NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman addressed the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference via video Wednesday, in what he said were his first public remarks as an NCUA Board member. Hauptman says his priorities are managing the fallout from the pandemic and streamlining the regulatory burden, especially the process for starting a new credit union.
“if we can do those two broad goals: give you what you need to manage the fallout from the pandemic and streamline the regulatory process that inhibits the creation of new credit unions and hurts your ability to help the underserved, then we have a bright future ahead of us, and I’ll feel like I’ve made an impact at the NCUA,” he says.
Hauptman says there are many benefits that come with making the chartering process easier, including helping find ways to streamline the regulatory burden for existing well-run credit unions.
“There has got to be an easier path for de novo credit unions. I’m from Maine, and I was pleased to hear about a new credit union chartered in my home state just last year, until I learned it took nine years to accomplish,” he says. “Self-reliant, accountable people who want to work cooperatively with others to charter a new credit union that they will own deserve a clear path to make that a reality.”
He adds that improving this process would help credit unions reach more underserved populations, and the competition credit unions bring into the market will increase consumer protection.
Board member Rodney Hood also supports streamlining the process of starting a new credit union, and says he looks forward to working with the board to “make sure the NCUA does our part to significantly streamline and simplify the process of chartering.”
Hood stresses the importance of resiliency and humility in light of the world-changing events of the past year. He says NCUA continues to monitor credit unions and the economy closely, with a particular eye on what additional support may be needed for smaller credit unions and minority depository institutions in the months to come.
“Should [closures of credit unions] occur, we need to be prepared to respond appropriately to ensure the safety and soundness of the larger system—again, a lesson in resilience. In responding, it will always be my preference to save institutions rather than merging them,” he says. “Beyond that, we will continue to support the industry in key areas like providing regulatory relief and encouraging financial inclusion. These are critical priorities that I expect to continue working on.”
Hood, who has called financial inclusion the “civil rights issue of our time,” notes that millions of adults lack access to affordable, quality products and services.
“It’s a challenge that requires urgent action. I believe the credit union industry should be at the forefront of addressing that challenge,” he says.
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