NCUA Budget Briefing Shows Both Progress, Areas for Improvement

The National Credit Union Administration hosted a budget briefing yesterday, following the normal Board Meeting. Several key takeaways were discussed at the meeting, relating particularly to staffing, healthcare and travel costs through the Exam Flexibility Initiative.

NCUA Chief Financial Officer Rendell Jones pointed that the agency budget has not decreased largely due to staff and health care costs, the latter riding 6 percent annually since 2003. In all, 72 percent of the NCUA budget is spent on salaries and benefits.

Reduction in agency staff through attrition was discussed as one avenue to pursue. Board Member McWatters indicated that some of these savings could be accomplished through a virtual examination program which could reduce travel and staff.

Jones, NCUA CFO, also pointed to agency regulatory costs related to new records and management requirements, Federal Information Security Act requirements, and increasing cyber security costs, as well.

Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, and four members of CUNA’s Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, was also on hand to provide comment.

“We appreciate NCUA responding to our request and taking this important step in the interest of transparency, but we continue to call for improvements,” Schenk said. “The coming Extended Exam cycle should help to reduce costs in the future. However, the agency’s budget has continued to grow since the financial crisis while the FDIC’s continues to shrink. Additionally, one in five credit unions CEOs have said they are dissatisfied with their exam process. These are important issues that NCUA must address, and we will continue to work with the agency for the betterment of the credit union system.”

Comments on the budget can be submitted to the NCUA until 5 p.m. (Eastern) on Nov. 4. The board will vote on a two-year budget at its Nov. 17 meeting.

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222, ehorvath@nwcua.org.

Posted in Economy, Federal, NCUA, NWCUA.