NCUA updates: Impact of CDRLF funds; ECOA regulatory alert

In 2020, the NCUA devoted nearly all its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, or CDRLF, efforts to help credit unions and their members meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from the agency to Congress indicates.

The report highlights the fund’s “significant, positive impact” on low-income credit unions, their members and communities across the country and also includes a request by Todd Harper, NCUA chairman, for Congress to consider increasing the fund’s appropriations in 2022.

“Because demand regularly exceeds the amount of available funds for these grants, and because low-income credit unions are more likely to serve communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, I urge Congress to increase appropriations for CDRLF grants in 2022,” Harper said. “With more funding, the agency could increase the number of credit unions receiving grants and increase the size of the grants it makes, deepening the program’s impact in underserved communities.”

The report details the program’s performance and its significant accomplishments in 2020. A complete list of grant and loan awardees and a breakdown of awardees and funding by state is included in the report.

Compliance with Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Also from the NCUA this week, the agency reminded credit unions that they should make sure their policies, procedures and training materials are in compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, consistent with a new CFPB interpretive rule. Credit unions should also review automated scoring, decisioning and pricing models for variables that could be proxies for these prohibited bases, according to the agency.

The interpretive rule, which became effective on March 16, 2021, clarifies that the prohibition against sex discrimination in the ECOA, as implemented by Regulation B, encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, according to the NCUA. The interpretive rule also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with sex- or gender-based stereotypes and discrimination based on an applicant’s associations.

The alert also stated that some state laws already prohibit discrimination in credit transactions based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The alert can be accessed on the NCUA website.

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