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Credit Unions, League Meet with Congressmen on Key Issues

Credit union representatives and League staff met with Congressman Bobby Scott (D-3) and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11) in separate district meetings this week.

The head of Virginia Credit Union’s member business lending program, Mike Noble, and a member of the Board of Directors, Roscoe Roberts, joined League President Rick Pillow and Senior Vice President David Miles in meeting with Scott in Richmond on Monday. Staff reported the meeting went well, and Scott requested additional information on member business lending. Scott most recently showed support for credit unions by signing on to the House letter voicing concern about the risk-based capital proposal from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

On Tuesday Belvoir FCU staffers Gaye DeCesare (who is also a League board member) and Jason Lindstrom, along with the League’s director of governmental affairs Karin Sherbin, met with Connolly in his Annandale office.  They thanked the Congressman for his credit union support, as demonstrated by his co-sponsoring the bill to raise the cap on member business lending, and his co-signing the House letter to NCUA on its capital proposal.  The credit union delegation updated Connolly on the NCUA’s pledge to make changes in the proposal.

The Belvoir representatives cited concern about the regulatory burden for credit unions coming out of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  DeCesare noted that while the intent of the creation of the CFPB was good, it is going beyond what was intended by Dodd-Frank, the legislation that authorized its development.

“We’re spending so much time to meet regulations that many times address problems we didn’t cause,” she said. She gave as an example the proposed rules on HMDA, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. While Dodd-Frank stipulated the collection of additional information, the CFPB proposal added on even more fields of data.  She questioned the benefit of the added data to the CFPB’s goal of rooting out discrimination in light of the cost to financial institutions.

DeCesare also raised privacy concerns because while names will be deleted when the data becomes public, it would still be easy for anyone to determine who was associated with the information, including income data.

Connolly said he was concerned about the cost of the added requirement to smaller institutions as well as the privacy issue, saying that what the CFPB is proposing sounded overly prescriptive. Noting the earlier discussion on data breaches, he said having all that private information collected might put lenders and individuals at risk.

Connolly said he would write to CFPB about its proposal during the comment period.

The group also discussed  H.R. 719, the bill that would allow credit unions to seek supplemental capital. Lindstrom explained the problem Belvoir has with remaining at proscribed capital levels when the deposit of military paychecks flood the credit union. “We always struggle with the ratio,”  especially at the end of the month, he said.

Connolly said he understood the argument.  The League will continue the conversation on the legislation with his office.

Thank you to the  credit union representatives  who attended these meetings! Your constituent input is invaluable.  Currently the League has arranged two more August district meetings with Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1).

Tags: Bobby Scott, Congress, Gerry Connolly

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