CFPB’s Credit Union Council Readies For First Meeting

Credit unions are eager to learn whether the new council will truly serve as an impactful voice for the industry as the CFPB drafts regulations.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will host its first Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) meeting this week on October 11, initiating what the CFPB hopes will generate interactive dialogue and exchange of ideas between Bureau staff and credit unions with assets of less than $10 billion.

Whether the voice and concerns of the CUAC will have a real impact is debatable, but the council might be the best opportunity for the credit union industry to foster much-needed communication with the CFPB.

“It’s a big honor and big responsibility to be appointed to this Council,” said Gary Bell, CEO of Cooperative Center FCU in ($102M, Berkeley, CA), one of the council members. “I hope this council will be a real voice and conduit for information to the CFPB. We will have to remain active in the industry to hear what our peers are saying so that if people have issues, they can contact us and have their voices heard when we go to these meetings.”

The newly formed council consists of 15 credit union executives who will hold their positions for two years and meet quarterly. The CFPB, established in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Act, does not have direct supervisory authority on financial institutions with assets of $10 billion or less, which includes all but four credit unions. But while the CFPB does not have regular contact with a large majority of credit unions, its actions will certainly affect them. All credit unions will be subject to regulations that the CFPB has authority to create and enforce, such as the Truth in Lending Act or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The CFPB’s power to implement such regulations, and thereby maintain indirect authority over all credit unions, has the potential to be a big headache for the industry. What’s worse, without direct supervision and contact with credit unions, credit unions won’t have the opportunity to air their grievances as they currently do with the NCUA examiners. The CUAC is intended to bridge that gap, creating an outlet for credit unions to discuss issues with the CFPB.

It’s yet to be determined how useful the CUAC meetings will be, or what issues will be discussed, but will follow-up with some council members after the meeting and report their impressions here. In the meantime, let us, and hopefully the council members know, what issues you think the credit unions’ advisory group should address with the CFPB.

CUAC members include:

  • Bernard Balsis, IEG Federal Credit Union, Hawaii
  • Rose Bartolomucci, Towpath Credit Union, Ohio
  • Gary Bell, Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Calif.
  • John Buckley, Gerber Federal Credit Union, Mich.
  • Carla Decker, District Government Employees Federal Credit Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Ron Ehrenreich, Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, N.Y.
  • Kevin Foster-Keddie, Washington State Employees Credit Union, Wash.
  • Mitchell Klein, Police and Firemen Federal Credit Union, Pa.
  • Lily Lo, Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, Calif.
  • Maria Martinez, Border Federal Credit Union, Texas
  • Marcus Schaefer, Truliant Federal Credit Union, N.C.
  • Camille Shillenn, Unified People’s Credit Union, Wyo.
  • Helen Godfrey Smith, Shreveport Federal Credit Union, La.
  • Gregg Stockdale, 1st Valley Credit Union, Calif.
  • David Wright, Services Center Federal Credit Union, S.D.

Oct. 8, 2012



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