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Rep. Luetkemeyer introduces regulatory relief bill for community banks

Blaine Luetkemeyer

Blaine Luetkemeyer

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would provide community banks regulatory relief and allow the institutions to lend more.

The Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act would allow community banks to raise capital more easily, increase the debt-to-equity ratio and exempt the institutions from mortgage escrow requirements, as well as the CFPB’s “qualified mortgage” rules.

Additionally, the legislation would raise the “small servicer” exemption threshold in the mortgage servicing rule from 5,000 to 20,000 mortgages annually and provide community banks with relief from overlapping annual privacy notices similar to relief provided under H.R. 749—the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act—which seeks to amend the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by exempting institutions that provide “nonpublic personal information only in accordance” with regulation and those that adhere to the policies and practices published in the most recent consumer disclosure.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board would also be required to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of standard accounting principles.

Brad Thaler, the vice president of legislative affairs at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said the organization would support legislation that includes the elements of its five-point regulatory relief plan for community banks.

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) announced earlier this month that he is developing a bill that would push for the implementation of several parts of the NAFCU five-point plan.

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