February 16, 2023

Berger meets with NCUA’s Hood on key issues

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger with NCUA Board Member Rodney HoodNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger Wednesday held a meeting with NCUA Board Member Rodney Hood to discuss multiple topics of interest to credit unions ahead of the agency’s board meeting today.

NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ann Petros, Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long, and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Dale Baker also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, attendees discussed the interest rate ceiling – which the NCUA voted to keep at 18 percent for another 18 months during the agency’s last board meeting. NAFCU has consistently advocated for a floating permissible interest rate ceiling to address constraints of the 15 percent ceiling set by the Federal Credit Union Act. The association also recommended the NCUA establish a 21 percent interest rate ceiling to allow credit unions to remain a better alternative to banks and fintech lenders considering the current federal funds rate environment in a recent letter to the NCUA.

The group also reviewed NCUA’s proposed rule on financial innovation. The rule would amend the agency’s loan participation and eligible obligation regulations by offering flexibility for federally-insured credit unions to engage in indirect lending arrangements with fintechs and other third parties. Of note, NAFCU sent members a Regulatory Alert breaking down the proposal.

NAFCU also flagged its advocacy for the agency to amend the definition of “commercial loan” and raise the threshold for net aggregate business loans excluded from the definition of a commercial loan to better support small businesses, as well as the need to reform chartering and field of membership requirements. The association has backed previous legislation that would allow all types of credit unions to expand their field of membership into underserved areas, while also broadening the definition of “underserved area” to include anywhere not within ten miles of the nearest financial institution.

NAFCU will continue to work closely with the NCUA to ensure that credit unions have the necessary resources and guidance to effectively serve their 134 million members.