Magazine article American Banker

Industry Preaches Reg Relief on Capitol Hill

Magazine article American Banker

Industry Preaches Reg Relief on Capitol Hill

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Nearly 2,000 credit uinion executives and volunteers will be spreading the industry's gospel on Capitol Hill this week.

The No. 1 message: It's time for regulatory relief.

"This Congress represents a big opportunity for regulatory reform," said Charles O. Zuver, director of governmental affairs for the Credit Union National Association, which is holding its annual Governmental Affairs Conference today through March 1.

"I think it'll be a good year. I think it'll be a fun year."

Peter Disylvester, president of Motorola Employees Credit Union and chairman of CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee, also sees a lot of potential.

"We're very hopeful there'll be some relief," he said. "We haven't zeroed in on what areas but we ... can start with - Truth-in-Savings, Truth-in-Lending."

Still, some dark clouds hang over the industry in Washington, including a legislative assault by the two leading banking trade groups and heightened congressional scrutiny brought on by investment problems suffered by an industry liquidity center.

If that weren't enough, some in the industry feel their regulator is less an ally than a foe. (See story below.)

Still Mr. Zuver is optimistic, buoyed by the move in Congress to whittle regulation.

CUNA has been working with the staffs of Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., in crafting a comprehensive regulatory reform bill.

"Senators [Connie] Mack [R-Fla.] and Shelby have initiated the reg relief process, and that in itself is a dramatic change from the past," Mr. Zuver said. "We're definitely going to be seeing some kind of reg relief."

The time is ripe to repeal, or at least streamline, laws including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, rescission rights for first mortgages, and Truth-in-Savings, he said.

CUNA plans to tap the industry's state trade groups more often this year in lobbying Congress, a strategic move designed to diffuse the country's anti-Washington mood. …

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