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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The NCUA Board’s February meeting could be likened to the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. Maybe not quite a minute, but the 25-minute meeting is probably a near record for the agency, which only had two items on its agenda. The NCUA Board unanimously approved a proposal to issue a proposed rule on adding swap agreements to the definition of `qualified financial contracts’ for a 30-day comment period. “Generally, treatment of swaps as QFCs would empower a swap counterparty to exercise the contractual rights it may have to terminate and net swaps if a federally-insured credit union is placed into involuntary liquidation or a conservatorship,” the Board Action Memorandum explained. “QFC treatment of swaps would eliminate the possibility of selective assumption of swaps by the liquidating agent or conservator, enhance the stability of the swaps market, and encourage entities to engage in swaps with federally-insured credit unions.” NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker had written a letter shortly before the board meeting encouraging the move. Without the change, NAFCU feared a reduction in swap agreements with federally-insured credit unions. Classifying a swap as a QFC assures other financial institutions they will be able to dispose with the contract and collateral in a timely manner, according to NAFCU. “This assurance promotes the efficiency and transparency of the swap, repurchase, and other financial markets,” Becker wrote. The other item on NCUA’s agenda was a community charter conversion for First Atlantic Federal Credit Union of West Long Branch, N.J. with $238 million in assets. The credit union currently serves 31,154 members, an approximate 23.5% penetration rate, and was looking to add more than 1.1 million new potential members. NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar pointed to the more than 214,000 new potential underserved members in the community and emphasized that FAFCU’s marketing budget was scheduled to increase 29% over the next two years, demonstrating its commitment to serve the community. JoAnn Johnson, vice chair of the board, viewed the expanded service to the community as a great potential for more business lending. NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz commended the credit union’s acknowledgement of 22 check cashers and seven pawnshops in the area by offering lower priced, competing products. [email protected]

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