Credit union regulator expects Trump orders to ‘influence’ agency’s work

At least two of the executive orders issued by President Donald Trump this month and last are expected to “influence” the work of the federal credit union regulator, the new acting chairman of the agency wrote last week.

J. Mark McWatters, designated “acting chairman” of the NCUA Board by Trump in January, stated Friday in a quarterly newsletter of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that the report by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (mandated by Trump’s Feb. 3 order, “Presidential Executive Order on Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System”) and the “1-for-2” regulation reduction (outlined in a Jan. 30 order, “Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) are both expected to affect the agency.

“The President has requested that the Financial Stability Oversight Council report to him in 120 days on laws, rules, guidance and reporting requirements that impede economic growth,” McWatters wrote about the Feb. 3 order. “NCUA, as a member of FSOC, will work with the other members of the council to complete this report.”

Regarding the “1-for-2” regulatory reduction order (which instructs agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others), McWatters called that “of significance” to the agency. “It states that for every new rule adopted, agencies should identify at least two current rules that could be eliminated,” McWatters wrote. “I remain committed to bringing true regulatory relief to the extent permitted by applicable law and to protecting the deposits of the more than 106 million Americans who rely on federally insured credit unions for their financial needs, all in a manner that ensures the continued safety and soundness of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.”

However, interim guidance issued Feb. 2 by Dominic J. Mancini, acting administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs clarified that “significant actions” by independent agencies – which includes federal financial institution regulators –are not covered under the order.

In a question and answer format, the guidance addressed are independent agencies covered by the order. “No, the requirements of Section 2 apply only to those agencies required to submit significant regulatory actions to OIRA for review under EO 12866. Nevertheless, we encourage independent regulatory agencies to identify existing regulations that, if repealed or revised, would achieve cost savings that would fully offset the costs of new significant regulatory actions.”