Onsite Coverage: NCUA Proposes to Expand Reg Flex
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — All federal credit unions, not just well-capitalized ones, would be eligible to participate in the Regulatory Flexibility program, according to a proposed rule that the NCUA sent out for a 60-day comment period on Thursday.
The proposal includes the right of all FCUs to: Make charitable contributions outside their field of membership; accept up to 20% of their total shares or $3 million (whichever is higher) in non-member deposits; take up to six years to partially occupy unimproved property they have purchased; and purchase zero-coupon investments with maturity dates up to 10 years, with the provision that CAMEL 1 and 2 institutions can purchase those investments with maturity dates up to 30 years.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said the proposed rule, a response to President Obama’s executive order urging independent agencies to find ways to reduce the regulatory burden facing businesses, would “reduce the number of hoops credit unions have to jump through.’’
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker praised the move but said his association would push for more areas where the agency can streamline regulation.
“NAFCU appreciates NCUA’s decision to make the RegFlex standard for all credit unions,” Becker said in a statement. “We will continue to look for areas of NCUA’s rules that can be eliminated and streamlined. For instance, we remain concerned about the waiver process that is now necessitated for credit union fixed assets and the personal guarantee for member business loans.”
The board also issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to request public comment on whether to issue a regulation mandating that federally insured credit unions have access to backup federal liquidity sources for use in a financial emergency.
The agency is considering requiring those institutions to show their access by one of these ways: Membership in the Central Liquidity Facility directly or through a corporate credit union; obtaining and maintaining access to the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window; or maintaining a percentage of their assets in liquid Treasury securities.
The board also approved a series of technical corrections to its regulations regarding corporate credit unions, including revising the definition of net assets to exclude subscriptions in the Central Liquidity Facility.