ALEXANDRIA, Va.—When it comes to a 2014 corporate assessment, NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger said he doesn’t yet have a position on an estimated range, which the regulator has traditionally revealed in November.
However, while Metsger said he wants to keep any future assessments as low as possible, reducing the outstanding $4 billion owed to the U.S. Treasury line is in the best interest of the industry.
“The debt to Treasury is a known, and I think it’s important to deal with known deficits as opposed to the unknown,” Metsger said Tuesday in an interview at NCUA headquarters.
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He was referring to unknown factors that could impact the cost of corporate stabilization, such as corporate legacy asset performance and rising interest rates.
Metsger also said liquidity risk is a factor.
“We’re telling credit unions to manage liquidity risk; meanwhile, our liquidity has shrunk,” he said.
The NCUA’s newest board member said he’s positive the NCUA’s lawsuits against investment banks could yield more settlements, which would reduce future assessments. The regulator has sued several banks that sold non-performing investments to corporate credit unions; losses on those investments caused the collapse of five corporates and triggered the corporate stabilization effort and resulting annual assessment.
“From what I’ve been briefed on, I think our cases are very good,” he said.
Metsger said major banks and regulators, including the NCUA, continue to negotiate possible settlements.
“Our responsibility is to maximize those recoveries for our member institutions. How much that will be and where it will come from, we still don’t know. The legal process is what it is,” he said.
Settlements totaling $335 million already have been reached with Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities and HSBC.