May 24, 2012
CFPB Issues ANPR on Pre-Paid Cards
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held a hearing Wednesday discussing prepaid or “general purpose reloadable” (GPR) prepaid cards. The hearing was a follow-up to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued by the CFPB earlier that day.
The ANPR seeks comment, data, and information from the public about GPR cards, as the CFPB “is particularly interested in learning more about this product, including its costs, benefits, and risks to consumers.” The bureau noted that it intends to use this input to issue a proposal that would extend Regulation E protections to GPR cards.
The hearing consisted of opening comments from CFPB Director Richard Cordray and had two panels of industry representatives, including VISA, Bancorp, NetSpend and consumer advocates such as the Center for Responsible Lending and Reinvestment Partners. This portion was followed up with an open forum for attendees to share experiences and stories with the panel. Very little feedback was offered to participants, as this was seen as more of a listening session.
Key concerns from panelists and participants included the “hidden” fees and inability of consumers to compare products. They also expressed concerns that many cards do not include National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance.
Comments will be due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register. Read the ANPR here.
NCUA Board to Address TDR and RegFlex at Thursday Meeting
The NCUA board of directors will be voting on new rules on accounting for troubled debt restructurings (TDRs). After hearing from scores of credit unions, the NCUA put out a proposal in January that would help ease accounting for TDRs. While the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) had some concerns with the proposal, it supports the NCUA’s efforts and looks forward to a final revised rule and relief.
In addition, NCUA will be reviewing a final plan to eliminate the Regulatory Flexibility (RegFlex) program and provide much of that relief to all credit unions.
“While positive, the Association had some concerns with the proposal as issued, and we hope reforms will be built into this final rule,” said NWCUA Director of Regulatory Advocacy Jaycee Winn. “The proposal would allow all credit unions—even those not designated RegFlex—to donate funds to charities, accept non-member deposits (subject to limits) from local government entities and other credit unions, and (subject to restrictions) purchase private-label commercial mortgage-related securities. The Association hoped that the NCUA would go further with reforms and relief granted to all credit unions.”
This will be the first board meeting of the quarter. View the full agenda here.
A Personal Note from Jaycee Winn
Friday, May 25, will be my last day with the Northwest Credit Union Association, as I am getting married and moving to Tulsa, Okla., with my husband.
The experience at the NWCUA has been a wonderful learning opportunity, and I’m proud of the progress we have made in developing and growing the Association’s focus on regulatory advocacy. A quality foundation has been set, and with the Association’s committee focused on regulatory advocacy in place, we have more than doubled comment letters to local, state and federal regulators; built an online regulatory portal; and developed a regular email update combining the latest Association and CUNA information.
Please know that Association is in the process of recruiting for my replacement, so watch for future announcements. In the meantime, all of the NWCUA’s team members are here as always to continue to advance the regulatory advocacy efforts on behalf of the credit unions in the Northwest.
This progress would not have been possible without the input, time and dedication of all credit union advocates. Thank you so much!
The NWCUA Regulatory Advocacy team works with state and federal regulators to help reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions and protect the credit union movement. The Association encourages members to participate in the regulatory process. If you have any questions on these or any regulatory issues, please contact Director of Regulatory Advocacy Jaycee Winn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 800.995.9064 x209, or NWCUA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stacy Augustine at email@example.com.