CUs should engage legislators during August recess

Each year, Congress recesses for the month of August, and July 28 was the House of Representatives’ last day before the recess, which goes all the way until Sept. 5. That’s how long the Senate’s recess was originally supposed to last, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would delay the August recess two weeks, which means the Senate’s last day is scheduled for Aug. 11. However, the August recess does not mean there isn’t a lot that could impact credit unions going on.

With only the Senate standing between credit unions and meaningful regulatory reform, we need all of our CUs engaged during the August break in our Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation by urging their lawmakers to support the legislation.  Please visit the Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation website for more information on how to engage during the recess.

Now that healthcare reform has stalled, Congress is expected to turn its attention to tax reform.  It appears that Congress has no appetite to change the credit union tax status. However, we know the bankers are still pushing the issue, so we cannot let our guard down. In addition to discussing regulatory reform during the August recess, remind your lawmakers about the benefits of the credit union not-for-profit tax status, and how it benefits working class Americans.

Last week CFPB Director Richard Cordray issued a prepared statement on a study the agency conducted on overdraft protection of the nation’s largest banks, yet made assumptions regarding the service across the entire financial service spectrum. The CFPB is testing new ODP notification forms to see how consumers react to information that helps them “evaluate costs and risks” of using ODP.  They are designed as one-pagers to “more clearly disclose fees and understand how ODP works in an account.”

According to the CFPB, the publication of these model guidelines does not mean CFPB has abandoned rulemaking on ODP.  Next steps might include asking the financial services industry for comment on the forms and on what an ODP rule might look like. Be concerned that Cordray does an ODP regulation as a parting gift to the industry before he leaves to run for governor of Ohio.  If he is looking to do something meaningful for consumers, he should issue a final rule on payday loans, which was supposed to be his top priority when appointed to the agency.