NAFCU to NCUA: Raise permissible interest rate ceiling
NAFCU Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev wrote to the NCUA Thursday urging the agency to immediately raise the permissible interest rate ceiling to mitigate unnecessary interest rate risks facing federal credit unions. Kossachev urged the NCUA to establish a floating permissible interest rate ceiling equal to a 15 percent spread over the prime rate or alternatively extend the 18 percent permissible interest rate ceiling for the maximum allowable period of 18 months, no fewer than 90 days before its scheduled expiration on March 10, 2023.
Under the Federal Credit Union (FCU) Act, the NCUA Board in coordination with Treasury, relevant congressional committees, and other federal agencies, has authority to raise the permissible interest rate ceiling if money market rates have risen over the past six months or if prevailing interest rate levels threaten the safety and soundness of individual federal credit unions.
“Contemporary economic conditions plainly warrant the NCUA Board’s immediately raising the permissible interest rate ceiling,” wrote Kossachev.
When the NCUA extended the expiration of the 18 percent permissible interest ceiling in June last year, the federal funds rate rested below 0.1 percent, as did each of the 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 1-year Treasury rates; between the start of 2022 to today, the federal funds rate has more than tripled to 0.33 percent. The FOMC also announced in March that it would begin reducing its balance sheet, which quickly led to the increase of the prime rate by 25 basis points to 3.5 percent. The FOMC announced an additional 50 basis point increase yesterday.
“Against this backdrop of rapidly rising key interest rates, thousands of individual federal credit unions across the country face a wide range of material risks to their well-being,” Kossachev noted. “However, few contemporary risks, if any, are as dire as the elevated and accelerating risks to federal credit unions’ earnings.”
Kossachev strongly encouraged the NCUA to establish a floating permissible interest rate ceiling equal to a 15 percent spread above the prime rate, noting that the adoption or maintenance of any fixed rate ceiling “leaves the credit union system unnecessarily exposed to all too obvious interest rate risks.”
Read the letter. NAFCU continues to advocate for ways federal credit unions can mitigate unnecessary interest rate risks during this critical period of economic recovery.
NAFCU Update - May 2023
Add to Calendar 2023-06-01 09:00:00 2023-06-01 09:00:00 Managing Risk with Derivatives In today’s interest rate environment, derivatives are an essential tool that plays a key role in mitigating rate risk in credit unions’ loan portfolios and in pricing member share accounts. By providing access to fairly priced products and services, credit unions support their local communities and play an important role in the nation’s financial health. Get the Report: Location NAFCU firstname.lastname@example.org America/New_York public
Managing Risk with Derivatives
Get daily updates.
Subscribe to NAFCU today.