Representatives from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) addressed the Senate Banking Committee on July 14 in advance of the Committee’s July 15 Hearing with Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).   

CUNA representatives recommended that Congress clarify and expand the CFPB’s exemption authority.  This would permit the CFPB to further exempt credit unions from its rulemaking.  According to CUNA, structural changes are necessary because the CFPB has been “unwilling and unable” to pursue its mission without adversely impacting how credit union members receive services.   

“We reminded the CFPB that credit unions are a positive alternative—not the bad actors—in the payday lending market.  So credit unions should not be the focus of any new regulations targeted to problems in the market,” said Elizabeth Eurgubian, CUNA deputy chief advocacy officer.  “As member-owned financial cooperatives, credit unions are in a great position to help their members with loan terms that are far better than predatory lenders.  Any additional restrictions could leave consumers without the credit union option.” 

In addition to recommending exemption authority, CUNA asked Congress to consider several other measures that would provide additional supervision over the CFPB.  These measures include requiring the CFPB to be funded through the appropriations process, changing the leadership structure from a single director to a five-person board, and increasing the threshold for examinations of credit union and banks from $10 billion to $50 billion.