NCUA Director of Public and Congressional Affairs John McKechnie said the regulator is sensitive to how NCUSIF deposit premiums and special assessments could "exacerbate adverse trends" for credit unions, and said the board has flexibility when it comes to maintaining an equity ratio of 1.3%.
The agency is practicing that flexibility this month; April's 1% deposit billing will only bring the share insurance fund's equity back to 1.26%.
While NAFCU President Fred Becker agreed the NCUA does carefully consider the impact assessments will have on federally insured credit unions, he's asking Matz and her team to aim seven basis points lower, between 1% and 1.2%.
According to a provision in the stabilization act, Becker said an equity ratio below 1.2% would allow the NCUA to extend payments on assessments eight years or beyond, with U.S. Treasury approval.
The average weighted ROA for all federally chartered credit unions is only 0.24%, he said, and if NCUA's fall corporate stabilization and NCUSIF assessment charge is the 0.40% high estimate it announced last October, the result would be negative ROA system-wide.
"So, when it comes to the insurance fund, why not thread the needle between 1% and 1.2%," he said.