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WASHINGTON-NAFCU staff and board members recently met with top regulatory officials to discuss risk-based capital among other important issues for credit unions. NAFCU was joined by NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson for a lunch meeting, along with her Executive Assistant Holly Herman, and later caught up with Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Wayne Abernathy over dinner. Capital is “one of those challenges credit unions are continuing to face as credit unions continue to grow,” Becker said. A risk-based capital system for credit unions, as included in the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579), was a key topic of both meetings, according to NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker. NAFCU asked Johnson, the heir-apparent of the NCUA chairmanship, for continued support and leadership on the risk-based capital efforts. The trade association also pointed out that NCUA already has the authority to create a risk-based capital scheme for the corporate credit unions. NAFCU also discussed what credit unions are doing to promote financial literacy with the vice chair. Despite the fact Treasury has only received a couple of letters from the credit union community on risk-based capital following Abernathy’s informal request at a Consumer Federation of America conference in December, it remains a key issue for credit unions, Becker said. He pointed out that NAFCU alone represents several hundred credit unions and other trade associations have already commented or will be soon. The idea has not met with much controversy among credit unions, but there is some concern over how it will work “when the rubber meets the road,” he said. Becker also indicated that the small number of comments is a good sign too because the bankers’ have not written in opposition of it either. Abernathy supported credit unions joining the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which was created to provide fast communication after 9-11. A number of NAFCU members are already members, according to Becker. He also used the opportunity to thank Abernathy and the administration for standing behind credit unions’ tax-exempt status. -

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