Newest NCUA Board Member Otsuka Meets With GoWest Credit Unions

Following her keynote address from the main stage at the America’s Credit Unions National Governmental Affairs Conference, NCUA Board Member Tanya Otsuka engaged with credit union leaders from the GoWest region on topics impacting the Credit Union Movement and its 17.4 million members across our six states.

Board Member Otsuka opened with brief comments from her main stage keynote, before asking credit unions to share what they are doing to address affordable housing, and aid members feeling economic distress. Otsuka was also interested in hearing about the challenges credit unions are facing and what they are doing to attract and retain talent.

Credit union leaders from different states and asset sizes, with varying perspectives from serving members with a wide range of community demographics, shared their stories, while also offering suggestions to enhance service capabilities. Credit union leaders detailed economic hurdles confronting their operations, emphasizing the dual challenge of ensuring member financial health and wellness, while striving for organizational resilience. Specifically, credit unions shared work they were doing to address work force housing, provide members with financial counseling, and more.

Sharing Specific Concerns

One credit union leader touched upon the impacts of inflation and tightening on accessible capital, underscoring the critical nature of these economic stressors. A compelling argument was made for reducing the Normal Operating Level to 1.3%, a move poised to facilitate equity distributions from the Share Insurance Fund, thereby bolstering capital growth and expanding lending capacities.

Another recommendation was to amend loan maturity limits for federal credit unions to extend housing loan durations. This adjustment would allow credit unions to meet the growing demand for unconventional housing solutions like land purchases and tiny houses.

Board Member Otsuka engaged by seeking clarity through follow-up questions, demonstrating a commitment to understanding the challenges that were shared. The meeting concluded with Otsuka expressing gratitude to credit unions for their dedication to member support, reinforcing a shared commitment to navigating the complexities of economic hardship and the regulatory landscapes.

Future Meaningful Dialogue

The meeting during the ACU GAC was our region’s first opportunity to meet in person with Otsuka. It sets the stage for future meetings where credit unions can work with GoWest to share thoughts and concerns and it continues a long GoWest history of open dialogue with the federal regulator.

Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Federal Advocacy.