ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/25/14 )--Jan. 15 is the likely date that the National Credit Union Administration will take up a new risk-based capital (RBC) proposal for discussion. NCUA Chair Debbie Matz late Friday announced that she will ask the agency board to consider a revised RBC plan at that time--and said a 90-day public comment period would likely follow.
Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle responded immediately to the announcement: "We appreciate that the NCUA intends to support a 90-day comment period, which is consistent with how we thought this process would work. CUNA looks forward to seeing the details of the revised rule when it is proposed. We plan to be an active participant in what we hope will be an open process that will fully examine the effect the revised proposal will have on credit unions."
Responding to an inquiry by CUNA after the chair's announcement, NCUA Vice Chair Rick Metsger said he supports Matz's position. He stated that with the arrival of the holiday season, he and his senior policy advisor want to make sure all have an time to evaluate the "voluminous material" associated with a new plan.
He said that putting the RBC discussion on the January meeting agenda, rather than December as some were anticipating, "allows all three board members two months to evaluate the final proposal and make suggested changes before it is presented."
The third NCUA board member, J. Mark McWatters, was sworn into his post at NCUA in late August. He also has voiced support for a 90-day comment period. He told CUNA that he will carefully review and analyze the revised proposed risk-based capital rule once he receives it.
Earlier this month he outlined his areas of focus for revised RBC plan.
"We asked the chairman to allow us to present this in January and she totally understood, agreed, and moved forward," Metsger told CUNA. Matz had indicated in a Nov. 19 letter to Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) that a revised risk-based capital plan could be issued by the NCUA "before the end of 2014." Her letter to the senators responded to the lawmakers' concerns that a new plan keep in mind any potential effects on agricultural lending. (News Now Nov. 24)
In making the timing announcement Friday, Matz said, "During the six months since the comment period closed on the original proposed rule, we've taken the time to carefully review and methodically evaluate the many thoughtful comments received from stakeholders.
"We've also considered the input received during three Listening Sessions across the U.S. this summer. We're getting closer to issuing the revised proposed rule, which I now anticipate will be presented in January 2015--one year since the original proposed rule.
"To provide the public ample time to review this important safety and soundness rulemaking, I intend to support a 90-day comment period," she added.
CUNA has strongly advocated for a reasonable comment period of at least 60 days, given the amount of structural changes that had been mentioned by NCUA, including longer implementation period and revised risk weights for mortgages, investments, member business loans, credit union service organizations and corporate credit unions.
More than 2,000 comments were received from credit unions, members of the U.S. Congress and other stakeholders during the proposal's original comment period.
(Editor's note: This article is reprinted from the Nov. 24 issue of News Now.)