WASHINGTON — NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz shared her efforts to update and modernize the regulator Monday during her general session address at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference.
“Some risks are always there. Others arise with new realities. But either way, being the best of a time that’s passed is not good enough,” she said.
Matz said the NCUA has evolved in two primary areas: people and policies. Since 2009, 75% of the NCUA’s offices have new directors, she said, and 40% of the regulator’s examiners have been on the job less than five yea
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The chairman also touted the agency’s recent regulatory modernization initiatives, including a reallocation of exam resources that streamline exams for small credit unions while focusing on larger credit unions that, by nature of their asset size, could create larger losses for the share insurance fund in the event of a failure.
The NCUA has also responded to today’s environment by expanding the range of video tellers, allowing larger fleets for member business loans, and extending permissible maturities for loan modifications, Matz said.
And, she said, when the NCUA made public portions of its National Supervision Policy Manual, it became the only financial services regulator to release an internal operations document.
“That’s real transparency,” she said.
Matz said she also advocated for a proposed rule, currently under development by NCUA staff, to allow credit unions to use derivatives to hedge against interest rate risk.
“As you know, derivatives can be extremely complex, and many can be very risky. So it would be easy for us to ‘just say no’,” she said. “Instead, I told my staff, ‘NCUA cannot hold credit unions back’. We cannot say no to an activity or product like derivatives simply because we have not permitted it in the past.”