​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Federal Housing Finance Agency provided an update on its implementation of recommendations included in last year’s report on the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

Details: In its update, the FHFA:

  • Published a regulatory interpretation clarifying how cooperativas in Puerto Rico—many of which are certified community development financial institutions and none of which are FHLBank members—can pursue membership.

  • Issued an advisory bulletin communicating its expectation that each FHLBank establish a framework for pilot and voluntary programs by March 29.

  • Said its key 2024 priorities include clarifying the FHLBank System mission, aligning eligibility requirements for different types of FHLBank members, and streamlining requirements related to the Affordable Housing Program.

ICBA View: ICBA last year responded to the FHFA’s report by calling on the agency to ensure it does not compromise the system’s cooperative structure, allow participation by unregulated nonbanks, or place additional restrictions on community bank members, among other priorities.

Previous ICBA Comments: In a previous comment letter on the FHFA’s review, ICBA said the agency should first do no harm to the FHLBanks as an important source of liquidity for community banks. It has also called on the FHFA to ensure the FHLBank system remains a strong, stable, and reliable source of funding.

Outlook: ICBA will continue to engage with the FHFA to ensure the agency’s proposed changes do not risk the safety and soundness of the FHLBanks or affect community banks' ability to use the system’s advances for liquidity management purposes.