BRIEFLY: New comms staffer at NCUA; Hiring of people of color up at agency; LIBOR legacy contract legislation advocated; Biden reportedly preparing order to assess climate change ‘financial risk’

(April 16, 2021) Samuel Schumach was tapped as deputy director for external affairs and communications at NCUA this week by agency board Chairman Todd Harper. Schumach previously served as legislative affairs officer for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Before that, he was a media spokesperson for the CFPB and had also served as press secretary for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) … Two in five of new hires (42.1%) in 2020 were people of color, and gender diversity among senior executives achieved parity last year for the first time, NCUA said this week in a report outlining the agency’s hiring practices. In its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) annual report, NCUA also said 188 federally insured credit unions submitted Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessments in 2020, up 59.3% from the 118 submissions in 2019 … Federal legislation to mitigate risks related to legacy contracts that use LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) will be needed, Federal Reserve General Counsel Mark Van Der Weide told a congressional hearing Thursday. He said such legislation would establish a uniform national framework for replacing LIBOR in legacy contracts that do not provide for an appropriate fallback rate. Additionally, he indicated, a statute could diminish the instance of lawsuits that he said are inevitable due to the phase out of the reference rate. A witness at the same hearing from the OCC made essentially the same points. LIBOR is scheduled to be phased out at the end of this year (meaning, no new loans or contracts are supposed to be written that use the rate). Additionally, existing “legacy contracts” (or those that are in force now and using the reference rate) have until June 2023 to discontinue the reference rate … An executive order directing federal financial regulators (including NCUA) and others to combat climate-related financial risks is being prepared by President Joe Biden (D), according to press reports this week. The order would be issued in conjunction with a “climate summit” set for next week in Washington. Among other things, the order will also reportedly direct the Treasury Department to assess climate risks to the financial system and report back within 180 days.

Samuel Schumach Named Deputy Director for External Affairs and Communications

NCUA Releases Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Annual Report to Congress