NCUA Chairman Testifies Before Senate Banking Committee

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The nation’s banking regulators testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Aug. 3 in a hearing to provide their semi-annual reports. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Todd Harper joined the other regulators to take on an extensive list of issues.

There was no major announcement or policy action, although Chairman Harper advocated his prior positions which include expanding exam authority to third-party vendors, allowing the NCUA to assess greater premiums and making the borrowing authority for the Central Liquidity Facility permanent. Some great points were made about access to serving low-income and rural communities, as well as a significant focus on Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit unions. Chairman Harper noted that over the last year, $3.7 million was issued to 162 credit unions from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and he was seeking $10 million for this year’s line item. The House has currently allocated $4 million in this year’s budget on which the Senate has yet to act. There was also a hefty discussion on the Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program, and the need for supplemental capital funds.

Chairman Harper also directed his attention to supervisory guidance, stating that examiners were instructed to avoid penalizing credit unions that were aiding distressed borrowers caused solely due to the pandemic. Lastly, the committee directed back to last week’s hearing regarding extending the Military Lending Act’s 36% all-in usury rate to all consumers. The bulk of the discussion centered around the NCUA’s Payday Alternative Loans programs. Click here to view the hearing.

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