Keeping Tabs on MBL Rule Implementation: Onsite at CUBG
PORTLAND, Ore. – In a closing session at the 2017 CUBG Annual Conference Wednesday, NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger said the NCUA is taking an active role in helping credit unions adjust to the examination process under new member business lending rules.
The new MBL rules, which were intended to allow credit unions more flexibility and opportunity in the business lending space, also left many questions about how examiners will decide if certain business lending program practices are acceptable or unacceptable. Metsger said to allow credit unions and examiners more time to adjust to the new rules, the agency decided to roll out them out early – on Jan. 1 of this year – and has been soliciting feedback on the process from credit unions out in the field.
Metsger said for credit unions, the new rules require more judgement calls and due diligence in developing MBL programs, and for examiners, they mean a move from checking off boxes to making more interpretations.
“What we’ve learned is it’s important to be flexible and have more conversations with credit unions, because we’re learning this together,” he said. “We realize it’s new territory for a lot of folks and we want them to do well.”
He also noted why the new MBL rules are so important.
“With small businesses as the engine of this country, who better than credit unions to meet their needs,” he said. “Credit unions are the perfect partner for a lot of folks.”
Metsger, whose term is now expired, also reminded conference attendees of recent changes being made at the NCUA: A reduction in the number of regional offices, an investment in upgrading examiners’ skill sets so they can become more specialized, developing an online dashboard for charter applications to allow more transparency in the charter application review process, and closing the stabilization fund.
“We’ve been taking a hard look at how we operate over the last year,” he said. “The NCUA needs to mirror the changes that are taking place in the industry.”