Consumer Groups Take Aim At CU Bid On RegRelief

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WASHINGTON – A coalition of consumergroups, including two nominal credit union-allies, called onleaders of the Senate Banking Committee to reject a number ofamendments to the pending regulatory relief bill, including aprovision that would allow privately insured credit unions to jointhe Federal Home Loan Bank system. The groups, including the creditunion-sponsored Center for Responsible Lending - (a subsidiary of Self Help CU), the creditunion-backed Consumer Federation of America and the as well as U.S.Public Interest Group and the National Community ReinvestmentCoalition, said a switch of more credit unions to private insurancecould risk the safety and soundness of the credit union system. Thegroups have been opposing private deposit insurance because of thecrisis, first in private insurance for thrifts in the 1980's, thenamong credit unions in the early 1990's. The FHLB provision is notcurrently in a scaled-back reg relief bill passed by the Senatelast month, but is a favored one of retiring House FinancialServices Chairman Michael Oxley. Oxley, represents a district nearDublin, Ohio-based ASI, the only surviving private deposit insurerin the country. The letter to Senate Banking Chairman RichardShelby, R-Al., and ranking Democrat Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., alsoexpresses opposition to a provision that would weaken the Fair DebtCollection Practices Act; a measure to remove usury limits inArkansas; and a provision to exempt certain entities, includingCUSOs, from annual privacy reporting requirements under theGramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

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