Credit union regulator outlines 2021 supervisory priorities

The National Credit Union Administration will be keeping a close eye on cybersecurity and credit risk management in the year ahead, the agency said in a letter to credit unions Friday outlining its supervisory priorities for the year ahead.

NCUA said cyberattacks remain a persistent threat to the financial sector, and the likelihood of threats adversely impacting credit unions and consumers continues in part due to the growing adaptation of mobile technology for financial transactions. Adoption of mobile banking and other self-service channels accelerated last spring as consumers stayed home and financial institutions limited access due to the pandemic.

The regulator continues to promote “cybersecurity hygiene,” and said reviews of credit union information systems and assurance programs remain a supervisory priority for the agency.

Chairman Rodney Hood encouraged the industry to continue working with members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The NCUA reaffirms that examiners will not criticize credit unions’ efforts to provide prudent relief for borrowers, when such efforts are conducted in a reasonable manner with proper controls and management oversight,” the letter said.

NCUA also said examiners will continue to review credit unions’ compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – otherwise known as the CARES Act – including requirements for financial institutions related to the administrative provisions for economic stimulus checks consumers received in 2020.

Other key items from the 2021 priority list include:

  • Due to the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s decision to delay its requirement to comply with the current expected credit losses standard until January 2023, NCUA examiners will not be assessing credit unions’ efforts to transition to the CECL standard until further notice.
  • NCUA will continue to conduct Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money- Laundering reviews during every examination and will take appropriate action when necessary to ensure credit unions meet their regulatory obligations.
  • The agency will continue to examine for compliance with applicable consumer financial protection regulations during every federal credit union examination. Thursday, NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced anagreement to coordinate supervision of credit unions with assets of $10 billion or more.

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