Three Quick Hits For A Thursday Morning

February 14, 2019 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Don’t look now but common sense might be breaking out in at least one small corner of the nation’s capital. Yesterday, the House Financial Sub Committee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions held a hearing laying out why it makes sense for marijuana related businesses to be legalized as a matter of federal law if the goal is to provide safe, affordable banking services to these legal businesses.

Speaking on behalf of CUNA was Rachel Pross, the Chief Risk Officer of Maps Credit Union based in Oregon. Maps is a particularly noteworthy institution when it comes to the issue of financial services for marijuana related businesses because it has been providing these services since 2014 making it one of the most experienced financial institutions in this space. She explained that her Board of Directors ultimately decided to provide banking services despite the legal uncertainty because it concluded that doing so was consistent with the credit union’s mission to serve the underserved and to enhance the safety of the local community.

The Independent Community Bankers offered the testimony of a $145 million asset state chartered community bank based in Spokane, Washington which has so far declined to offer banking services to marijuana related businesses. Its board of directors has concluded that the “legal stakes are simply too high” for the board to tolerate. He explained that a wrong decision on marijuana banking services could put the survival of his bank at risk.

The solution to this uncertainty is “the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019.” The bill would legalize the provision of banking services as a matter of federal law in those states that choose to legalize marijuana.

I continue to be optimistic that this is one of the few issues you may see resolved by Congress over the next two years. Whether you are in favor or opposed to marijuana legalization, having an industry dependent on unprotected cash transactions risks for the public as a whole; if you are a republican who believes in state’s rights then this legislation makes sense because you are letting states effectively regulate the choices that their legislatures make and if you are from the progressive wing of the party, this compromise will act as a catalyst for making sure that marijuana businesses will have access to the money they need to grow.

NCUA Board Nomination Hearings Today

Later today the Senate Banking Committee will be holding hearings on the nominations of Todd Harper and Rodney Hood to join the NCUA board.

Where’s the beef? Here’s the beef.

Wendy’s has reached a $3.4 million settlement with consumers impacted by the 2016 data breach of the chain. Specifically the settlement authorizes consumers to receive up to $5,000 to individuals who attended one of the impacted Wendy’s between October 25, 2015 and June 28, 2016.

Entry filed under: Legal Watch, Regulatory. Tags: , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, 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. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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