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Add’l Flexibility Needed for CUs to Continue to Serve During Pandemic
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made substantial efforts to assist credit unions during the pandemic, but additional flexibility and compliance assistance may be needed, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is expected to give her semi-annual testimony before the committee Wednesday.

“We appreciate the regulatory amendments and supervisory flexibility that the CFPB has provided so far but more is going to be needed as the crisis continues,” the letter reads “This crisis is going to require the Bureau to use all its tools to ensure financial service providers can weather the storm and meet the needs of consumers. The CFPB is in a unique position to highlight the stress on both consumers and the consumer financial services system and raise the alarm bells about unnecessary choke points, especially related to small business lending, mortgage servicing, and small dollar lending, and we encourage the Bureau to do so”

CUNA continues to recommend the CFPB continue to provide credit unions flexibility for the duration of the pandemic, this includes:

• Avoid implementing any new rules that would unnecessarily tie-up compliance resources or add to regulatory burden. If a new rule must be finalized, CUNA asks that the compliance date be set far enough into the future as not to distract from the immediate focus of helping members;

• Suspend any unnecessary onsite examination activities and reduce the frequency of requests for examination-related information;

• Expand “good faith efforts to comply” supervision policies to additional areas where credit unions are acting swiftly to assist members in need; and

• Continue to coordinate with other federal banking regulators, especially NCUA, to issue up-to-date guidance on mortgage servicing as more borrowers seek out forbearance and other means of assistance during the pandemic.

CUNA also called on Congress to act to protect credit unions from frivolous litigation arising from actions to assist financially distressed members during the pandemic, to establish a bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB and reiterated its call for the CFPB to ensure execution of its regulatory agenda ensures credit unions are able to provide safe and efficient products and services.

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