NCUA Proposes 9.6% Operating Budget Increase, 25 New Staff Positions
Agency releases proposed 2023 operating budget, which calls for a credit union operating fee increase and the creation of several new roles.
The NCUA on Thursday proposed a 2023 operating budget of $350.8 million—a $30.7 million increase over the agency’s 2022 budget.
The boost represents a 9.6% increase over the current year. A portion of that increase would fund 25 additional positions at the agency.
The overall agency budget would reach $367 million, under the proposal—an 8.1% increase over the current budget.
The budget represents staff recommendations. The agency will hold a public budget briefing on Oct. 19 starting at 10 a.m. Eastern, with the meeting livestreamed on the NCUA website.
Operating Fee Increase
The Operating Fee rate for 2023 would increase 15.4%, compared to the rate in 2022, under the budget. Agency officials said they expect to solicit public comments about the Operating Fee methodology as part of the annual regulatory review process.
New NCUA Staff Positions
The proposal to increase NCUA staff is likely to garner a great deal of attention. Those proposed staffing increases include:
–Adding 10 net new regional staff positions, which includes adding 20 new specialist examiner positions and a decrease of 10 general examiner positions.
“The number of large, complex credit unions continues to increase through mergers and membership growth, which necessitates the need for a broader array of experts in the field to support the examination and supervision of these institutions,” the NCUA said, in outlining the need for the new employee positions.
The budget includes eight new regional consumer compliance specialists, six new regional bank secrecy specialists and six new supervisory specialists.
–Two new positions to establish a new Office of the Ombudsman “with dedicated staff and resources to facilitate better stakeholder understanding of NCUA’s processes and more effective resolution of issues.”
The employees would be responsible for outreach to credit unions and stakeholders, as well as responding to inquiries and complaints raised by the public.
–Two new positions in the Office of Consumer Protection. The new employees would be responsible for enhancing the NCUA’s fair lending program.
Board Chairman Todd Harper has pushed for the NCUA to increase its consumer protection activities, pointing out that other banking agencies conduct separate consumer protection examinations at financial institutions under their supervision.
–Four new positions in the Office of Examination and Insurance.
–One new position in the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion to support its mission of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
–One position in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
–Making permanent five positions previously authorized within the agency’s staffing plans.
The draft budget additionally calls for:
–A capital budget of $11.2 million, or 14.1% less than the current year.
–A travel budget of $23 million—an increase of $5 million. The increase is needed because examiners will begin traveling to credit unions for in-person examinations, according to the agency. In addition, the cost of travel is increasing, they said.
–A Share Insurance Fund administrative budget of $4.9 million—$1.3 million lower than the current funding level.
–$47.6 million for agency contracted services—an $11.1 million, or 30% increase. Contracted services include training for agency examiners, auditors, and information security specialists.
–An Overhead Transfer Rate that is 30 basis points lower than in 2022; it is estimated to be 62.4%. That means that 62.4% of the Operating Budget is estimated to be paid out of the Share Insurance Fund.