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NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on the 2022 Midsession Budget Review

July 2022
NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on the 2022 Midsession Budget Review

As Prepared for Delivery on July 21, 2022

Thank you, Eugene, for your midsession briefing on the 2022 budget. As always, I appreciate your team’s efforts in preparing these presentations, and your careful attention to budgetary matters. The NCUA is on solid budgetary ground with a projected year-end surplus of around $18 million, and a small surplus in the Share Insurance Fund administration budget.

A surplus is both a reflection of sound and prudent financial management and an opportunity to ask whether we can use these financial resources to address important short-term and long-term needs, as well as whether we can prudently return part of this surplus to credit unions.

When it comes to our budget, we will not splurge. As a steward of the credit union system, the NCUA Board has a responsibility to wisely spend, save, invest, and refund these extra dollars. Credit union members are counting on us to exercise fiscal restraint. Fiscal restraint on our part should translate into savings for credit union members, in the form of higher interest on share deposits, lower interest on their mortgages and other loans, and lower fees, among other benefits. These are all high priority items for family budgets.

In focusing on credit union members, we must safeguard both consumer financial protection and safety and soundness. We must also ensure that the NCUA is sufficiently funded to meet our obligations to the taxpayers who back the Share Insurance Fund. 

Additionally, the NCUA Board must ensure the credit union system and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund can adapt to the evolving financial, economic, and market conditions brought on by various external events and pressures. As such, the agency will continue to prioritize and fund efforts related to cybersecurity, consumer financial protection, equitable financial innovation, and support for small credit unions and minority depository institutions. The existing 2022 budget and staffing levels support these priorities and make the necessary investments and commitments to realize our vision for the agency.

Eugene, I have a couple of questions for you. First, what are the main costs impacting our budget, and what are our options for the prudent management of the budget surplus?

Thank you. It is helpful to have a full picture of the budgetary landscape. And, looking ahead to next year, with travel returning to a more normal state and general inflationary pressures, what can we expect for the direction of the 2023 budget? Eugene, could you please lay out what costs changes we can expect, both up and down? What will have to be considered in the 2023 budget?

Thank you, Eugene. I appreciate that transparency and look forward to seeing a staff draft budget in the near future, so that the NCUA Board can obtain public input, deliberate, and reach a consensus on future spending.

In closing, I thank my fellow Board members and the NCUA team for remaining fiscally responsible and for working together to operate within our means while achieving our core goals of allowing credit unions to meet the credit and saving needs of their members, including those of modest means, with safe, fair, and affordable financial products and services. We can never lose sight of the fact that our efforts to protect the hard-earned savings of credit union members helps them to achieve financial stability and climb the economic ladder.

That concludes my remarks. Vice Chairman Hauptman, you are recognized for your comments.

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