CUNA Recognizes NCUA Budget Improvements, Urges Continued Work

CUNA submitted additional written comments to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Friday on the agency’s proposed 2019 operating budget. CUNA’s letter follows up CUNA Senior Economist Mike Schenk’s presentation to the board at its budget briefing earlier this month.

“CUNA recognizes and applauds NCUA’s improved budget process as well as most of the details of the budget proposal. Together, they continue to represent a clear, positive, and significant step in the right direction as the agency works to become a leader and innovator in the financial services industry,” the letter reads. “We hope NCUA will continue to focus on innovation and modernization, more material reductions in the budget, and slowing the growth rate of expenditures.”

CUNA praised NCUA for:

  • Proposing a variety of changes to impact the budget that align with CUNA calls for the agency to decrease staffing and rein in fast-growing compensation outlays;
  • The agency’s actions taken to reduce facilities costs, and the anticipation of savings from the agency’s lease terminations starting in 2021; and
  • The budget support for implementation of NCUA’s strategic plan focus to implement a more flexible examination schedule, which includes including extended cycles up to 20 months and virtual examinations with remote monitoring.

CUNA also urged the agency to:

  • Increase the asset limit below which credit unions are eligible for an 18-month examination cycle (rather than a 12-month examination cycle) to $3 billion in assets, up from $1 billion; and
  • Ensure both call report content and electronic data modernization efforts more clearly account for the challenges faced by smaller credit unions, with less onerous reporting and longer implementation timelines.

“We believe there is immense capacity for NCUA to reduce its footprint, right-size the organization, and emerge from the resulting transition as a nimbler, stronger, and more efficient and effective regulatory body,” the letter reads.

NCUA is expected to vote on the proposed budget at its Nov. 15 meeting.