Credit unions can expect more regulatory relief and streamlined operations from the National Credit Union Administration in the future, Acting Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters said recently.
McWatters described agency goals and steps NCUA has already taken to reduce burdens and better align regulation with the realities of 2017. NCUA, he said, has made changes to streamline the examination process, and staff is carefully studying the possibility of closing the Stabilization Fund this year. The agency is reviewing its operational structure and budget to find economies.
The over-arching goal, McWatters said, is to provide credit unions with an efficient regulatory structure that returns decision-making to the ground level while adhering to NCUA’s statutory duty to protect America’s 108 million credit union account holders.
McWatters covered a variety of credit union topics during his remarks to a crowd of more than 1,500 at the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions annual conference.
He noted the Treasury Department report on regulatory reform released Monday and said he was pleased the report’s recommendations regarding NCUA and the credit union system followed the direction the agency has set for itself. The plan released by Treasury was comprehensive, substantive, and practical and, with respect to its recommendations concerning credit union regulation, is consistent with the policies NCUA is advancing.
McWatters has said that, in particular, he wants the Board to revisit the risk-based capital and stress testing rules.
Closing the Stabilization Fund in 2017 remains a top priority, McWatters said. NCUA staff has been working on a plan that the agency’s Board expects to receive in the coming weeks. That closure would begin the process of returning surplus funds to federally-insured credit unions through a Share Insurance Fund dividend in 2018.
McWatters said the Board has already acted on items in his agenda, approving proposed rules to provide greater member communication in voluntary mergers and to improve the appeals process. He also wants to act in the areas of cyber security, combating fraud, and finding ways to help smaller and low-income credit unions thrive.