September 20, 2012

'Small' CU would be $30 million

NCUA set a brief, 30-day public comment period on an interpretive ruling and policy statement proposed Thursday that would raise from $10 million to $30 million the maximum asset size of a "small" credit union considered in NCUA regulatory impact analyses - a move that NAFCU would like to see the agency take farther.

"Although NCUA broadening the definition of small credit unions to $30 million is a step in the right direction, it should go much higher to ease the burden for even more small credit unions," said NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker.

The change provided in proposed IRPS 12-2 would affect how NCUA evaluates the potential impact of its rules under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. It would add 1,603 credit unions to the category of small entities, raising the group total to 4,041. The agency proposal would also set a $30 million asset-size cap on credit unions exempt from the agency's risk-based net worth requirements under prompt corrective action and the requirement to maintain a written interest-rate risk management policy.

Over time, credit unions newly defined as "small" under this proposal could be covered by NCUA's small-credit union examination program. That program provides that the agency devote no more than 40 hours on site for examinations of small credit unions, now defined as those with up to $10 million in assets.

This rule would be included in NCUA's three-year rolling review of its regulations.

The association is preparing an online Regulatory Alert seeking members' input.