Matz reiterates CU relief agenda in Dakotas speech
April 15, 2015
LAS VEGAS (4/16/15)--Speaking to approximately 200 members of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas Wednesday, National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz reiterated her regulatory relief priorities for 2015 and beyond.
She also urged the credit union community to come to the agency with commends and ideas about shaping the regulatory framework going forward.
"Our number one goal is to keep the credit union system safe, sound and sustainable," Matz said. "You will have greater freedom in pursuit of that goal."
According to Matz, her relief agenda includes:
Making more credit unions eligible for relief by raising the asset threshold for defining small credit unions to $100 million from the current $50 million;
Increasing access to secondary capital for low-income credit unions and allowing supplemental capital to be counted in full in the proposed risk-based capital rule;
Making it easier for credit unions to alter fields of membership;
Allowing credit unions to make their own decisions on purchasing fixed assets by eliminating the current 5% cap on those assets; and
Giving credit unions more resources to invest in members and communities by easing rules on member-business lending.
She also highlighted several concerns related to falling oil and farm product prices in the Dakotas, saying credit unions should be ready to serve members in tough times.
"Credit unions serving oil workers could face higher delinquencies and charge-offs if job losses mount," Matz said, "so now is the time to review that business plan and make appropriate adjustments. This could mean changes in underwriting, reserves or balance sheet composition."
Falling oil prices could trigger significant job losses in North Dakota but give South Dakota consumers more ability to save or borrow. Both states, Matz said, are vulnerable to falling farm prices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts net farm income to drop 32% this year, leading to the lowest net farm income since 2009.