New summaries look at corporate, guidance rules

(Dec. 11, 2020) Two new summaries were posted this week by NASCUS, outlining an NCUA final rule on corporate credit unions and an interagency proposal about codifying the use of “supervisory guidance” from federal agencies. Both are available to members only.

Corporate final rule clarifies provisions

The final rule on corporate credit unions, generally aimed at clarifying a number of provisions in NCUA’s rules, was adopted unanimously by the NCUA Board in October. The rule takes effect next week (Dec. 14), and addresses five key areas:

  • permits a corporate credit union to make a minimal investment in a credit union service organization (CUSO) without the service organization being subjected to heightened agency oversight;
  • expands the categories of senior staff positions at member credit unions eligible to serve on a corporate credit union’s board;
  • removes the “experience and independence” requirement for a corporate CU’s enterprise risk management (ERM) expert;
  • clarifies the definition of a collateralized debt obligation;
  • simplifies the requirement for net interest income modeling.

Although the proposal did contain two provisions regarding proposed subordinated debt offerings by credit unions, the final rule leaves those out. NCUA decided to remove both of those provisions, noting that both sections would be addressed in a final rule on subordinated debt in the future. The agency added that it does not envision any changes to the proposed definition of a debt instrument included in the proposal.

‘Supervisory guidance’ would be codified

In late October, NCUA joined the federal banking agencies and the CFPB in proposing a rule (for a comment period ending Jan. 4) aimed at clarifying and codifying the role of supervisory guidance from federal financial institution regulators. Under the proposal, the meaning of “supervisory guidance” would be clarified as meaning, essentially, it doesn’t have the force of law. If finalized, the proposal would codify an interagency statement issued by all of the agencies in September 2018. That statement was intended to make clear that, unlike a statute or regulation, supervisory guidance is not the same as statute or regulation. “Supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance,” the 2018 statement read.

NCUA has maintained that the proposal will not create a burden for credit unions – partially because, the agency said, NCUA has followed the intent of the proposal for at least the last seven years. NCUA has noted that, at least since 2013, all “documents of resolution” for credit unions have been to specific statutory and regulatory citations – a practice, the agency has vowed, would not change under the proposed rule.

Summary: corporate rule (members only)

Summary: role of supervisory guidance (members only)