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NCUA plan could help CU SIPHARP
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/27/09)—The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) proposed a change to its investment rules for natural person credit unions. The change could remove an impediment to credit union participation in two agency programs, one intended to provide liquidity relief for corporates and the other foreclosure mitigation assistance. At its open board meeting Thursday, the NCUA board set a 60-day comment period for its plan to revise Part 701 of its rules. The change would allow investments by natural person federal credit unions under the Credit Union System Investment Program (CU SIP) and the Credit Union Homeowners Affordability Relief Program (CU HARP) to be excluded from a credit union's total assets for purposes of calculating the operating fee. Under SIP, the NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) makes a secured, one-year advance to the natural person credit union. The credit union must concurrently invest the amount of the advance in a fixed-rate, matched-term, guaranteed note that is issued by the participating corporate. The SIP notes are guaranteed by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Corporate credit unions use the funds to retire borrowings from outside the credit union system. The CLF determines which corporates will issue the SIP notes to which credit unions. CU HARP, on the other hand, is intended to assist homeowners who are facing delinquency, default, or foreclosure of their mortgages. It’s a one-time, two-year, $2 billion program under which the CLF makes advances for a maximum term of one year, renewable for one year. The Credit Union National Association sought the investment rule change to facilitate credit union participation in the programs.
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