NAFCU’s Dan Berger refuted assertions by Antonio Weiss, counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, in The Wall Street Journal that there is no need for financial industry regulatory relief from Dodd-Frank Act rules. Berger challenged Weiss in a letter to the editor published in WSJ on Friday July 24, 2014. We must challenge Antonio Weiss’s conclusion regarding the lack of need for regulatory rollback in his op-ed on July 13, “Regulatory Rollback Is Wrong for Financial Markets.”
His contention that rolling back regulations could be dangerous fails to consider the devastating burden that overregulation has already had on credit unions. Since the second quarter of 2010, we have lost 1,250 federally insured credit unions—more than 17% of the industry. The vast majority of these were smaller institutions with less than $100 million in assets. The fact is that many smaller institutions simply cannot keep up with the tidal wave of regulations and have had to merge out of business or be taken over.
Main Street credit unions have been widely recognized by lawmakers and regulators for not having caused the financial crisis and for their prudent business model. They are the unintentional victims of a regulatory pendulum that has swung too far. Credit unions lack the vast resources commanded by Wall Street’s big banks for complying with the plethora of regulations issued under Dodd-Frank. Unfortunately, the consumer suffers most. Credit unions offer financial services with low fees, competitive interest rates and exceptional service. As credit unions disappear, there are fewer low-cost options for consumers. Outside of credit unions, there is no market pressure on other financial institutions to keep their rates and fees low.
Rolling back overzealous regulations is the only way credit unions will be able to survive and help Americans thrive. Keeping the status quo of regulatory overload punishes consumers and stymies America’s future economic growth.
President and CEO
National Association of Federal Credit Unions
Source: National Association of Federal Credit Unions and Wall Street Journal