NAFCU Supports H.R. 3461 For Greater Consistency And Transparency In Credit Union Examination Process

CONTACT:   Patty Briotta

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) today told Congress that transparency and consistency in the examination process are critical to promote safety and soundness throughout the financial system, and urged passage of  the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act (H.R. 3461), introduced by House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ranking Member Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

“NAFCU supports effective exams that are focused on safety and soundness and flow out of clear regulatory directives. However, the examination process, by its very nature, can be inconsistent,” said Jeanne Kucey, president and CEO of Jetstream Federal Credit Union (Jetstream FCU), Miami Lakes, Fla., and a NAFCU board member, before the Subcommittee. “Maintaining a consistent supervisory and examination environment is vital to ensuring compliance with both safety and soundness as well as consumer protection regulations.”

In her testimony, Kucey outlined ways to achieve consistency in the examination process, including the need for any subsequent guidance to include clear and tangible criteria, and improvements to the current appeals process. She noted that every inconsistency that requires credit unions to expend more resources on compliance reduces their ability to better serve their members.

Kucey said that H.R. 3461 would help promote a stronger relationship between regulators and the financial services industry by encouraging a transparent and consistent review process, and that establishing a third-party independent ombudsman at the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council will promote consistency and promote fairness in the exam appeal process.  

“Today’s credit unions continue to play a very important role in the lives of millions of Americans from all walks of life,” Kucey concluded. “While many large banks have increased their fees and curtailed customer service, credit unions continue to provide their members with high quality personal service at the lowest possible cost. Credit unions were not the cause of the financial crisis, yet often feel the effect of punitive measures designed to reel in the practices of bad actors. Credit unions need relief from regulatory burden. NAFCU supports H.R. 3461 as a positive step toward meaningful improvements and we look forward to working with Congress to move the proposal forward.”

Jetstream FCU has $126 million in assets and serves more than 16,000 members in seven locations, including Puerto Rico.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on federal issues affecting credit unions, representing its members before the federal government and the public.

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