COVID-19 response, Share Insurance Fund update highlight Harper testimony

Todd Harper, NCUA chairman, provided testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Tuesday, providing an update on the state of the credit union industry.

“Unquestionably, the last 17 months were an unusual period in which the many participants within the credit union system rose to numerous challenges,” Harper said. “As we continue to smartly and safely navigate through the pandemic-induced economic crisis and plan for the future, the NCUA will stay focused on addressing the needs and best interests of credit union members, while also ensuring the safety and soundness of credit unions and protecting the Share Insurance Fund from losses.”

Harper said that by staying focused on those issues, the agency will ensure that the cooperative credit union movement achieves its full potential and addresses long-standing issues of economic equity and justice.

Harper said that the NCUA has continued to focus on assessing the impact of COVID-19 on credit union members and operations and analyzing how the pandemic will affect the future financial condition of credit unions and the Share Insurance Fund.

He said that agency examiners will continue to work closely with credit unions to obtain documentation and complete examination procedures offsite, so credit unions can, in turn, focus on providing services to their members.

In an update on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, Harper reported a “dramatic rise” in insured shares throughout last year, resulting in an equity ratio of 1.26% at the end of 2020. He said that if the equity ratio falls below 1.20%, or the NCUA board of directors projects it will within six months, the Federal Credit Union Act requires the NCUA board to establish and implement a restoration plan within 90 days.

Harper also highlighted recent rulemakings, as well as the agency’s efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, improve consumer financial protection and further economic equity and justice.

Harper concluded with legislative requests related to vendor authority, flexibility in managing the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, additional funding for the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and permanently extending the temporary enhancements of the Central Liquidity Facility.

The full text of Harper’s testimony is available on the NCUA website.

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