The NCUA’s recent proposal that credit unions pay the federal regulator a fee to oversee the derivatives program has raised complaints among credit unions. NAFCU immediately fired off a statement supporting credit unions’ entry into derivatives, but blasting the fee as setting bad precedent because the $250 million threshold would divide the industry, and the fee itself would create a barrier to credit unions’ use of derivatives. On the contrary, I find the idea innovative.

The proposed fee would set precedent but not necessarily a bad one if taken in a broader context. I’m not arguing that the NCUA’s proposed dollar amount for the program is correct, but hear me out on the concept.

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