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Risk-based capital, derivatives to be discussed at Jan. 23 NCUA meeting
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/17/14)--A proposed rule on risk-based capital is on the agenda for next week's National Credit Union Administration's open board meeting. Also on the list of considerations: a proposal to authorize derivatives to manage interest rate risk (IRR).
 
The current 7% leverage capital standard was set by statute in 1998. While only the U.S. Congress can change the statute, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in July that the recent financial crisis and changes in the ways the industry operates means the agency must make changes to how it implements the law by adopting a more flexible and forward-looking approach.
 
The Credit Union National Association has supported net worth standard changes that better reflect risk than the present approach does, but which will not simply add net worth requirements to the current system. CUNA has also been urging the agency to adopt a more productive approach to rulemaking that focuses on problem areas rather than issuing rules with blanket applicability, regardless of the credit unions level of risk. CUNA's Examination and Supervision Subcommittee has met with NCUA officials on the capital ratio issue.
 
Earlier this week, CUNA's News Now reported that NCUA board member Rick Metsger said fewer than 200 credit unions would be required to make adjustments under the risk-based capital proposal that will be discussed next Thursday.
 
Regarding the derivatives proposal, CUNA supported the NCUA's efforts to solicit comments on authorizing the instruments to manage IRR, but did not support a number of the key provisions of the proposal.
 
For instance, one aspect under consideration that is of deep concern: Whether application and supervision fees should be imposed in order for credit unions to gain derivatives authority.

CUNA adamantly opposes this approach. "If derivatives reduce IRR, then NCUA should be encouraging credit unions to make appropriate use of permissible derivative options instead of retiring barriers to their use, such as fees to apply or for supervision," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said in a comment letter.

Also on the Jan. 23 open meeting agenda:
  • NCUA's Strategic Plan for 2014 through 2017, and Annual Plan for 2014 and 2015; and,
  • The Federal Credit Union Loan Interest Rate Ceiling.
Watch CUNA's News Now and NewsNowLiveWire for full coverage of the meeting. CUNA's Regulatory Advocacy Report will also provide important details.
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CUNA Comment on Derivatives
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