Conceding that it is a “fine balance,” NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz told two key lawmakers that the agency is modifying its examination standards to give credit unions more flexibility while being certain that safety and soundness standards are being met.

She said the agency is working on a supervisory letter to its examiners that will encourage them to “show flexibility if a credit union demonstrates adequate long-range strategic planning that would enable the institution to weather broader economic difficulties. Our view is that in certain circumstances it may be appropriate for a credit union to forego short-term earnings so that a high level of member service can be maintained, and the guidance will reflect that direction.”

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