Jan. 10, 2013 – The NCUA Board this morning approved several final rules that impact credit unions – including one that revises the definition of a “small” credit union for regulatory relief purposes – and was briefed on an interagency "higher-priced" mortgage rule about which NAFCU has several concerns.
The final rule that redefines “small” credit unions raises the threshold from less than $10 million in assets to up to $50 million; this makes more institutions eligible for regulatory relief, including exemption from last year's rule on interest-rate risk and risk-based net worth requirements. NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said the association appreciates that the agency increased the threshold but added that it “should have increased the maximum asset size of a credit union considered ‘small’ further to $175 million, as NAFCU has strongly urged, to ease the regulatory burden on many more credit unions.”
Becker said NAFCU also has concerns about the interagency rule on "higher-priced" mortgages. NAFCU had urged NCUA and CFPB to refrain from moving forward with the rulemaking at this time. At the very least, the rule should include additional exemptions for certain types and classes of loans, as NAFCU has advocated. “Unfortunately, this rulemaking, especially when combined with the other mortgage-related rules that are currently being finalized, could fundamentally change credit unions’ mortgage lending and negatively impact credit union members,” Becker cautioned.
In other action, the NCUA Board approved a final rule that states NCUA’s authority to designate a federally insured, state-chartered credit union as being in “troubled condition.” Regarding the rule, Becker said NAFCU “appreciates the agency’s efforts to seek consistency and address developments affecting the share insurance fund.” He added, “As a general rule, we will continue to encourage NCUA to seek avenues to ensure the safety and soundness of the fund.”
The NCUA Board also approved:
- a final rule that extends the deadline for accepting NCUA’s offered designation of “low-income” from 30 days to 60 days, as NAFCU had urged;
- a final rule making technical amendments regarding Treasury tax and loan depositaries and depositaries and financial agents of the government;
- the agency’s 2013 annual performance plan (separate from NCUA’s 2013 operating budget).