Chairman Matz Urges Credit Unions to Plan for Members’ Needs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 30, 2013) – A shutdown of the federal government will not halt regular operations of the National Credit Union Administration, and individual accounts will remain insured up to $250,000, the agency announced today.
NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz encouraged credit unions to maintain a state of readiness to help their members who may be affected by a potential government shutdown.
“Members will have questions and they will have needs, so credit unions should have plans to respond if Congress does not pass legislation to keep the government running,” Matz said. “Credit unions that serve federal workers and the military have responded before to members’ financial needs resulting from furloughs, reimbursement delays, suspension of government programs or the closing of federal buildings housing branches. They need to prepare to do that once again.”
Currently, federal agencies are funded through Sept. 30. However, as an independent, self-funded agency, NCUA does not rely on congressional appropriations.
In April 2011, NCUA issued guidance through a Letter to Credit Unions, urging federally insured credit unions to take steps in the event of a federal government shutdown, including:
- Ensure policies provide flexibility to respond to members’ financial needs.
- Prepare for service interruptions if a shutdown affects access to credit union offices located in federal buildings.
- Prudently work with affected members, including providing advances to individuals receiving direct deposits from the federal government.
- Develop contingency plans with respect to participation in government programs that may be affected by a federal government shutdown.
- Communicate response plans to members, staff and volunteers in a timely manner.
Consistent with safety and soundness, credit unions also may want to consider offering special programs to assist members who need short-term loans, create loans with special terms and rates, or offer payment flexibility.
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by
the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise
federal credit unions. With the backing of the full
faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates
and manages the National Credit Union Share
Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than
99 million account holders in all federal credit
unions and the overwhelming majority of
state-chartered credit unions. At
Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.