WASHINGTON (3/25/14)--The National Credit Union Administration assured the Credit Union National Association that member business lending (MBL) is prominently on its radar for this year. Calling a recent CUNA letter on the issue "timely," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said the agency intends to carefully review several MBL issues that have come to its attention.
The NCUA has a rolling review of its regulations, each year assessing one-third of its catalogue of rules; the MBL statute is on the 2014 review calendar.
"In preparation, NCUA has been carefully studying the current rule and member business lending data to determine whether policy and rule improvements as permitted by statute are warranted," Matz wrote to CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.
She went on to say that if the NCUA board finds consensus that improvements are "indeed warranted by the facts," the agency may make changes at either the rule or supervisory policy level, or both.
Cheney wrote to Matz and board members Michael Fryzel and Richard Metsger earlier this month recounting a number of regulatory actions the NCUA "can and should take" to aid credit unions approaching the MBL cap of 12.25% of assets.
Among changes CUNA advocates:
- Updating Federal Credit Union Act definitions that provide exemptions from the MBL cap for credit unions that have a history of primarily making MBLs to their members;
- Expanding provisions addressing MBL loans made for the financing of one to four family dwellings; and,
- Removing limitations that are not required by the statute.
CUNA also supports legislation that would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets.