John Zasada, Shareholder, Financial Institutions Group

On Feb. 28, 2022, Todd Harper, Chairperson of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), spoke at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) touching on regulatory compliance.

Harper indicated the NCUA’s compliance examination program for credit unions is insufficient in contrast to comparably sized community banks. Historically, there has been an opinion that because credit unions serve members, they do not violate consumer protection laws or discriminate. However, he disputed that stance, stating credit unions are being sued and paying damages for violations such as age and marital discrimination, overdrafts, and unfair, deceptive or abusive acts.

In NCUA’s 2021 examinations, violations of consumer compliance rules were found in nearly 15% of federal credit unions. The most common violations related to credit reporting, truth in lending, electronic fund transfers and equal credit opportunity rules. Weak compliance management systems were also a common finding.

Last year, the NCUA only completed 29 fair lending examinations, less than 1% of all federal credit unions. Yet, the NCUA found violations impacting 64,000 members.

Harper does not want different compliance exams for credit unions and banks due to members and customers deserving the same protection. As a result, consumer compliance will become more of a priority for the NCUA. Upcoming NCUA exams will cover fair lending, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and other areas, as well.

Want to be prepared for your next exam? Let our regulatory compliance specialists help you – contact us today.