NCUA Charters Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union

Credit Union Will Offer Affordable Financial Services to Farm and Food Production Community

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 23, 2019) – The state of Maine has a new credit union, Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Unity.

The National Credit Union Administration on August 14 granted a federal charter and Share Insurance Fund coverage to Maine Harvest, which will serve the employees and approximately 13,000 members of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Maine Farmland Trust.

“How appropriate that this credit union is located in a town named Unity,” NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “Credit unions are organized through, and operate on, the principle of people working together to support one another. I want to thank the organizers of Maine Harvest for their hard work to bring their dream to reality and congratulate them on their charter.”

Maine Harvest was chartered to make affordable member business loans to small farms, farmers, and other food producers within its field of membership. Loan funds will be available through mission-based deposits. During its first year of operations, Maine Harvest will offer its membership:

  • Agricultural real estate loans
  • Agricultural-related equipment loans
  • Regular shares
  • Share certificates
  • Home and mobile banking
  • Wire transfers
  • Cashier checks
  • Shared branching
  • Debit ATM cards
  • E-statements and online applications

Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union expects to begin operations this fall.

NCUA Urges Credit Unions to Prepare for Tropical Storm Dorian

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 27, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration is advising credit unions in the path of Tropical Storm Dorian to take precautions as the storm enters the eastern Caribbean.

“Credit unions in Dorian’s path should to take measures to protect their staff and secure their operations,” NCUA Board Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “The NCUA will be closely monitoring the storm’s progress, and we will be ready to assist credit unions with maintaining or restoring operations, if necessary. Credit unions and members can find information on staying safe from several online resources, and we encourage everyone to be alert for official announcements and media reports as the storm draws near.”

Dorian’s current projected path could take it across Puerto Rico by Wednesday, and the storm could reach Florida by this coming weekend.

The NCUA maintains a hurricane and disaster information page on its website as well as on the MyCreditUnion.gov consumer information page. The National Hurricane Center has regular updates on the storm as it approaches landfall, and the Department of Homeland Security has an information page on being prepared for hurricanes.

Credit union members with questions may contact the NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center at 800.755.1030 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern. The NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion can provide urgent needs grants of up to $7,500 to low-income credit unions that experience sudden costs to restore operations interrupted by the storm.

FFIEC Encourages Standardized Approach to Assessing Cybersecurity Preparedness

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members today emphasized the benefits of using a standardized approach to assess and improve cybersecurity preparedness. 

The members note that firms adopting a standardized approach are better able to track their progress over time, and share information and best practices with other financial institutions and with regulators.   

Institutions may choose from a variety of standardized tools aligned with industry standards and best practices to assess their cybersecurity preparedness.  These tools include the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Profile, and the Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls. 

FFIEC members welcome collaborative approaches to advance and support cyber preparedness and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the supervisory process.  While the FFIEC does not endorse any particular tool, these standardized tools support institutions in their self-assessment activities.  The tools are not examination programs and the FFIEC members take a risk-focused approach to examinations.  As cyber risk evolves, examiners may address areas not covered by all tools.

Williams Chosen as Confidential Assistant to NCUA Chairman Hood

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 28, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration today announced the selection of Hallie Williams as confidential assistant to NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood.

Williams began her duties August 26.

“I’m pleased to welcome Hallie to NCUA, and I look forward to the contributions she will make to the management team,” Hood said.

Prior to joining NCUA, Williams worked in several capacities, including executive assistant and scheduler, to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in his Washington, D.C., office.  While working for Senator Corker, Hallie was on the Senator’s leadership team.

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee.

FFIEC Announces Availability of 2018 Data on Mortgage Lending

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today announced the availability of data on mortgage lending transactions at 5,683 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Covered institutions include banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies. Released today are loan-level HMDA data covering 2018 lending activity that were submitted on or before August 7, 2019.

The data include a total of 48 data points providing information about the applicants, the property securing the loan or proposed to secure the loan in the case of non-originated applications, the transaction, and identifiers. Many of the data points are available for the first time in the 2018 HMDA data. A complete list of HMDA data points and the associated data fields is found in Appendix A of the FFIEC’s Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA Data Collected in 2018.1 Certain smaller-volume financial institutions are not required to report all of these data, pursuant to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA).2

The HMDA loan-level data available to the public will be updated, on an ongoing basis, to reflect late submissions and resubmissions. Accordingly, loan-level data downloaded from https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/ at a later date will include any such updated data. An August 7, 2019 static dataset used to develop the observations in this statement about the 2018 HMDA data is available here https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/. In addition, beginning in late March 2019, Loan/Application Registers (LARs) for each HMDA filer of 2018 data, modified to protect borrower privacy, became available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/.

Understanding the Data

The 2018 HMDA data use the census tract delineations, population, and housing characteristic data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey (ACS). In addition, the data reflect metropolitan statistical area (MSA) definitions released by the Office of Management and Budget in 2017 that became effective for HMDA purposes in 2018.

Caution should be used when comparing HMDA data across multiple years due to changes in HMDA definitions, values, and thresholds. Also, caution is required for certain geographic areas due to the changes in MSA and census tract boundaries and updates to the population and housing characteristics of census tracts, especially those that follow the decennial census and five-year updates based on the ACS data.

The HMDA data are the most comprehensive publicly available information on mortgage market activity. Among other uses, the data help the public assess how financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their local communities and facilitate federal financial regulators’ fair lending, consumer compliance, and Community Reinvestment Act examinations. For example, when these regulators evaluate an institution’s fair lending risk, they analyze HMDA data in conjunction with other information and risk factors, in accordance with the Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures available at https://www.ffiec.gov/PDF/fairlend.pdf.

HMDA data alone cannot be used to determine whether a lender is complying with fair lending laws. The data do not include some legitimate credit risk considerations for loan approval and loan pricing decisions. Therefore, when regulators conduct fair lending examinations, they analyze additional information before reaching a determination about an institution’s compliance with fair lending laws.

Observations from the 2018 Data3

For 2018, the number of reporting institutions declined by about 2.9 percent from the previous year to 5,683. The 2018 data include information on 12.9 million home loan applications. Among them, 10.3 million were closed-end, 2.3 million were open-end, and, for another 378,000 records, pursuant to the EGRRCPA’s partial exemptions, financial institutions did not indicate whether the records were closed-end or open-end. A total of 7.7 million applications resulted in loan originations. Among them, 6.3 million were closed-end mortgage originations, 1.1 million were open-end line of credit originations, and, pursuant to the EGRRCPA’s partial exemptions, 283,000 were originations for which financial institutions did not indicate whether they were closed-end or open-end. The 2018 data include 2.0 million purchased loans, for a total of 15.1 million records. The data also include information on approximately 177,000 requests for preapprovals for home purchase loans.4

The total number of originated loans decreased by about 924,000 between 2017 and 2018, or 12.6 percent. Refinance originations decreased by 23.1 percent from 2.5 million, and home purchase lending increased by 0.3 percent from 4.3 million.

A total of 2,251 reporters made use of the EGRRCPA’s partial exemptions for at least one of the 26 data points eligible for the exemptions. In all, they account for about 425,000 records and 298,000 originations.

From 2017 to 2018, the share of home purchase loans for first lien, 1-4 family, site-built, owner-occupied properties (1-4 family, owner-occupied properties) made to low- and moderate-income borrowers (those with income of less than 80 percent of area median income) rose slightly from 26.3 percent to 28.1 percent, and the share of refinance loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers for 1-4 family, owner-occupied properties increased from 22.9 percent to 30.0 percent.5

In terms of borrower race and ethnicity, the share of home purchase loans for 1-4 family, owner-occupied properties made to Black borrowers rose from 6.4 percent in 2017 to 6.7 percent in 2018, the share made to Hispanic-White borrowers increased slightly from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent, and those made to Asian borrowers rose from 5.8 percent to 5.9 percent. From 2017 to 2018, the share of refinance loans for 1-4 family, owner-occupied properties made to Black borrowers increased from 5.9 percent to 6.2 percent, the share made to Hispanic-White borrowers remained unchanged at 6.8 percent, and the share made to Asian borrowers fell from 4.0 percent to 3.7 percent.

In 2018, Black and Hispanic-White applicants experienced higher denial rates for 1-4 family, owner-occupied conventional home purchase loans than non-Hispanic-White applicants. The denial rate for Asian applicants is more comparable to the denial rate for non-Hispanic-White applicants. These relationships are similar to those found in earlier years and, due to the limitations of the HMDA data mentioned above, cannot take into account all legitimate credit risk considerations for loan approval and loan pricing.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured share of first-lien home purchase loans for 1-4 family, owner-occupied properties declined from 22.0 percent in 2017 to 19.3 percent in 2018. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-guaranteed share of such loans remained at approximately 10 percent in 2018. The overall government-backed share of such purchase loans, including FHA, VA, Rural Housing Service, and Farm Service Agency loans, was 32.0 percent in 2018, down slightly from 35.4 percent in 2017.

The FHA-insured share of refinance mortgages for 1-4 family, owner-occupied properties decreased slightly to 12.8 percent in 2018 from 13.0 percent in 2017, while the VA-guaranteed share of such refinance loans decreased from 11.3 percent in 2017 to 10.2 percent in 2018.

The share of mortgages originated by nondepository, independent mortgage companies has increased in recent years. In 2018, this group of lenders accounted for 57.2 percent of 1-4 family, owner-occupied home-purchase loans, up from 56.1 percent in 2017. Independent mortgage companies also originated 56.1 percent of 1-4 family, owner-occupied refinance loans, an increase from 55.8 percent in 2017.

The HMDA data also identify loans that are covered by the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). Under HOEPA, certain types of mortgage loans that have interest rates or total points and fees above specified levels are subject to certain requirements, such as additional disclosures to consumers, and also are subject to various restrictions on loan terms. For 2018, 6,681 loan originations covered by HOEPA were reported: 3,654 home purchase loans for 1-4 family properties; 448 home improvement loans for 1-4 family properties; and 2,579 refinance loans for 1-4 family properties.

The 2018 HMDA data contains a variety of information reported for the first time. For example, the data indicated that approximately 424,000 applications were for commercial purpose loans and approximately 57,000 applications were for reverse mortgages.

In addition, among the 12.9 million applications reported, 1.3 million included at least one disaggregate racial or ethnic category. The two most commonly reported disaggregate groups were Mexican and Other Hispanic, which were reported by 3.0 percent and 1.5 percent of applicants, respectively. For approximately 6.3 percent of applications, race and ethnicity of the applicant were collected on the basis of visual observation or surname.6 The percentage was slightly higher for sex at 6.5 percent.

For the newly-reported age data point, the two most commonly reported age groups for applicants were 35-44 and 45-54, with 22.7 and 22.4 percent of total applications, respectively. Just under 3.0 percent of applicants were under 25 and just under 4.0 percent of applicants were over 74.

Credit score information was reported for 73.1 percent of all applications. Equifax Beacon 5.0, Experian Fair Isaac, and FICO Risk Score Classic 04 were the three most commonly reported credit scoring models at 22.8 percent, 18.8 percent and 18.2 percent of total applications, respectively. For originated loans, the median primary applicant scores for these three models were between 738 and 746. This compares to medians ranging from 682 to 686 for denied applications.

Combined loan-to-value ratio (CLTV) was reported for 74.3 percent of total applications. For originations of closed-end, conventional home purchase loans, the median CLTV was 80, with 46.2 percent of originations over 80.0. For originations of closed-end, FHA-insured home purchase loans, the median CLTV was 96.5, with 24.9 percent over 96.5.

Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) was reported for 75.3 percent of total applications. Approximately 45.1 percent of applications had DTIs between 36.0 percent and 50 percent, with 7.0 percent of applications with less than 20 percent, and 7.1 percent with greater than 60 percent.

The 2018 HMDA also contains additional pricing information. For example, the median total loan costs for originated closed-end loans was $3,949. For about 42.5 percent of originated closed-end loans, borrowers paid no discount points and received no lender credits. The median interest rate for these originated loans was 4.8 percent. The median interest rate for originated open-end lines of credit excluding reverse mortgages was 5.0 percent.

Additional HMDA Information

Financial institution disclosure statements, MSA and nationwide aggregate reports for 2018 HMDA data, and tools to search and analyze the HMDA data are available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/. More information about HMDA data reporting requirements is also available at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/.

Questions about HMDA supervision should be directed to the institution’s supervisory agency at the following phone numbers:

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: 877.275.3342; hearing impaired — 800.925.4618
  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, HMDA Assistance Line: 202.452.2016
  • National Credit Union Administration, Office of Consumer Financial Protection: 703.518.1140
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Compliance Risk Policy Division: 202.649.5470
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: 202.435.7000
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Housing: 202.708.0685
Agency Contact Phone
CFPB Marisol Garibay 202.435.7170
FDIC David Barr 202.898.6992
Federal Reserve Susan Stawick 202.452.2955
NCUA Ben Hardaway 703.518.6333
OCC William Grassano 202.649.6870

NCUA Issues Prohibition Notices and Order

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 30, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration issued five prohibition notices and one prohibition order in August. These six individuals are prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.

  • Karen S. Buxton, a former employee of ADM Credit Union in Decatur, Illinois, was sentenced on two counts of theft.
  • Christy R. Harrison, also known as Christy Wingate and Christy Hyde, a former employee of Altamaha Federal Credit Union in Jesup, Georgia, was sentenced on two counts of forgery.
  • Ginny A. Hughes, a former institution-affiliated party of Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union in Hampden, Maine, agreed and consented to the issuance of a prohibition order and agreed to comply with all of its terms to settle and resolve the NCUA Board’s claims against her.
  • Alan S. Kaufman, the former CEO and institution-affiliated party of Melrose Credit Union in Queens, New York, was charged with several crimes, including conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After determining that continued service or participation by Kaufman in a credit union’s operations may impair public confidence in federally insured credit unions, the NCUA Board issued a notice prohibiting Kaufman from further participation in the affairs of any credit union.
  • Kimberly Michelle Roberts, a former employee of My Healthcare Federal Credit Union in Gainesville, Florida, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of embezzlement.
  • Doretha Denise Steward, a former employee of Fayetteville Postal Credit Union in Fayetteville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement.

Prohibition and administrative orders are searchable by name, institution, city, state, and year at the NCUA’s Administrative Orders webpage. The webpage also provides links to the enforcement actions of federal banking agencies against other institutions or their affiliated parties.

You may view NCUA enforcement orders online or inspect them at the NCUA’s Office of General Counsel between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday. You also may order copies by mail from the NCUA at 1775 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.

Chairman Hood: NCUA Will Take Phased Approach to Implement FOM Rule

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 4, 2019) – National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney E. Hood issued the following detailed statement in response to the Aug. 20, 2019, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in American Bankers Association v. National Credit Union Administration:

“In response to the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, which largely upholds the NCUA’s field-of-membership rules, the NCUA will take a phased approach to implementing this decision. Such a phased approach is necessary because the D.C. Circuit’s ruling remains subject to requests for further review.

“With respect to credit unions serving rural districts, the NCUA Board will permit federal credit unions to submit applications seeking expanded rural districts serving geographic regions that encompass up to one million people and that meet the other requirements set forth in the agency’s field-of-membership rules. The NCUA will act on such applications at the appropriate time.

“The D.C. Circuit upheld the portion of NCUA’s 2016 rule, which allowed charters serving Combined Statistical Areas or a portion thereof, subject to a 2.5-million person limit. We will announce further guidance on this issue shortly.

“In the near future, the NCUA Board will consider a limited proposal that will address another issue raised by the D.C. Circuit regarding the definition of local community that includes portions of Core-Based Statistical Areas that do not include the urban core. The format of this proposal will be a notice of proposed rulemaking with public comment.”

NCUA Releases Q2 2019 Credit Union System Performance Data


NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At MyCreditUnion.gov, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.

“Protecting credit unions and the consumers who own them through effective regulation”

Harper: Learn from the Past; Focus on the Future

NCUA Board Member Discusses Risk, Innovation, Inclusion, and Consumer Financial Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 10, 2019) – Learning from the past but focusing on the future is essential to meeting a period of significant change with warning signs dotting the landscape, National Credit Union Administration Board Member Todd M. Harper said today.

Speaking to a Women in Housing and Finance Policy event today, Harper said America’s credit unions, the NCUA, and the financial system at large face a variety of risks as the financial and social environment undergoes rapid change. The text of his remarks is available online here.

“We need to be fair and forward-looking; innovative, inclusive, and independent; risk-focused and ready to act; and appropriately engaged with all stakeholders,” Harper said. “We need to have foresight for the year 2020, not just 20/20 hindsight. While it’s important to develop new rules and revise old ones based on lessons learned in the last crisis, it’s equally important to look ahead at risks coming over the horizon.”

Harper detailed his regulatory approach and areas of concern he sees ahead.

Safety, Soundness, Consumer Protection

“One of my priorities is to safeguard the safety and soundness of federally insured credit unions,” Harper said. “I am keenly focused on issues of capital and liquidity and on cybersecurity.

“The NCUA also has consumer financial protection responsibilities for credit unions with assets of less than $10 billion,” he said. “The credit union system has a mission to promote thrift and serve people of modest means. Consistent with the law, we need to work to increase uniformity in our consumer financial protection supervision.”

Emerging Risks

Harper listed several areas where change will be accompanied by risk, and he discussed his recommendations for meeting those changes and risks.

  • Liquidity—Liquidity is essential to surviving times of economic stress, and the NCUA requires credit unions have appropriate risk-management and access to liquidity in place.
  • Rising consumer debt—Consumer debt has reached a record $4 trillion, and credit unions need to carefully evaluate risks when making new loans and hedge risks appropriately.
  • Deficits and national debt—A large and growing national debt creates significant uncertainty.

Working together

The NCUA and all credit union system stakeholders have roles to play and responsibilities to protecting credit union members and the system overall, Harper said.

“By getting ahead of emerging risks and better protecting consumers, the NCUA will have 2020 foresight and not 20/20 hindsight,” he said. “I invite anyone interested in consumer financial protection to reach out to me and share their concerns and solutions. In doing so, we can build a stronger credit union system to better serve everyone in the future.”

NCUA’s Hood: “Working Together is Success”

Agency Chairman Speaks to NAFCU Congressional Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 10, 2019) – The success of the credit union system rests on credit unions and the National Credit Union Administration working together, NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood said today.

“The industrialist Henry Ford once observed that, ‘coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; and working together is success,’” Hood said. “Our challenge now should be to determine the best ways to keep the industry’s record of success going, so as to set us on the right course for the future.”

Chairman Hood spoke to National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ annual Congressional Caucus. The full text of his remarks is available online.

Chairman Hood gave a summary of his first five months at NCUA’s helm and mapped out a cooperative vision for the agency’s and the industry’s futures.

“I’d like to approach this from the perspective of what we’re doing, what you need to be doing, and what we should be doing together,” he said.

What NCUA is Doing

Chairman Hood described his goal of creating “a streamlined and modernized regulatory and supervisory system that encourages innovation, provides flexibility, and fulfills our primary mission of protecting safety and soundness.” To those ends he said, the NCUA has:

  • Increased the commercial property appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $1 million;
  • Proposed an increase to the limit on non-member deposits;
  • Issued interim guidance for credit unions wishing to serve the hemp industry; and
  • Proposed a two-year delay for implementing the risk-based capital rule to explore possible improvements.

The agency also is modernizing its examination system and Call Report.

Chairman Hood added that he plans to bring two proposed rules to the Board before the end of 2019. The first would allow subordinated debt to be counted as regulatory capital for a broader range of credit unions; the second would increase transparency in transactions where credit unions acquire assets of banks.

What Credit Unions Need to Do

Chairman Hood challenged credit unions to take advantage of the many opportunities that rapid technological changes are bringing to the financial sector while being mindful of security.

“We know these trends are going to change the way you engage with your members, the way you analyze lending risk, and the way you market and deliver your products and services,” he said. “We should not approach these challenges as things to be feared or avoided, but as opportunities to serve your members, your employees, and your communities.”

Other areas where credit unions should pay particular attention, he said, include:

  • Liquidity levels;
  • Interest rates, the yield curve, and risks associated with lending and investment;
  • Concentration risk; and
  • Compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering laws.

What NCUA and Credit Unions Can Do Together

Expanding access to financial services, Hood said, should be a top priority for the credit union system, and he noted the recent federal court decision in the agency’s field-of-membership litigation with the American Bankers Association will help credit unions reach more people, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

“We know that, in many parts of our nation, it has gotten harder for people to get the financial services they need,” he said. “We need fresh thinking on how to address the needs of those communities.”

That kind of cooperative effort, Hood concluded, is the basis of the credit union idea.

“This industry’s future success lies with staying true to the values the credit union system was founded upon,” Hood said, “the commitment to people helping people by fostering greater financial inclusion, accessibility, and opportunity for all Americans.”