NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood will join other financial regulators when they testify before the Senate Banking Committee on May 12.
The regulators recently sent Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Id.) lists of legislative suggestions that they said would help their agencies weather the coronavirus crisis. Among other suggestions, Hood asked Congress to amend the Federal Credit Union Act to allow credit unions to expand their fields of membership to include additional underserved areas.
Hood also asked Congress to increase the agency’s Member Business Loan cap and to decrease capital requirements for credit unions as they deal with the pandemic. NCUA board member Todd Harper disagreed with the plan to adjust the capital requirements. He was not invited to testify at the May 12 hearing.
While the hearing likely will center on those proposals, other controversial issues may arise. For instance, when Hood and FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams testified before the House Financial Services Committee in December, McWilliams said that her agency was “looking at” the implications of credit unions purchasing banks. Hood said the deals constituted the free enterprise system at work.
Since that meeting, the NCUA has issued proposed rules governing that practice. Hood and McWilliams will testify at the May 12 Senate hearing.
The Banking Committee said the hearing will be held remotely. The panel held its first remote hearing Tuesday. Democratic senators questioned witnesses remotely, with the panel using large television screens. Republican senators attended the meeting in person. The GOP senators wore masks, although they removed them when they questioned witnesses. The witnesses wore their masks during the entire hearing.