ICBA slams NCUA move benefitting largest credit unions

May 08, 2020

ICBA pushed back against a National Credit Union Administration announcement that it is expanding its approach to considering military personnel in designating low-income credit unions, which will free the largest of the tax-exempt entities from various restrictions.

The changes, which are being enacted without a formal rulemaking process, will allow members that use an Army/Air or Fleet Post Office address to be included in the NCUA’s low-income calculation.

As the NCUA notes in its announcement, the change will free institutions like Navy Federal and Pentagon Federal from restrictions on member business lending, raising supplemental capital, and accepting deposits from non-members.

In a statement, ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said the change benefits neither low-income Americans nor military personnel—but the largest, most growth-obsessed credit unions. She called on Congress to investigate the NCUA's designation and to re-examine credit union tax and regulatory subsidies.

"The NCUA's changes—made without a formal rule subject to public review and comment—is another example of this captive regulator expanding the powers of credit unions well beyond the limits established by Congress to justify their tax exemption," she said.