NCUA Chairman Says Credit Union Consumer Protection Standards Should Match Banks’

National Credit Union Administration Chairman Todd Harper today made the case that consumer financial protection standards at credit unions should match those adhered to by the nation’s banks. Speaking at a credit union industry event, Harper said that “there cannot be one standard for bank customers and a different one for credit union members. Continuing such a dynamic only hurts the credit union members who we all have a duty to protect.”

In 2021, NCUA found violations of consumer compliance rules in nearly 15% of federal credit unions, the most common of which related to credit reporting, truth in lending, electronic fund transfers and equal credit opportunity rules, Harper said. NCUA also found in completed fair lending exams and reviews that in a majority of cases, there were weaknesses in compliance management systems.

Last year, the NCUA also resolved violations involving 64,000 credit union members subjected to unfair practices, leading to about $185,000 in restitution and remediation. “The logic that credit unions do not discriminate because they are owned by their members is a dangerous myth and one that should end,” Harper said. “Given the consumer compliance examination program for comparably sized community banks, our program’s scope is insufficient, especially for those credit unions between $1 billion and $10 billion in assets. We should be doing more, and we can do more.”