Todd Harper

Harper outlines philosophy, priorities as NCUA board member

‘Regulators need to be fair and forward-looking’

February 26, 2020

NCUA Board Member Todd Harper shared Wednesday at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) the philosophy that guides him as a credit union regulator, as well as how that philosophy shapes his four priorities. 

“Financial institutions regulators need to be fair and forward-looking; innovative, inclusive, and independent; risk-focused and ready to act expeditiously when necessary; and engaged appropriately with all stakeholders to develop effective and efficient regulation,” he said. “Put them all together and you get an acronym. I call it my FIRE philosophy.” 

Harper said that philosophy guides his four priorities as an NCUA board member:

  • Capital and liquidity:I supported the final rule on non-member deposits to enhance liquidity and a proposed rule on subordinated debt. Allowing more credit unions to obtain outside borrowings to increase their regulatory capital levels and protect against future losses safeguards all credit unions."

  • Cybersecurity:The NCUA needs to work with credit unions, their vendors, and service providers to anticipate and protect against these threats. In that regard, the addition of cybersecurity policy staff as part of the agency’s 2020 budget is an important step toward preparedness."

  • Diversity, equity, and economic inclusion: “The NCUA must foster an environment that promotes inclusion, which will lead to economic dignity for all. The agency should also support the work of small credit unions, minority depository institutions, and low-income credit unions, who are often the ones reaching the underserved and who face the challenges of increased competition and difficulties in achieving economies of scale."

  • Consumer financial protection: “The NCUA needs to refine its approach to consumer financial protection. The NCUA board should create a dedicated program for supervising for compliance with consumer financial protection matters. In doing so, we will better safeguard member interests and ensure that the credit union system lives up to its commitment to serving members."

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