As the CFPB contemplates regulations governing small business lending, credit unions are asking the agency to ensure that any rules do not conflict with NCUA requirements and do not require data collection that could be misleading.
The CFPB held a field hearing on small business lending in Los Angeles Wednesday and agency officials said that they are soliciting advice on how to collect data on small business lending—a requirement under the Dodd-Frank Act.
“Given the importance of small businesses to our economy and their critical need to access financing if they are to prosper and grow, it is vitally important to fill in the blanks on how small businesses are able to engage with the credit markets,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in remarks prepared for the hearing.
NAFCU is asking the agency to exempt credit unions from any new rules that requires disclosure of business loan information.
“Credit unions are bound by defined fields of membership, which means that MBL activity could be limited by geographic restrictions, employer groups, or other charter-specific language that defines who the credit union may serve,” Andrew Morris, NAFCU’s regulatory affairs counsel said in a letter to the agency.
As a result, Morris said, any information collection that mixes credit union business lending data with the data gathered from banks could be misleading and unhelpful.
Morris said if the agency is unwilling to exempt credit unions, then data collection should be coordinated with the NCUA and the Treasury Department to ensure the data is not misleading.
Any data collection should be limited to the elements specifically required under Dodd-Frank, Sharon Lindeman, vice president of regulatory advocacy for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues told the bureau.
She said that the NCUA excludes member business loans from the statutory cap when the loan balance is less than $ 50,000, adding that the CFPB should exempt such loans from agency rulemaking.
“The leagues urge the bureau to narrowly define a small business loan, and not create a conflicting definition that would result in an administrative nightmare for credit unions,” she said.