June 25, 2014

Metsger talks capital reform at CU event

June 26, 2014 – NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger spoke about areas of the agency's proposed risk-based capital rule that need adjustment, including lengthening the phasing-in period for any final rule, during a credit union gathering this week in Charleston, S.C.

Metsger also expressed support H.R. 719, the "Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act," which would enhance credit unions' ability to react to market conditions by allowing them to hold non-share forms of supplemental capital that do not alter the institutions' cooperative nature. The bill has NAFCU's support and reflects the association's capital reform goals in its five-point plan for regulatory relief. NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz has also expressed support for the bill.

Metsger said he would support several changes to the agency's risk-based capital rule, including:

  • clarifying that only the board, and not agency examiners, can raise a credit union's capital requirements;
  • adjusting the risk weights for investments in credit union service organizations;
  • adjusting the risk weight for cash held at the Federal Reserve; and,
  • adjusting the risk weights when other federal agencies have provided guarantees.

Metsger also said he is looking for a better way to deal with interest rate risk and concentration risk. NAFCU raised all of these issues in its comment letter on the proposed rule, and specifically urged the agency to eliminate the interest rate and concentration risk components from the proposal.

A NAFCU-supported letter to Matz detailing concerns about the proposed rule was signed and sent by 324 members of the House of Representatives. NAFCU found Matz's initial response to be inadequate but has welcomed recent statements from the chairman indicating changes are in store.