NCUA Extends Comment Deadline on Small Credit Union Definition

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has extended the deadline for comments for the proposed small credit union definition rule after only receiving one comment during the initial 30-day comment period, which coincided with 5300 report deadlines.

The proposed rule redefines the definition of a small credit union, revising the current $10 million asset size to $30 million. As proposed, the small credit union definition rule would require the NCUA to determine and consider the impact of proposed and final rules on approximately 1,600 additional credit unions with assets between $10 million and $30 million, who would suddenly be exempt from regulations such as the final interest rate risk management rule and risk-based net worth requirements.

In addition to the regulatory relief, small credit unions benefit from access to loans, grants and technical assistance through NCUA’s office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.

“When you combine what is offered by the NCUA’s office of small credit unions and what the NWCUA offers through its foundation, small credit unions have access to substantial services and funds,” said John Trull, Director of  Regulatory Advocacy for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

The Association encourages credit unions of all asset size to weigh in and comment on the proposed small credit union definition rule, a robust rule is good for the credit union industry. If your credit union would benefit significantly by being defined as a small credit union, you should include that in your comment letter along with the shared characteristics that make it hard to compete with larger financial institutions. For perspective the FDIC defines a small bank as a bank with less than $1.16 Billion in assets.

The Association’s board chair Debie Keesee has written a draft letter to the NCUA encouraging a higher asset threshold for defining a small credit union. The NCUA board used three metrics to determine an appropriate threshold for defining a small credit union, including historical industry percentages, losses to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), and the perceived complexity of credit unions of a certain asset size.

“I am disappointed that the NCUA chose complexity as a metric,” Keesee said. “Credit unions need to be creative and innovative in order to survive. All sized credit unions should be encouraged to be more complex which should be reinforced through rules and regulations.”

Trull is encouraging credit union professionals to share information with the Association by completing a short survey. For more information on the proposed rule, read the Association’s Regulatory Call to Action.

Questions? Contact Director of Regulatory Advocacy John Trull: 503.350.2209,

Posted in Around the NW, NCUA.