Registration Now Open for NCUA Consumer Financial Protection Webinar

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 30, 2019) – Credit unions can get valuable information about a range of consumer protection topics on a Nov. 19 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.

Registration for the webinar, “Fair Lending and Consumer Compliance Regulatory Update,” is now open. The webinar is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern and run approximately 90 minutes. Participants will be able to log into the webinar and view it on their computers or mobile devices using the registration link. They should allow pop-ups from this website.

Staff from the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection will cover several subjects, including:

Participants can submit questions over Twitter anytime during the presentation and in advance by emailing [email protected]. The email’s subject line should read, “Fair Lending and Consumer Compliance Regulator Update.” Please email technical questions about accessing the webinar to [email protected].

This webinar will be closed captioned and archived online approximately three weeks following the live event.

NCUA’s Hood: Credit Unions’ “Core Value” Guides NCUA’s Decisions

Chairman Speaks to California and Nevada Leagues’ REACH Conference

MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration is guided by the core value of “people helping people” when it makes decisions, Chairman Rodney E. Hood said yesterday.

“It’s a guiding value for people who work in the credit union industry,” Chairman Hood said. “In my role as regulator, I keep the focus on that core value statement, because it can guide our decision-making at the federal level.”

Chairman Hood spoke to California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH conference.

“The question I ask is,” Chairman Hood said, “what can we do in Washington to help you serve your members better, improve your product lines, make a difference in the lives of your people and your communities?”

Progress to Report

The Chairman described several actions the agency has taken to fulfill that purpose. Among those, the NCUA:

  • Gave credit unions greater flexibility in liquidity management by increasing the limit on public unit and non-member shares;
  • Increased the threshold on appraisal requirements for commercial property from $250,000 to $1 million;
  • Issued interim guidance on doing business with the legal hemp industry, the first federal financial regulator to do so;
  • Proposed to delay the risk-based capital rule for two years;
  • Adopted the Payday Alternative Loans II rule, a free-market solution that responds to market needs; and
  • Encouraged expanded employment opportunities for people convicted of minor crimes who have paid their debt to society and seek a new path forward.

“I want you to consider those efforts as a down payment,” Chairman Hood said. “We want this industry to be successful at steering through those changes so you can create more opportunity for your members and for your institutions, while also ensuring the safety and soundness of this industry in the future.”

“I want to emphasize that, with all the things we’re doing, we’re looking to give credit unions the tools they need to serve their members better,” Chairman Hood said. “We want you to have more flexibility to innovate, to create financial products that respond to your members’ needs, and to continue providing the highest levels of service to your communities.”

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

Chairman Hood discussed issues he sees in the near future, and he paid particular attention to financial inclusion, noting the agency’s planned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit.

“Diversity and inclusion in the credit union industry remains one of our top priorities,” he said. “I truly believe that financial inclusion is the civil rights issue of our time. Given the profound demographic changes and social challenges we’re seeing in America, those principles are only going to grow in importance.

“Whether it’s the challenges faced by African-American, Latino, or Native American working families; the access challenges that military veterans or disabled Americans experience; or the lack of access to capital that’s putting stress on communities in rural America; we need to do a better job of meeting those needs,” he said.

Chairman Hood said that, in addition to supervision, his role as regulator is to help credit unions do more to serve members and reach the underserved.

“Let’s always keep the focus on people helping people by fostering greater financial inclusion, accessibility, and opportunity for all Americans. If we do that together, we can make a real difference in people’s lives.”

NCUA Posts 2020–2021 Proposed Budget, Sets Nov. 20 Public Briefing

Agency Now Accepting Comments and Budget Briefing Presentation Requests

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 29, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration’s proposed 2020–2021 budget is now available for review and comment.

“Careful stewardship of the resources credit unions make available to us includes being transparent and accountable,” NCUA Board Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “We strive to make credit union stakeholders aware of how and why we allocate those resources and that they are in the service of our mission to provide, through effective, not excessive, regulation, a safe-and-sound system of cooperative credit. Final budget decisions remain with the Board, and we want those decisions to be informed by public comments. We hope stakeholders review this information and offer specific suggestions on our proposed budget.”

The proposed 2020 operating budget is $316.2 million and includes an increase of three positions from the authorized 2019 staffing levels. The proposed budget summary and detailed budget justification are available on the Budget and Supplementary Materials page of NCUA.gov. The agency will also publish the proposal in the Federal Register. The public comment period is open until Dec. 2.

The agency will hold a public budget briefing on Nov. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern, at its Central Office in Alexandria, Va. The briefing will be livestreamed on NCUA.gov. Attendees will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern. An overflow room will be available.

To Comment on the Proposed Budget:

To Request a Presentation at the Nov. 20 Budget Briefing:

  • Email your request to [email protected] by Nov. 12.
  • Include the presenter’s name, title, affiliation, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.
  • The Board Secretary will notify approved presenters and give them their allotted presentation times.
  • Email a copy of your presentation to [email protected] by 5 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 18.

The Board is scheduled to approve a final budget at its Dec. 12 open meeting.

Financial Services Industry a Prime Target for Cyberattacks

Board Action Bulletin

NCUA Developing Multi-Year Plan to Combat Cyberthreats

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 24, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration Board held its ninth open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters today and unanimously approved two items:

  • A proposed rule amending the agency’s chartering and field-of-membership regulations in accordance with an August 2019 appellate court decision.
  • A final rule allowing federally insured credit unions to accept a greater amount of public unit and nonmember shares.

The Office of Examination and Insurance and the special advisor to the Chairman for cybersecurity briefed the Board on cybersecurity challenges and opportunities.

NCUA Planning Major Training and Information Effort on Cybersecurity

The financial services industry, including credit unions, is a major target for hackers, thieves, and other threats, and the NCUA is developing a long-term plan to provide training and information to better prepare the agency and credit unions to meet those threats.

NCUA’s Office of Examination and Insurance and Chairman Rodney E. Hood’s special advisor on cybersecurity presented the Board with a briefing on cybersecurity issues.

“Nearly every day, we see the growing sophistication of hackers, thieves, and terrorists,” Chairman Hood said. “We need to bring fresh thinking to our regulatory approach; it is essential we strike a balance between innovation and security. We at the NCUA are determined to be a leader in identifying and responding to cyberthreats. Credit unions are on the front line against any cybersecurity incident. Protecting the credit union system’s IT infrastructure requires a public-private partnership, and we want to work together with you to make sure that your credit unions and your members are protected.”

The NCUA has initiated a new examination program for cybersecurity, which is being continually enhanced. In developing their own cybersecurity plans, credit unions should pay particular attention to maintaining strong security controls and be prepared to respond to cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity has been an agency supervisory priority for many years, with a current emphasis on four areas:

  • Advancing consistency, transparency and accountability within the cybersecurity examination program;
  • Encouraging due diligence for supply chain and third-party service provider management at credit unions;
  • Assisting institutions with resources to improve operational hygiene and resilience; and
  • Ensuring NCUA’s systems and collected, controlled, unclassified information are secure.

The NCUA maintains a cybersecurity resources webpage to provide credit unions with important information, including regulations and guidance, about protecting themselves and their members from cyberthreats.

Proposed Rule Would Implement Appeals Court Field-of-Membership Decision

Credit unions seeking a federal charter or a charter change would benefit from a proposed rule the Board approved that amends the agency’s field-of-membership regulations.

These changes would implement an August 2019 opinion issued by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. The proposed rule would provide greater access to financial services and more consumer choice.

Credit unions applying for a federal charter or charter change would be allowed to designate a combined statistical area or an individual contiguous portion of such an area, as a well-defined local community, provided the chosen area has a population of 2.5 million or less.

The proposed rule also provides further explanation and support for the agency’s decision to eliminate the requirement in its 2016 final rule that a field-of-membership serve a core-based statistical area.

Finally, the proposed rule would clarify existing requirements in the agency’s field-of-membership regulations and add an explicit provision to address concerns about potential discrimination in the field-of-membership selection process in combined statistical areas and core-based statistical areas.

Comments on the proposed rule must be received within 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Final Rule Allows Higher Public Unit and Nonmember Shares

Federally insured credit unions, especially smaller credit unions, will have greater flexibility in managing liquidity under a final rule approved by the Board.

The final rule, part of the agency’s regulatory reform agenda, will become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.

A federally insured credit union will be able to accept public unit and nonmember shares in an amount up to 50 percent of the credit union’s net amount of paid-in and unimpaired capital and surplus, less any public unit or nonmember shares, or $3 million, whichever is greater.

A federally insured credit union will be required to develop, maintain, and make available for examination a specific use plan if its public unit and nonmember shares, combined with its borrowings, exceeds 70 percent of paid-in and unimpaired capital and surplus.

The NCUA tweets all open Board meetings live. Follow @TheNCUA on Twitter, and access Board Action Memorandums and NCUA rule changes at www.ncua.gov. The NCUA also live streams, archives and posts videos of open Board meetings online.

IRS urges families, teens to make online safety a priority

Agency focuses on cybersecurity awareness during National Work and Family Month

IR-2019-175, October 22, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today urged families and teens to stay vigilant in protecting personal information while connected to the internet. Although the IRS is making huge strides in fighting identity theft and thwarting fraudulent tax returns, help is needed.

During National Work and Family Month, IRS is asking parents and families to be mindful of all the pitfalls that can be found by sharing devices at home, shopping online and through navigating various social media platforms. Often, those who are less experienced can put themselves and others at risk by leaving an unnecessary trail of personal information for fraudsters.

The IRS has joined with representatives of the software industry, tax preparation firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators to combat identity theft refund fraud to protect the nation’s taxpayers. This group, the Security Summit, has found methods to help reduce fraudulent tax returns entering tax processing systems.

Staying safe online

Here are a few common-sense suggestions that can make a difference for children, teens and those who are less experienced:

  • Remind them why security is important. People of all ages should not reveal too much information about themselves. Keeping data secure and only providing what is necessary minimizes online exposure to scammers and criminals. Birthdates, addresses, age and especially Social Security numbers are among things that should not be shared freely.
  • Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update. Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on computers. Use strong, unique passwords for each account. Be sure all family members have comprehensive protection especially if devices are being shared.
  • Teach them to recognize and avoid scams. Phishing emails, threatening phone calls and texts from thieves posing as IRS or from legitimate organizations pose risks. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
  • Protect personal data. Don’t routinely carry a Social Security card. Keep it at home. Be sure any financial records are secure. Advise children and teens to shop at reputable online retailers. Treat personal information like cash; don’t leave it lying around.
  • Teach them about public Wi-Fi networks. Connection to Wi-Fi in a mall or coffee shop is convenient but it may not be safe. Hackers and cybercriminals can easily intercept personal information. Always use a virtual private network when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

The IRS does not use text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts page on IRS.gov. Additional information about tax scams is also available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos. Also see Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers (PDF).

NCUA Board Sets 2020 Meeting Schedule

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 18, 2019) – The National Credit Union Administration Board today released its monthly meeting schedule for 2020. Open Board meetings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern on the following dates:

  • January 23
  • February 20
  • March 19
  • April 16
  • May 21
  • June 25
  • July 16
  • September 17
  • October 15
  • November 19
  • December 10

No meeting is scheduled for August. The meeting schedule is subject to change.

The Board meeting calendar is available on the agency’s Board Meetings, Agendas, and Results webpage. Board meeting agendas are posted on that page one week in advance of each meeting. Copies of Board memorandums and other documents related to the items under consideration at each meeting also are available on that page at the start of the meeting.

The NCUA’s Board holds open meetings at the agency’s central office located at 1775 Duke St., Alexandria, Virginia, and offers a livestream available through the NCUA.gov website.

NCUA Chairman: International Credit Union Day Celebrates People Helping People Around the World

Service and Security are Fundamental Responsibilities, Hood Said

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 17, 2019) – The 71st annual International Credit Union Day is a reminder of the responsibilities of serving and protecting members, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney E. Hood said today.

“This is a day when we mark our progress and plan for the future,” Hood said. “Credit unions, founded on the principle of ‘people helping people,’ strive to provide affordable financial services. The NCUA works to give credit unions the necessary flexibility to do their jobs, within the bounds of safety and soundness. And both the agency and the institutions we regulate must remain mindful of the importance of protecting members by providing financial literacy tools and by maintaining a strong defense against cyber threats.”

International Credit Union Day celebrates the spirit and the accomplishments of the global credit union movement.

“The cooperative credit system relies on the trust of our members, and by earning that trust every day, we help them build more secure financial futures for themselves and their families,” Hood said.

Federal Financial Regulatory Agencies Seek Comment on Proposed Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses and Proposed Interagency Guidance on Credit Risk Review Systems

Four federal financial regulatory agencies today requested comment on a proposed Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses. This proposed policy statement is intended to promote consistency in the interpretation and application of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) credit losses accounting standard, which introduces the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology.

The proposed interagency policy statement describes the measurement of expected credit losses using the CECL methodology and updates concepts and practices detailed in existing supervisory guidance that remain applicable. CECL is effective for most public financial institutions beginning in 2020, and the FASB recently decided to defer the effective date of CECL for all other institutions to 2023. The proposed interagency policy statement would be effective at the time of each institution’s adoption of the credit losses accounting standard.

The agencies also are requesting comment on the proposed Interagency Guidance on Credit Risk Review Systems. The guidance presents principles for establishing a system of independent, ongoing credit risk review in accordance with safety and soundness standards.

The proposals were issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Comments on each proposal will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Attachments:
Proposed Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses
Proposed Interagency Guidance on Credit Risk Review Systems

Agency Contact Phone
Federal Reserve Board Darren Gersh 202.452.2955
FDIC Julianne Fisher Breitbeil 202.898.6895
NCUA John Fairbanks 703.518.6336
OCC Stephanie Collins 202.649.6870

Chairman Hood: CFPB Final HMDA Rule “Positive News for Credit Unions”

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 11, 2019) – National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney E. Hood today welcomed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule providing regulatory relief to smaller financial institutions under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

“This is positive news for small credit unions,” Hood said. “Regulators need to stay mindful of the reporting burdens we place on smaller institutions, and we should always work to tailor rules appropriately. This will allow small credit unions to focus resources on serving their member-owners, not burdensome government regulations.”

The Bureau’s final rule extends until Jan. 1, 2022, the current temporary coverage threshold of 500 open-ended lines of credit. Financial institutions that originate fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in 2020 and 2021 will not need to collect and report data on those.

“Laying a Strong Foundation for the Future”

NCUA Chairman Hood Marks Six Months at Agency’s Helm

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 8, 2019) – National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney E. Hood today released a six-month progress report on his efforts since he took office.

“We are laying a strong foundation for the future of the credit union system,” Hood said. “I also believe it is important that credit union stakeholders can track NCUA’s progress.”

The progress report summarizes the NCUA’s recent initiatives that continue the agency’s regulatory reform agenda, as well as collaboration efforts and stakeholder engagement.

“Since I was sworn in six months ago, regulatory reform has been among my top priorities,” Hood said. “We all agree that clear rules create confidence, fairness, and accountability. We need well-crafted regulations to ensure the safety and soundness of the credit union system. That’s why I want to see a regulatory system that is effective, but not excessive. We are making progress towards that goal.”