February 01, 2016

NAFCU urges FASB to reconsider CECL

The Federal Accounting Standards Board should reconsider its current expected credit loss standard, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged in a letter Monday.

Berger emphasized the need for any proposed update to consider the unique structure of credit unions as member-owned, not-for-profit institutions. He emphasized NAFCU's belief that credit unions should not be subject to the proposed update as the costs for credit unions outweigh the benefits.

Berger also urged the board to extend by one year the implementation of the CECL standard in light of the delay in finalization. FASB is now expecting to finalize its CECL standard near the end of the second quarter of 2016.

"NAFCU has heard increasing levels of concern from credit unions over the FASB's continual postponement of the accounting standard's finalization while financial institutions continue to inch toward a fixed effective date," Berger wrote in a letter to FASB. "In order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new method of credit loss accounting, it is critical that credit unions are provided with enough time to ensure they are adequately prepared by the ultimate effective date."

He continued, "NAFCU and our member credit unions strongly recommend the FASB re-deliberate the effective date for the CECL model and extend this date to reflect the significantly diminished period of time financial institutions have, as a result of the more than six-month delay of finalization, to examine a completed [accounting standards update] and develop suitable models for projecting credit losses."

On Friday, Reps. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., along with 60 other House members sent a NAFCU-endorsed letter to FASB to raise concerns about how the CECL standard could hurt credit unions and community banks.

In related news, NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Alexander Monterrubio will attend FASB's public meeting on Thursday in Norwalk, Conn., which will focus on the CECL standard. The board will stream audio for the meeting live starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

For credit unions and other nonpublic business organizations, the current implementation dates are fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019.