Legislature Comes Through For Credit Unions

June 24, 2013 at 7:48 am Leave a comment

By the time the Legislature ended its session on Friday, the sleep deprived lawmakers and staff had provided a much needed shot in the arm to the New York State credit union movement.  Now, it is on to the Governor.

Most importantly, the Legislature passed the credit union powers bill (S.2089, Griffo), which I have mentioned in my two previous blogs.  For years, state-chartered credit unions have been advocating for parity with their federally chartered counterparts, and for years their concerns have been met with increasing indifference.  This bill breaks the trend.  Not only does it give state charters increased ability to take on diverse common bonds within their field of membership, it also gives state chartered credit unions the same incidental powers as their federal counterparts.

In questioning supporters of the bill on Friday, an Assembly Republican pointed out that the bill would probably not increase the number of credit unions.  True enough, this, after all, is not the best time to be starting either a credit union or bank, for that matter.  But, the bill does make it viable for state charters to remain so and for those federal credit unions that may consider converting, it adds fodder for thought.  New York is still the financial capital of the world (sorry, London), but there is nothing that says it has to be.  That’s why the DFS has a statutory obligation to encourage and strengthen the state charter not only of banks but of credit unions.  The bill passed by the Legislature, in addition to the generally receptive environment in which legislation championed by credit unions was considered this session, will certainly advance this goal.

Let’s say you’re a federal charter, and statistics tell me most of you reading this blog are, and you ultimately have no desire to convert charters.  How does this bill help you? Because a dual chartering system helps every institution regardless of charter type by maximizing the regulatory flexibility in which your credit union operates.  Can you imagine how much better life would be right now if the CFPB couldn’t promulgate regulations impacting the financial services industry secure in the knowledge that institutions opposed to its mandates have no where to turn for relief?

By the way, on Friday the Legislature also passed a bill (A.5582a, Weinstein) codifying requirements that attorneys beginning foreclosure proceedings file as part of their foreclosure papers a certificate of merit stipulating to having reviewed the relevant documents.  This proposal, which closely mirrors existing court regulations, is a direct outgrowth of the robo-signing controversy and the growing prevalence of foreclosure mills across the state.

Enjoy your day!  Peace Out.

Entry filed under: Advocacy, Compliance, Legal Watch, New York State, Political, Regulatory. Tags: , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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