Dec. 23, 2015
Before we talk about what’s ahead in the New Year (which we’ll cover in the next issue of NASCUS Report), it seems prudent to take a quick look back at what NASCUS did for the state system in 2015. Careful: To top some of this in 2016 will be no mean feat. Here’s a rundown:
- Exposed the legal flaws in how the overhead transfer rate (OTR) is calculated.
- In June, we released an independent, third party legal analysis which concluded NCUA is statutorily obligated to treat the OTR as a rule-making and to give stakeholders the benefit of a full notice and comment process. In August, NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz announced that the board would vote in January, 2016, to publish the OTR in the Federal Register and call for public comment. That’s an important first step – but it’s not the last one.
- Collaborated for a common-sense approach to risk-based capital.
- State regulators and credit unions worked together to articulate a common sense approach to risk-based capital (RBC) to foster credit union growth, competitiveness, and innovation while assuring safety and soundness. Our comment letters were commended by many for their concise and knowledgeable approaches to the issue, bolstered by real-world experience from state regulators.
- Advocated for states in federal legislation.
- We provided a robust voice for the state system as Congress considered regulatory relief measures, including (notably) in support of the NCUA Budget Transparency Act, which would provide oversight, accountability and transparency to NCUA’s budget, including the OTR.
- Systematically analyzed and weighed in on crucial issues.
- We developed and published 30 summaries of proposed and final rules (including those noted in this Report), NCUA letters to credit unions and regulatory alerts, and opinion letters, as well as white papers. We filed nine comment letters on subjects ranging from the risk-based capital proposal to member business lending.
- Raised the visibility of state credit unions.
- We ramped up our efforts to share our views with the credit union system at large, conducting regular interviews with the trade and Washington press (resulting in numerous articles and headlines), and publishing columns in such vehicles as American Banker, Credit Union Times, Credit Union Journal and CUToday.info.
- Served as a forum for the regulatory community.
- We developed, hosted and managed more than a half dozen committees and task forces among the state supervisory authorities and NCUA, working collaboratively to advance the state system.
- Enhanced communication among the membership.
- We launched this weekly report in June to our members and others within the state system summarizing the week’s key developments related to state credit unions – from Washington and across the nation -- offering the state system’s viewpoint, and presenting a look at what’s ahead in the weeks to come.
- Offered an education program in-step with the key topics affecting the state system.
- We presented or co-hosted more than 20 conferences and schools throughout the year, many in conjunction with state regulators and state associations and leagues all across the country. Together with our signature events of the annual NASCUS State System Summit, the Cybersecurity Symposium and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Conference – as well as our examiner training program – NASCUS effectively has trained and informed nearly 1,000 practitioners within the state system.
In many ways, 2015 served as a building block for the challenges that lie ahead in 2016. Based on what we did this year, we are ready to go for 2016.
The holidays can’t be all fun and games – so balance out that time by reviewing the new summary NASCUS has posted about NCUA’s final regulatory review (out of a total of four) that was released by the agency at its board meeting Dec. 17.
Conducted as part of the agency’s voluntary participation in the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA)), the review covers 15 subjects in the two categories of “rules of procedure” and “safety and soundness.” Of the two categories, five subjects are covered under “rules of procedure,” and 10 under “safety and soundness.” The NASCUS summary specifically points out which areas being reviewed affect federally insured, state chartered credit unions – in whole or in part. For example, under “Voluntary and Involuntary Liquidation; Parts 709 and 710,” the NASCUS summary points out that Part 710, “voluntary liquidation,” does not apply to FISCUs. But, “involuntary liquidation,” sec. 709, “applies to FISCUs by incorporation in sec. 741.218.” The summary also notes that “sec. 709.3 applies only to FCUs.”
NASCUS has commented on all three of the previous regulatory reviews, consistently calling for the agency to consolidate – in one place – all of the regulations that apply to federally insured, state-chartered credit unions. The comment period on the regulatory review is 90 days.
Just in time for the New Year, Nichole Seabron this week joined the NASCUS staff as vice president and legislative and regulatory counsel. A former federal government attorney and an advocate for the credit union system, Nichole will be responsible for representing the state credit union system before federal regulators and lawmakers, as well as analyzing and interpreting key regulatory and legislative developments for NASCUS members and the state system at large. She brings a wealth of experience from her background as an attorney advisor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, and as federal compliance counsel/regulatory affairs for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), also in Washington. In that position, she served as advisory counsel to CUNA-member credit unions on banking regulations; acted as association liaison to financial institution regulators; monitored and analyzed regulatory developments; and more. It’s terrific to have her on board to assist the state system in tackling a number of challenges and opportunities for 2016 and beyond.
BRIEFLY: Final issue of the year; see you in 2016
This is our final issue of NASCUS Report for 2015, as we are taking a break next week in between Christmas and New Year’s (NASCUS offices will also be closed on both days). Our next issue: Jan. 8, 2016 – see you then, and Happy Holidays!
Patrick Keefe, NASCUS Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 528-5974