – not government bureaucrats – are making decisions about how to provide services, the member-owners of the credit union benefit. The legislation under consideration at tomorrow’s mark-up takes small steps in the right direction toward removing some of these barriers.

This letter presents our support on several of the bills under consideration by the Committee including H.R. 766, H.R. 1210, H.R. 1941, and H.R. 3192.

H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015

Credit unions are committed to maintaining their ability to serve their members, while also strictly following all the laws and regulations that govern them. We support the federal government’s role in fighting fraud and ensuring the integrity of financial markets; nevertheless, we are concerned that Operation Choke Point’s broad enforcement tactics could undermine effectiveness and create risks to consumers and the economy. Operation Choke Point activities have resulted in some financial institutions suspending access to financial services for certain legal businesses.

The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015 limits the ability of Federal banking regulators to pressure a depository financial institution to terminate a specific customer account or to otherwise restrict or discourage a depository institution, such as a bank or credit union, from entering into or maintaining a financial services relationship with a specific customer unless certain criteria is met. Before any relationship is terminated with a credit union member, the regulator must have a material and fact-based reason where fraud or harm to the credit union can be proved. We believe this is a reasonable approach and we support the legislation.

H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act

We are pleased to renew our support for H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act. This legislation would treat mortgages held in portfolio at credit unions and other mortgage lenders as qualified mortgages for purposes of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau’s (CFPB) mortgage lending rules. Treating loans that financial institutions hold on their balance sheets in this manner is appropriate because the lender retains all of the risk involved with these mortgages and is subject to significant safety and soundness supervision from its prudential regulator. This will help credit unions, many of which are primarily portfolio lenders, continue to provide mortgage credit to their members.

H.R. 1941, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act

The Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act would make available to financial institutions the information used to make decisions in their examination; codify certain examination policy guidance; establish an Independent Examination Review Office at the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC) to which financial institutions could raise concerns with respect to their examination; and, establish an appeals process before an independent administrative law judge.

Credit unions support a strong and effective regulatory system so they can provide the best products and services for their members. After all, credit unions’ own net worth and combined National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund deposits fund solutions for credit union losses. We do not view this legislation as weakening the federal examination system. To the contrary, by increasing the consistency and fairness of the system, safety and soundness can also be enhanced.

This legislation will facilitate transparency and improve consistency in the examination process; provide a resource for financial institutions to express concern about their examination experience; and establish an independent adjudicatory process for the appeal of material supervisory determinations. We are pleased to support the bill.

H.R. 3192, the Homebuyers Assistance Act

The Homebuyers Assistance Act will provide a reasonable hold- harmless period for enforcement of the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule for those that make good-faith efforts to comply. A hold-harmless period helps ensure consumers’ real estate closings will not be disrupted after this complicated rule’s October 3 effective date.

We appreciate that the CFPB indicated it will be sensitive to the progress made by those entities that make good-faith efforts to comply. Nevertheless, industry needs more certainty that their good-faith efforts to comply, while still meeting consumers’ expectations, do not expose lenders and settlement service providers to litigation during the initial period after the regulation becomes effective. This certainty will reduce the likelihood that consumers will experience delays or disruptions in the months following the October 3 implementation date. We support the bill and encourage Congress to enact it as soon as possible.


These bills represent a step in the right direction toward reducing the regulatory burden facing America’s credit unions. Sadly, there is so much more that needs to be done. We encourage the Committee to continue its pursuit of regulatory relief legislation so that credit unions can more fully serve their members.

On behalf of America’s credit unions and their more than 100 million members, thank you for holding this markup. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and this Committee to enact additional regulatory relief legislation for credit unions and their members.


Jim Nussle
President & CEO

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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