Short-Term, Small Amount Loans
NCUA is amending its general lending rule to enable Federal credit unions (FCUs) to offer short-term, small amount loans (STS loans) as a viable alternative to predatory payday loans. The amendment permits FCUs to charge a higher interest rate for an STS loan than is permitted under the general lending rule, but imposes limitations on the permissible term, amount, and fees associated with an STS loan. This final rule also requires an FCU to set a cap on the total dollar amount of STS loans it will make and to set a length of membership requirement of at least one month. Also, any loan under this rule must be fully amortized. The STS loan alternative will assist FCUs in meeting their mission to promote thrift and meet their members' credit needs, particularly the provident needs of members of modest means. Permitting a higher interest rate for STS loans will allow FCUs to make loans cost effective while the limitations will appropriately constrain the product to meeting its purpose as an alternative to predatory credit products. This final rule also includes guidance in the form of ``best practices'' FCUs should consider incorporating into their individual STS programs.
Secondary Capital Accounts
On February 19, 2010, NCUA published an interim final rule amending its regulation governing secondary capital accounts to permit low-income designated credit unions to redeem all or part of secondary capital accepted from the United States Government or any of its subdivisions at any time after the secondary capital has been on deposit for two years. The amendments also allowed early redemption, under the same terms and conditions, of secondary capital accepted as a match to the government-funded secondary capital. Finally, the amendments changed the loss-distribution provision that applies to secondary capital accounts so that secondary capital accepted under the 2010 Community Development Capital Initiative is senior to any required matching secondary capital accepted from an alternative source. This rule confirms those amendments as final with some technical changes and clarifications.
Display of Official Sign; Permanent Increase in Standard Maximum Share Insurance Amount
President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) on July 21, 2010. Section 335 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) to make permanent the standard maximum share insurance amount (SMSIA) of $250,000. NCUA is amending its share insurance and official sign regulations to conform to this statutory change.