GRANITE STATERS AIR CONCERNS ABOUT OVER-REGULATION OF STRUGGLING LOCAL LENDERS
MANCHESTER, NH – Congressman Frank Guinta (NH01) convened a meeting today for New Hampshire credit unions with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the federal regulator that oversees their shrinking business, due, they say, to the independent agency’s increasing authority outside Congressional control.
NCUA Chairwoman Debbie Matz traveled to New Hampshire for the event.“It was an opportunity for community lenders to voice their concern about an overreaching Washington agency, hurting small Granite State banks and economies,” said Rep. Guinta.“We pressed Chairwoman Matz to stay true to her agency’s promised Year of Regulatory Relief. So far, results have been meager."
Non-profit credit unions provide financial credit to geographic areas or similar industries. 2010’s Dodd-Frank law allows the NCUA to regulate them like big banks with more resources. As a result, credit unions have shrunk in number, consolidating to cope with government demands, leaving small and rural communities, in particular, with fewer options.
“Credit is still hard to come by for Granite Staters seeking home, business and car loans. It’s a constant refrain I hear from my constituents and also nationally,” said Rep. Guinta, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and its Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
“Dodd-Frank and the Administration’s execution has helped Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street, where many middle-class Americans have not recovered from the economic downturn. Ten percent higher compliance costs at community financial institutions are undercutting their ability to offer low rates and personal service.”
Rep. Guinta said the NCUA is part of a trend of concentrating power in Washington, D.C.“Like other independent agencies, the NCUA receives funding through industry fees, rather than through an open Congressional appropriations process. The danger is bureaucrats there might believe they are above reproach.”
He elaborated that, under its current leader, the agency has never held a budget hearing or published an advance copy of its budget, which has grown at a double-digit rate.
Credit unions in Manchester, Portsmouth, Nashua and Rochester attended today’s event, which the New Hampshire Credit Union League helped to organize. “New Hampshire is home to the nation’s first credit union,” said Rep. Guinta, Manchester’s former mayor. “We’re making sure our tradition of local banks with local understanding continues.”