Credit unions need liquidity flexibility, bank parity

May 18, 2023

CUNA wrote the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee in support of the credit union position on third party vendor authority, privately insured credit unions, deposit insurance reform, and the Central Liquidity Facility. The committee heard testimony from federal financial regulators Thursday, including NCUA Chairman Todd Harper.

“With more than 91% of credit union deposits insured, credit unions remain stable, safe, and secure during this time of uncertainty in the banking sector. The remaining nine percentage points represent deposits that exceed the federal maximum deposit insurance amount,” the letter reads. “The credit union difference makes us stronger by helping improve the financial well-being of Americans nationwide.”

CUNA added that America’s credit unions are well-capitalized with a 10.7% net worth-to-asset ratio and an 8.8% equity capital ratio. Credit unions’ loan-to-savings ratio stands at 82.1% and the liquidity ratio was 11.5% in February 2023, up from 11.1% in January.

The letter also notes:

  • CUNA continues to strongly object to any suggestion that the NCUA may need to charge a premium in the near future and/or that statutory changes to the NCUSIF funding guidelines are needed.
  • CUNA supports the extension of an expired CARES Act provision enhancing NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility by, among other things, allowing corporate credit unions to act as agents for smaller (under $250 million in assets), non-CLF member, natural person credit unions.
  • Credit unions must receive parity with banks in any increased federal deposit insurance coverage.
  • Privately insured credit unions must have access to the Federal Reserve’s new Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP).
  • CUNA is concerned that granting NCUA supervisory authority over third-party vendors would require the agency to increase its budget to hire personnel with appropriate expertise.

Harper and other regulators testified before the House Financial Services Committee earlier this week , and CUNA sent a similar letter for the record.