As Prepared for Delivery on March 26, 2020
Thank you. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to update you on the National Credit Union Administration’s activities during the public health emergency that surrounds COVID-19.
Our nation’s credit union system is well-capitalized and stands ready to continue providing safe and affordable financial services to our roughly 120 million credit union member-owners.
Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for credit union members to save money. All deposits at federally insured credit unions are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, with deposits insured up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor. Credit union members have never lost a penny of insured savings at a federally insured credit union.
On March 16, 2020, NCUA released Letter to Credit Unions, NCUA Actions Related to COVID-19. This letter encourages credit unions to work with affected members by reminding them of the many options they can consider to provide financial relief and greater access to credit for their members.
The NCUA Actions Related to COVID-19 includes other specific recommendations for credit unions to help consumers including the following options:
- Offering or expanding small-dollar loan programs;
- Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing borrowers to defer or skip some payments or extending the payment due dates, which would avoid delinquencies and negative credit bureau reporting caused by any disruptions related to COVID-19; and
- Easing credit terms for new loans.
In the letter, the NCUA emphasizes that prudent efforts to adjust or alter terms on existing loans in affected areas will not be subject to examiner criticism.
Our public website launched a dedicated page to COVID-19 resources for credit unions and members and will regularly update frequently asked questions. Credit union members can also visit MyCreditUnion.gov (opens new window), which has useful consumer resources.
Please also know that the NCUA prioritizes the health and safety of its employees, credit union employees, and credit union members. At this time, the NCUA has directed our examiner staff to utilize off-site exam procedures to the greatest extent possible during this pandemic.
In conclusion, America’s credit union system is strong and will continue to execute its core mission. For nearly a century, credit unions have had a history of serving their members and stepping up in the most difficult times. Despite the obstacles COVID-19 has created, the NCUA is confident that the credit union system will continue to meet the financial services needs of the members it was created to serve.