Home Info Newsroom NCUA Issues Guidance, Announces Upcoming ECIP Action

NCUA Issues Guidance, Announces Upcoming ECIP Action

Authored By: Lewis Wood on 10/20/2021

Eligible low-income credit unions (LICU) may accept 30-year subordinated debt investments from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), as detailed today in a letter to credit unions by the National Credit Union Administration.

Editor's Note: This was a concern for ECIP-eligible credit unions, who argued that while banks could borrow for 30 years, an NCUA rule would prevent credit unions from secondary capital borrowing for terms greater than 20 years. NCUA's action yesterday eliminates this obstacle for eligible credit unions.

Additionally, a LICU may treat this ECIP funding as secondary capital in accordance with the NCUA’s regulations, provided that any LICU receiving secondary capital treatment has an NCUA-approved secondary capital plan by December 31, 2021. 

“Credit unions have a statutory mission to meet the credit and savings needs of their members, including—and especially—those of modest means,” said NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper. “The changes announced today will allow ECIP participating credit unions to fulfill that statutory mission and advance economic equity and justice. Going forward, the NCUA will pursue additional action to permit ECIP funding to count as regulatory capital for the entire time it is held. I look forward to working with my fellow Board Members on this important work.”

The final Subordinated Debt rule, passed by the NCUA Board in January 2021, includes a 20-year limitation on the regulatory capital treatment of “Grandfathered Secondary Capital,” which is defined as any secondary capital issued under a secondary capital plan that was approved by the NCUA before January 1, 2022. Upcoming action by the NCUA will clarify that ECIP participating credit unions may count ECIP funding as regulatory capital for the entire time it is held.

This week’s announcement is part of a three-step process the agency is taking to ensure credit unions have full access to the Treasury Department program.

  • The first step was a proposed rule to allow eligible credit unions to accept ECIP funding in 2022 without having to fill out a new subordinated debt application after the effective date of the new rule.
  • The second step is today’s letter to credit unions allowing low-income credit unions to accept 30-year ECIP funding.
  • The third step will be additional NCUA action to permit ECIP funding to count as regulatory capital for the entire time it is held. The NCUA aims to work on this action sometime in 2022.

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