Housing Reform, Data Security Topics of Discussion as Mass. CUs Met with Congressman Lynch’s Staff

( l-r): M. Lyndon Matteson, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Stephen Kelley, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Sean Cashman, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Eugene Leahy, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Gerry Burm, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Decker Adams, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Ed Lopes, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Coleman Flaherty, City of Boston Credit Union; Edward Foley, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Peter Lincoln, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Patrick Foley, Liberty Bay Credit Union; Kevin George, Senior Economic Policy Advisor to Congressman Lynch; Cathy Boucher, Boston Firefighters Credit Union; Katherine Armstrong, Boston Firefighters Credit Union; Dan Waltz, City of Boston Credit Union; Maria Mendez, DIRECT Federal Credit Union; Timothy Smyth, City of Boston Credit Union; Mark Bernard, City of Boston Credit Union; Michael Maloney, Members Plus Credit Union; Christopher Stockbridge, City of Boston Credit Union; Joseph Walsh, DIRECT Federal Credit Union; Devon Lyon, DIRECT Federal Credit Union.

 

MA-8 Congressman Stephen Lynch’s Senior Economic Policy Advisor Kevin George welcomed credit union constituents to the office yesterday to discuss their legislative priorities. As a sitting member on the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Lynch is intimately familiar with credit unions and the work they do in their communities for members. The meeting was timely, as Congressman Lynch was testifying in hearings all afternoon, giving the credit unions an opportunity to introduce themselves to new staff. One of the hearings was particularly applicable to credit unions, as it addressed the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering. Credit unions briefed George on the need for reform in this area. George affirmed the Congressman’s commitment to this topic, and in particular his focus on the interplay with financial technology. Congressman Lynch is committed to maintaining the stake that legacy institutions, such as credit unions, have in the new world of FinTech.

The Congressman’s staff also confirmed that housing reform is a topic of interest, and that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is important to him. Consumer choice in the area of mortgage lending, particularly in the highly-concentrated area of Boston and surrounding neighborhoods, is necessary, and the Congressman understands that credit unions often fill a void in serving markets that cannot get access to loans elsewhere.

Significant discussion was had on data security and privacy. As shown by the recent Equifax hearing in Congress, data privacy is a priority in the current session, and the Congressman seeks to continue the dialogue with credit unions on their priorities and vision. One credit union representative shared with staff that for every $1.00 of loss to a consumer member, the credit union faces a $3.50 loss, with the excess costs attributed to compliance, reissuance, and other credit union response mechanisms to breaches. Credit unions stressed the need for a notification standard for breaching parties, as well as a more equitable application of standards across parties responsible for private consumer information. George stressed the importance of the issue to the Congressman and will seek credit union input on any data security or privacy legislation that is filed.

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