April 14, 2023

NCUA Board to be briefed on FCU loan interest rate ceiling, cybersecurity


The NCUA Board meets next week and is set to be briefed on two topics: cybersecurity and the federal credit union (FCU) loan interest rate ceiling. In addition, the board is expected to issue a request for information (RFI) on climate-related financial risk.

The RFI was previously listed on the NCUA’s fall rulemaking agenda. Of note, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) – which includes various federal financial regulators, including NCUA Board Chairman Todd Harper – detailed risks related to digital assets, climate, cybersecurity, and more, and recommendations to mitigate them in its December annual report. The council gave support for actions to improve the availability of data for assessing climate-related financial risks and called on state and federal agencies to coordinate on ways to identify, prioritize, and procure the necessary data. NAFCU has previously encouraged FSOC members to coordinate on climate risk policies.

Regarding cybersecurity, NCUA staff in October briefed the board on the cybersecurity threat landscape, including the risks posed by ongoing geopolitical issues, specific threats from ransomware and cloud migration, evolving distributed denial of service attacks, and cryptocurrency and decentralized finance risks. NAFCU will continue to work with the NCUA to ensure credit unions stay up to date with cybersecurity protection and threats.

On the interest rate ceiling, NAFCU reiterated its call for the board to establish a floating permissible interest rate ceiling to permanently address constraints and issues posed by the 15 percent ceiling ahead of the board’s January meeting. In addition, the association had called for the ceiling to be immediately raised to 21 percent in the meantime.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged the board to make adjustments that will mitigate FCUs’ interest-rate-related risks and enable FCUs to better serve their communities; however, the board voted to maintain the temporary 18 percent interest rate ceiling for loans made by FCUs for a new 18-month period.

The meeting, set to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern, will be livestreamed on the agency’s website. NAFCU will provide members with updates after it concludes.