Today, the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. The report to accompany the bill was released yesterday, and it includes several statements advancing credit unions’ concerns. The LSCU’s advocacy team worked diligently with Congressman Ander Crenshaw’s (R-Florida) staff to ensure that credit unions’ concerns were addressed in the report. Crenshaw is the chairman of the subcommittee.

Of particular interest is a portion regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as it relates to a Small Institutions Exemption. The report states:

“The Committee believes the CFPB should strongly consider the impact the Bureau’s rules have on small institutions, like community banks and credit unions. While these entities are not under direct supervisory oversight by the Bureau, they are still required to comply with rules written for entities many times their size. The Committee is concerned the Bureau may be unintentionally burdening community-based financial institutions and limiting their ability to provide consumer credit. The Dodd-Frank Act gave the Bureau explicit power in section 1022 to tailor its regulations to exempt ‘‘any class’’ of entity from individual rulemakings.”

The document points out that section 1022 of the Dodd-Frank Act endowed the CFPB with the power to spare certain entities from stringent and potentially damaging rules, though the bureau has made few exemptions. It goes on to suggest the CFPB make better use of its authority in future and further requests that within 120 days, the bureau prepares a report on how it has used its rulemaking under section 1022 to exempt or grant exceptions to prevent undue burdens on smaller institutions.

In addition to the CFPB exemption passage, the report also contains helpful language on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) enforcement by the FCC, stating: “The Committee believes that the FCC must do more to ensure that consumers are able to receive important notifications and timely updates about financial developments that will impact their existing accounts at depository institutions.”

This section of the document expresses concerns that the recent act will impair the ability of financial institutions to contact members regarding issues such as identity theft or data breaches.