Templeton says uncertainty biggest obstacle for credit unions

Ed Templeton

National Association of Federal Credit Unions Treasurer Ed Templeton testified in front of a House subcommittee on Wednesday, saying that an uncertain future under coming regulations is the most difficult challenge for credit unions.

“Many [Dodd-Frank Act] rules haven’t been written yet,” Templeton, the president and CEO of SRP Federal Credit Union, said, adding that the difficulty lies in “how we’re going to keep pace with the rate of [regulatory] change.”

Templeton also said that, according to a 2011 NAFCU survey, 96.4 percent of credit unions admitted that they were currently devoting more staff hours to regulatory compliance than in 2008 and approximately 14 percent of total working hours were dedicated to compliance alone.

Templeton also said that even though his bank is well below the $10 billion-asset threshold of the Dodd-Frank’s interchange rule, a decrease in interchange revenue has forced the bank to stop offering services that do not generate revenue.

Additionally, Templeton referenced a JPMorgan Chase estimate that the bank would require approximately 3,000 employees to handle the compliance burden. Templeton said that his bank is subject to many of the same regulations but has only two staff members dedicated to compliance.

Though Templeton did speak favorably of the CFPB and its role in the regulatory framework, he added that the agency’s mortgage lending rules — yet to be determined — remain a serious uncertainty for smaller financial institutions already facing challenging regulations.

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