January 19, 2023

NAFCU’s Berger, NCUA’s Harper discuss ways to bolster CU success

Dan Berger and Todd HarperNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger met with NCUA Chairman Todd Harper Wednesday at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va., to discuss credit union priorities, including several of NAFCU’s recent requests to the agency.

NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ann Petros, and Regulatory Affairs Counsel James Akin were also in attendance at the meeting. 

During the meeting, NAFCU reiterated its request for NCUA to raise the permissible interest rate ceiling to mitigate unnecessary interest rate risks facing federal credit unions. NAFCU also urged the agency 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.

The group also discussed ways to help credit unions better serve their members by adopting lessons learned from the pandemic. NCUA last month issued a Letter to Federal Credit Unions which contained NAFCU-sought flexibility around virtual and hybrid annual meetings. Relatedly, the group discussed amending regulations in Part 701.36 on federal credit union occupancy to grant additional flexibility to credit unions. 

NAFCU and NCUA also discussed field of membership (FOM) rules regarding survivorship. NAFCU wrote to the agency last year to urge the agency to initiate a rulemaking to expand its Chartering and FOM Manual to include all “immediate family” in the event of a credit union member’s passing.

Of note, the group discussed loan participation requirements and commercial loan thresholds. NAFCU recently asked the NCUA to amend its definition of a commercial loan and raise the current threshold for net aggregate business loans excluded from the definition of a commercial loan from its current threshold of $50,000 to $250,000.

In addition, NAFCU reiterated its request to amend the definition of “qualified charity” in part 721.3 of the agency’s regulations to include 501(c)(19) veterans’ organizations.

As the federal regulator for credit unions, NAFCU regularly meets and engages with the NCUA to ensure credit unions have the tools to succeed and best serve their 134 million members.