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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

NCUA proposal looks to promote CU-fintech partnerships

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues NCUA Fintech

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On December 15, the NCUA issued a proposed rule seeking input on amendments to the agency’s regulations on the purchase of loan participations and the purchase, sale, and pledge of eligible obligations and other loans, including notes of liquidating credit unions. Among other things, the proposed rule would remove certain prescriptive limitations and other qualifying requirements to provide federal credit unions with additional flexibility to purchase eligible obligations of their members and engage with advanced technologies and other opportunities presented by fintechs. Improved flexibility and individual autonomy will allow federal credit unions “to establish their own risk tolerance limits and governance policies for these activities, while codifying due diligence, risk assessment, compliance and other management processes that are consistent with the Board’s long-standing expectations for safe, sound, fair and affordable lending practices,” the NCUA said. Comments on the proposed rule are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

“As I have emphasized before, credit unions should recognize and harness the potential opportunities fintechs may offer them,” NCUA Chairman Todd Harper said. “However, we must also acknowledge the potential risks they pose to credit unions, their members, and the system and develop appropriate guardrails. This proposed rule strikes that balance. It provides flexibility, safety, and tailored relief to credit unions while fostering greater innovation.”

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