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NCUA’s Harper: Take Action to Advance Economic Equality and Justice

June 2020
NCUA’s Harper: Take Action to Advance Economic Equality and Justice

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 18, 2020) – During the Illinois Credit Union League’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting on June 11, National Credit Union Administration Board Member Todd M. Harper called on the NCUA and the credit union industry to take action to advance economic equality and justice.

“Civil rights and human rights are core American values, and I fully embrace them,” Board Member Harper said. “I also believe deeply in equality. That’s why the brutal killing of George Floyd shocked and sickened me. For the African American community, the circumstances of Mr. Floyd’s death are unfortunately far too familiar. As a leader at the NCUA, I cannot respond by just saying, ‘we need to do better’ or ‘we must do more.’ Those lines rightfully ring hollow to communities of color. They are empty promises. To achieve real, sustainable change, I, like each of us, must take action within my sphere of influence.”

During his remarks, which are available on the NCUA’s website, Harper outlined four initial approaches he will advance as a Board Member. They include:

  • Building diverse and inclusive workforces and supplier chains,
  • Enhancing support for minority depository institutions,
  • Enforcing fair lending laws, and
  • Funding initiatives aimed at closing the wealth gap.

Additionally, Harper detailed his experience learning about credit unions’ efforts around the country to meet their members’ needs and develop innovative initiatives aimed at creating economic equity and opportunity. He stressed that credit unions that engage with their communities would be remembered and supported for their efforts. Harper also called on the credit union system to push for greater financial inclusion.

“To address long-standing societal problems of economic equality and justice, we need you to recommit to addressing these issues in your communities by finding ways to adapt your products and services,” Harper said. “In serving everyone, your credit union, your members, and our country will be better for it. You will also be fulfilling the “people helping people” philosophy at the heart of the credit union movement.”

Harper also discussed the economic outlook and how it could potentially affect credit union performance, the regulatory and legislative enhancements made to the Central Liquidity Facility, and the NCUA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He invited those credit unions that are not already members of the CLF or have access to the facility through an agent to join the facility.

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