Harper outlines priorities for capital, consumer protection, cybersecurity and DEI at the Credit Union Governmental Affairs Conference

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020
Washington, DC

Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member, Todd Harper addressed 5,500 credit union leaders at the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) Wednesday morning, saying philosophy serves as his guide and shapes his priorities as a credit union regulator.

“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,” Harper said. “Put them all together and you get an acronym. I call it my FIRE philosophy.”

The four primary pillars that Harper outlined during his speech include capital and liquidity, cybersecurity, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and consumer financial protection.

Harper 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,” he noted.

The NCUA is working to develop a preparedness strategy to guard the credit union industry from cybersecurity threats. Harper recognized the need for cybersecurity policy staff as an integrated part of the agency’s 2020 budget.

DEI continues to be a priority for the NCUA with the goal of fostering 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,” he said during his speech before 5,500 credit union attendees.

Regarding consumer financial protection, Harper emphasized the need for the NCUA to refine its approach.

“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,” Harper said.

Harper also expressed concern over the agency’s recent taxi medallion loan portfolio sale. "I will remain watchful to ensure that the taxi drivers are treated fairly by the purchaser of their medallion loans, and that applicable consumer credit laws and commitments will be followed.”

Credit unions, leagues and CUNA remain concerned about this issue because the agency has refused to provide the necessary information. CUNA will continue to pursue answers to the association’s questions on how and why this decision was made.

*Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews@cumagazine@CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page. 


About CUNA:           
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit