CUNA concerned with ‘flawed interpretation’ of NCUA lending study

November 17, 2022

NCUA Chairman Todd Harper testified before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, a day after his testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. CUNA submitted a letter for the record of the hearing, addressing several credit union priorities and expressing concerns over a recent NCUA study on credit union mortgage lending.

The study found small differences credit union mortgage pricing to minority borrowers—but the data ignores multiple key factors used in either pricing or underwriting by individual lenders.

“The data does not account for the fact that minorities may be selecting systemically different types of institutions when applying for loans and/or may be engaged in less ‘price shopping’ for favorable interest rates,” CUNA’s letter reads. “We fear that misguided initiatives based on this analysis may compel less rather than more progress on equity and equality issues we all care deeply about and, if broadly socialized, is quite likely to drive credit union members, especially minority members, away from consumer-friendly credit unions, producing far less favorable outcomes for many borrowers.”

CUNA supports:

  • Extension of NCUA Central Liquidity Facility enhancements that were part of the 2020 CARES Act
  • H.R. 7003 and S. 4879, the Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act, would enable credit unions to provide financial services to more communities, which are often areas banks have abandoned or show little interest in serving.
  • NCUA working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency to waive the regulatory requirement for the FHLBanks to treat negative tangible equity as a disqualifying metric of credit worthiness when considering new advances to members.

CUNA also noted strong objection to any suggestion that NCUA may need to charge a premium in the near future and/or that statutory changes to the share insurance fund funding guidelines are needed.

Harper testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Tuesday.