​​Regulatory Modernization Initiative Results 2011–2016

Improved Rules Benefits
Expanded Regulatory Relief Eligibility for Small and Non-Complex Credit Unions
  • Expanded NCUA's regulatory exemptions for credit unions with assets of less than $100 million (up from $10 million in 2012)
  • Eased compliance requirements for small credit unions to access emergency liquidity
  • More than doubled the number of small credit unions eligible for regulatory relief in future NCUA rulemakings (4,500 out of 6,000 credit unions)
  • Exempted non-complex credit unions (75 percent of all credit unions) from riskbased capital requirements
Eliminated Fixed-Assets Cap
  • Eliminated federal credit unions' 5-percent cap on fixed assets
  • Removed the need to apply for regulatory waivers
  • Empowered federal credit unions to make their own business decisions on purchases of land, buildings, office equipment and technology
Pre-Approved Associational Common Bonds
  • Pre-approved 12 categories of associations that federal credit unions may automatically add to their fields of membership
Modernized Member Business Lending
  • Finalized a principles-based rule on member business lending to:
    • Remove non-statutory limits on member business loans
    • Empower each credit union to write their own business-loan policy and set their own limits under the law
    • Eliminate the requirement for all business owners to pledge personal guarantees
    • Remove unnecessary barriers on business-loan participations, which help credit unions diversify risks
Expanding Fields of Membership
  • Proposed a modernized field-of-membership rule to:
    • Designate each congressional district as a well-defined local community
    • Serve Combined Statistical Areas with populations up to 2.5 million
    • Raise potential membership to 1 million for federal credit unions in rural areas
    • Extend membership eligibility to honorably discharged veterans, contractors and businesses in industrial parks
    • Recognize full-service websites and electronic applications as service facilities for select employee groups
    • Modernize the definition of "underserved area"
Eased Troubled Debt Restructuring
  • Facilitated credit union loan modifications
  • Ended manual reporting of modified loans
  • Prevented unnecessary foreclosures
  • Kept more credit union members in their homes throughout the housing crisis
Authorized "Plain Vanilla" Derivatives
  • Permitted qualified federal credit unions to use "plain vanilla" derivatives to reduce interest rate risks
  • Protected the credit union system from interest rate risks at large credit unions by providing an additional interest rate risk mitigation tool
  • Allowed approved federal credit unions to maintain appropriate levels of mortgage loans in portfolios
Approved Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities
  • Offered federal credit unions an additional investment backed by the full faith and credit of the United States with zero credit risk
Established Charitable Donation Accounts
  • Empowered federal credit unions to safely pool investments designed to primarily benefit national, state or local charities
 
Streamlined Processes Benefits
"Opt-In" Low-Income Credit Union Designation
  • Implemented an "opt-in" notification process whereby eligible credit unions can simply reply "Yes" to receive their low-income designation
  • Doubled the number of low-income designations in three years, reaching nearly 2,300 credit unions serving 32.5 million members
Enhanced Attractiveness of Secondary Capital
  • Provided policy flexibility for low-income credit unions to redeem secondary capital when investors request
Expedited Examinations for Smallest Credit Unions
  • Created an expedited exam process for well-managed credit unions with CAMEL ratings of 1, 2 or 3 and assets up to $50 million
  • Focused expedited exams on issues most likely to pose risks to the smallest credit unions
Referring Member Complaints
  • Referred member complaints directly to federal credit unions
  • Provided supervisory committees with 60 days to resolve each complaint before NCUA intervenes
Approving Fields of Membership
  • Provided a five-page template for community-charter applications rather than requiring hundreds of pages of community documentation
  • Upgraded NCUA's technology platform to allow credit unions applying to expand their fields of membership to track the status of their applications online throughout the approval process
Certifying Credit Unions as Community Development Financial Institutions
  • Signed an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to double the number of credit unions certified as Community Development Financial Institutions by January 2017
  • Automated existing NCUA data to pre-qualify low-income credit unions as certified CDFIs eligible for multi-million-dollar grants from Treasury's CDFI Fund
 
Clarified Legal Options Benefits
Authorized Network Credit Union Model
  • Created a cooperative structure where small credit unions can merge without losing their identity or member services flexibility
Extended Loan Maturities
  • Permitted loan maturities up to 40 years after loan modifications
  • Significantly reduced monthly payments for borrowers in need
Permitted Indirect Loan Participations
  • Allowed credit unions to sell portions of indirect loans to raise liquidity
  • Provided buyers another option to diversify loan portfolios Expanded Vehicle Fleets n Expanded "fleets" from two to five vehicles for member business loans
  • Increased access to credit for small businesses and startups
Modernized Service Facilities
  • Included full-service video tellers in the definition of federal credit union "service facilities"
  • Empowered federal credit unions to expand services in underserved areas Mergers n Permitted credit unions to change charters to facilitate voluntary mergers
  • Enhanced credit union services for members of merging credit unions