ROCHESTER, N.Y.-After touring four local credit unions, NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson discussed regulatory issues with Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse credit union officials during a recent trip to Rochester, N.Y. “Since my first day on the job, my top priority remains to ensure the safety and soundness of credit unions,” Johnson said. “While all credit unions face a challenging and dynamic environment, the very smallest credit unions have unique challenges that we need to provide special attention,” she said, emphasizing NCUA’s specialized small credit union programs. Johnson also discussed her working group’s efforts in the member business lending arena to enhance federally-insured credit unions’ lending programs. “The only instructions I gave my working group were to ensure the integrity of safety and soundness and to consider options only within current statutory limitations,” she explained. The vice chair added that she hopes to have a rule out by the March board meeting. NCUA’s field of membership proposal also came up in discussions, about which Johnson said, “It provides federal credit unions with responsible growth opportunities and focuses on extending access to more Americans who need the low-cost financial services that credit unions provide.” She encouraged comment on the proposed regulation, which is due by Feb. 3.

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