by Amy Kleinschmit, Chief Compliance Officer
This week ten Dakota credit union professionals joined DakCU staff for our annual Regulatory and Legislative Hike the Hill event to Washington DC. It was great to be able to visit with our regulators and elected officials in person again, and these credit union professionals represented Dakota credit union interests very well, sharing stories, concerns and engaging in discussions with folks in DC. (Be sure to check out Jay Kruse’s recap of the legislative meetings in his upcoming article next week.)
We were fortunate to be able to meet with all the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) board members and the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the course of the two-day event.
NCUA Board Member Rodney Hood joined us at the Credit Union House for a very engaging conversation that began with a general industry update and then touching on some supervisory priorities. Cybersecurity continues to be a top concern. Director Hood reminded the group that the NCUA has a number of resources available including the Automated Cybersecurity Evaluation Toolbox, all of which can be found here. Data privacy and protection was discussed as another priority. Interest Rate Risk (IRR) was touch on and a reminder that the NCUA just released updated guidance on this issue – if you missed it you can find the Letter to Credit Unions here.
Another area that Director Hood is passionate about is ensuring credit unions have tools to compete. His remarks concluded with a reminder for financial inclusion and looking at that term broadly to include all areas of potentially underserved consumers, such as rural areas, veterans, etc.
We met with NCUA Chairman Todd Harper at the NCUA headquarters in Virginia. His top concern – cybersecurity! Emphasizing this needs to be a top concern for credit unions too. Credit unions spoke on a wide range of topics with the NCUA board members from appraisals, providing exam feedback and ongoing concerns for members experiencing fraud.
NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle S. Hauptman shared his priorities with the group starting with de novo credit unions – ensuring the process is made easier. He also wants to ensure the NCUA is delivering good customer service to credit unions – again urging federal credit unions to record meetings as this can be a valuable tool for recalling events and conversations down the road (reminder, only applicable to federal credit unions and not ND state chartered credit unions). The Vice Chairman also wants credit unions to provide feedback from exams – so please be sure to answer the short survey that follows exams. He concluded with his thoughts on blockchain.
The Dakota credit union professionals also had a very good meeting with CFPB Director Rohit Chopra and Charles Johanek, Advisor in the Office of Financial Institutions. Director Chopra spoke briefly on priorities at the CFPB, touching on overdraft fees and asking credit unions to thoughtfully review their program to ensure they are delivering a service to their membership. He briefly mentioned rulemaking under Dodd-Frank 1071 – small business data collection, explaining the CFPB is seeking to find the right balance for data collection and setting appropriate thresholds that would exempt some reporting – noting that the CFPB does not want entities to stop offering commercial credit due to this rulemaking and therefore it is important to find the right balance. Credit union professionals shared success stories of serving the rural communities of North and South Dakota – and expressed some of the challenges, such as regulatory burden. The Director was very engaged in the conversation and asked many questions of the attendees.
The Regulatory and Legislative Hike the Hill and other similar opportunities are so important for a strong advocacy front. It is vital that Dakota credit unions continue to voice their concerns and issues to our regulators and elected officials. Bringing the stories of how the decisions made in Washington DC impact members in the Dakotas is a top priority.
Don’t hesitate to contact Amy Kleinschmit with any regulatory questions or compliance concerns.
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