NCUA and BCFP Publish Spring Regulatory Agendas

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Both the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) have published their Spring Regulatory Agendas, providing the public with information on the agencies’ rulemaking plans.

Topics in the agendas are categorized in five stages: 1) Pre-rules; 2) Proposed Rules; 3) Final Rules; 4) Long-Term Actions; and 5) Inactive Rules.

NCUA Agenda
The NCUA’s agenda for final rules expected in 2018 include: Voluntary Mergers and enhanced Field of Membership rules for community charters. The NCUA also intends to move forward on the following rulemakings:

  • Federal Credit Union Standard Bylaws: Streamline, clarify, and improve; last updated in 2007 (An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or ANPR, was issued in March; credit unions can comment on this ANPR until May 21 via PowerComment.)
  • Supplemental Capital for Risk-Based Capital Purposes: After issuing an ANPR last year, a proposed rule is expected this summer.
  • Real Estate Appraisals for Commercial Real Estate Transactions: A proposed rule is expected this fall that would increase the threshold level at or below which appraisals would not be required for commercial real estate transactions.
  • Payday Alternative Loans: The NCUA is considering an amendment to provide federal credit unions (FCUs) with an additional option to offer Payday Alternative Loans (PALs). A proposal, expected soon, would not replace the current PALs rule, but rather would be an alternative, with differing terms and conditions—PALs II. Possible amendments include different minimum and maximum loan amounts, elimination of the minimum membership requirement, and an increase in the maximum maturity.

BCFP Agenda
The bureau is under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent director.

Considering this status, bureau leadership is prioritizing their rulemaking agenda to: 1) Meet specific statutory responsibilities; 2) Continue selected rulemakings that were already underway; and 3) Reconsider two regulations issued under the prior leadership.

The bureau also reiterated its current position “to achieve the consumer protection objectives of the statutes while minimizing regulatory burden on financial services providers and facilitating a smooth implementation process.”

The bureau’s agenda includes:

  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA): In December 2017 the bureau said it will review this rule; a proposed rule is not expected until late this year or early 2019.
  • Payday Lending: In January 2018 the bureau announced it will also reconsider the payday lending rule. Most provisions of this rule do not require compliance until August 2019. A proposed rule is slated for early 2019.
  • Debt Collections: Debt collection continues to be a top source of complaints to the bureau. The bureau is preparing a proposed rule focused on collectors subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (not first-party debt collectors) that may address such issues as communication practices and consumer disclosures. A proposed rule is not expected until early 2019.
  • Business Lending Data: To fulfill a directive in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the bureau is continuing its work to issue rules that would require financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. This rulemaking is still in the pre-rule stages and a proposed rule is not expected this year.
  • Check Holds: The Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFA Act), implemented by Regulation CC, governs availability of funds after a check deposit and check collection and return processes. The Federal Reserve Board and the bureau have joint rulemaking authority over certain consumer-related EFA Act provisions. The bureau will work with the Fed to issue a joint proposal for implementing the statutory requirement to adjust the dollar amounts for inflation. However, it is unclear if the bureau will also address the 2011 proposed changes to the time periods for funds availability and revised model form disclosures. A proposed rule is slated for the summer.
  • Overdraft Services: It is interesting to note that under BCFP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, the bureau moved overdraft services to the “Inactive Rules” list. A decision on whether and when to proceed with the rule will be made by the bureau’s next permanent director.

    The bureau has been researching and considering overdraft practices for several years. In June 2013 the bureau released a whitepaper summarizing its findings based on data from January 2011 – June 2012, which was provided by a small number of very large banks. In August 2014 and in August 2017 the bureau issued subsequent reports on overdraft practices using the same transaction-level data from January 2011 – June 2012.

    The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues strongly disagree with the bureau ‘s continued reliance on limited, dated information from very large banks. These are banks covered by the bureau’s supervisory authority and do not include credit unions, thrifts, or banks with assets under $10 billion.

    In moving overdraft services to the “Inactive Rules” list, the bureau noted that “this change in designation is not intended to signal a substantive decision on the merits of the project.”

Therefore, “we must remain diligent in our opposition to any rules that would limit consumer access to overdraft services,” said Sharon Turley, vice president of regulatory advocacy for the Leagues. “We will continue to advise the bureau and urge them to consider that consumers not only choose overdraft, but in today’s world they demand this option.”

For questions, please email Sharon Turley (or call her at 909-212-6063).