Week ahead: Regulatory hearing, flood insurance program and more

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Credit unions have gotten some national attention following comments from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on postal banking.

The duo has released a proposal that would cap interest rates consumers pay for credit cards while also calling for the Postal Service to provide financial services.

"We should have a not-for-profit public option for basic banking services, and we should be piloting these projects through the U.S. Postal Service," Ocasio-Cortez said.

That raised some eyebrows given that credit unions are already not-for-profits providing banking services, though they are member owned rather than publicly held.

Rodney Hood, the new chairman of the National Credit Union Administration board, will also be in the spotlight this week. Hood will make an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee to discuss oversight of financial regulators on Wednesday.

The session is expected to focus on the current expected credit loss standard, which is also known as CECL, that will change how financial institutions account and manage for potential loan losses. Hood will be joined by Jelena McWilliams, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting; and Randal Quarles, vice chairman for supervision of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

The House will consider H.R. 2578, legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance program from May 31 to Sept. 30. The industry sees the legislation as imperative for credit unions in operating in areas that are prone to natural disasters or natural flooding.

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Oversight of Prudential Regulators: Ensuring the Safety, Soundness and Accountability of Mega Banks and Other Depository Institutions this Thursday.

Finally, credit unions scored another win in their ongoing battle against lawsuits regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act in the case of Keith Carroll versus Northwest Federal Credit Union. The case has been dismissed. Carroll, a visually impaired Virginia resident, claimed that the credit union's website hinders the utility of screen readers, a tool that assists the blind in reading digital text aloud.

Carroll was not eligible to join the credit union when filing his amended complaint, but would become eligible to join the CU if he volunteered for the Special Olympics Virginia at least once in 2018. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at Alexandria based their decision on another case, Griffin versus Department of Labor Federal Credit Union, that was also dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing.

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Regulatory reform Regulatory relief Flood insurance ADA Bernie Sanders NCUA