February 04, 2021

NAFCU, member CUs meet with NCUA on ACCESS initiative

ncuaSeveral representatives from NAFCU-member credit unions Wednesday met with the NCUA for a roundtable discussion on its Advancing Communities through Credit, Education, Stability and Support (ACCESS) initiative. Announced last year by Board Member Rodney Hood, who gave opening remarks during the meeting, the initiative brings together leaders from across the NCUA to modernize regulations, policies, and programs in support of greater financial inclusion.

Members of NAFCU's government affairs team attended the meeting, alongside staff from 11 credit unions from across the country and representatives from the NCUA's Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion (CURE) and Office of Consumer Financial Protection.

During the meeting, the agency shared updates on the ACCESS Initiative and the credit unions shared their perspective on a number of key issues related to adding underserved areas, the value of low-income and community development financial institution (CDFI) designations, and financial education efforts.

The group also discussed the future of payday alternative loans (PALs) and short-term lending. As financial regulators have offered guidance on short-term, small-dollar loans to support consumers struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, NAFCU has continued to advocate for all iterations of the NCUA's PALs to be covered under the CFPB's payday lending rule safe harbor. After the bureau finalized the rule in July, the NCUA issued a Regulatory Alert detailing the rule's implications for PALs.

NAFCU is supportive of the program's mission to ensure the financial inclusion of all Americans and has previously pledged to promote programs and resources to help Americans reach their financial goals, including working with the CFPB and NCUA on financial literacy resources.