Based on the events of recent months, with international crises and congressional upheavals dominating the news, it would seem that the “abnormal” is now normal. What does it say about the federal government when a Member of Congress pulls a fire alarm to prevent a vote in the House of Representatives?
Despite all this, work is still being done. DCUC is following these issues of importance to our defense credit union members:
It’s budget season at NCUA.
Sources inside NCUA say the budget that will be proposed by Chairman Harper at the November’s Board meeting will include a 9.5% total increase. Last year was in the 7% range. It sounds like much of the cost will be related to new hires, as well as a new consumer compliance focused exam program aimed at credit unions in the $3-$10 billion range (details forthcoming).
NCUA will hold its mandated public Budget Briefing in November and approve the 2024 budget at the December Board Meeting.
Speaking of regulatory budgets, CFPB’s director of enforcement told a DC attorney’s conference in October that they are going to hire 50-75 new employees. The plan is to do this beginning now, through early next year. The new staff will primarily be attorneys, (litigation specialists according to a person who attended the speech). There is also talk about tech staff specializing in e-commerce and Artificial Intelligence.
The CFPB rep also said they are going to step up their work with state and local consumer protection offices, many of which have direct oversight power over state-chartered credit unions. CFPB appears to be in an aggressive expansion mode, perhaps in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling in 2024 regarding the Bureau’s funding mechanism and structure.
And speaking of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Biden administration took its first major step in efforts to regulate AI by an Executive Order in October, directing federal agencies to determine best practices and standards to minimize the problems associated with this new, expansive technology. The EO is fairly limited in terms of the inclusion of provisions that create new requirements or expectations for NCUA and other federal financial regulators. However, for mortgage lending credit unions, the EO directs CFPB to review algorithms governing credit scores and other lending-decision tools.
Capitol Hill continues to be another focus of DCUC attention. NCUA board candidate Tonya Otsuka had her nomination heard in the Senate Banking Committee October 19, a session that gave her a forum to express her interest in preserving the role for small credit unions. Otsuka, a former senior staffer for Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), is expected to receive a favorable vote from the Committee sometime before Thanksgiving, and then will move to the Senate Floor for a final confirmation vote. Since a bi-partisan slate of five nominees is under consideration for other agencies, there is expected to be a deal to approve all of them in the next two months.
NCUA Board Member Rodney Hood will continue to serve until Otsuka is confirmed and sworn into office.