As Prepared for Delivery on March 17, 2022
Before we consider today’s agenda, we have several announcements.
On February 24, war returned to the European continent when the Russian Federation launched a full-scale invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. We at the NCUA stand united with the Ukrainian people in support of their desire for freedom, democracy, and independence. We stand in support of the Ukrainian people living in the U.S. who fear for the welfare of loved ones and the future of their native land. And, we stand with the credit unions that provide safe, fair, and affordable financial products and services to Ukrainian communities across our country.
Unfortunately, today’s interconnected financial system means the war in Ukraine has far-reaching implications beyond its borders. The conflict has raised concerns about the potential for imminent cyberattacks here in the U.S., including those against the financial services sector.
Recently, the NCUA circulated a cybersecurity alert from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the National Security Agency.1 I cannot stress this enough: All credit unions and vendors, regardless of size, are potential targets for cyberattacks and must remain vigilant. They should also report any cyber incidents to the NCUA, the FBI, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Accordingly, I encourage all credit unions to download and use the NCUA’s Automated Cybersecurity Evaluation Toolbox, or ACET. This tool is an excellent resource — especially for small credit unions or credit unions with limited resources to help them understand their cybersecurity preparedness levels. The ACET is available at no cost and credit unions can find the tool on the NCUA’s website at www.ncua.gov/cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, the potential for cyberattacks is not our only challenge. Yesterday, March 16th, marked a somber occasion, the second anniversary of the NCUA working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic unfolded, many employees likely thought we would be back in the office in a couple of weeks. Few of us expected to be working remotely one year later. And, none of us expected we would mark our second year of working remotely because of this global scourge. That, however, is our reality.
On behalf of the NCUA Board and the agency’s entire leadership team, I want to express my profound gratitude to the NCUA’s more than 1,100 employees for their dedication, resilience, patience, and good humor during the last two years. Despite every obstacle, all of you performed brilliantly and continued to carry out the NCUA’s safety and soundness, consumer protection, and financial stability missions.
And, to those of you working at federally insured credit unions across the country: Thank you, as well, for your work supporting your members and communities. You have been America’s financial first responders.
As we enter the pandemic’s third year, it is time to think creatively about what we all — the NCUA and leaders of the credit union system — can do to positively shape the credit union industry’s future. Let us work together to make meaningful and positive changes. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and stakeholders to make this vision a reality. And, I look forward to returning to the office and having in-person NCUA Board meetings in the coming months, circumstances permitting.
That concludes my remarks. Mr. Vice Chairman, I understand you also have a statement that you would like to make.
1 Please see .