Regulators Grilled on Credit Union Acquisitions

Dec 05, 2019

Congress questioned federal financial services regulators on the ICBA-opposed trend of large credit unions buying up smaller community banks.

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing, committee members including Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) raised the issue. Specifically, Huizenga asked National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney Hood and FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams if they are concerned about the trend.

While Hood noted that the transactions must be approved by both the NCUA and FDIC, McWilliams said she is concerned that communities are losing access to banking services due to the transactions. She also noted that credit unions are not subject to federal taxes or the Community Reinvestment Act. "The playing field might not be exactly level," McWilliams said.

ICBA has led the way in raising the profile of this troubling trend, including through its "Wake Up" campaign and the formation of its Credit Union Task Force. Regulators will be back on Capitol Hill today to testify before the Senate Banking Committee.