Virtual Hike the Hill with NCUA Director Todd Harper
by Amy Kleinschmit
Chief Compliance Officer

Earlier this morning, the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas wrapped up our virtual regulatory Hike the Hill event as credit union professionals from nearly 20 unique credit unions across the Dakotas heard from National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Todd Harper. Prior to joining the NCUA Board, Mr. Harper served as director of the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs and chief policy advisor to former Chairman Debbie Matz and Rick Metsger. He was sworn in as a member of the NCUA Board of Directors on April 8, 2019.

Board Member Harper kicked off this final regulatory meeting with an update from the NCUA discussing the state of the economy both on the national level and within the Dakotas. Harper also touched on NCUA priorities, emerging risk, and the share insurance fund. With regard to the economy and unemployment, he pointed to the close correlation that unemployment has on credit union performance.

Harper discussed the efforts the NCUA has taken in response to the pandemic, including a number of risk alerts and letters to credit unions, and finalizing rules to provide regulatory relief where possible. These COVID related materials, FAQs, and other guidance can be found here: Overall, credit unions are open and serving their membership – perhaps with some slight modifications.

In addition, Harper touched on the Central Liquidity Fund, noting that it has grown from $7.3 billion to $30 billion. This is a great example of the cooperative movement, and he urged credit unions to join the CLF and/or to work with their corporate credit union which can serve as an agent to the CLF. Additional information on the CLF can be found here:

Following his opening remarks, several credit unions weighed in with their comments, sharing concerns over a potential premium, but also thanking the NCUA for their leadership and quick response to the pandemic. During the open discussion, the topic pivoted to the issue of fraud that many credit unions are seeing victimize their members. Harper reminded attendees that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and to expect a number of informational pieces coming from NCUA. He also reminded us of the resources available at that may be useful in educating and protecting members.

In closing, Mr. Harper shared some very important comments on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion, which is necessary for the success of the credit union industry. He encouraged all credit unions to complete the voluntary Diversity Self-Assessment, found here:

His final advice for today’s attendees: Stay focused on the member, and if your credit union is experiencing problems, contact your examiner right away. We appreciate everyone’s participation in today’s call, and once again thank Board Member Harper for his time and insights he shared.  

In case you missed it, earlier this week credit union professionals also had an opportunity to hear from representatives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Jay Kruse covered that virtual Hike the Hill event in his Wednesday article, which you can view here. (Photo below shows some of the participants in today's virtual meeting.) 


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