Nussle: Increasing burdens threaten credit union system

Congress, the NCUA, and other regulators should work together to ensure credit unions can continue to serve millions of consumers, America’s Credit Unions President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees Wednesday in conjunction with hearings with federal financial regulators. NCUA Chairman Todd Harper was unable to attend due to his temporary leave of absence but did submit testimony on several agency priorities.

“Chairman Harper has missed an opportunity to tell policymakers [in his testimony] all the good work that credit unions are doing and instead is creating such an over regulation of the industry that we won’t have any credit unions left if we remain on this path,” Nussle wrote. “In his written testimony, Chairman Harper acknowledges the strength of the credit union industry, and that both the industry and its insurance fund are well run and well capitalized. However, he then highlights his desire for Congress to enact a number of statutory changes that will increase the costs and regulatory burdens for credit unions.”

Specifically, Nussle noted that neither structural reforms to the Share Insurance Fund nor expanded third-party vendor/Credit Union Service Organization supervision authority are needed. He also provided several recommendations to help the NCUA “embrace the importance of cost-efficiency and prudent financial management” in its 2025-2026 budgets.

He added that the NCUA should also:

  • Utilize an 18-month or longer extended cycle for all low-risk, well-run credit unions under $3 billion in assets, in line with the flexibility currently in place for banks;
  • Issue guidance allowing credit unions to add digital asset related services to the list of preapproved permissible activities of CUSOs to allow them to provide cryptocurrency related services.

Nussle also encouraged the committees to understand the immense pressure credit unions—large and small—are under in terms of compliance and operational challenges, and to consider legislative action on these issues and to allow the NCUA to provide a broader set of investment options for federal credit unions.

The letter also expresses credit unions’ continued opposition to the Federal Reserve’s debit interchange proposal.

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