CUNA said it is outraged by the NCUA’s planned 2013 budget increase of 6.1%, and will be pursuing this with other policymakers to achieve greater accountability and transparency in the agency's budgetary process, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said today.
"For credit unions, this budget increase is exasperating, particularly as other federal financial institution regulators have held the line on their own budgets," Cheney said in CUNA News Now. "Clearly, the NCUA believes it has no reason to take a similar line – one that the president of the United States has personally mandated for federal agencies."
The 2013 budget represents the fourth-straight year that the agency has increased its budget. Cheney said the issue of ever-increasing budgets "necessitates greater oversight, accountability and transparency.”
"We will express our deep concerns to the Obama administration, as well as lawmakers regarding oversight of the NCUA's budget. The agency must be held accountable for its budget decisions--and we intend to ensure that will happen," he added.
NCUA Chair Debbie Matz defended the budget increase.
"This is a realistic, responsible and prudent budget. It's a sound investment for credit unions to protect their bottom lines and the Share Insurance Fund from any industry losses," NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said. Matz said the agency's 2013 budget also "sends a strong signal" that credit unions are improving.
The NCUA board approved a 2013 budget of $251.4 million, representing an increase of 6.1% from 2012's budget.
The total amount of the 2013 budget increase is $14.5 million, and $12.8 million of this budget increase would go to possible staff pay increases, employee benefits, locality pay and full funding for full-time employees who were only partially funded in 2012.
The agency noted that this number could change if Congress does not approve a federal employee pay increase for next year.
The approved budget would require an increase in the operating fee for federal credit unions of 0.24%.