As Prepared for Delivery on November 19, 2020
From the start of my Chairmanship more than one year ago, keeping regulation effective, but not excessive has been a top priority of mine. That is why I have spent a fair amount of time exploring areas where the agency could prudently relieve burdensome regulations where appropriate.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly nine months ago, that priority shifted into high gear as I worked with agency staff on COVID-relief measures that would allow credit unions the flexibility to work with borrowers experiencing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Since mid-March, the NCUA has worked diligently to provide credit unions with regulatory relief and much-needed flexibility so they can continue safely serving their member-owners. To date, we have issued 11 interagency statements and 20 guidance letters to the industry to date, helping credit unions to address emerging risks and implement the regulatory and statutory changes that have been made in response to the pandemic.
In August 2020 the NCUA and other member agencies of the FFIEC issued a joint statement on loan accommodations, noting the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant adverse impact on consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and the economy. The NCUA, along with the other FFIEC members, also encouraged financial institutions to work prudently with borrowers who are unable to meet their payment obligations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s proposed rule continues to move toward those relief efforts. In light of the challenges and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed rule amends the requirement in the May 2012 final rule that relates to the capitalization of interest.
The credit union industry has a long history of assisting its member-owners in times of need, and we have encouraged credit unions to work with affected members, and many financial institutions have voluntarily offered borrowers other credit accommodations.
I look forward to seeing stakeholder comments on this proposed rule.