CFPB Should Delegate Supervision of Large CUs to NCUA, CUNA Writes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has authority to delegate supervisory responsibilities for credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets to NCUA, and it should due to credit unions’ deep history of consumer protection, CUNA wrote to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger Monday.

“We believe credit unions are best positioned to succeed when supervised and examined by a regulator particularly familiar with their unique characteristics, and there is no regulator more familiar with credit unions than NCUA,” the letter reads. “If NCUA was delegated the authority to conduct consumer protection examinations for credit unions with over $10 billion in assets, then not only would the affected credit unions benefit from reduced duplication and burden in examinations, but the Bureau could reduce its costs or apply the resources it would have used for credit union supervision to other priorities.”

Dodd-Frank grants the CFPB supervisory authority over insured depository institutions with total assets over $10 billion and permits exemptions for classes of institutions based on specific factors as necessary. 

“Taking these factors into consideration reinforces the Bureau’s ability to use this authority to delegate supervision of credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets to the NCUA,” the letter reads.

It also notes that data from the Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database shows that credit unions have been subject to 8,336 complaints since the CFPB began accepting consumer complaints, or 0.66% of all complaints submitted. In contrast, each of the five largest banks individually have received more complaints than the entire credit union industry.

Other credit union benefits include $16 billion in economic benefits to members and non-members annually, plus Consumer Reports reporting that credit unions are among the highest rated services they have ever evaluated, with 96% of members highly satisfied.

“Given the dearth of consumer complaints regarding credit unions, the substantial economic benefit they provide consumers, the high level of satisfaction consumers have toward credit unions and the substantial and rapidly growing cost of compliance with one-size-fits-all regulation for credit unions, the Bureau should delegate its supervisory authority over credit unions to NCUA to allow this function to be conduction in conjunction with credit unions’ safety and soundness examinations thereby reducing regulatory burden for these credit unions without sacrificing important consumer protection,” the letter reads.