NCUA Publishes Research Note on Social Attributes of Credit Union Mortgages
National Credit Union Administration Chairman Todd M. Harper emphasized the power of allyship to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion goals during his remarks at the NCUA’s 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit in Washington, D.C.
“Both the NCUA and the industry have the need and ability to improve their DEI efforts,” NCUA Chairman Harper said. “For our part, the NCUA will continue to explore ways to be a better ally to those who, through no fault of their own, are on the outside looking in. And while credit unions have likewise made strides in DEI, they also have room for improvement, according to recent research by the NCUA’s Office of the Chief Economist.”
The research note referenced by the Chairman uses the general framework and criteria set forth in a Social Index developed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to evaluate the social attributes of mortgages originated by credit unions in 2022. The Social Index is a methodology for measuring socially-oriented lending activity in a given pool of mortgages. It is designed to allow investors to identify pools with relatively high concentrations of loans that meet certain social criteria. The research used loan-level data in the 2022 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act database to compare mortgages originated by credit unions and other financial institutions.
The analysis yielded mixed results for credit unions, finding that credit unions have higher Social Index scores than entities regulated by other federal financial institutions regulators, but trailed entities regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including non-depository institutions. The analysis also suggests that larger credit unions tended to have higher social criteria scores than their smaller credit union counterparts.
“Given the mission of the credit union system to serve the financial needs of members, the data suggest credit unions can and should do better,” Chairman Harper said.
Chairman Harper urged credit unions to embrace allyship to improve performance and spur innovation. This principle, he said, will ensure the credit union system is a vehicle for greater economic opportunity and financial security for all Americans.
The NCUA’s 2023 DEI Summit is taking place November 1–2. It brings together credit union professionals and other stakeholders to share thoughts and best practices on advancing DEI within the credit union system and at the NCUA.