Following the regulatory enhancements provided by the CARES Act and changes to NCUA's regulations, the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) experienced a significant increase in its membership and borrowing capacity.
“The growth in the number of CLF’s members and its borrowing authority is a testament to our nation’s credit unions coming together in a time of crisis to strengthen the national system of cooperative credit,” NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe economic and financial distributions, and having a reinforced CLF will ensure the credit union system can continue to support its members and communities should the need for contingent liquidity arise.”
At the end of May, the number of regular members of the CLF, which consists of natural-person credit unions, was 297, up from 283 members in April. All 11 corporate credit unions became agent members in May, meaning their member credit unions also have access to CLF loans. In total, 3,797 credit unions, or 73 percent all federally insured credit unions, have access to the CLF, either as a regular member or through their corporate credit union.
New memberships have added $945.8 million in additional subscribed capital stock to the facility. Under the temporary authority granted by the CARES Act, the CLF can borrow sixteen times its total capital. As of May 31, the facility’s borrowing authority stood at $25.8 billion, an increase of $15.3 billion since April.
The Central Liquidity Facility is a mixed-ownership government corporation that provides the credit union system with a contingent source of funds to assist with system-wide liquidity events. The CLF also serves as an additional liquidity source for the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which helps to ensure the system and the Share Insurance Fund remain strong. Member credit unions own the CLF, which exists within the NCUA. Joining the facility is voluntary.
The NCUA encourages all credit unions to consider joining the CLF to bolster the system’s access to emergency liquidity, should the need arise.
CUNA has called for Congress to extend or make permanent the pandemic-related CLF changes.