Bank, credit union regulators respond to latest disasters in Hawaii, Mississippi

The wildfires affecting Hawaii as well as severe storms and tornadoes in Mississippi drew statements from federal bank and credit union regulatory agencies about available regulatory relief and authorization to close offices until conditions are safe.

On Tuesday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) issued a Financial Institution Letter detailing the ways it is easing regulatory requirements for banking institutions in areas of Mississippi recovering from severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes that beset areas of the state in mid-June.

The FDIC issued similar guidance last week for institutions working to recover from the wildfires in Hawaii (including in Maui County and areas on the island of Hawaii, or the “Big Island”). The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) meanwhile issued a proclamation that permitted banks “to close offices in the areas affected by these emergency conditions for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.”

On Monday, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced it was monitoring conditions in Maui County to determine credit unions’ status there and offer assistance “as needed.”

Both the NCUA and the FDIC have encouraged supervised institutions to work with borrowers by offering loans with special terms and extending repayment terms on existing loans. The NCUA said it will also, when necessary, reschedule examinations of affected credit unions; guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; and make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.

The agency also said low-income-designated credit unions (LICUs) affected by declared local, state, and national emergencies can apply for up to $7,500 in Urgent Needs grant assistance to repair damage or restore services to members. it directed credit unions needing the agency’s help to contact their primary supervisory examiners. The NCUA also said it would coordinate with state league organizations to help ensure credit unions are aware of the available assistance.

The FDIC also noted in its letters that supervised institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration “for community development loans, investments, or services that revitalize or stabilize federally designated disaster areas in their assessment areas or in the states or regions that include their assessment areas.”

FDIC FIL-42-2023 (Mississippi)

FDIC FIL-41-2023 (Hawaii)

OCC Allows National Banks and Federal Savings Associations Affected by Wildfires in Hawaii to Close

NCUA Monitoring and Assisting Credit Unions Affected by Wildfires in Maui