WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Frank Guinta (NH-01) today addressed a gathering of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions in the nation’s capital, speaking to members about the importance of community financial institutions to the country’s economy, specifically home, business and auto lending. He spoke about credit unions’ role in his own life.
Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, where Rep. Guinta served as mayor, is home to the country’s first credit union. St. Mary’s Bank is a special institution for the Guinta Family, Rep. Guinta, who currently represents the region in Congress, told NAFCU members. To buy a home and start a family, he relied on local lenders at St. Mary’s, a non-profit cooperative that pools community resources.
His constituents depend on credit unions to pursue the American Dream, he said. “You’re helping to build our state and country, a crucial job that some in Congress misunderstand and demonize,” said Rep. Guinta, singling out Senator Elizabeth Warren’s support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent agency increasing Washington’s control over credit markets.
“I believe in you,” he told the audience to applause. “More than any Washington regulator, credit unions have a stake in their essential function and ability to serve customers, including middle-class families and business owners in New Hampshire. We have personal relationships the federal bureaucracy could never replicate. ”
Small financial institutions unable to cope with heavy regulations are consolidating or disappearing, leaving Granite Staters with fewer credit options, limiting economic opportunities. Home ownership and entrepreneurial activity are at generational lows, in part because of CFBP control, a product of 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial reform. Rep. Guinta, leading 30 members of Congress in a letter to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), successfully urged the Chairman to lengthen credit unions’ 12-month examination cycle.
The Congressman introduced legislation to ensure the NCUA effectuates the change, an 18-month cycle for credit unions in good financial standing, which would reduce compliance costs, while maintaining the institutions’ soundness. “We thank Congressman Guinta for his leadership and recognition of the need for regulatory relief for credit unions that will allow them to better serve their nearly 105 million members,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “We appreciate his ongoing efforts as a champion for an extended examination cycle for well-run credit unions.”
Rep. Guinta’s bill also became part of the Financial CHOICE Act, which the Financial Services Committee approved last week.