Credit unions located in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy are receiving phone calls and emails from their examiners Tuesday as part of the NCUA’s disaster relief response, the agency said in a release.
But rather than talk financials, examiners are surveying operational status, asking if credit unions have had to curtail hours, services or locations. The federal examiners are also offering advice, material and technical assistance as needed.
Further, the NCUA said it is working closely with state regulators and state league organizations so all credit unions know about available assistance.
“Hurricane Sandy is a forceful storm that requires a forceful response,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “NCUA is already reaching out to storm-affected credit unions to determine their needs and opening the agency’s toll-free hotline to answer consumer questions related to their financial services options after Hurricane Sandy.”
Under the agency’s disaster relief policy, NCUA will, where necessary:
- Encourage credit unions to make prudent loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members. Credit unions may extend terms or restructure debt for existing loans, and ease credit terms for new loans.
- Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions, if necessary.
- Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the NCUSIF.
- Make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.
Federal credit unions may also provide assistance to other credit unions, their members, and non-members in the affected areas, under certain conditions:
Emergency financial services for non-members, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals in the areas affected, can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities. However, federal credit unions providing services on this charitable basis may not impose charges that exceed their direct costs.
- A federal credit union may provide services to other credit unions that it is authorized to perform for its own members or as part of its operations. Because this activity is part of a federal credit union’s incidental powers, the service providing credit unions may charge for the services, the agency said.
The NCUA added that credit unions needing assistance to serve members affected by the disaster should contact their primary supervisory official.
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