Credit unions weren’t on particularly good terms with former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, so it is perhaps not surprising that the movement is refusing to recognize Cordray-designated acting director Leandra English, in favor of Mick Mulvaney, who was appointed to that position by President Trump.
The English-Mulvaney conflict has already led to a lawsuit, but it’s clear which side credit unions are on. Both the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions say they are committed to working with Mulvaney, rejecting Cordray’s chosen successor.
“Friday night’s actions by the outgoing director exposed not only the flaws of the single-director structure, but also just how political the position has become in the first few years of the bureau’s existence,” Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer, said during CUNA’s weekly conference call.
NAFCU said it hopes Mulvaney will be a helpful ally for credit unions when it comes to regulatory relief.
“We support Acting Director Mick Mulvaney as he assesses the regulatory burden placed on credit unions,” NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said in a written statement. “Long term, we hope Congress will consider the benefits of changing the structure of the bureau to a bipartisan commission, which would provide stability to the bureau."
In a letter to Mulvaney, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle thanked the Trump appointee for meeting with him and asked Mulvaney to take the CFPB in a new direction, noting "Regrettably, credit unions have suffered since being deluged with an onslaught of CFPB rules.”
Nussle and Berger each wrote letters to the bureau laying out a number of requests for the former budget director. Among them:
- That the CFPB not finalize any new regulatory requirements affecting CUs, but enforce existing ones
- That the CFPB put a freeze on new regulatory proposals affecting credit unions
- That the CFPB allow the National Credit Union Administration to administer the examination and supervision of all CUs for compliance with consumer protection regulations, including those over $10 billion in assets
- To continue receiving feedback through the Credit Union Advisory Council
- That the CFPB increase use of its statutory exemption authority, along with tailoring certain rules to affect only large Wall Street banks.
- That any rulemaking that would increase CUs’ compliance burden including any debt collection proposal be frozen
- Place an immediate one-year delay of the Bureau’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act implementation date
“We urge and have urged the CFPB to tailor its rules to address the problems with the financial services industry but not to overburden small and complex institutions like credit unions,” said CUNA’s Donovan. “Acting director Mulvaney has indicated his support previously for tailoring rules to address problems.”