WASHINGTON — Credit unions called on Congress last week to water-down the powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — even before the new agency has opened its doors.

"We believe that if a (consumer protection bureau) is to exist, its primary focus should be on regulating the unregulated in the financial services arena, and not adding new regulatory burdens to those entities that already fall under a functional regulator," said Lynette Smith, president of the $80-million Washington Gas Light FCU in Springfield, Va. in her testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

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