April 21, 2020

NAFCU, McWatters talk capital, MBL relief

Berger, McWatters
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger; NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger spoke with NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters Monday to discuss issues facing credit unions amid the coronavirus pandemic and ways in which the NCUA can aid the industry, including through capital relief.

NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long, and Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev and McWatters' Senior Policy Advisor Sarah Vega also joined the discussion.

Following capital relief provided to banks in the Phase 3 coronavirus relief package (CARES Act), which eased leverage and liquidity requirements, Berger urged the NCUA to grant credit unions "additional capital flexibility to address the economic crisis" and provide parity with banks.

Berger also asked the NCUA to press the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to further delay the implementation date of the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard and request greater interpretive control over the standard itself.

NAFCU reiterated these capital relief requests during Monday's conversation. In one effort to bolster credit unions' liquidity during the pandemic, the NCUA last week issued an interim final rule to enhance the industry's use of its Central Liquidity Facility.

In addition, during last week's NCUA Board meeting, McWatters and NCUA Board Member Todd Harper expressed general support for raising the MBL cap. There are currently efforts underway in Congress to exempt coronavirus-related loans from the MBL cap and to increase or remove the MBL cap altogether in future relief packages. 

NAFCU will continue working with the NCUA to provide credit unions with additional regulatory relief and guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic.