By Charles Bruen, President & CEO of First Entertainment Credit Union
Usually if you lock a dozen community bankers and a dozen credit union executives in a wrestling cage the inevitable result is a no-holds-barred tooth-and-nail competitive brawl. However, if you stand in the center of the ring and start cursing the crushing regulatory burden from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, they all link arms and harmoniously break out singing Kumbaya. The Dodd-Frank Act, and its meddlesome progeny the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), represent the massive regulatory overreach that both types of depository financial institutions’ leaders love to hate. And that avalanche of regulatory restrictions threatens their very ability to effectively serve their local customers and consumer members.
It has been said on many occasions and in many places – on Capitol Hill, to the regulatory agencies, in the media – that community banks and credit unions did not cause the 2008 financial crisis. However, these smaller financial institutions are nonetheless the ones paying the biggest price in disruption to their daily business and perhaps to their very survival. The cumulative complexities of the new compliance mandates pouring out of the CFPB and other regulators, which over just a few weeks this summer reached 3,000 pages of rules all at once, act like a succession of body-blows driving community banks and credit unions flat onto the operational mat. Some of them are beginning to wonder if they have the strength and stamina to get back up. Continue reading ›