January 17, 2014

Make NCUA strategic plan flexible, NAFCU urges

Jan. 21, 2014 – NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged the NCUA Board to incorporate more flexibility for credit unions into the Strategic Plan for 2014-2017, and to avoid a "one size fits all" approach to regulation.

Berger thanked the board for the opportunity to comment on the plan and for its thorough identification of a number of risks facing credit unions in the coming years, including interest rate risk and cybersecurity threats. He suggested a flexible approach as NCUA implements the plan that recognizes the variety in the credit union industry.

"For example, the Strategic Plan correctly identifies that rising interest rates will greatly reduce an important current source of income for credit unions, namely, income from refinancings," Berger wrote. "NAFCU believes that credit unions must be provided adequate flexibility to address this challenge, as a plan or solution that one credit union may find appropriate may not be suitable for another credit union. In addition, credit unions must be granted the necessary authority to address this challenge. This includes granting credit unions additional investment authority and expanding their incidental powers."

Berger also emphasized NAFCU's continuing advocacy for regulatory relief for credit unions and forwarded the association's list of the "dirty dozen" regulations that NAFCU wants to see amended or eliminated. He also noted aspects of NAFCU's five-point plan for regulatory relief, urging NCUA to consider working with stakeholders to advance lifting restrictions on member business lending and making sure retailers take responsibility for data security breaches on their end.

NAFCU was the first trade association to call for legislation making retailers responsible for their data breaches in the wake of the Target Corporation breach, which affected as many as 110 million consumers.