April 05, 2022

NAFCU, Inclusiv discuss streamlined application phase out with CDFI Fund


NAFCU, Inclusiv, and several member credit unions Monday met with the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to discuss topics regarding the CDFI certification process. NAFCU Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Aminah Moore ​attended the meeting along with Pablo DeFilippi, EVP of Inclusiv Network, Jules Epstein-Hebert, Director of Membership, and Chriselle Martinez, CDFI Programs Director.

The group discussed the NCUA’s announcement to phase out its CDFI streamlined application process NAFCU on several occasions has urged the CDFI Fund to streamline their certification process and address the current application backlog as it has kept many applicants, including credit unions, waiting for months before they hear from the organization. 

NAFCU has urged Congress and other agencies including the Treasury Department and the NCUA to work together to address the application backlog by enhancing transparency and communication on pending applications for credit unions seeking CDFI certification. Kossachev previously expressed concerns around the backlog and application process noting that a failure to be forthright can result in “applicants becoming disillusioned with the application process, and potential applicants becoming hesitant to enter a complicated and costly endeavor with an indefinite end date.”

Of note, the group also examined the process of CDFI decertification for institutions and how a ​three-year cure period was a more realistic timeframe for credit unions to make required changes to their loan portfolios without risking decertification. NAFCU and Inclusiv also requested the Fund eliminate the discrepancies between the certification and grant reporting standards.  Attendees also asked for the Fund to provide more guidance about the use of other targeted populations (OTP) as a target market, something an increasing number of credit unions are focusing on as a result of the growing awareness around diversity, equity and inclusion within the credit union industry.  

The group will also meet with NCUA Chairman Harper this Friday to discuss similar topics. NAFCU continues to work with the CDFI Fund to help credit unions navigate the CDFI certification process.