As Prepared for Delivery on February 18, 2021
Thank you, Martha and Tom, for your briefing about the Emergency Capital Investment Program created by the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act. The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has disproportionately affected low- and moderate-income communities. And, significant job losses have made it increasingly difficult for individuals and families in these places to pay for essential needs, many of whom are people of color.
To provide a measure of relief, Congress enacted the ECIP, which authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to make investments in “eligible institutions” to support their efforts to “provide loans, grants, and forbearance for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and consumers, especially in low-income and underserved communities.”
I am deeply committed to advancing economic equity and justice, and today’s briefing raises awareness about this important, albeit short-term, tool that has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of many Americans. And, the ECIP aligns with the mission of the credit union movement to expand access to affordable financial services to those of modest means.
Therefore, I strongly encourage eligible credit unions to tap into the ECIP to support the communities they serve. Eligible credit unions are uniquely positioned to step in and step up, because of their size and their business plans focused on fostering economic development in economically challenged communities.
One important aspect of the program that I would like to highlight is that the total investments from ECIP cannot exceed $9 billion. In other words, if an eligible credit union wants to apply for ECIP funding, time is of the essence. Once Treasury invests the appropriated $9 billion, there will be no further funding under ECIP. That is why eligible credit unions need to quickly capitalize on this opportunity.
It is noteworthy that $4 billion of this funding is set aside for institutions with less than $2 billion in assets, and $2 billion of that amount is set aside for institutions with less than $500 million in assets. The most Treasury can invest in one institution is limited to $250 million, and the size of the capital investment is limited to a percentage of an institution’s total assets with larger investments allowed in smaller institutions on a proportional basis.
As our nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 induced economic crisis, I again encourage eligible credit unions to step in and step up by participating in the Treasury’s Economic Capital Investment Program to support the communities that they serve and that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The NCUA is here to facilitate the efforts of our nation’s financial first responders in bettering the lives of people living in underserved areas.