August 24, 2014

Waters warns of RBC 'unintended consequences'

Aug. 1, 2014 – House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., encouraged NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz to consider the adverse effects of the proposed risk-based capital rule on credit unions, reminding her in a letter that credit unions have "consistently met their members' credit needs for generations."

Waters wrote Matz Thursday in response to a meeting the two had to discuss the agency's proposed rule. "While I support the NCUA's efforts to revise its capital rules to ensure that lessons learned from the crisis are not forgotten, it is also important that those rules retain the strengths of the current examination process without unintentionally forcing examiners or credit unions to merely check boxes, especially with regard to concentration and interest-rate risk," Waters wrote.

Waters also inquired whether NCUA, instead of looking to the RBC proposal, could "rely on metrics triggering a review by both the credit union and NCUA examiner. If the examiner determines that the risks identified upon review remain unaddressed, the credit union would then be required to hold more capital," she wrote.

"We appreciate Ranking Member Waters' comments on providing alternatives to the rule as proposed," NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler said. "We hope that NCUA will take the time to think about ways to write the final rule that doesn't make the entire industry hold more capital as a substitute for robust and competent supervision and examination."