CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Jason Stverak (left) and Virginia Credit Union League President/CEO Carrie Hunt (right) present at NCUA's briefing on its proposed 2023-24 budget. (CUNA photo)

NCUA should be ‘laser-focused’ on budget discipline

October 19, 2022

NCUA should be laser-focused on budgetary discipline, CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Jason Stverak told the agency Wednesday at its 2023-24 budget briefing. NCUA’s proposed combined 2023 staff draft budget is $367.0 million, or 8.1% higher than the 2022 budget.

“CUNA believes that the efficiency of the NCUA’s operation is essential to responsibly using credit union members’ resources as the NCUA seeks to become a world class regulator,” Stverak said. “We believe there is immense capacity for the NCUA to reduce its footprint, right-size the organization and become a more nimble, stronger, more efficient, and more effective regulator.”

He also noted that the increased budget comes at a time of increased financial pressure for credit unions, with operating expenses and funding costs rising rapidly and a variety of income sources under increasing pressure.

“Net income is on track to decline by 30 basis points in 2022. Most economists believe the Federal Reserve’s aggressive policy moves are likely to put the nation into recession, which would only serve to magnify these current financial challenges,” Stverak said. “These trends suggest the agency should be laser-focused on budgetary discipline.”

Virginia Credit Union League President/CEO Carrie Hunt also presented at the briefing.

“The NCUA budget has increased more than $100 million in 10 years, yet credit unions’ core business model has not changed, and new threats cannot account for the full $100 million in increases,” she said. As an industry, I think it fair we ask if that investment resulted in an increase in assets and member growth for credit unions?

“Did it enable us to capture a larger percentage of the consumer lending market? We need a real measure of success in order to ensure credit unions’ increased investments in the NCUA are being utilized in ways that best represent interests of credit unions,” she added.

Comments on the budget are due to NCUA by Oct. 28, and NCUA will vote on the final budget before the end of the year.