Collaboration between NCUA and the credit union industry is imperative to improving the operating environment for credit unions, and to ensuring they effectively serve members, says NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger, who spoke at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference on Monday.
“The great news is that, because the credit union system has for such a long time worked to serve their memberships in a safe and sound matter, (we know credit unions) are safe and sound and ready to serve,” Metsger says.
As the new board chairman, Metsger says he’s acutely aware of the short time in which he has to implement changes he believes will shore up the industry’s safety and enhance credit union service to members.
Those changes began with updates to member business lending rules and important upcoming changes to field-of-membership rules, he says.
Now, as board chair, Metsger has initiated a working group that will provide the agency recommendations on lengthening the exam cycle for credit unions, a change for which CUNA long has advocated.
“We will ensure that you’re serving safely and soundly, but we’re not going to micromanage your business,” Metsger says.
He also aims to improve efficiency at the NCUA so it can better regulate the system and, in turn, allow credit unions to better serve their members with “as little a footprint as possible in your credit union” from the NCUA.
And Metsger notes he has worked to increase the number of U.S. community development financial institutions (CDFI), which stands at 295. NCUA has partnered with the U.S. Treasury on an effort that includes a streamlined application to become CDFI certified. The NCUA also has dedicated more staff to helping credit unions become certified.
Metsger hopes these moves will lead to greater access to financial services for Americans nationwide.
“I want 200 more [credit unions] to become CDFI certified by the end of the year,” he says.