Reg relief is on the way NCUA Chairman signals — 7/28/14

Speaking to a large credit union audience in Las Vegas last week, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz told the group that regulatory relief in three key areas is on the way.

Matz described three relief proposals planned for upcoming open meetings of the NCUA Board: eliminating the fixed-assets cap; modernizing member business lending; and updating appraisal provisions.

Matz said the NCUA Board plans at its July open meeting to propose a rule effectively eliminating the 5-percent cap on fixed assets. The proposal would streamline the process for federal credit unions to occupy land or buildings. Under the current rule, federal credit unions must seek special permission with their regional director to exceed any asset improvements which exceeds 5 percent of their assets.

“Our intent is to allow federal credit unions to manage their own fixed-asset purchases without having to seek permission or waivers from NCUA,” Matz said. “When federal credit unions want to update facilities, upgrade technology or make other purchases that have no impact on safety and soundness, NCUA should not micro-manage individual business decisions.”

The Chairman then indicated the NCUA Board will look to give greater flexibility to credit unions offering member business loans later this year. Any changes would need a least a majority approval by the three member NCUA board.

“At my Listening Sessions, we heard from credit union officials with innovative ideas to modernize the member business lending regulation in order to serve more small businesses,” Matz said. “We are working to incorporate new ideas while keeping in place appropriate safety and soundness measures.”

Matz also said the NCUA Board is scheduled to update the advertising rule for federal credit unions and the agency would be working to incorporate the latest technology, including social media, into the new proposal.

The next NCUA regular board meeting is scheduled for July 31.