ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/30/11)—In response to Hurricane Irene’s drawn-out crawl up the east coast over the weekend, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has activated its disaster relief policy, and also has assured credit union members of the safety of their federally insured shares. The agency encouraged credit unions to do what they prudently can to recognize financial disruptions for both individuals and businesses in their areas. Actions to ensure credit is available or to adjust or alter terms on existing loans for customers affected by the storm may include:
* Extending the terms of loan repayments; * Restructuring a borrower’s debt obligations; and * Easing credit terms for new loans to certain borrowers, consistent with prudent practices.
The agency alert also reminds federal credit unions that they may also provide assistance to other credit unions, their members, and non-members in areas affected by the disaster, under certain conditions. They include:
* Emergency financial services for non-members, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals. These services can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities. Federal credit unions providing services on this charitable basis may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs; and, * Services to other credit unions that a credit union is authorized to perform for its own members or as part of its operations. This activity is part of a federal credit union’s incidental powers, so it may impose charges for these services.
The NCUA also reminded that its National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) is always backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The agency said that under its disaster policy, it will, where necessary, guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the NCUSIF. The agency notice assured that its examiners will survey all credit unions and reschedule routine examinations where necessary. The agency’s examiners will also remain in close contact with credit unions to offer advice and assistance. “It is important for credit unions to report their status to NCUA in times such as this,” the agency reminded. Use the resource link below to read more of the NCUA’s disaster statement.