NCUA Legal Recoveries Reach $2.2 Billion with Wachovia Settlement

Matz: Agency Efforts are Reducing Costs of Corporate Crisis to Credit Unions

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 19, 2015) – Total recoveries from litigation against banks that sold faulty residential mortgage-backed securities to corporate credit unions will reach $2.2 billion with the completion of an agreement with Wachovia, the National Credit Union Administration announced today.

Wachovia will agree to pay $53 million to resolve the agency’s claims arising from losses related to purchases of the securities by corporate credit unions. NCUA uses the net proceeds to reduce Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund assessments charged to federally insured credit unions to pay for the losses caused by the failure of five corporate credit unions.
“NCUA’s litigation efforts are helping minimize the costs of the corporate crisis to the credit union system, and those efforts will continue,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “The agency has a statutory obligation to protect credit unions from those costs, and we will pursue the available legal remedies in order to hold the institutions that sold the faulty securities accountable for their actions.”

NCUA filed suit against Wachovia in 2011. Once the settlement is completed, NCUA will dismiss pending claims against the firm in federal district courts in California, Kansas and New York. Wachovia does not admit fault in the settlement.

NCUA continues to pursue litigation in federal courts in New York, Kansas and California against financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, UBS, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, based on the sale of faulty securities that caused the collapse of five corporate credit unions.

The agency has other litigation pending against securities firms alleging violations of state and federal anti-trust law by manipulation of interest rates through the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) system. NCUA also has pending suits against financial firms alleging their failure to perform their duties as trustees of residential mortgage-backed securities trusts.

NCUA was the first federal regulatory agency for depository institutions to recover losses from investments in these securities on behalf of failed financial institutions.

14 Credit Unions Agree to Late-Filing Penalties for Second Quarter 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 21, 2015) – Fourteen federally insured credit unions subject to civil monetary penalties for filing late Call Reports have consented to penalties, the National Credit Union Administration announced today.

In the second quarter of 2014, 44 credit unions consented to penalties.

The late filers will pay a total of $3,491 in penalties. Individual penalties range from $100 to $576. The median penalty was $185. The Federal Credit Union Act requires NCUA to send any funds received through civil monetary penalties to the U.S. Treasury.

“NCUA still needs full compliance with timely Call Report filing,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “The goal is in sight. I encourage credit unions having difficulties meeting the quarterly deadline to take advantage of the assistance NCUA offers.”

A list of credit unions filing late in the second quarter and agreeing to pay civil monetary penalties is available online.

The assessment of penalties primarily rests on three factors: the credit union’s asset size, its recent Call Report filing history and the length of the delay. Of the 14 credit unions agreeing to pay penalties for the second quarter:

  • Eleven had assets of less than $10 million;
  • Two had assets between $10 million and $50 million; and
  • One had assets between $50 million and $250 million.

No credit unions with assets greater than $250 million filed late in the second quarter. One of the late-filing credit unions had been late in a previous quarter.

A total of 28 credit unions filed Call Reports late for the second quarter of 2015. NCUA consulted regional offices and, when appropriate, state supervisory authorities to review each case. This review determined mitigating circumstances in six cases that led to credit unions not being penalized.

NCUA informed the remaining 22 credit unions of the penalties they faced and advised them they could reduce their penalties by signing a consent agreement. NCUA also said it would initiate administrative hearings against credit unions that did not consent. NCUA subsequently granted waivers to eight of those credit unions.

NCUA sends reminder messages about Call Report filing deadlines that include information on how to receive technical support to handle filing problems. The agency also has created an automated reminder email system that contacts credit unions that have not filed their Call Reports and confirms successful filing.

NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives has dedicated an Economic Development Specialist to assist small credit unions in filing Call Reports on time. NCUA also has produced a video describing how to file Call Reports.

Metsger Looking Forward to Forum Dialogue

Vice Chairman: Important for Board Members to Hear Directly from Stakeholders

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 27, 2015) – National Credit Union Administration Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger today announced he looks forward to participating in the Friday, Oct. 30, Open Forum for credit union stakeholders.

“All Board Members travel the country, meeting with credit unions,” Metsger said, “but this forum is a timely opportunity for Board Members to hear from a broad range of stakeholders what’s on their minds. It is an open-ended hearing of the issues, without a preconceived agenda.

“The forum provides an opportunity for credit unions to help frame issues for the Board Members and to shape the agenda for future conversations,” Metsger said. “I’m confident we’ll have a substantive discussion about the issues that affect their everyday operations and their ability to provide good member services.”

The Open Forum will be held at the agency’s Central Office at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia from 10 a.m. until noon, Eastern. Participants will be able to ask questions on any topics related to NCUA. Registration, available online here, is available on a limited-seating basis. There is no charge.

NCUA Rolls Out Cyber Security Video

Credit Unions Can Learn How FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool Works

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 30, 2015) – Credit unions now have another resource from the National Credit Union Administration to help them use the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s cybersecurity assessment tool to evaluate their ability to address cyber risks.

The video, available here, provides an overview of how the assessment tool works. The assessment tool can help credit unions pinpoint strengths and weakness in their cyber security programs.

“The increasing volume and sophistication of cyber threats pose real risks to the credit union system,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “NCUA has created this new video to supplement the online information found on our Cyber Security Resources webpage and to encourage credit unions to take steps to identify, assess and mitigate risks. Cyber security continues to be a core focus for NCUA, and I encourage all credit unions to take steps to protect themselves, their members and the entire financial system.”

The FFIEC’s cybersecurity assessment tool is designed to enhance cyber security oversight and management capabilities, identify gaps in risk management practices and inform associated risk management strategies. The assessment tool is meant to be an enterprise-wide risk management tool that credit unions can use and revisit periodically as significant technological changes occur.

The video also directs credit unions to the FFIEC webpage for additional resources like joint statements, webinars and other information about cyber security.

FFIEC Releases Statement on Cyber Attacks Involving Extortion

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members today issued a statement alerting financial institutions to the increasing frequency and severity of cyber attacks involving extortion. 

The statement describes steps financial institutions should take to respond to these attacks and highlights resources institutions can use to mitigate the risks posed by such attacks.

Cyber attacks against financial institutions to extort payment in return for the release of sensitive information are increasing. Financial institutions should address this threat by conducting ongoing cybersecurity risk assessments and monitoring of controls and information systems. In addition, financial institutions should have effective business continuity plans to respond to this type of cyber attack to ensure resiliency of operations. 

Financial institutions are also encouraged to notify law enforcement and their primary regulator or regulators of a cyber attack involving extortion.

More information about financial institution cybersecurity, including information about mitigating the effects of destructive malware and other threats, is available from the FFIEC at www.ffiec.gov/cybersecurity.htm.

Attachment: FFIEC Statement on Cyber Attacks Involving Extortion

NCUA Launches Redesigned Website

Changes Include Easier Navigation, Mobile-Friendly Content and a New Design

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 2, 2015) – Users of the National Credit Union Administration’s public website will be able to find the critical information they need more easily thanks to the debut of the agency’s redesigned and improved website.

“Credit unions, consumers, examiners and state regulators are the core users of NCUA.gov, and we used their feedback to develop the new website,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “With the changes launched today, our website will be more intuitive and accessible. The new website also improves our ability to effectively communicate with the broader credit union system and further supports NCUA’s transparency initiatives.”

The new NCUA.gov features improved navigation and a mobile-responsive design will adapt to facilitate the viewing of the website on all platforms, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Other website features and improvements include:

  • A new Small Credit Union Learning Center featuring training videos and materials as well as other resources from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives;
  • A new online newsroom and social media hub where stakeholders can get the latest news, read articles from The NCUA Report and download graphics and photos;
  • A new “I’m a…” search function that allows users to self-identify and quickly access the agency’s most frequently requested content; and
  • A new consumer section that links to the agency’s consumer protection resources, consumer assistance center, share insurance information and financial literacy materials.

To help users get familiar with the new NCUA.gov, the agency has developed a brief video, highlighting the website’s new features and other changes.

During the remainder of the year, NCUA will continue to add new functions and additional content. Users can send their comments and suggestions for future improvements to the website by email to [email protected]gov.

NCUA Opens Nominations for First 2016 Consulting Round

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 4, 2015) – Eligible credit unions interested in consulting assistance from the National Credit Union Administration’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives in the first half of 2016 have until Nov. 30 to submit nominations, the agency announced today.

“I encourage all qualified credit unions to apply for our consulting program,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “From strategic planning to new product development, our consulting program provides individualized solutions for the challenges facing credit unions as they compete in a diverse and evolving financial services marketplace.”

The first consulting period of 2016 begins Jan. 1, and runs through June 30. The consulting program application is available online here [link no longer available]. A credit union may nominate itself or be nominated by an NCUA examiner. Credit unions selected for the program will be announced in December.

To qualify for NCUA’s consulting assistance, a credit union must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Have total assets of less than $100 million;
  • Have been chartered for fewer than 10 years;
  • Be designated as a Minority Depository Institution; or
  • Have a low-income designation from NCUA.

Credit unions not chosen in the first round may apply again in subsequent rounds.

In 2015, 397 federally insured credit unions enrolled in the program, and 27 new credit union organizers received consulting help from NCUA’s Economic Development Specialists. These specialists work with credit unions to address challenges like field-of-membership expansions, strategic planning and new product development.

NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions, minority depository institutions and credit unions with a low-income designation.

Video de Capacitación de la Mesa Directiva Disponible en Español

El Nuevo Video Popular de la NCUA Sobre Liderazgo Efectivo de la Mesa Directiva ya está Disponible en una Versión en Español

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 05, 2015) – Los miembros de la mesa directiva de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito encontrarán valiosa información para ayudarlos a tener más éxito en la versión en español de la serie de videos de la mesa directiva de la Administración Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito.

La serie de videos en siete partes, diseñados específicamente para los directores de pequeñas y medianas cooperativas de ahorro y crédito, se ha traducido de inglés a español para responder a las necesidades de capacitación de los miembros de la mesa directiva. La primera parte, “Qué debe conocer un director de mesa directiva,” describe los siguientes temas:

  • Desarrollo de un programa sólido de control,
  • Cualidades de lideres eficaces e ineficases de mesas directivas,
  • Evaluación y apoyo del administrador.

La serie de videos, disponible aquí en Internet, también describe estudios de casos que ayudan a los miembros de la mesa directiva a analizar los tipos de problemas de liderazgo que pueden enfrentar en sus cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. La prueba en línea también está disponible en español y permite a los usuarios evaluar lo que han aprendido del video. Ambas versiones de videos en inglés y español otorgan al usuario un certificado de finalización cuando obtienen un puntaje satisfactorio. El resto de los videos de la serie estará disponible a fin de año.

La Oficina de Iniciativas de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito Pequeñas de la NCUA fomenta el desarrollo de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y su efectiva dedicación a los servicios financieros para cooperativas de ahorro y crédito pequeñas, nuevas, para instituciones depositarias de minorías y para cooperativas de ahorro y crédito con una designación de bajos ingresos.

NCUA Posts New Risk-Based Capital Video

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 9, 2015) – Credit union managers, staff and boards can learn more about the National Credit Union Administration’s risk-based capital rule and what to expect during its three-year implementation period in a new video released today by the agency.

The video, available here, provides a summary of the rule’s framework, the changes that were made during the rulemaking process, and an overview of NCUA’s implementation plan. Credit unions can find additional materials, including an impact analysis and a risk-based capital estimator tool to determine how the rule will affect their operations, on the agency’s Risk-Based Capital resource page.

The rule applies to the 24 percent of federally insured credit unions with $100 million or more in assets.  The 76 percent of credit unions with less than $100 million in assets are exempt from the final rule. The final rule strengthens the safety and soundness of the credit union system by targeting a small number of high-risk ‘outlier’ credit unions that pose a potential risk of losses to the Share Insurance Fund.

NCUA’s Board approved the final risk-based capital rule at its October open Board meeting. The rule becomes effective Jan. 1, 2019, to coincide with the full phase-in of the risk-based capital rules of federal banking agencies.

October NCUA Board Video Now Available

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 10, 2015) – The video recording of the October 2015 open meeting of the National Credit Union Administration Board is now available on the agency’s website.
Archived videos of past Board meetings may be viewed here, and each video remains on the site for one year.

The October open Board meeting’s agenda consisted of four items:

  • A final rule to modernize the risk-based capital requirements for complex credit unions and better protect the credit union system, shield the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund from losses and fulfill NCUA’s statutory obligations;
  • A proposed rule to provide a measure of regulatory relief by giving federal credit unions more choices when investing in bank notes;
  • Revisions to the agency’s delegations of authority that will streamline the process for granting or amending community charters that involve a population of more than one million; and
  • A briefing by the Chief Financial Officer on the performance of the Share Insurance Fund, which had a net income of $40.9 million through the first three quarters of 2015.

NCUA posts these videos as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to provide transparency and to allow those unable to attend Board meetings the opportunity to become better informed. An interval between the meeting and posting is necessary for the videos to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for the hearing and visually impaired.

The Board Actions page of NCUA’s website has more information, including Board agendas, which are posted at least one week in advance of each open meeting, copies of Board Action Bulletins, which summarize the meetings, copies of Board memorandums and other documents.