CUNA Expresses CU Priorities, Difference Ahead of Hood Testimony

NCUA should take steps toward enhancements to the credit union charter, while improving cybersecurity efforts and reducing regulatory burden, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in a letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership in advance of NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood’s scheduled appearance before the committee. Hood will appear Wednesday as part of a panel of federal financial regulators.

“In the recent past, the credit union industry has focused its advocacy efforts on enhancements to the credit union charter. Therefore, we urge the agency to take steps toward this objective, which may include collaborating with parties outside NCUA,” Nussle’s letter reads. “Concern over cyber and data security is likely the single biggest issue currently facing most industries, including financial services. We appreciate NCUA’s recognition of the importance of this issue and its commitment to make it a focus area.

“We ask the agency to outline its short- and long-term strategy for ensuring credit unions and the agency are well positioned to avoid unauthorized loss of information through both cyber and general data breach threats… we ask the agency to provide a roadmap of both the concrete and policy approaches it will commit to in order to reduce the ever-increasing regulatory pressures on our nation’s credit unions,” Nussle adds.

CUNA continues to strongly support NCUA’s current status as an independent regulator and insurer but urges NCUA to coordinate with other regulators as needed, including with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on consumer protection regulations and the Federal Communications Commission on modernization of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

CUNA also highlighted recent positive actions by NCUA and expressed hope that the agency builds on the positive momentum on things like extended exam cycles, streamlined and virtual examinations, modernization of the call report, field-of-membership litigation and others.

Advocating on behalf of NCUA, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan also reached out to Senate Banking Committee staff, as well as staff from the House Financial Services Committee (as Hood is scheduled to appear before that committee Thursday) in response to several concerns about NCUA raised by banking organizations.

Despite several banker claims about a recent conservatorship, Donovan praised NCUA for the steps it has taken to insulate the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund from further losses related to the conservatorship.

Donovan also noted that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has operated in the red twice in the past 30 years, while the NCUSIF has never fallen below $1.20 per $100 in insured shares. Donovan also noted that failed credit union assets since 2008 have totaled $12.4 billion, compared to $701.3 billion for failed banks in that time period.

“Since 2009, banks have been subject to more than $260 billion in fines and settlements,” Donovan wrote. “They haven’t just put considerable and repeated pressure on their insurance fund, but they’ve also taken advantage of consumers and investors.”