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CUNA Is Willing to Talk on Proposed Consumer Protection Agency

Despite widespread calls from the financial services community for President Barack Obama to back down on his plan to include a separate Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the Credit Union National Association says it is willing to negotiate with the administration.CUNA President Dan Mica and the association’s General Counsel Eric Richard, Chief Economist Bill Hampel and Director for Federal Government Affairs Ryan Donovan met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday to discuss the administration’s financial regulatory overhaul legislation. “We want to make sure we have a seat and the table,— Mica said. “A number of groups in town have essentially told them to jump in the lake, but if they aren’t locked in to every word of the language, if there is a willingness to talk … we would be willing to talk on a good-faith basis.—The National Association of Federal Credit Unions has also taken a moderate position on the CFPA. Several trade groups, including the Financial Services Roundtable, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America, are opposed to the proposed new agency.The trade groups have argued that the White House should not separate consumer protection from the examination and supervision for financial safety and soundness.The agency would be tasked with writing rules and levying fines on a variety of consumer-oriented financial products. It would also have the ability to ban specific financial products if they are deemed too risky.The financial health of these institutions would continue to be regulated by established agencies.CUNA doesn’t have a future meeting set up, but Mica said the group left Geithner with “the understanding we would be a part of the process and we would get back together to talk about how to proceed.—

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