Week ahead: NCUA board meeting, House to vote on SAFE Banking Act

Actions at the legislative and regulatory level will shape the week ahead for credit unions.

One of the biggest events will be a House vote Tuesday on the SAFE Banking Act, which would protect banks and credit unions serving the legal marijuana industry from federal enforcement. The legislation has already passed the House once and is expected to do so again, however its path forward in the Senate is less clear.

The House will also consider the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act, which, if signed into law, would allow the district to enter the union as the 51st state. Last year, credit union advocates helped pass legislation to create a charter for D.C.-based credit unions akin to a state charter. The district had not had a credit union-specific charter available since the 1960s.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on investing in rural communities. Providing financial services for consumers in rural areas has been an area of focus for Rodney Hood, a board member and former chairman of the National Credit Union Administration. Bill Bynum, president and CEO of Hope Credit Union, will testify before the Senate panel.

The NCUA board will meet on Thursday for its March open board meeting. This month’s agenda is relatively slim, with only two items on the docket. The board will receive a cybersecurity update as part of a regular process that began during Rodney Hood’s chairmanship and appears set to continue under current Chairman Todd Harper.

The agency will also discuss an interim final rule regarding prompt corrective action. The rule, which was approved last week and became effective April 19, is similar to a measure the regulator adopted last spring when the pandemic began, and provides flexibility regarding earnings-retention requirements for adequately capitalized institutions, as well as flexibility for documentation required on net worth restoration plans for credit unions with capitalization issues.

Comments on the rule will be accepted until June 18.

Lastly, this is the final week to register for the 2021 Best Credit Unions to Work For program. There is no cost to participate and eligibility requirements have been changed for this year to make it easier for smaller credit unions to take part. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 23. More information is available here.

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