Member-owned credit unions like ours are focused on providing value-added products and services, and low-cost loans to help our members financially succeed. This has become more difficult since the financial crisis in 2008, as the federal government responded by imposing more regulations to rein in big banks, but applied the same one-size-fits-all regulations to all financial institutions, including credit unions. These regulations meant to protect consumers actually had an adverse effect by limiting member options, impacting service, and increasing costs for credit unions. As a new Administration takes office, with an expressed interest in regulatory reform, credit unions and their members have a unique opportunity in 2017 to take action and raise our collective voices as we look to Congress to fix these excessive regulations.
The costs of new regulations have been astonishing. A study commissioned by industry trade association CUNA indicated that credit union regulatory costs have increased 39% since 2010, now totaling $7.2 billion annually – more than $71 per member.
Excessive regulations are causing:
We see the implications to our members daily. Areas where these regulations have had a major impact on members are mortgages and home equity loans. With the implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule in 2015, protections have been put in place intended to make the mortgage application process more transparent and easier to understand. However, for organizations like UECU that practice responsible lending, the benefits to members are limited and the new rule has made it more difficult for credit unions to provide low-cost mortgages, flexible home equity loans, and prompt service. With more paperwork, disclosures, and wait periods generally now required for these loans, members are experiencing longer processing times. For example, before the TRID rule it could take only 8 business days for a UECU member’s home equity loan application to be processed. With the changes, it can now take double the time or longer.
UECU and other credit unions nationwide are teaming up with CUNA and our state credit union associations to educate consumers and legislators about the inequality of one-size-fits-all regulations. The associated campaign website not only provides great information about the regulatory changes, it also provides an opportunity to voice your opinion to your local legislators.
If you agree that it’s time for Congress to overhaul excessive regulation of credit unions, please take action now. To get started, visit the Middle Class Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation website at www.commonsenseregulations.com. Click on the menu bar and Take Action. When you enter your home address, the names and contact information for your U.S. Senators and Representatives will appear, making it easy for you to call, email, or tweet them. Sample letters are also provided.
Please accept my sincere thanks for your consideration and support of this important initiative, as the UECU team strives to continue to provide exceptional financial benefits and superior member service to you, our members. If you need assistance in making your voice heard, please don’t hesitate to contact UECU’s Member Service Representatives.
President / CEO and UECU Member