Friday, June 23, 2017

NCUA Calls on Congress to Give It Regulatory Flexibility

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on June 22, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Acting Chairman J. Mark McWatters requested legislation to ease regulatory burdens on credit unions.

His testimony discussed steps that the agency had already taken or plans to take to provide regulatory relief to credit unions. But he also noted that there are limits on the agency's ability to provide regulatory relief.

Acting Chairman McWatters pointed out that the Federal Credit Union Act contains numerous rigid statutory requirements that ties the agency's hands. NCUA asked Congress to provide it with greater discretion to write rules to limit additional burdens on credit unions.

In addition, McWatters called on congressional action with regard to field of membership issues. NCUA believes that all federal credit unions, just not multiple common bond credit unions, should be allowed to add underserved areas. In addition, Congress should eliminate the requirement that the underserved areas be local communities and Congress could simplify the “facilities” test for determining if an area is underserved.

McWatters further requested that Congress eliminate the provision that requires a multiple common bond credit union to be within “reasonable proximity” to the location of a group the credit union wishes to serve.

He also asked Congress for the explicit authority for web-based communities as a basis for a credit union charter.

Other legislative initiatives advanced in his testimony included support for the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act (S. 836) and allowing more credit unions to access supplemental capital.

Read testimony.

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