NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters and board member Rick Metsger emphasized the importance of communication, collaboration and compromise during a panel discussion Tuesday at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle moderated the discussion.
McWatters discussed the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard and how he had met with the Financial Accounting Standards Board staff, including the chair the CECL’s chief drafter. He said getting credit unions prepared for compliance is a priority.
“I'm working on this issue to try and come up with a solution that helps credit unions with two principal problems: One is the cost and time of implementation and the other is the day one hit to regulatory capital,” McWatters said. “We’re working on it.”
Nussle previously wrote to McWatters urging NCUA to assist credit union in implementing CECL.
Nussle asked McWatters and Metsger what legislative change for credit unions they would wish into being if they could, and they both agreed on one.
“Simply change the Federal Credit Union Act and allow every credit union, without regard to its field of membership, to serve underserved areas. There’s a need in this country for that, and credit unions want to go into those neighborhoods and rural areas, the places where other are withdrawing,” he said. “There are a lot of underserved communities, and credit unions aren’t allowed to serve them.”
Metsger echoed McWatters’ sentiments, saying “there should be the ability in any kind of credit union charter to serve the un-banked and underbanked.”
Recognizing that this will be his last GAC, Metsger congratulated Nussle and CUNA as being the only national credit union trade association to support the closure of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, which allowed for distributions to credit unions.
“By sticking to your principles, that also means you’re sticking to safety and soundness,” Metsger said.
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