NCUA Chair Hood shares perspective, plans with Carolina CUs
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Columbia, SC and Raleigh, NC – More than eighty North and South Carolina credit union executives joined the Carolinas Credit Union League and co-host Nexsen Pruet last week for conversations with Charlotte native and newly appointed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Rodney E. Hood. The events, held in Columbia July 24 and in Raleigh July 25, provided time for participants to get to know Chairman Hood directly, then join in dialogue on his top priorities and perspective on pressing credit union issues.
| The Chairman Hood events, hosted in Columbia and Raleigh, provided time for participants to get to know the chairman, then join in dialogue on his top priorities and perspective on pressing credit union issues.
Following welcoming remarks by League President/CEO Dan Schline and Nexsen Pruet Real Estate Attorney Keith Burns, Hood highlighted his background and agenda in his new role. Burns then led Q&A-format conversation with Hood, who responded with engaging overviews of his appreciation for the credit union movement, his career journey, and what he envisions for the NCUA and credit unions in the future.
“It was a great two days of meetings with Chairman Hood,” shared Schline. “Creating connectivity and opportunities for credit unions in North and South Carolina to dialogue with key decision makers and industry leaders like Chairman Hood is central to what we do at the League. We appreciate Chairman Hood’s time and his leadership at the NCUA and were glad to have the opportunity to bring folks together.”
Hood expressed his pride in credit unions’ safeguarding of $1.5 trillion in assets for 117 million members—approximately one-third of the American public. His role in helping them continue to serve those citizens and more is to address his top-five priorities.
- Reducing regulatory burden on credit unions. “I work under the philosophy of ‘regulation should be effective but not excessive,’” said Hood on his overall mission to ensure the safety and soundness the nation’s 5,000+ federally chartered credit unions.
- Applying technology to support seamless interaction with the NCUA. In addition to call-report modernization, Hood envisions a customer-service approach and opportunity for innovative changes that will streamline the exam process, reduce examiners’ time spent in credit unions, and support back office activities such as BSA/AML compliance.
- New, enhanced focus on cybersecurity. Hood recognized the need for balance between homeland security and BSA/AML compliance that “can plague credit unions.” Helping him strike that balance is new Special Advisor to the Chair for Cybersecurity Johnny E. Davis, Jr., whose role will include monthly communications.
- Access and inclusion. “Credit unions are uniquely position to provide opportunities for people of modest means,” Hood recognized, also noting that 95 percent of disabled ethnic minorities are unable to access their accounts. Beyond financial education, credit unions can stand in the gap ahead of predatory lenders to serve marginalized communities. Hood wants a regulatory environment in which credit unions have tools and flexibility to help the most vulnerable in their communities, including the disabled.
- CECL implementation in 2023. NCUA will continue to provide resources to help credit unions prepare for CECL implementation, with a specific focus on mitigating the impact to credit unions as they phase-in first-year compliance requirements.
In further discussion, Hood met head-on the potential for application of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to credit unions, noting that they already are doing CRA-type work without being told—and urging them to tell their stories. To support entrepreneurial growth, he supports removing the cap on member business lending, and he highlighted both the SBA loan program as interim solution and that CDCUs are exempt from the cap. And he sees leadership and succession planning as vital to continuity of his philosophy.
“Why be a different regulator if we are expected to be in lockstep with others?” Hood asked rhetorically at the Columbia gathering. “I want the NCUA to be seen as embracing innovation and access, prioritizing transformative issues that move the ball forward without affecting safety and soundness.”
LaKeisha Moore, VP of compliance and product development for Premier Federal Credit Union, appreciates Hood’s spirit and the opportunity for direct exchange with him. “It’s encouraging to hear Chairman Hood voice his top focus initiatives and to know that increasing the security of member information and reducing regulatory burdens placed upon credit unions are at the top of the list.”
About Rodney E. Hood
Prior to taking the oath of office as NCUA board chairman on April 8, 2019, Hood served as a corporate responsibility manager for JPMorgan Chase, managing national partnerships with non-profit organizations, financial regulators, and community stakeholders to promote financial inclusion and shared prosperity in underserved communities throughout the United States.
Hood was a member of the NCUA Board from November 2005 to August 2009, during which time he was appointed vice chairman and served as NCUA representative on the board of directors of NeighborWorks America.
As chairman, Hood is a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and represents the NCUA on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and the Financial, Banking Information Infrastructure Committee.