Week ahead: NCUA expected to finalize field-of-membership rule

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A long-awaited field-of-membership rule could be finalized later this week by the National Credit Union Administration.

The NCUA board meets this Thursday with a full agenda before taking a hiatus in August. The next meeting will occur after Labor Day.

Top of the NCUA board’s docket is a final rule on chartering and field of membership. NCUA approved a rule in 2016 that expands how CUs define membership eligibility. The rule touches on rural areas that extend beyond state lines and core-based statistical areas.

But the American Bankers Association sued NCUA over the changes. The ABA eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case at the end of June. That ended the legal challenge and NCUA can now proceed with the highly contested rule.

The board will also consider a proposed rule on transitioning to the current expected credit losses standard, or CECL. Credit union trade groups have called on the regulator to delay implementing CECL until at least 2024 and have pushed for much of the industry to be exempt from the standard. NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood in late April also argued that credit unions should be exempt from CECL.

Credit unions do not need to comply with CECL until 2023.

The board will consider a rule on fees paid by federal credit unions, though more details weren't provided on the agenda. There will also be a comment period on the overhead transfer rate and operating fee methodologies. The 2020 midsession budget will round out the board's discussion.

Senate Republicans could release their phase four coronavirus relief aid package this week, potentially as soon as Monday.

“One policy we hope to see in this package is a version of streamlined forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program loans under $150,000,” Eli Joseph, deputy chief advocacy officer at the Credit Union National Association said during a Monday press call.

The Federal Reserve plans to meet on Tuesday for its two-day policy meeting where the central bank will assess how to support the economy amid resurging cases of COVID-19.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will testify virtually on Wednesday in front of the Senate Banking Committee for its semi-annual report to Congress. CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger will also testify in the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday.

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Field of membership CECL NCUA American Bankers Association Federal Reserve Growth strategies Coronavirus FOMC