November 20, 2019

Accountability, efficiency among Long's recommendations for NCUA budget

Curt LongNAFCU's Curt Long is set to testify before the NCUA Board today on the agency's proposed 2020 and 2021 budgets. Long will reiterate the association's call for prudent management of funds by suggesting ways to improve accountability, specifically through cost-benefit analysis of NCUA programs as well as rules.

The budget estimates $316.2 million in spending for 2020 and $325.9 million in spending for 2021. The agency's proposed 2020 operating budget represents a 57 percent increase in the NCUA's budget over the past decade, while the industry has seen a 32 percent reduction over the same period.

Long, NAFCU's chief economist and vice president of research, will commend the NCUA on its efforts to eliminate duplicative spending and promote efficiency in its daily operations and longer-term projects. However, he will caution against yearly budget increases, which the association has previously shared concerns about.

In order to achieve more accountability and transparency, Long will detail four recommendations from the association related to:

  • cost-benefit analysis for NCUA programs, as well as its rules;
  • exam modernization efforts;
  • the expiration of the NCUA Guaranteed Notes (NGN) program; and
  • ensuring the rulemaking process effectively addresses risk.

In addition, Long will share credit unions' concerns related to cybersecurity. NAFCU believes this is one area in which the NCUA can effectively use robust cost-benefit analysis to better evaluate how it is determining risk and institute appropriate programs to address that risk without continued budget increases.

More details from Long's testimony and the NCUA budget briefing will be available in tomorrow's NAFCU Today.

NAFCU has long supported and worked to ensure public budget briefings are held to increase transparency and accountability in the budgeting process. Last year, NAFCU Board of Directors Chair Jeanne Kucey testified on behalf of the association and called for expanded eligibility for extended exams and other cost-saving measures.