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NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle S. Hauptman Statement on the Board Briefing, NCUA’s 2024-2026 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan

January 2024
NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle S. Hauptman Statement on the Board Briefing, NCUA’s 2024-2026 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan
Kyle S. Hauptman

NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle S. Hauptman delivers a statement on the Board Briefing, NCUA's 2024-2026 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan.

As Prepared for Delivery on January 18, 2024

Congratulations Miguel on the work you and your team have done to foster greater diversity and inclusion in the agency. I enthusiastically agree with Chairman Harper on his commitment to leverage the power of diversity and inclusion within the NCUA. A diverse workforce makes us better and stronger.

One of the performance indicators in the strategic plan is to promote diversity in the credit union industry. You and your team are listening to credit unions, and it shows. Your approach to develop training for credit unions to use in attracting and retaining diverse employees and service providers is in response to the overwhelming feedback you received from workshops at the DEIA Summit. In a competitive employment market, employers need as many tools as possible to find talented individuals.

I would like to add that promoting diversity in the credit union industry does not include the agency telling credit unions who should be on their boards. Credit union board directors are chosen by a vote of the member-owners. A credit union’s field of membership ultimately determines the population from which a board member can be chosen.

While your plan talks about promoting diversity in the credit union system, I feel strongly that promoting financial inclusion in general is the responsibility of the entire agency. As one of the original answers to financial inclusion, the credit union movement itself is, by definition, diverse.

As you know, we have credit unions formed around faith-based groups, ethnic groups, as well as those formed around employee groups such as public servants, farmers, military personnel, educational systems and so much more. Every credit union was formed because there was a group of people not getting what they needed – being excluded, if you will – from existing financial service providers.

The small credit unions, and those seeking a new charter, are the perfect example of people taking direct control of their financial well-being by forming and running their own credit union — a financial institution they own and control, dedicated to their specific needs. The only thing more satisfying than taking your business elsewhere is starting your own business offering better products.

All of us at the NCUA should remember what true financial inclusion means.

To maintain diversity of the credit union system itself, the NCUA should always consider how our operations affect financial inclusion. The credit union system becomes a little less diverse when an otherwise healthy credit union merges because of the crush of regulatory burden.

I’d like to call on my fellow board members to make financial inclusion more prominent in our thinking. We can’t congratulate ourselves on our DEIA efforts if we add unnecessary burdens on small credit unions and those seeking to start one.

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