NCUA board approves regulatory relief for CUs during COVID-19 pandemic


Utilizing a live audio webcast, the NCUA board of directors on Thursday unanimously approved a temporary final rule granting measures of regulatory relief aimed at ensuring federally insured credit unions remain operational and liquid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rule temporarily raises the maximum aggregate amount of loan participations that a federally insured credit union may purchase from a single originating lender without needing a waiver from an NCUA regional director. Under this final rule, the aggregate loan participation amount from a single originating lender will be the greater of $5 million or 200 percent of a federally insured credit union’s net worth.

The rule also temporarily suspends limits on the types of eligible obligations that a federal credit union may purchase and hold, and under the rule, a federal credit union no longer has to refinance a purchased obligation so that it matches the types of loans the credit union is allowed to make, according to NCUA.

The temporary modifications are effective once they are published in the Federal Register and will be in place until December 31, 2020, unless extended by the NCUA Board.

“This rule represents an additional step in our ongoing efforts to protect the safety and soundness of the credit union industry and to ensure the well-being of credit union member-owners during the COVID-19 crisis,” said NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood. “The rule offers credit unions temporary regulatory relief during the response to the pandemic.”

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved an interim final rule that temporarily defers real estate-related appraisals and evaluations under the agency’s appraisal regulations because the public health crisis and social distancing directives have created difficulties for lenders to obtain required appraisals on a timely basis.

The board also approved a final rule by a 2-1 vote that increases the threshold level below which appraisals would not be required for residential real estate-related transactions from $250,000 to $400,000.

Lastly, the board was briefed by staff from the Office of Examination and Insurance on the regulatory enhancements to the Central Liquidity Facility resulting from an interim final rule approved by the board by notation vote on April 13.

According to the briefing, the rule enhances the agency’s Central Liquidity Facility regulations to supplement the legislative changes to the facility resulting from the CARES Act and:

  • eliminates the six-month waiting period for a new member to receive a loan;
  • makes temporary amendments to the waiting period for a credit union to terminate its membership;
  • eases collateral requirements on some assets; and
  • allows, temporarily, for an agent member to borrow for its own liquidity needs.

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