CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle issued the following statement following the NCUA board’s approval of the agency’s 2017-18 budget Thursday.
"We appreciate the agency's efforts to be more transparent and allow credit unions to comment on the budget process in a constructive manner. This is an incredibly important development that shows the NCUA board is attentive and responsive to credit union concerns.
"At the same time, more credit unions continue to have a number of concerns with the rising costs of the agency's budget which we've outlined in numerous meetings, hearings and letters. NCUA's budget continues to increase substantially in the face of post-crisis improvements in credit unions, and at a rate that significantly outpaces changes in credit union operating costs and the budgets of other banking regulators. NCUA staffing levels increased substantially in response to the greatest financial crisis in modern history; however, the agency's FTE count is virtually unchanged since the peak of the crisis even though credit union financial conditions have improved dramatically.
“CUNA’s detailed analysis of NCUA’s budget used the time period that NCUA requested and the specific banking agencies that NCUA deemed appropriate--finding that NCUA's spending substantially outpaced the increases at the banking agencies over the entire 2007 to 2015 period.
“The agency provides woefully little information on the rubric it uses to determine appropriate staffing levels. Instead it rationalizes what appears to outsiders as unnecessarily high staffing by simply explaining that CU complexity has increased.
"CUNA's comments on the budget reflected input from our members and our Examination and Supervision subcommittee, and the CUNA/league system will continue to recommend common-sense cost-cutting measures and will work with the agency help ensure this can be accomplished in a way that preserves system safety and soundness."
The board also approved the recommendations of the Examination Flexibility Initiative working group as part of the budget. Among other things, the group recommended an extended examination cycle for certain credit unions, starting in January.