NAFCU shares 2019 priorities with NCUA, FHFA, Treasury
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger yesterday shared the association's 2019 advocacy priorities with leaders of the NCUA, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Treasury Department, and also outlined specific priorities for the agencies that NAFCU and credit unions would like to see addressed.
The priorities will guide NAFCU's efforts to obtain a regulatory environment in which growth is the priority. In addition to growth, other priorities include maintaining a strong NCUA, promoting transparency, attaining regulatory relief, preserving the credit union tax exemption and establishing a fair and innovative market.
Maintaining a strong NCUA as the credit union industry's sole regulator and increasing accountability by reducing the agency's overall operating budget are among NAFCU's 2019 priorities. In addition, Berger encouraged NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters and Board Member Rick Metsger to:
- continue efforts to modernize field of membership (FOM) rules;
- further revise its risk-based capital (RBC) rule;
- provide guidance and resources to help credit unions as they implement the current expected credit losses (CECL) accounting standard;
- reduce examination burden, especially on smaller credit unions;
- strengthen cybersecurity efforts while also providing flexibility for credit unions to adopt controls that fit their needs;
- provide additional flexibility with respect to loan maturity limits;
- enact a variable interest rate ceiling, specifically a 15 percent spread over Prime; and
- return the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund's (NCUSIF) normal operating level (NOL) to 1.3 percent as soon as possible and provide additional refunds to credit unions.
Specific to the FHFA, Berger shared with interim Director Joseph Otting credit unions' priorities for housing finance reform, including the need to ensure credit unions' unhampered access to the secondary mortgage market in any reform actions. Berger also noted that NAFCU will work this year to:
- ensure credit unions understand how the new proposed capital requirements rule could affect their ability to sell loans to the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs);
- understand what the use of new credit score models may mean for credit unions' flexibility to make loans to their members; and
- understand how the FHFA's efforts to improve language access for limited English proficiency borrowers impacts loan origination and servicing processes.
NAFCU and credit unions met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in 2017. In his letter, Berger made the request for another opportunity discuss issues impacting credit unions and also provided Mnuchin with a rundown of issues for Treasury to consider, including:
- providing more recommendations for regulatory relief;
- cooperating with Congress and other agencies during housing finance reform efforts to ensure credit unions' concerns are addressed;
- continuing to oppose wrapping credit unions into the Community Reinvestment Act; and
- collaborating on cybersecurity standards and educating credit unions on identifying and combating risks.
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