WASHINGTON — House lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Monday to delay a controversial risk-based capital proposal for credit unions that would require regulators to further study the issue before finalizing the plan.
Reps. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., Bill Posey, R-Fla., and Denny Heck, D-Wash., are the lead sponsors for the legislation, which would require NCUA to hold off on finalizing its new capital rule for more than a year. The agency released a revised risk-based capital proposal in January that proved narrower and less stringent than an earlier version of the rule debated last year, but the plan remains hotly contested by the credit union industry, which has argued it could prove costly and unnecessary.
"We appreciate the congressmen's recognition of [the draft rule] as a serious and potentially troublesome proposal and their efforts to prevent the growth of excessive regulatory burden on an already well-capitalized industry," said Dan Berger, president and chief executive of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, in a press release.
The legislation is expected to require regulators to study whether the NCUA has the legal authority to set tiered risk-based thresholds; assess how capital risk-weights should be set for credit unions relative to other kinds of depository institutions; detail the rationale behind the agency's revised proposal; and review the impact excess capital could have on credit union lending and examinations. Regulators will have nine months to complete the study and report to Congress and will be required to wait another four months before finalizing the rule.