Guidance on third-party digital services; strategic plan comment period opens

The NCUA provided two notices to credit unions late last week, including a letter on relationships with third parties that provide services related to digital assets, and another informing them that comments are now open for the agency’s draft strategic plan.

Third-party digital services
A letter regarding third-party digital services aims to provide clarity about the already existing authority of federally insured credit unions to establish relationships with third-party providers that offer digital asset services to credit union members, provided certain conditions are met. This includes third-party-provided services to allow credit union members to buy, sell and hold uninsured digital assets with the third-party provider outside of the credit union; digital assets are one of many terms used to describe distributed ledger technology-based tokens, according to the letter.

A relationship with third parties offering these services and related technologies will be evaluated by the NCUA in the same manner as all other third-party relationships, according to the letter. This includes a credit union exercising sound judgment and conducting the necessary due diligence, risk assessment and planning when choosing to introduce or bring together an outside vendor with its members. Further, credit unions should establish effective risk measurement, monitoring, and control practices for such third-party arrangements, the letter stated.

The full letter is available on the NCUA website.

Draft strategic plan
The NCUA has issued a request for comments on the agency’s draft strategic plan for 2022–2026. The draft plan provides the agency’s proposed strategic goals and objectives for the next five years. The NCUA welcomes all comments from the public and stakeholders, but specifically seeks comments and input on the agency’s proposed goals and objectives contained in the draft plan.

For more information or to submit a comment, see the notice in the Federal Register.

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