From the Democratic takeover of the National Credit Union Administration board to the merger of the two national trade groups on January 1, credit unions already face a changing environment this coming year.
The biggest change for credit unions in 2024 may come from the changes at the NCUA. Shortly before leaving for the year, the Senate confirmed Tanya Otsuka for a seat on the NCUA board, replacing Rodney Hood, whose term has expired. Otsuka’s confirmation is particularly significant since once she is sworn in, Democrats will have the majority on the board. It will leave Kyle Hauptman as the lone Republican on the panel. This shift may change NCUA policies.
With Democratic control of the board, Chairman Todd Harper may finally be able to implement priority items that had attracted opposition from his Republican colleagues. Harper has pushed the board to place a higher priority on consumer protection examinations at credit unions, while GOP members have opposed this, saying the agency places enough emphasis on consumer protection. Otsuka may see things Harper’s way, giving him the additional vote he needs to change the priorities.
In addition, Otsuka may give Harper the vote he needs to have the NCUA issue guidance on climate-related issues. Several other financial regulators are developing such guidance, but the Republicans on the NCUA board have said that the agency should not tell credit unions to consider climate change when making financial decisions. Otsuka may shift the balance of power on this issue.
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