In an unusual exchange between regulatory executives, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has asked the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide a conditional examination and enforcement exemption for credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets.
“Subjecting federally insured credit unions and their consumer/member owners to the dual examination—and, in the case of federally insured, state-chartered credit unions, triple examination—regime mandated under Section 1025 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act imposes unnecessarily burdensome costs, particularly given their positive, consumer-focused role,” he wrote. “As the prudential regulator of federally insured credit unions, the NCUA possesses a broader arsenal of enforcement tools than is available to the CFPB, allowing the agency to take more targeted actions to protect consumers and address consumer financial protection law violations.”
The proposed exemption would only cover six federally-insured credit unions with assets of $10 billion or more: Navy Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Schools First Federal Credit Union, and The Golden 1 Credit Union.
McWatters’ stressed that his request was not designed to challenge or rewrite the CFPB’s “exclusive rulemaking authority over federally-insured credit unions,” adding that the Bureau could enforcement action if it determined NCUA was lax in enforcing federal consumer protection laws.