April 30, 2019

NAFCU keeps pressure on CECL relief, guidance

accountingAs credit unions prepare to implement the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) current expected credit loss (CECL) standard, NAFCU's award-winning advocacy is maintaining its pressure on Capitol Hill and among regulators to obtain more guidance and relief for the industry.

NAFCU has devoted considerable time and resources to educate credit unions on CECL requirements, and to share the industry's concerns with FASB. Less than a year after FASB issued the standard, NAFCU released a study outlining some of the key qualities and trade-offs for a variety of models for CECL implementation. The association continues to monitor FASB meetings and attend Transition Resource Group meetings on the issue.

Because credit unions' unique capital framework limits the NCUA's ability to mitigate CECL's effect on institutions' net worth without action from FASB, NAFCU has urged FASB to exempt credit unions from this standard, and more flexibility with CECL compliance is also among the association's priorities for the NCUA Board to address.

The association has also shared credit unions' concerns with lawmakers; a number have expressed concerns about the CECL standard, its impact on the economy and regulatory burdens during hearings with regulators, and are working to lessen its impact either.

As a result of NAFCU's efforts, some flexibility in the standard has been achieved, including clarifying that credit unions would not need to begin reporting data on call reports until the beginning of 2022. Here are a few recent developments credit unions should be aware of:

  • credit unions can contact their representatives and senators through NAFCU's Grassroots Action Center asking them to further investigate the impact CECL will have on the industry and economy as a whole;
  • FASB last week issued an update with CECL amendments related to measurement and presentation of available for sale debt securities within the scope of CECL, and clarifies guidance related to when an entity should include recoveries when estimating the allowance for credit losses;
  • the update also reflects FASB's recent decision to allow preparers to irrevocably elect the fair value option for certain financial assets previously measured at amortized cost basis;
  • financial regulators released a new CECL FAQ document to help institutions implement the standard, and also held an "Ask the Regulators" webinar to address implementation concerns; and
  • FASB decided against moving forward with a proposal put forward by a group of banks outlining an alternative to the income statement impact of the standard.

NAFCU will continue to engage with all stakeholders to obtain more relief and guidance for credit unions under the CECL standard.