NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on the NCUA’s Final Interpretative Ruling and Policy Statement (IRPS) 13-1

As Prepared for Delivery on February 15, 2023

Thank you, Pam and Martha, for your presentation and your work on these improvements to the policy statement governing the NCUA’s minority depository institutions preservation program. My appreciation also extends to the teams in the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion and the Office of General Counsel for their efforts in completing these revisions. Thank you as well to Board Member Otsuka for suggesting incorporated language that underscores the importance of preserving the unique mission and characteristics of minority depository institution credit unions.

Nearly 90 years ago, Congress created the federal credit union system to meet the credit and savings needs of credit union members, especially those of modest means. A significant component to achieving that statutory mission is the work of minority depository institution credit unions or MDI credit unions.

Supporting and preserving MDI credit unions is a fundamental responsibility of the NCUA. It’s required not just under the system’s statutory mission but also in the specific requirements for supporting MDI credit unions set forth as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Today, one in ten federally insured credit unions is a minority depository institution. Together, these MDI credit unions provide under-resourced communities across the country with access to safe, fair, and affordable financial products and services. This access gives consumers greater opportunities to build a secure financial future for themselves, their families, and their communities. And, when smaller communities are stronger and more resilient, so are our financial system, our economy, and our entire country.

Today, the NCUA Board is considering final amendments to the Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement 13-1 to reflect changes in the agency’s structure and administration of its MDI preservation efforts. The revised policy statement also simplifies the definition of “community it services, as designated in its charter” to refer to an MDI credit union’s field of membership.

As previously stated, I have long had concerns about preserving the character of a failing MDI credit union during the resolution process. Notably, this revised policy statement addresses those concerns. Under the revised policy statement, in the event of a potential failure of an MDI credit union, the NCUA will contact MDI credit unions in its merger registry that qualify to bid on a particular failing institution to measure their interest.

Under this revised policy, the NCUA will additionally offer technical assistance to any MDI credit union desiring to bid, as well as two weeks to submit a bid, whenever possible. This vital change to maintain the character of a merging MDI institution will bring the NCUA emergency merger process in line with that of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

In closing, the final MDI policy statement will better enable hundreds of MDI credit unions to meet the needs of their members and communities. Policy changes like this one make our country stronger. I, therefore, support this final policy statement.

That concludes my remarks. I now recognize Vice Chairman Hauptman.