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NAFCU urges Congress to lessen compliance burden on credit unions

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions urged Congress on Thursday to extend relief to credit unions burdened by increasing regulations as a result of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

“I cannot overemphasize how burdensome and expensive unnecessary Dodd-Frank Act-related compliance costs will be for credit unions,” CEO Lynette Smith of the Washington Gas Light Federal Credit Union said on behalf of NAFCU, according to CUInsight. “The greatest impact will likely come from the ever increasing burden of new regulations, whether from the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] or functional regulators.”

Smith said that operating expenses at Washington Gas Light have increased by almost $1 million as a result of Dodd-Frank, adding that the total compliance burden rather than a single provision of the financial reforms has been difficult for the credit union.

Smith highlighted the importance of the elimination of overlapping or outdated regulations as a way to reduce the compliance burden for smaller institutions that must struggle to keep up.

“It is critical for the [CFPB] to review and simplify the complex regulatory framework credit unions already face,” Smith said, CUInsight reports. “Such an effort could help mitigate layering regulation upon regulation to the detriment of credit unions and their member-owners. Simply put: Are the benefits to the consumer greater than the cost of compliance?”

Smith also stressed the importance of congressional considerations in implementing the Dodd-Frank Act.

“The Dodd-Frank Act impacts credit unions in many ways,” Smith said, according to CUInsight. “Congress must continue vigorous oversight and look for ways to provide regulatory relief so that credit unions can continue to fulfill their mission of serving their members and not spend the bulk of their time doing paperwork.”

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