|Representatives from Allegacy FCU, Piedmont Advantage CU, Local Government FCU, Charlotte Metro FCU, Premier FCU and Coastal FCU joined League officials in Washington for Hike the Hill. |
More than a dozen credit union advocates from NC made their fall Hike the Hill trip to Washington, DC. The trip featured meetings with key staff members at the newly-opened Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), followed by visits with elected representatives.
The CFPB officially opened over the summer and this was the first chance for NC credit unions to meet with representatives of the new agency. After brief welcoming remarks from Elizabeth Vale, who heads up the bureau's Office of Community Banks and Credit Unions, the NC visitors had a lengthy meeting with three CFPB staffers.
"The CFPB representatives expressed sensitivity to the challenges of the regulatory process for financial institutions," said NCCUL SVP of Association Services, Dan Schline. "One of their key objectives is to make forms and disclosures as simple as possible for credit unions to fill out, and for their members to understand."
Bart Shapiro and Sean O'Mealia of the CFPB's Office of Community Banks and Credit Unions provided an in-depth look at the agency's approach to regulation. "The one thing that really stood out is that they want to minimize unintended consequences for community banks and credit unions," said Schline, "but to do that, they encouraged credit unions to be fully engaged in the comment process."
In addition to Shapiro and O'Mealia, the credit union group heard from David DuBois of the CFPB's Office of Service Member Affairs. DuBois praised the work of credit unions in NC and elsewhere that serve military populations. NC credit unions recently submitted letters to the CFPB about the various products and services they provide to members of the military.
The DC trip concluded Thursday with meetings on the Hill. The key focal point of the meetings was the ongoing member business lending efforts, which may get a boost from President Obama's recently announced job creation package. "Credit unions have done a great job connecting raising the business lending cap with job creation the last couple of years," said Schline, "so it's great to visit with lawmakers as they get ready to consider the president's proposal."