WASHINGTON -- Credit unions should aim to serve 100 million members by 2015 but should grow cautiously and with attention to safety and soundness, NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz told attendees at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference.
She said that given the challenges facing the economy in general and credit unions in particular her agency would continue to be vigilant in making sure that credit unions practice due diligence when dealing with outside vendors and make sound decisions about which loans to keep on their books. Matz said the agency "isn't overreacting," in light of the dramatic increase in the number of credit unions with CAMEL 3 ratings or higher.
Matz said that once safety and soundness concerns are dealt with, credit unions can focus on growing because "there is no reason for credit unions to remain America's best kept financial secret."
She said there are four areas that can drive the growth of credit unions: Online services, which can reduce expenses and appeal to more technologically savvy consumers. She said her agency will host a Webinar on best practices in this area later this year. Short-term loans that provide more alternatives to pay day lending. The agency will issue draft rules on this subject later this year. Expanded member business lending; and alternative capital, which will decrease pressure on credit union capital ratios.