WASHINGTON (10/2/13)--"While the gridlock in Washington has put many people in an unfortunate situation, it's important for the nation's 98 million credit union members to know that credit unions are still operating safe and sound," Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said following Tuesday's news of the federal government shutdown.
"Because we are member-owned and member-directed, our services will continue uninterrupted. During these financially uncertain times, credit unions can offer a variety of services, including short-term, specialty loans for those whose finances have been directly impacted by the shutdown," Cheney said. CUNA has readied its own resources to help credit unions inform their members of available help during the shutdown. (Use the resource link.)
CUNA has also noted the shutdown will not impact ACH processing.
"The National Credit Union Administration will remain functional through the shutdown and all accounts will be insured as usual," Cheney added. "Although NCUA is an arm of the federal government, its operations are completely funded by credit unions, ensuring the security of all member accounts," he said.
In fact, CUNA notes that most federal financial regulators are funded independently of the congressional appropriations process, and do not need to rely on Congress to pay their staff. Here's a brief update on the shutdown status of various federal agencies that are important to credit unions:
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: open;
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: open. However, the FDIC's Office of the Inspector General is closed with 113 out of 121 employees furloughed;
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: open;
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Partially open, and able to endorse new loans. The FHA in a recent release said it will endorse new loans under current multi-year appropriation authority in order to support the health and stability of the U.S. mortgage market. Because the agency is able to endorse loans, it said it does not expect the shutdown to significantly impact the housing market, as long as the shutdown is brief. "If the shutdown lasts and our commitment authority runs out, we do expect that potential homeowners will be impacted, as well as home sellers and the entire housing market. We could also see a decline in home sales during an extended shutdown period, reversing the trend toward a strengthening market that we've been experiencing," FHA said;
- Federal Trade Commission: closed;
- Small Business Administration: generally closed; and
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: generally closed.
Also, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are open and able to process new loans.
(See related story: CUs Offering Help To Furloughed Fed Employees.)