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Week ahead: NCUA confirmation hearing set, new PPP data

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Changes at the National Credit Union Administration could be just around the corner.

The Senate Banking Committee on Friday scheduled a confirmation hearing for July 21 to consider Kyle Hauptman’s nomination to the NCUA board. Along with Hauptman, the panel will also consider a pair of nominations to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If confirmed, Hauptman will mark the third and final Trump nominee to be appointed to the board until at least August of next year. Viewed as a strict regulatory critic, many credit unions expressed enthusiasm in Hautpman’s appointment despite his direct lack of credit union experience. It’s not standard fare for an NCUA board nominee’s appointment to be highly contested, though that could be the case for Hauptman given his strong opposition to Dodd-Frank and association with Sen. Tom Cotton.

Until then, credit unions are digging into new data on the Paycheck Protection Program.

Data from the Small Business Administration shows the industry’s 196,000 PPP loans supported 1.8 million jobs, with an average loan size of just under $50,000. Credit unions accounted for 4% of the nearly 5 million PPP loans on the books through June 30.

That meager percentage can be attributed in part to the vast disparities in asset sizes across the industry, with roughly a quarter of institutions holding less than $10 million in assets. It also raises questions regarding how well credit unions are serving small businesses — something the industry has lobbied to do for years by pushing to lift the cap on member business lending. Credit union trade groups are continuing to push for the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would ease the forgiveness process for PPP loans under $150,000.

The Senate is in recess this week, but two oversight hearings pertaining to credit unions are scheduled for the House this week, examining economic recovery in the COVID-19 era and homeowner protections amid the pandemic, respectively.

Voters in a handful of states will head to the polls this week. Maine’s primary takes place tomorrow, where Sen. Susan Collins faces an uphill battle against state House Speaker Sara Gideon. Runoffs are also scheduled for Texas and Alabama. The Credit Union Legislative Action Fund is backing candidates in races in all three states.

Lastly, the Federal Reserve put out new data on its Discount Window, which releases data on a two-year lag. During the second quarter of 2018, a total of 201 CUs borrowed nearly $271 million from the Fed. Credit unions visited the discount window 244 times during the second quarter in 2018, with a median loan volume of $10,000.

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