As Prepared for Delivery on December 16, 2021
This budget is not perfect. It is not the budget I would put forth if it was only up to me. However, it does reduce spending year over year when you look at all three budget accounts holistically with the travel carryover from 2021, and it makes sensible changes in NCUA’s headcount year over year, and, finally, it does give back money to credit unions from the operations fund. So, this is a budget that I can support.
I am glad we are giving back $15 million from the operations fund. Eugene, in working with you on the operating fund carryover balance throughout the year, can your office recommend procedures for the Board to consider so we do not find ourselves in a similar situation in the future? I noticed that some of the operating fund balances go as far back to fiscal year 2015, so we need to have some procedures in place to manage this fund on behalf of the Board.
For credit unions that do pay into the operation fund, what kind of rebate can they expect this year?
Thank you. As I said earlier this month, when I was last on the Board, the NCUA regulated just over 7,500 credit unions. Recently, we reported that the credit unions we oversee are now less than 5,000. And while the number of credit unions we regulate has fallen since I was last on the Board, the NCUA budget has exponentially increased in the same timeframe. While credit unions have become more complex, I believe more should be done to respond to the changing nature of the credit union industry, which should be reflected in NCUA’s budget.
However, I appreciate the work of all three Board offices in producing today’s budget. It is far from perfect, but it is acceptable. Going forward, I do believe we can seriously improve on the timing for this budget. While the Board offices did negotiate in good faith for several weeks, I do think we needed more time to study the budget, especially since today’s budget is so different from the staff budget, we reviewed earlier this month. I will also make the point that while we did not come to an agreement on having an advisory board in today’s budget, all three board offices have the funding to conduct town halls and roundtables, so I hope if these prove to be successful, we can continue to consider an advisory board.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the core team that have worked tirelessly on the budget – including those documents that were posted in the Federal Register in November, and the final documents on the agenda for consideration today:
- Eugene Schied
- Melissa Lowden
- Jim Holm
- Susan Douglas
- Eileen Schultz
I know that nearly every other office contributed to the development of the budget and several others helped to make the budget hearing such a success and thank everyone for your hard work.
I do not have any additional questions, but I do have one additional comment I would like to make. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your commitment to work with my office and the Vice Chairman’s office on a fintech rule, something I look forward to doing in 2022.