NCUA's Fazio highlights agency support for reg. relief legislation

April 24, 2015

WASHINGTON (4/24/15)--The National Credit Union Administration supports several CUNA-backed regulatory relief bills, including ones that would raise the member business lending cap and allow supplemental capital.

Larry Fazio, director of the NCUA's Office of Examination and Insurance, testified before the U.S. House Financial Service subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit at a hearing designed to get regulators' perspectives of regulatory burden. 

"NCUA encourages Congress to consider providing regulators like NCUA with flexibility to write rules to address such situations, rather than imposing rigid requirements," Fazio said. "Such flexibility would allow the agency to effectively limit additional regulatory burdens, consistent with safety and soundness."

Fazio said the NCUA supports three bills:

  • The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act (H.R. 1188), which would raise the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets;
  • The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act (H.R. 1422), which would exempt credit union loans to purchase a one- to four-unit, non-owner occupied residential dwelling from the 12.25% cap on member business lending; and
  • The Capital Access for Small Business Act (H.R. 989), which would allow credit unions to raise supplemental capital.

Fazio outlined other areas the NCUA is pushing for regulatory relief, including a finalized rule that will be presented to the board April 30 regarding field-of-membership rules. (See related story in today's News Now: Final FOM rule tops April 30 NCUA agenda.)

Subcommittee chair Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) asked Fazio if he believed the NCUA is "getting it right" when it comes to its revised risk-based capital proposal, and about a "capital cushion" that might be required of credit unions should the rule be finalized.

Fazio said the rule would likely have a "relatively modest impact," but it would be effective in picking up outliers.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) inquired as to why the NCUA stopped holding public meetings regarding its budget and asked if the agency would hold a meeting for its 2016 budget. Fazio said the NCUA board has not made a decision on that yet.

For some on the committee, regulatory relief cannot come soon enough for constituents. Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) said he has had many discussions in recent months with credit unions and community banks about regulatory burden.

"I'm actually a little discouraged, and I remain discouraged, with some of the things I've been hearing relative to the regulatory burdens," he said. "This is the single issue that I hear about from institutions in New Hampshire, more than any other issue."